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Model of 1917 S&P at NRM

Photo: Chris Capewell Collection

From Chris:
Picture taken by Brian Garvin in the NRM 'store' last summer. Stated as 1:16. Known to have been built by Mr. Hill of Brechin. Submitted in late 1948 to the Model Engineering Exhibition; it won a bronze medal.

The prototype is one of the three Stothert and Pitt cranes built for the War Office in 1917 and intended for use on the lines of the Nord.

They never worked on the LMSR as they were out of gauge on Britain's railways. As painted is therefore non-prototypical. They are not even known to have worked at Longmoor.

The model was lettered BR on the other side - "because he finished it in 1948"!...and other pics show it lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS. He had been building it for ten years.

The man was the manager of a wartime emergency/munitions factory set up by Tecalemit ( a Plymouth firm ) in Brechin. I will put money on him being ex S&P.

The model sold to the Science Museum for 1800 guineas in 1974 and was 1975-1990 on show at the South Devon Railway, before passing to the NRM when they became part of the Science Museum.

The model is five axle (3 fixed and 2 in a bogie; with outside bearings throughout ) with a lattice jib and curved plated jib head; the cylinders are about 15 degrees off the vertical near the rear of the side cheeks. The whole is painted grey and with no lettering or plates. The bogie runner wagon is given American style diamond trucks and lettered LMS No. 4 or 6? The present owner has apparently made an assumption regarding the initials and it is described as a model of an LMSR 40 ton capacity crane.

The modeller obviously had good knowledge and drawings of the Stothert and Pitt B.6083 pattern 35-tonners of 1918; three of which were built for the War Office; “For War Service on the N.Rly of France”. The only significant difference in the crane is the cab where the glazing differs from the somewhat continental style of the prototypes as pictured in 1918, and the lack of cast iron instuction and works plates. The type of runner wagon differs completely from the GWR-style Swindon-built bogie wagons supplied with the originals.

One was known to have passed to the Nord Belge and eventually to the SNCB and was cut up in 2000 after being in store for preservation; one believed to have gone to the Nord but uncertain thereafter; the third was sold from WD surplus stores held at Richborough and went to the Prince of Wales Dry Dock at Port Talbot where it survived until the early 1960s.


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  • David on 2019-Jul-18 19:46:18 David said

    Mr Hill was an apprentice at Stothert and Pitt when the cranes were built.