Sunday, February 3, 2013

Joint Operations

If you've only recently started reading this blog then it may seem as if all I talk about is 3D printing. This certainly isn't the case but I do seem to have had quite a run of posts on the topic. So for a break from 3D printing, I'm going to do a history related post.

In one of the early posts on this blog I discussed the railway companies that, at one time or another, had run steam engines along the railway at the bottom of our garden. If you look at the diagram you will see that from 1874 until 1922 the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) would have been running trains along the line before it was taken over by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR), which lasted for just a year before the grouping of 1923 (when all the existing companies were merged into the big four of LMS, LNER, GWR, and SR). Now try as I might I can't find any evidence that, at any point, any of the engines or rolling stock had a joint L&YR - LNWR livery.

So what is this dual coat of arms all about? I picked up this image (as a 35mm negative) on eBay, and apparently it originates from the National Railway Museum. A number of years ago they digitized a lot of their photographic collection and then sold off the negatives that they no longer needed. This collection is now being sold off piecemeal. Of course this doesn't actually help me work out what the coat of arms would have been used for, especially as the original museum descriptions seem to have come detached from the images.

I've had a hunt around the web, and strangely I can't seem to find this image anywhere else which suggests that it wasn't in common use. As far as I can work out there are two possible reasons for its existence. I suppose it could have been used on documents relating to the take over of the L&YR by the LNWR, but from looking at the image I think the photo is of paintwork rather than a printed image. My best guess (and if you know differently please do leave a comment) is that it in fact relates to shipping and not railways.

Apparently the L&YR actually had a large shipping fleet (the largest of any of the pre-grouping railway companies) operating from ports on both the west and east cost of the UK. The interesting detail is that they ran a joint operation with the LNWR out of Fleetwood. My assumption is that the dual coat of arms was painted onto one or more of the jointly owned ships. Unfortunately I can't find any proof of this, but it seems to be the solution that best fits the information I can find.


  1. It looks like two embellished royal seals. George the third maybe.....Like an appointed to...we have today.

    1. I suppose it could be, although the oval on the left definitely contains the coat of arms of the L&YR so I'm guessing it is just a joint display of the two arms for some reason. Your suggestion does give me something else to look into though, thanks.

    2. Their is no Latin on either just the rail companies names. LYR and LNWR. I suspect the arms bit was from a wealthy sponsor.