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Thursday, 24 April 2014

60009 Flies By

On the tank roof today in glorious sunshine doing a bit of carpentry when there was the unmistakable wail of an A4's whistle coming from the south.

click to enlarge
A4 Pacific 60009 Union of South Africa plus its support coach sped through Settle station heading for Carlisle and I had a grandstand view all to myself.   What an absolute privilege.


  1. Thanks for posting this- that must have been a great experience.

    Actually I wanted to comment on your restoration project in general which has been a great accomplishment by you and your wife.

    However, in the TV programme shown a couple of years ago about the restoration, you said you had decided to paint the ironwork at the top of the water tower Brunswick green (and cream) because this was the livery used for the locomotives of the Midland Railway which of course built the Settle and Carlisle line in the 19th C.

    But this is entirely incorrect!

    It is well-known that the Midland Railway used a deep red livery on all its locomotives from the mid-1880s until the end of its existence as an independent company in 1922 (and the red was then taken on for some express passenger locos by the LMS of which it became a constituent). Numerous books show this including a series on pre-grouping railway liveries published in British Railway Modelling by Nigel Digby in 2002-03 a copy of which I have in front of me as I write this.

    Before the 1980s a dark green/then briefly emerald green was used but never Brunswick green- this was the Great Western Railway livery and subsequently by BR for many passenger locos.

    Given the meticulous way you approached this project and your evident concern to be true to the heritage of the water tower I am surprised that you could have got this so wrong. It follows that the ironwork should be in Midland red and cream, eg as on some of the buildings stations etc on the Keighley and Worth Valley preserved line which as a former MR branch line is based on that firm's practice (as well as later BR).

    I am just mystified where you got the idea NR locomotives were ever painted Brunswick green?

    Given that, might you reconsider repainting the ironwork the correct colour when it is time for a repaint?

    best regards
    Roger Murray

    1. Correction: "Before the 1980"s- I meant 1880s of course.

  2. Hello Roger,

    My copy of Midland Style by George Dow (1975) seems clear - dark Brunswick Green was the MR's locomotive colour until the change to which you refer. Page 63 says "After the appointment of Matthew Kirtley in 1844, a dark Brunswick green was adopted as the basic livery for all locomotives".

    Appendix 1 shows colour patches, one of which is "MR loco dark green" (another is "MR loco light green").

    Our paint suppliers Manor Coating Systems scanned the dark green colour patch and a sample of the faded green paint already on the tank. One is always cautious of paint sample patches - and they usually have cautionary footnotes. Manor's dark Brunswick green was a very conscientious attempt at the right colour based on the evidence available to us.

    We did try to get the green right and I am reasonably happy that we succeeded.

    The cream gave more problems than the green actually. Midland Style has a colour patch called 'MR Denby pottery cream'. I contacted Denby pottery and asked them for the RAL number (or whatever) of 'Denby pottery cream'. They could not help!

    Perhaps we do at least deserve a B- for effort!

    Best wishes,



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