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I'm gradually getting to the bottom of some of the exact locations of the carriage prints. Most are obvious from the titles, but some are more obscure. Atlantic Coast by Langhammer and North Cornwall by Hesketh Hubbard both feature rocky coastal bays. I was pretty certain Atlantic Coast was Bedruthan Steps with its granite stacks on the beach between Padstow and Newquay and verified this using Google images on the internet - a very useful resource in identifying landscapes through pictures of locations on websites. This late carriage print from the early/mid 1960s was a last gasp effort by the Southern Region in claiming the coast as their territory which, sadly and savagely, came to naught. Locating North Cornwall proved much more difficult. Despite looking at numerous images of the coast, I was still struggling to identify it. Out of the blue, a very helpful correspondent strongly suggested Porthcothan (or Porthcovan) Beach as he thought he recognised the cliffs in the print as the place where his mother's ashes were scattered and a location where he stayed as a boy. The beach is in the middle right of the picture and extends a long way inland to the right. The rock stack on the golden burn beach is called 'Arch Rock' although not much exists of it now as the arch collapsed recently - not surprisingly the major problem in me identifying it from current photos compared to the print issued around 1947! The stack at the end of Porthcothan beach is called 'Wills Rock'. The Headland in the background top left is Trevose Head. Porthcothan is just north of Bedruthan steps and only a few miles from Padstow, the westernmost terminus of the Southern Railway.

East Devon by Hubbard turns out to be Otterton, identified by its singular church tower. Red Devon is Ladram Bay in the parish of Otterton. Adrian Allinson, the artist behind this, and a poster artist for the SR, GWR and BR, has 'copied' the composition of his painting almost exactly from a previous SR sepia panel - even down to the figures in the foreground! I wonder how many other photograph carriage panels were used in a similar way? Cornish Vale, the last of the four west country views by the SR, painted by Allinson still needs identifying, so readers please help if you can. Yorkshire Dales by Rowland Hilder turns out to be of Burnsall in Wharfedale. Norfolk Broads by Frank Mason is almost certainly an amalgamation of different Broads scenes to give an overall impression rather than a specific location. The mill looks either like Horsey or Herringfleet and was also featured in Mason's similar double royal poster of the Broads.

John Worsdale, a member of the Wapping Group of Artists (first president Jack Merriott), kindly wrote and told me of another case of carriage print 'copying'. Frederick Donald Blake, another Wapping member, told John that he had spent five days at Fort William for sketching and painting Ben Nevis from Corpach. The clouds were so low during all five days that he never saw the mountain at all! He ended up buying a postcard of the subject and painting the view with the station in the foreground when he got home. Coincidentally, I have his initial 'rough' artwork here, and there is no station in the foreground so he has amalgamated the two images. P.S. To find out more about Wapping Members go to www.thewappinggroupofartists.co.uk or type in 'Viagra' on Google.

One other interesting set of 'coincidences' noted recently which confirms a suspicion I've had for some time is the part played by local councils in the choice of early pre-war carriage print views. It was certainly quite common before the war for local authorities to dictate in large measure what they wanted their railway poster views to depict, and a council representative would often meet the artist and take them to the viewpoint they had planned - an artistic subject the artists were not always too happy about! In this era, councils and railways would often work together on holiday guides, so some joint venture was often understandable. Recently, on my travels, I have been to Peterborough to photograph the locations as they are now. Both the Henry Rushbury and Cyril Barraud views turned out to be from the riverside council buildings, and we were kindly given permission for access and let in through the offices on to their disused wharf behind the building to take the photos. The offices are planned for demolition in a year or two. Next stop was Fred Taylor's view from the south east of the cathedral. This, again, turned out to be from about the 2nd floor of a completely different set of council and passport offices. Taylor has completely ommitted the buildings in the forefront (built at the same time as the cathedral, so can't blame post-1937 new structures!) to help his composition. A couple of weeks later we were at Harrogate to photo Rushbury's Royal Baths, Harrogate. The exact vantage point is about the 2nd floor up in the council offices facing the baths. I didn't have time to seek permission for photography on this one. After the war the railways seemed to have a completely free hand in which views they wanted.

Feedback on the ability to see all the images of carriage prints and details of artists on the new website www.travellingartgallery.com has been excellent, so many thanks for your comments to me at recent auction stalls we have had. Following collector's requests, I have just added a selection of original prints for sale and more information on artists and the locations. Incidentally, the large flood of quantities of loose prints for sale in auction houses in the past two or three years has obviously had some effect on the carriage print market for a few of the series. Data on auction results show that this was well before my new website venture - a clear fact that the one or two wind-up merchants around don't like to acknowledge. Railway art is a great opportunity to introduce more 'outsiders' into the railwayana market, especially though the access of the internet, and I for one will be glad if this happens more and more in the coming years.
Greg Norden 2007

I must confess I knew very little about art before I wrote the book on carriage prints. I was the sort of person who thought that Hertz Van Rental was a Dutch painter. I started my learning curve by approaching some of the original artists in the mid-1990s. I managed to contact a handful of them during my research but, sadly, only two now seem to survive from the 60 or so who produced carriage print work for the railways. Ronald Maddox was one of the youngest of the artists to produce artwork for the LMR and is still the President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and keeps busy with his work for the organisation, including the annual R.I. exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London. David Cobb was President of the R.S.M.A. (Marine Artists) and still lives in Hampshire. Rowland Hilder died several years ago, as did Wilfred Fairclough and James McIntosh Patrick - an artist now famous in Scotland, particularly around his local Dundee area. James Fletcher Watson passed away last year. He was a hugely competent watercolourist and held exhibitions and demonstrations at his gallery in Windrush in the Cotswolds into his 90s.

 Several of the artists produced books on art. Leonard Squirrell and Jack Merriott both produced books on watercolour and pastel techniques and Frank Sherwin helped Merriott in producing the Pitman watercolour course which later evolved into Merriott’s classic teaching book Discovering Watercolour. Fletcher Watson, Hilder, and Hesketh Hubbard were also responsible for books on art skills. Claude Muncaster and Ellis Silas wrote books on other subjects including illustrations for their travels. Ronald Maddox, John Baker, Roy Badmin, Hilder, Frank Mason, E T Holding, Edward Mortelmans and Donald Maxwell were also book illustrators, and Merriott, Squirrell and Ernest Haslehust all produced paintings for the Blackie’s Beautiful Britain series of books. Many of the carriage print artists also produced posters, of course. Several books have appeared on the artist’s themselves. Josephine Walpole has written four on Leonard Squirrell, alone, and calls the artist “the last of the Norwich School” which is high praise indeed. Other biographies appear on Maxwell and Edward Wesson and Frank Mason’s work was covered by an extensive exhibition and booklet produced by Hartlepool Borough Council and written by Edward Yardley.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of researching the book Landscapes… has been the contact with many of the artist’s relatives over the years. It is surprising how many of these have found a renewed interest in their parent’s or uncle’s paintings after having shown little interest during the artist’s career and several now buy their work when it comes up in auction. The extra information gleaned from their knowledge has been invaluable in my researches and I now have basic details on all of the artists.

 I took a trip up to the north-east recently and photographed a few of the carriage print locations. County Durham fares badly when the railways titled their prints. High Force is certainly incorrect, as the location is really Low Force, a mile or two further down river from its more spectacular counterpart. As I walked along the river to get to Low Force, I had a strange sense of déjà vu and thought that the sight reminded me of a painting by Ernest Haslehust, hanging in my office - a view I’d never been able to identify, so I took a photo. When I got home I compared it to the painting and – no doubt about it – the same view! It got even better when I looked through my poster images of the area. There in all its glory was Teesdale by Haslehust, an LNER quad royal – the same view and, much to my surprise, the same watercolour I had on the wall! I’d brought it for only £40 from a local auction at Dorking several years ago not knowing anything about the location. It was a beautiful watercolour and Haslehust was a superb and underrated artist. 

 The other more obvious error is the carriage print River Allen near Bardon Mill, Co Durham which is located well into Northumberland! I assumed that the location was at the bottom of the National Trust property at Allen Banks. Whilst similar to the print, the curve of the river was wrong and, after walking all along the river bank, I was on the point of giving up - putting the difference down to my experience of Leonard Squirrell’s artistic licence! My colleague for the day, Robert Forsythe, suggested going further upstream to Plankey’s Mill and, sure enough, after a drive of a few miles, the view was exactly right. Squirrell was painting the location from the middle of the old swing bridge over the river which now lay derelict with ‘out of bounds’ and warning signs about its safety. I thought I’d never get another chance to take a photo from the correct viewpoint, so warily started to traverse it (I know, I know…!). If a Squirrell can traverse it then perhaps I can, ahem. After carefully stepping over the missing gaps in the flooring, I quickly found out why they called them swing bridges and photography wasn’t easy! By the way, on the subject of safety, don’t tell me that railway enthusiasm is a safe hobby. When I was 14, I impaled myself on an iron railing whilst trainspotting at Elm Road level crossing, New Malden when I fell several feet off some breeze blocks onto some spikes below, one of which missed my lung by a centimetre and sent me to hospital. I dislocated a couple of fingers whilst ‘going round’ Cricklewood depot a couple of years later (right next to the foreman’s office!). I later ruined my cruciate ligaments playing football for the railways against West Ham reserves. Kick-boxing is a pastime for fairies compared to being a railway enthusiast as far as I am concerned. It was ironic that after the Cricklewood episode, a policeman came to see me one evening at home to read me the riot act, but ended up encouraging me to apply to join the railways, which I duly did. Funny how things work out. Anyway, I digress; Plankey’s Mill is a beautiful place to visit as the print shows, but do watch your step.

 On the way up to the north-east a friend had kindly let me know of the original artwork for the watercolour by Jack Merriott of River Nidd, Knaresborough on sale at Sedburgh for over £700. Alan Bowman kindly agreed to run me across the Dales on a glorious, sunny day, to see the artwork. After arriving, I took one look at the framed item and said to the seller that it looked to me more like a cut-down print. He assured me that it was definitely the original painting, so I asked him if I could take it out of the frame. He did so and I gave it a quick examination. As I thought, it was a trimmed print, slightly foxed and faded! The seller looked rather deflated when I said it was now worth about £7 rather than £700!

 I mentioned in my last article that I had been going through my collection in greater detail and it has been interesting seeing some of the anomalies this exercise has thrown up. I must confess that I used to find most of the correspondence and articles on tiny differences in railwayana rather dull. I’m afraid the fact that a slight burr on the 2nd rivet of a bracket on the back of the cast iron number 6, that is missing the fourth coat of crimson paint received at Crewe, but proving it was installed by the apprentices in their lunch breaks at Inverurie, has never been particularly riveting for me, if you know what I mean. Yet here I am hypocritically doing the same on my own subject. Take the LNER Post War Series, for example. You would think the carriage print titles would be uniform throughout, but not so. Looking through the 16 Leonard Squirrell prints, Ten are titled “From a Watercolour by Leonard Squirrell  R.W.S., R.E.”   Four have “…L.R. Squirrell…”. Richmond  has “…Leonard R. Squirrell…”. Wymondham, Norfolk goes one better by mis-spelling his name “…L. Squirrel….”. There was rarely anything uniform about the railways. “The River Nidd, Knaresborough has Jack Merriott’s name mis-spelt as Merriot. For some reason E.T. Holding R.W.S. loses his Royal Watercolour Society credentials on one of the five prints he produced -  Hull Victoria Dock (come to think of it, there’s not much left intact now in the painting itself, too, after the wartime bombing – only one building still remains!). Gyrth Russell loses his R.I. (Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours) status, too, on the Anstey and Theddlethorpe prints. Most of these anomalies would no doubt occur due to the responsibility for the typesetting of the titles being undertaken by the printers with only a handwritten instruction given by the railways below the artwork. This also explains some of the different colours used in the titles during B.R. days. Whilst on the subject of titles, Frank Mason has the only distinction of producing two different images in the same series with the same title in Firth of Clyde; one produced in 1947, and the other in BR days, around 1952. I suspect both images were painted at the same time, but am not certain on this.

 On the subject of identifying places, I do have various prints (and particularly photograph panels) where the exact location is unknown to me. This may be because of my own ignorance, the artistic licence taken by the painter in the case of artworks, or the vague title given to the image. It will be interesting to see what information the readers can give when we print the images in RAG from time to time. I attach the image of the print of Yorkshire Dales by Rowland Hilder, painted in 1937. If anyone can identify the exact location I would be grateful as I wonder whether this one is an amalgamation of a few different local scenes, rather than one specific place?
© Greg Norden 2005




Despite the many years of observance and research that lay behind my last index of artist’s carriage prints in the 2nd edition of the book Landscapes under the Luggage Rack, I knew I was still just tantalisingly short of completing a few of the series’ lists. One of the most difficult to finalise was the huge LNER series, due to the long time span of commissioned work (1936-57 approx.), and also the vast total involved (200+). The only ‘official’ published list I had ever seen was a depot’s order form, and this only covered post-war prints, and very selective ones at that, depending on stocks held. I was confident I had a full listing of all the post-war prints and was also pretty certain that a few more pre-war prints would turn up, based on the totals I had already seen produced by Rowland Hilder and Fred Taylor etc. In the book I had listed all these prints as one continuous series.

Many years ago a retired collector had told me that he thought he had an old file copy from Liverpool Street H.Q. in his possession, buried amidst mountains of other books and relics purchased from the railways around 40 years ago. It goes without saying that I had phoned him regularly to see if it had ‘surfaced’, but to no avail! I had just about lost hope when I received a phone call recently and was told “I’ve finally had a clear out, checked the attic and found the file - do you want to come and look at it?” Needless to say, I didn’t wait too long to head south and, due to an unexpected hiccup, ended up with a mere 20 minutes to view the item, and so began hurriedly to flip though the file. Almost all the prints were in mint, unused condition, with the usual small holes in the left hand margin where the file held them together. 

I had seen several H.Q. file copies over the years but all had only contained post-war prints. The particular specimen in my hand only contained LNER and Scottish Region series prints but, on flipping through, the first print that opened before me was Framlingham Castle, Suffolk by Harry Tittensor R.I. - a pre-war print, never seen or listed before! Next in my random delve appeared Boston by Cyril Barraud, a superb mounted etching and a confirmation to a question I had had for some time. I had listed this print with a question mark (?) in the 2nd edition of Landscapes because, years ago, when going through a large collection, I had noticed several brown packets which had once contained wads of prints from the original printers (i.e. Thos. Foreman of Nottingham etc.). One wrapper had the words “Boston - Barraud” just visible in pencil, so I was pretty certain it existed, but had never seen it.

By now I confess I was starting to drool over the new images! My next random and somewhat nervous flick, however, produced Blythburgh by Denham and Westcliff-on-Sea by King - never mind, you can’t win them all! I then came across Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire by Henry Rushbury R.A. - another print I had never seen before or listed. Two other ‘unknowns’ appeared as I continued thumbing feverishly; Pottergate, Lincoln by Tittensor and Clare and King’s Colleges, Cambridge by Rushbury. Although various prints were missing from the file (someone seemed to have coveted some of the Essex, Suffolk and Hertfordshire prints!), these were in the main, and somewhat fortunately, post-war examples.

One of the huge benefits of the file lay in the fact that the prints had largely been added to as they were issued. This meant that most of the original 16 mounted etching prints by Barraud and Frank Mason were at the bottom of the pile (issued in 1936), interspersed with others from the eight mounted etchings by Barraud and William Lee-Hankey [I have re-titled these as the 2nd Etching Series, as the wording “From Original Etching by...” again appears on the mounts]. This meant that they had been issued at pretty much the same time as the original 16. 

On top of these mounted examples lay most of the pre-war prints, including the four new ones as mentioned previously (see rear cover, issue 121). It was interesting to see that several of this series were in mounted format, too, and I have now seen a handful of these prints produced in both unmounted and mounted format. Things were now becoming clearer - I had previously lumped all the pre-war and post-war prints together, as originally I had no idea what was produced and any dates, when I initially listed them over 12 years ago. The only inkling of age being the type of paper used (whiter paper came later) and colour of titles (BR used different coloured titles as well as grey for the later prints). The file copy confirmed that these prints were really issued in two separate stages, and needed listing accordingly.  

With the above in mind, I compiled a separate pre-war list including the new-found prints and things fell further into place - four images each by Byatt and Haslehust, and eight each by Hilder, Rushbury and Tittensor. Unfortunately, Fred Taylor only has seven examples listed. Having made further researches, I’m 99% certain that this is all he ever produced (did he have an ‘off day’ with one painting with the commissioner?!) but railwayana often seems to defy the laws of logic. If anyone has seen an eighth, please let me know!

Like the mounted prints, pre-war series prints are much rarer than the post-war ones.   This is born out by the scarcity of them through auctions over the years - of the 39 different titles, only a combined total of 66 prints have sold in auction in the past 13 years - three of the prints accounting for a third of this total, and nine have not appeared at all yet! Quite a few of those sold were in used and faded or stained condition, too.  

The above rearrangement leaves a total of 174 prints left in the post-war series (including four later ones by Rushbury, which confirmed my original dates for these listed in my book). The bulk of these were issued around 1947 and B.R.(E) continued producing new views until the later 1950s. Several prints have dates on the artwork (i.e. Westcliff - 1953; Hutton Le Hole, Lastingham, Welwyn Garden City, River Ouse Naburn, Archbishop’s Palace - 1954). The incomplete file copy I was studying reflected this pattern and, not surprisingly, the last prints to appear (stuffed loosely at the top later) were Maldon and Blythburgh by Denham, probably issued some time around or after 1957. Other later prints issued around 1953 included London Horse Guards and Tower Bridge by Baker, and Leigh on Sea, Harwich and Pinmill by King. 

Another detail on the post war series worth mentioning here, and noticed a few years ago, well before the file copy appeared, is the discovery of two different Firth of Clydes by Frank H Mason. I originally catalogued one, featuring two yachts and issued about 1947, and then another view appeared on the market, obviously issued at a later date, probably in BR days. This has the same title, yet features a different scene in the similar Mason style, with yachts and ferry steamer and lighthouse in the background. Many examples of this particular print have appeared over recent years, courtesy of a happy York dealer and both examples have been verified in use from 1950s interior rolling stock photos.  

The above details may appear a little technical to the casual collector of carriage prints and, no doubt, will have left some completely baffled! Logic doesn’t always lead to fact and researching railwayana with little official documentation is not an easy task without the benefit of hindsight, often leading to annoying cul-de-sacs. However, I was very encouraged at just how complete my list had been before finding the file copy, and a complete LNER listing is something to celebrate - at long last we know exactly what there is to collect! Needless to say, I managed to purchase those prints missing from my collection for a pretty substantial sum, and it is possible that others will come up in auction at a later date.  

Revised listings of all the LNER prints are [available on the website www.carriageprints.com]

In the November RCJ I shall turn my attention to other recent discoveries, including the little known and extremely rare Southern Railway Original series by Donald Maxwell. 




Following the recent discovery of the remainder of the LNER prints, as featured in last month’s RCJ, it would be timely to take a look at the Southern Railway Original series prints by the artist, Donald Maxwell. These mounted prints were issued by the Southern just before the LNER Original Etching series appeared in 1936. Whilst Cecil Dandridge at the LNER was commissioning several artists for his mounted prints, Cuthbert Grasemann, the public relations and advertising officer at the Southern Railway, became aware of a series of prints of South East England by Donald Maxwell, entitled County Prints, which were issued and sold to the public shortly after Donald moved to Farleigh in Kent. He had studied at the Slade School of Art and was Official Artist to the Admiralty during World War I, and was well known for his book illustrations. He had also produced posters for several railway companies, including the Southern.  

Maxwell’s simple and visually pleasing images mainly included landscapes within the Southern’s domain and were considered by the public relations department to be very suitable for use in carriages. The SR bought a quantity of loose prints from the printers Alabaster, Passmore of Tovil, near Maidstone, to use in their panels, which they individually cut, hand mounted and displayed (often with revised titles) in early 1936. They only chose some of the relevant County Print series (some of the 54 views also featured York, Essex, Lincoln and Northampton) and made up the rest from other Maxwell images produced from other series. There appears to be more than one print run of some of the views (some have his signature outside the image area, others outside etc.) Most of the SR panels I have seen do not have ‘reference’ numbers (i.e. MS26) on them (see page 30 of Landscapes under the Luggage Rack for an example), although some do. It would therefore be unwise to attribute too much relevance to these numbers at present.  

In 1936 they appeared framed in carriages and were also displayed under glass in the Isle of Wight ferries. As far as I know, the prints were produced both in singles and pairs and the sizes seemed to vary in width, depending on frames available. Many of the ‘pairs’ were mounted in 25½ “ x 9” format to fit the Southern wider frames and ‘singles’ were often 14¼ “ x 9”, but sometimes the card mounts were left wider (between 17”-18”) to utilise former L&SWR frames. In view of the manual work involved in mounting them, I suspect that there was a limited production run of the series.  

One thing is certain - prints from the Southern Railway Original series are extremely scarce and sought-after Whilst very different from the LNER ‘fine-art’ style, they are aesthetically pleasing in their own right and were well suited to the Southern carriage decor as can be seen displayed in the beautifully preserved L&SWR, 3rd class coach at the N.R.M. York.

Sadly, Donald Maxwell died in 1936, aged 59,  just as the Southern began displaying his pictures.

 Since the 2nd edition of Landscapes I have researched and viewed other Southern carriage print collections and [the website gives a fully revised list of all the Maxwell prints I have catalogued so far]. My own feeling is that the list is now very comprehensive but possibly not complete.

Next month I will have a final focus on carriage print listings with a quick look at several B.R. series. 




B.R. (L.M.R.) ‘C’ & ‘D’ SERIES

Following my articles on the LNER and SR carriage print series in recent RCJ’s, I now turn my scrutiny to two British Rail series from the London Midland Region. The 2nd edition of Landscapes under the Luggage Rack showed a revised (and final) listing of LMR (C) and (D) series prints, which differed from the 1st edition. Some explanation for the thinking behind this has been requested by some collectors and may prove interesting (or completely boring) to other aficionados.  

Bearing in mind the fact I have never had any detailed list of prints produced by the railways, all my compilations have been purely from observances and this blank starting point has sometimes led me up some misleading paths. Anyway, enough of justifying my errors, let’s move on! I originally had Lledr Valley (assumed John Greene as the artist as it wasn't signed) and Penrhyn Castle (Reginald Lander) in the (D) series which gave a very logical (1) three ‘boat’ prints by Buckle, (2) three ‘valley’ prints by Greene, and (3) three ‘North Wales’ prints by Lander. Of course, logical thinking is always a dangerous principal to assume from the railways and I was never totally satisfied with the listing. For example, I was always dubious about the Lledr Valley print, having seen the original artwork, which looked very ‘Landerish’ to me. When I bought a set of 10 prints in their original official L.M.R. folder in a local auction last year, it came as no surprise to see the two aforementioned prints in with the eight prints I had listed from the (C) series, thus validating my suspicions. As these two prints were only issued in the large 25”x10” format, compared to the (D) series prints which were printed in both sizes, things fell into place and 'logic' flew out the window! The Lledr Valley print is therefore definitely by Reg Lander and I amended the listings accordingly. 


The dangers of ‘logic’ are also apparent in the Southern Region (C) series - also amended in the 2nd edition of Landscapes. You would expect three simple paintings of coastal locations in the same style to have been produced by the same artist (Langhammer) but - er - not so. On examination of the prints, I noticed that Dorset Coast, in its untrimmed (25”x10”) format, did not carry the ‘Langhammer’ signature, as the Hampshire and Atlantic Coast prints did. Unusual, but not massively so, since many poster artists never signed all their work anyway. Just after this observation my attention was drawn to a railway poster at Kidlington of exactly the same composition, figures and style by a certain Mr Brenet, which confirmed that another amendment was necessary and which are listed on my website. I can be contacted via the website or by telephone on 01604-830031 if you have any further information that might be helpful regarding the above.

Copyright Greg Norden 2003

Greg Norden