Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

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pheald
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Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby pheald » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:10 pm

I am building a cattle wagon train for a layout based in the Cheshire /Sth Lancashire/West Yorkshire area say. In order to produce a train would I expect to see wagons from a number of companies in addition to those with running rights?

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Bob Ellis
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby Bob Ellis » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:20 pm

The most common use of cattle wagons was to take cattle and sheep to and from auction marts. Farmers would usually send their livestock to the nearest market or at least to one fairly close to home, so you need to find out the identity of the market(s) they would have been most likely to use if you are modelling an actual location or decide in your own mind where the market(s) would be if it is a fictional location you are depicting. Either way, the trains would have been composed entirely of wagons belonging to the local railway company(s). Stock travelling away from the auction mart, whether bought by farmers or by meat dealers, would travel in the wagons that earlier conveyed stock to the market, or the local railway company would send a train of empties. Typical lengths would be 30 wagons for a train of empties and 20 for a train of loaded wagons.

However, farmers often bought stock from further afield to fatten up or to improve the quality of their herds. For instance, farmers from my home area (Hawes in Wensleydale) travelled to markets in Scotland, including Ayr, to buy stock. The quantities involved would be smaller, so you could run a few wagons from 'foreign' companies bringing stock of this type into your area. However, these would not normally run in special livestock trains, but in pick-up goods or in passenger trains if the wagons were fitted for passenger traffic.

It was normal practice to marshall cattle wagons immediately behind the engine when they were loaded to minimise the buffeting received by the livestock. Where you see photographs showing cattle wagons in the middle of goods trains or at the back of passenger trains, it is normally because they are empty.

I hope this helps.
Bob Ellis

Modelling Hawes (NER/MR) c.1905

Young Fido
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby Young Fido » Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 pm

As an extra to the above, do you know if the contituent company wagons would have been pooled at grouping so that, say, any LMS constituent wagons would be seen together in different parts of the country?

Richard

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Bob Ellis
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby Bob Ellis » Wed May 13, 2009 7:42 am

Young Fido wrote:As an extra to the above, do you know if the contituent company wagons would have been pooled at grouping so that, say, any LMS constituent wagons would be seen together in different parts of the country?
Richard


Yes, pooling did take place after grouping, but, as far as I can tell, it occurred slowly. Photos from the Southern Division of the NER (the area in which my particular interests lie) suggest that livestock trains in the 1920s were still composed almost entirely of ex-NER wagons, but by the mid-1930s ex-GCR and GNR wagons (plus, of course, the new LNER wagons) were beginning to appear in livestock trains.

I hope this helps.
Bob Ellis

Modelling Hawes (NER/MR) c.1905

Young Fido
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby Young Fido » Thu May 14, 2009 7:41 am

Thanks Bob. Looks like I hay have to cull some of my more exotic kits :(

Richard

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Will L
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby Will L » Thu May 14, 2009 3:46 pm

Young Fido wrote:Thanks Bob. Looks like I may have to cull some of my more exotic kits :(

Richard


Oh I wouldn't do that, there is a big difference between not often and never. While they may have been a bit disinclined to wander far from home, that doesn't mean they didn't.

Young Fido
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby Young Fido » Fri May 15, 2009 10:54 am

Will L wrote:
Young Fido wrote:Thanks Bob. Looks like I may have to cull some of my more exotic kits :(

Richard


Oh I wouldn't do that, there is a big difference between not often and never. While they may have been a bit disinclined to wander far from home, that doesn't mean they didn't.

Phew :D

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pheald
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby pheald » Tue May 19, 2009 12:15 pm

One would assume that some livestock travelled some distance say cattle for breeding purposes or when forms moved.

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Bob Ellis
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby Bob Ellis » Tue May 19, 2009 1:12 pm

pheald wrote:One would assume that some livestock travelled some distance say cattle for breeding purposes or when forms moved.


Yes, livestock did sometimes travel large distances for breeding purposes. For instance, farmers in Yorkshire bought breeding cattle in Scotland, but the numbers would not normally be large enough to to justify a special livestock train. Under normal circumstances, they would be conveyed by a mixed goods train, as I mentioned in an earlier posting.

Farmers moving from one part iof the country to another was not that common (they usually moved from one farm to another within the same locality). However, moves over longer distances did occur occasionally - I have a photograph of one such train, which was moving the machinery and livestock from a farm on Teesside to Leeming Bar in 1952.
Bob Ellis

Modelling Hawes (NER/MR) c.1905

williambarter
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Re: Cattle wagons, Pre-group, how far did they roam?

Postby williambarter » Wed May 20, 2009 12:44 pm

There is a superb BT film "Farmer moving South", which tracks a farm move by train from I think Yorkshire to Sussex. And I recall that one story in my primary school reading book featured such an event - remember Old Lob, Mrs Cuddy and Mr Grumps, anyone?

William Barter


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