British Railways Container liveries

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BryanJohnson
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British Railways Container liveries

Postby BryanJohnson » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:44 pm

I am trying to decide between crimson and bauxite livery for a BD container as running in 1962.

I photographed this condemned one at Salisbury in the early - mid 80's, which appears to be in faded bauxite livery. This one was built in 1957 and appears to be in its original livery, i.e. no late 60's "Door to Door" logos.

BD50424B Lot 3131 1957 Salisbury circa 1984 reduced.jpg

However, Paul Bartlett's site shows a container from the same lot in what appears to be faded crimson livery.

Does anyone know the date when the standard colour for these containers was changed from crimson to bauxite?

Thanks,

Bryan

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Noel
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Re: British Railways Container liveries

Postby Noel » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:18 pm

BryanJohnson wrote:Does anyone know the date when the standard colour for these containers was changed from crimson to bauxite?


Ordinary BR containers weren't crimson. They were originally bauxite with white lettering, which was changed to maroon with cream lettering in the mid-1950s, presumably when the coach livery was changed or soon after [source: Brian Haresnape, Railway Liveries: BR Steam 1948-1968], and then back to bauxite with white lettering and black and white logo with the "Door to Door" livery in the 1960s. Haresnape does not comment, but since Meat Vans, although goods stock, were painted crimson, and maroon later, it seems possible that BM containers were as well. Otherwise, faded crimson is most likely actually faded maroon.

I would expect most general traffic containers to be maroon by 1962, although it looks as though this container was built with the original bauxite livery [it's definitely not the "Door to Door" livery] and never repainted; the 5 ton capacity is is interesting, though, suggesting that it may have been uprated at some point, but without a repaint, unless the uprating from 4 to 5 tons had already taken place when it was built.
Regards
Noel

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BryanJohnson
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Re: British Railways Container liveries

Postby BryanJohnson » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:00 pm

Hi Noel,

Thanks for the reply.

When I said crimson, I meant maroon, so that clears up that part.

My original idea was to model the container in my photo. The number BD50424B is visible top left of the end doors so I know the build details. However, as it will be sitting in a bauxite liveried 5 plank wagon, I thought that having a maroon container would be more interesting. Hugh Ballantyne's Western Steam in Colour book has a photo on page 37 showing a maroon BD container in good condition in 1962 so I'm happy with that. Page 7 shows another container in 1961, but even with examples of bauxite and maroon vehicles in the same photo it is difficult to decide whether it is slightly faded maroon or bauxite.

Whilst Haresnape has the livery changing from bauxite to maroon in the 1956 revisions, the 2 photos from Lot 3131 appear to have the earlier numbered container in maroon. Paul Bartlett's shows BD50325B @ Three Bridges, and whilst in poor condition, it looks more like faded maroon than faded bauxite.

I feel justified in painting it maroon, but I just need to think about the number a bit more.

Thanks again,

Bryan

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Noel
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Re: British Railways Container liveries

Postby Noel » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:50 pm

BryanJohnson wrote: Page 7 shows another container in 1961, but even with examples of bauxite and maroon vehicles in the same photo it is difficult to decide whether it is slightly faded maroon or bauxite.


There is enough of the base colour visible to make me fairly sure that it's maroon. Look at the drop-down part of the end door, and below the label panel on the side. Also, the lettering doesn't look bright enough to be white, suggesting it's cream. Unusually, it's a B or BC container, not a BD. We also have four traffic opens, [three wooden, one VB, and one steel VB] and a 10T loco coal wagon, all loaded with coal, but not a 16T in sight; and three wagons which show clearly that the interior woodwork was not painted and how it weathered, and much else of interest. A fascinating photo.

BryanJohnson wrote:Paul Bartlett's shows BD50325B @ Three Bridges, and whilst in poor condition, it looks more like faded maroon than faded bauxite.


The top panel of the right hand side door appears to have the remains of "Railways" on the black background [which has to be from the original bauxite livery], suggesting that the black areas indicate where the original livery was. Beyond that any comment would be pure speculation on my part. BD49865B makes an interesting comparison, though.
Regards
Noel

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BryanJohnson
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Re: British Railways Container liveries

Postby BryanJohnson » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:56 am

Hi Noel,

The photo on page 7 of Kingsbridge is one of my all time favourite photos as it shows so much of the everyday operation.

I had originally dismissed BD49865B as it had the Door to Door logo, but maybe it shows original maroon under a bauxite repaint from the 60's.

It shows what a minefield it very quickly becomes.

Thanks again.

Bryan


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