GWR bridge colour

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steve howe
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GWR bridge colour

Postby steve howe » Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:44 pm

I'm assembling parts to build the long girder bridge curving over the estuary on Watermouth. The bridge is inspired by (but not closely based on!) the iron bridge at Barnstaple - image below - iron stanchions on concrete pilings carrying I beam girders with the rails laid on longitudinal baulks.
barnstaple bridge.jpg
ctsy. Cornwall Railway Society

I am wondering if there was a general rule for the colour the GWR used on such structures? I would assume black or at least battleship grey like the Royal Albert Bridge was, but I have heard of GWR 'bridge green'

Any steer appreciated.

Steve

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Tim V
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Re: GWR bridge colour

Postby Tim V » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:38 pm

Black!
DSC_8481.JPG
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Flymo748
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Re: GWR bridge colour

Postby Flymo748 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:28 am

steve howe wrote: I am wondering if there was a general rule for the colour the GWR used on such structures? I would assume black or at least battleship grey like the Royal Albert Bridge was, but I have heard of GWR 'bridge green'


Steve,

I've been away for the weekend, but this morning I was back with my reference library.

I couldn't find any explicit reference to colours of bridges in the thick tome of Great Western Architecture. In the HMRS Great Western Way, it gives this:

GW Way bridges.JPG


Hope that it helps...

Cheers
Flymo
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Bulwell Hall
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Re: GWR bridge colour

Postby Bulwell Hall » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:07 pm

steve howe wrote:I'm assembling parts to build the long girder bridge curving over the estuary on Watermouth. The bridge is inspired by (but not closely based on!) the iron bridge at Barnstaple - image below - iron stanchions on concrete pilings carrying I beam girders with the rails laid on longitudinal baulks.
barnstaple bridge.jpg
I am wondering if there was a general rule for the colour the GWR used on such structures? I would assume black or at least battleship grey like the Royal Albert Bridge was, but I have heard of GWR 'bridge green'

Any steer appreciated.

Steve



Whilst the GWR did paint some of their bridge girders in black - it was actually a bitumen type paint also used on buffer stops, etc. - others were painted grey. The earliest photo that I have showing the road overbridge to the north of Maiden Newton station was taken in 1929 and it was clearly not black and appears to be quite a light shade of grey. Conversely I do remember the girder underbridge at Kings Worthy on the D,N & S R - now lost beneath the M3 - and that was black bitumen. But the bridge at Barnstaple in the photograph above was not on the GWR! The river bridge was between Barnstaple Junction and Barnstaple Town on the LSWR - or SR if you prefer!

Gerry

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Re: GWR bridge colour

Postby Enigma » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:58 pm

I remember a couple of smaller bridges around Wrexham in the 50's being a thick dark grey/black colour, probably the bitumen mentioned above.

dclift
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Re: GWR bridge colour

Postby dclift » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:13 pm

[/quote]Conversely I do remember the girder underbridge at Kings Worthy on the D,N & S R - now lost beneath the M3 - and that was black bitumen.

Gerry[/quote]

I spent quite a bit of time watching trains at Kings Worthy but I do not recall the colour of the bridge. Unsurprising really as I was in a pram at the time. My parents blamed my maternal grandmother for my interest in the GWR, as it was she who pushed the pram, back in 1942. I wish I could remember these, my earliest, train spotting days. It was not until I lived in Leamington Spa in 1949 that I was given my first Ian Allan ABC. I recall my father telling me to keep away from the LMS at that time!
David Clift.

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steve howe
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Re: GWR bridge colour

Postby steve howe » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:20 pm

Most illuminating....thanks all, I suspect a dark grey, maybe GWR freight stock grey, would be the way to go.

Steve

IANATEXTON
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Re: GWR bridge colour

Postby IANATEXTON » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:15 am

Hi Steve,
Probably the most comprehensive source of information on GWR structures is "Great Western Railway Structure Colours 1912-1947" by Richard North, published by the Great Western Study Group. This has quite a few archive pictures in colour (but not of bridges) and committee minutes.

It does confirm that the standard colour for bridges was Standard Tint No.6 Steel Grey, but there is not a colour swatch for that colour. Standard Tint No.5 was Bridge Green - as noted in the earlier post this was required by the Thames conservancy, but may have been used elsewhere. Again there is no colour swatch for the green tint.

To me "steel grey" suggests a slightly less blue shade of grey (if you see what I mean) than GW freight stock grey.

There is a nice colour picture on the front cover of the picture book "British Railway History in Colour -Vol 1 West Gloucester & Wye Valley Lines" by Neil Parkhouse of a mid grey coloured bridge over the River Wye near Lydbrook Junction, and inside the same book on pages 135 to 137 there are pictures of Backney Viaduct on the Hereford to Gloucester line with a black (tar?) finish.

On pages 250 and 251 there are pictures of the bridge at Chepstow with a lighter grey.

These are all BR period photographs, of course - I don't know how frequently bridges were repainted.

Hope that helps,
Ian


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