Discussion in 'Railwayana' started by morko, Nov 14, 2016.
Weren't they standard Crosby 3 note chimes?
The A4 whistles were a complex tale however as the following states the USA built ones were replaced after WW2. If we had been building chime whistles in the UK since the late 1940s do we know if the whistles on BR standards are of American origin anyone know?
According to RCTS 2A the original whistles were imported from the USA but during the war most A4s lost their chime whistles which it was thought could have been confused with air raid sirens. There were a few exceptions and the removed chime whistles were not saved. After the war due to import restrictions new replacement whistles had to be made under licence in the UK and these were slightly different in tone. Whereas the original USA ones blew the chord C,F and A flat (2nd inversion of F minor) the British ones were half a tone higher (2nd inversion of Fsharp minor).
From this page
I believe this to be correct-probably!
As @michealh says, the original A4 whistles were supposed to have been supplied by the Crosby company, however I've inspected a few of the whistles currently fitted to the surviving locos, including that from "Dominion of Canada" which was auctioned following it's most recent cosmetic restoration, which do not carry any manufacturer's name. I have one with a supposedly good provenance, which is very clearly (cast into the top) marked as manufactured by the Star Brass Manufacturing Co. of Boston, Mass. and I have another identical example, by a maker in Dayton, Ohio- the latter which I purchased from an antique dealer in Winnipeg and which, of course, never went anywhere near any British loco. Until recently, that is, as it's now fitted to our Barclay 0-4-0ST. The point is that it is only very faintly stamped with the manufacturer's name around the top rim and the seller had three more that were completely unmarked- just like the later A4 examples.
Initially, the lower portion of the chime whistles fitted to the Standards were made to the LNER Doncaster drawing W-587. In 1953 this drawing was superseded by B.R. drawing SL/DN/W-818. This drawing was also applicable to any replacement whistles for the A4s. The upper part of the whistle on SL/DN/W-818 is simply described as a Crosby Chime Whistle with no dimensions, except for 4" diameter.
Which explains the "YM3" casting mark on the bracket, which also appears on the (entirely different) valve casting on LNER standard whistles, as fitted to B1s etc.
I think I may of confused you. I was referring to the curved lower part of the actual whistle, with the hexagon on it.
YM3 is Yellow Metal 3, one of a range of BR standard specifications which, I think, originated with the LMS. You will find YM3 cast into many railway castings. It is the equivalent of BS 1400 LG4, a leaded gunmetal.
No, you havn't confused me! I was talking about the bit that the hexagon screws on to. The fact that this is marked YM3, as is the equivalent part of an LNER standard whistle, indicates that the BR standard chime whistles were also produced at Doncaster. It might be a pointer to the identity and origin of both A4 and BR Std. chime whistles, something which has caused confusion and controversy among collectors for years.
Edit- Oh dear, it seems that @Steve has collapsed my theory before I'd even developed it. Never mind, perhaps we'll never know!
I only think it originated with the LMS but it does appear on many ex LMS loco fittings, less so on other railways locos but all this may well simply be down to the fact that many loco fittings will have been replaced in BR days. Standard Tank (and others) may well be better informed on the origin of such things.
The B.R. Materials Spec book states that all non-ferrous components should have the material spec stamped on them, or, in the case of castings, raised letters and numbers.
I have a few patterns for LMS components, ex-Swindon Historic Castings. Only one has a raised YM3 on it. That was probably made in BR days.
Looking unlikely unfortunately. Aim to be at Stoneleigh. According to the cat. there is a 4 3/4" dia A4 whistle. Must be a new variation.
Am I assuming correctly that the code denoting the grade of metal is so that if the item were to be melted down at a later date (by the originating company) it wouldn't end up in a melt for another grade reserved for a specific purpose i.e bearings etc ?
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