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Blue Pullman seat and Works Plate

Discussion in 'Railwayana' started by Tony H, May 23, 2016.

  1. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    A genuine Blue Pullman seat and works plate require a good home. The seat and plate were salvaged from the units being scrapped in South Wales in the mid 1970's. The seat is in reasonable condition for its age, the fabric is slightly frayed in one corner. The reclining and backwards/forwards levers work. I am downsizing and would like to donate them to a preservation organisation that can use and display them, rather than just sell them. Note that the seat is very heavy (only BR could make cast aluminium that heavy!) and will probably require two people to move it. Although I carried it across the scrap yard at the time. The works plate is the small oval plate on the headstock - BR Metro-Cammell, Lot No 30557, 1959.


    P5200237.JPG P5200241.JPG
     
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  2. Bluebell

    Bluebell New Member

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    Hi Tony,
    We'd be interested in having the seat and works plate at the Barry Tourist Railway. We are restoring the class 101 trailer car that was converted into the Hebridean Observation Car. The coach came to us with no seats so it would be nice to include this Pullman seat in the coach, probably along with some Mk3 seats that we have - this would then be a good comparison of the development of modern train seats.
    On a personal note, it was always a regret that I didn't have enough pocket money as a youngster to travel on the Blue Pullman, so this would be about as near as I can now get to fulfilling that dream!
    John Buxton
    Director
    Barry Tourist Railway
     
  3. 67379

    67379 New Member

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    Memories of going in the cab of one near the end of it's life when visiting Old Oak Common shed as part of a school railway club trip that also went round Swindon Works - there and back from Cleethorpes in a (long) day! I remember being suprised to see a two ring electric cooker hob as part of the cab equipment in the former Blue Pullman.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    It was standard equipment on first generation diesels. After all, the crews had lost the ability to brew and cook, which was always available on a steam loco.
     
  5. D6332found

    D6332found New Member

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    Hi Tony, did you ever dispose of the seat? Be nice to reunite railwayana related to the MAN engine we have as part of the story?
     
  6. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Hello All,
    I am looking to dispose of the Blue Pullman seat, works plate, ashtray, blind winder and antimacassars.
    Anybody interested please contact me, would prefer to donate to a museum etc.
    Seat fabric has become a bit worn over the years, but otherwise ok.
     
  7. Bluebell

    Bluebell New Member

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    Hi Tony
    We’re still interested in the seat and accessories at Barry. We have a coach that we are restoring to install the seat and our museum would display the works plate, ashtray, blind winder and antimacassars.
    We can collect.
    Please give me a call if you think that we are worthy!!!
    Kind Regards
    John Buxton
    Director
    Barry Raul Centre incorporating the Barry Tourist Railway
    M 07595023749
     
  8. Mikeastons

    Mikeastons New Member

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    Hi Tony,
    Yes we'd like to add your Blue Pullman items to the Blue Pullman collection as discussed before.
    The new Blue Pullman book is due out around Oct/Nov time.
    I'll send you an email.
    Regards Mike
     
  9. Mick Bond

    Mick Bond New Member

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    The Peak Rail archives would also be interested in these items for display at our museum at Darley Dale, I've sent you a private message about this.

    Mick Bond
    Archivist
     
  10. Mick Bond

    Mick Bond New Member

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    Just to add that the Blue Pullman was the premier express on our route in the early 1960s and went through Darley Dale en route from Manchester Central to St Pancras so our museum is an appropriate place for these items.
     
  11. Mikeastons

    Mikeastons New Member

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    Hi 67379,
    Would be keen to hear any more memories of the withdrawn Blue Pullman’s you have from that day?
    Were you surprised to see modern looking stock scrapped?
    We’re they vandal damaged by then?
    Any photo’s?
    Did you go in the coaches etc?
    That should of thing.
    Regards Mike
     
  12. Mikeastons

    Mikeastons New Member

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    Hi Mick,
    I’ll try and nip and see sometime in the next twelve months as I have a few BP bits but they seem to be all from Western units currently.
    What have you already got for the Midland Pullman on display?
    I agree it would be great to have Midland Pullman stuff on display there.
    You’ll love the new book I’m writing with Kevin Robertson.
    Regards Mike
     
  13. Mikeastons

    Mikeastons New Member

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    Hi John,
    Do you have a museum/display there?
    I’m guessing you’d like mostly South Wales Pullman related stuff in relation to Blue Pullman?
    Do you ever deal with the Neath GWR retired guys club as Gerald and some of the others worked on them.
    After the new book comes out I may have some pics etc you could use that won’t have been seen before.
     
  14. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Just for the record these are my recollections of obtaining the seat and other bits back in the early 1980s, as recounted to Mike.

    The Blue Pullman seat and works plate were stored in my garage and at one time formed part of a breakfast bar. Regret not taking any photos of the units in the scrapyard at the time, but it was after a day spent recovering spares from old Maunsell coaches in the scrapyard in the winters cold and gloom and I was knackered. Two? units were standing at the far side of the yard near the harbour wall (iIrc) and had been mostly stripped internally by this time. The manager/owner? of the scrapyard said that the hardwood panelling, tables and some fittings had been recovered and sold to luxury yacht builders. A lot of the seats were in store and he was seeking buyers such as cinemas or theatres. Perhaps there are some around in a cinema somewhere? The bodies were still intact awaiting cutting up, but I think valuable/saleable parts like the engines, control gear and electric motors had been stripped out.
    We (about six members of the raiding party) asked the manager if it was possible to buy a seat? He said £10 each, choose from the seats still in the units. I have this lasting memory of individuals staggering about 300 yards across heaps of scrap metal each carrying a Pullman seat in the gathering gloom of a winters evening, encouraged by the shouts of the other members of the party (what on earth are you doing?!?) and the scrap yard people who just wanted to lock up and go home for the night. And we could only just lift these seats - Blue Pullman seats are incredibly heavy - we joked afterwards that only BR could make cast aluminium that heavy! The next challenge was to find space and weight distribution in already overloaded transport. I think six made it back to the Bluebell Railway to be utilised as mess room seating etc, not sure now how many others than mine still exist now.
    Happy to ramble on to anyone who might be interested,
    Tony

    I don't honestly remember which yard we were in at that time. We did several trips to South Wales to retrieve spares such as springs and running gear from mostly Southern Railway coaches departmental conversions which were being scrapped at that time. Happy to provide better pictures of seat and works plate and any other bits I come across. A BP venetian blind was fitted to my compartment in a sleeping car at Horsted Keynes, but it was cut down to fit, not sure if it still exists.
    The works plate was the third one I tried to get off - the fixing screws were seized on the first two. Mike informs me that I was underneath a kitchen car, but by that time it was impossible to tell as it was just a body shell.
    A Blue Pullman display sounds like a good idea, a table and panelling in the correct wood could probably be recreated to complement a display of a seating bay? Also I seem to remember there was a contemporary mother of pearl (?) design inlaid in the end bulkhead partitions that were still in place - possibly.

    Different world then - everything is so clean and easy now.
     
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  15. RichardSalmon

    RichardSalmon New Member

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    I was aware of 4 of the six seats at the Bluebell; three I think survive, which were at the end of the old mess coach, and some of the foam (arm rests etc) had pretty much disintegrated by the time it was replaced by our new mess room in 2001-ish. I think they may still be in the coach, now tarpaulined over. If John is interested for them for Barry, or others for a heritage display, I expect we'd be happy to see them reused, but they'd need a lot of work to make the fit for use!
    A fourth was in the Howlden Group's BY 653 and was pretty decayed and thrown out when that van went to the Mid Hants Wagon Group (where its restoration is nearly complete).

    I remember the venetian blind in your sleeping compartment, Tony. I have a memory that the strings were decaying, so I replaced it with a roller blind to block out the morning light, but it may still be in there somewhere.

    Regards
    Richard
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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  16. Mikeastons

    Mikeastons New Member

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    Hi Richard,
    I’d be really grateful if you could try and get a photograph of the surviving seats and if it’s there the Venetian blind.
    Even if the seats are unusable/scrap I’d still be interested as our interest is specifically in the Blue Pullman as opposed to ‘seats’.
    We’re trying to preserve as much as possible and put it in one place so people can actually see and enjoy the Blue Pullman items.
    My email is mikeastons@hotmail.com if you’d like to discuss it further.
    Regards Mike
     
  17. D6332found

    D6332found New Member

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    Would be nice to recreate a power car one day, around the old engine currently in a container. Whilst it ran in Class22/43, there's practically no interest in them, compared to the style and grandeur of the Blue Pullman. People could even sit dining on cheese butties in luxury in the recreated unit. It was retained for ?spares, and has a Blue Pullman Cooler fan and a GEC alternator on these days. So those seats would be invaluable if you would like to donate them I'd be quite happy to form a not for profit company so they are secure. Any truth in the tale the Schlieren bogies went back to Switzerland as they were always owned by them. Hint, at 25mph they would be smooth. I'd wager on modern track they would be smooth up to a certain speed too.
     
  18. Mikeastons

    Mikeastons New Member

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  19. Mikeastons

    Mikeastons New Member

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    The engine in the container is owned by Dave Kew and I doubt at £70k for the engine which is what he offered it to the Blue Pullman group any build is going to happen.
    What is more likely to happen is the £18k million
    quid project to new build an 8 car set for charter work looking at the last 6 years work and planning that has gone into that.
    That’s the project that seems to have a chance of happening.
    The Class 22 group have already got an old NBL engine and haven’t been able to do a deal with Kew.
    We’re really trying to get all the surviving BP stuff in one place as opposed to them being in any situation where they could be thrown away/replaced.
    Am I right in thinking Tony was part of the work party that recovered the seats from the scrapyard
    to take to the mess at the Bluebell?
     

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