Local Private Owner wagons

We came across a collection of a hundred or so old photographs of private owner coal wagons whilst browsing at an antique fair one day. Taking a closer look we found a couple which were of local interest and so bought them for our memorabilia collection. A few more have since been added from various sources and this page will grow should we ever come across any others. Our favourite is of course the Ernest Franklin one from Culham.

The archives of the Historic Model Railway Society (HMRS) contain many drawings and photographs of historical interest. Those indicated below have been taken from some of the collections in their care and are included here with their kind permission. Copies of these may be purchased via their online shop.

Photographs of Private Owner wagons


Ernest Franklin
Author's collection

Ernest Franklin, Culham

Ernest Franklin, Coal & Coke Merchant, wagon no.5

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in October 1904
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 6'11" x 3'1"
Painted red with white lettering shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 5-13-1 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons

Although the coal yard was at Culham Station, the postal address is given as being Clifton Hampden, Abingdon. This could be explained by the fact that we have seen an early reference to an 'Ernest Franklin, shopkeeper and Carrier' who operated his business at the Post Office in Clifton Hampden, being also the sub-postmaster.
Culham station was fairly well served with goods facilities right from day one. There was a cattle dock and loop on the Up side, and another loop and goods shed on the Down side with crossings between the running lines. The layout changed slightly over time, and for a while a siding leaving the cattle loop served an adjacent Royal Navy air station. Goods services to and from Culham were withdrawn on 19th July 1965 and during the early 1970s the waiting shelter on platform 1, the signal box, and the goods shed were all demolished. A tiny bit of track from the air base siding still exists, but most other remnants of the former track layout have long gone, with the station being reduced to just the two running lines.



Dunsdon Brothers
Courtesy of Radley History Club

Dunsdon Bros., Radley GWR

Dunsdon Brothers, Coal, Coke & Corn Merchants, wagon no.5

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in February 1915
Dimensions given are 15'6" x 7'0" x 3'1"
Painted red with white lettering shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 6-1-0 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons

Radley station opened on 8th September 1873. The older Abingdon branch had been extended from its original junction with the Didcot to Oxford railway at Abingdon Junction (which was closed), to run alongside the main line and form a junction at the new station at Radley. There were limited goods facilities as there were only two sidings and no cattle dock or goods shed. There were a couple of loops adjacent to the Abingdon line but all traces have been lost as the area now serves as the car park. The location of the former coal yard can still be made out but it is now occupied by a Network Rail facility. The last passenger train ran to Abingdon in 1963 and Radley started to loose its staff, buildings and sidings, but coal traffic and car transport trains carrying new MG cars kept the short branch to Abingdon going until 1984 when all traffic ceased. The branch and all associated trackwork was soon removed leaving just the two running lines.



John North
Courtesy of HMRS GRC&W Co. collection, ref ACG432

John North, Abingdon

John North, Coal Merchant, wagon no.10

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in October 1896
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 6'11" x 3'6"(?)
Painted black with white letters
The wagon is marked as being 5-15-0 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons



Langford & Sons
Author's collection

R.S.Langford & Sons, Steventon Challow & Abingdon

R.S.Langford & Sons, wagon no.10

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in November 1901
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 6'11" x 4'0"
Painted bright red with white lettering shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 6-4-0 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 10 tons

The GWR main line reached Steventon in 1840 and was at that time the nearest station to Oxford, it remained in use until closed in 1964. Challow station opened as Faringdon Road in 1840, and was renamed Challow on the opening of the short branch to Faringdon in 1864. Goods services were withdrawn in 1965 and little remains on the station site. The broad gauge Abingdon branch opened in 1856. Following closure to passengers in 1963 the station retained some coal traffic and cars from the MG factory were loaded there for onward delivery. Final closure came in 1984 when the MG factory ceased production and the track was lifted shortly afterwards. The layout of the station and goods yard can still be discerned in the shape of a supermarket car park which was built on the site, and much of the line of the branch can be walked as portions have been converted to a foot and cycle path.



Stevens & Co.
Courtesy of HMRS GRC&W Co. collection,ref ACG525

Stevens & Co., North Parade, Oxford

Stevens & Co., wagon no.3

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in September 1897
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 7'0" x 3'1"
Painted red with white letters shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 5-14-0 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons



W.Woodley
Author's collection

W.Woodley, Oxford

W.Woodley, wagon no.3

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in July 1891
Dimensions cannot be made out
Painted black(?) with white lettering
The wagon is marked as being 5-15-3 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 10 tons

This photograph appears to be a copy rather than being printed from a negative and much detail has been lost. The axle boxes can be seen to be marked GWR however.



W.Simmonds & Son
Courtesy of HMRS GRC&W Co. collection, ref ACH414

W.Simmonds & Son, Oxford

W.Simmonds & Son, wagon no.23

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in November 1897
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 7'0" x 3'2"
Painted chocolate with white letters shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 5-17-0 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons



B.Turner
Courtesy of HMRS Peter Matthews collection, ref AAX913

B.Turner, Morris Cowley Station, Oxford

B.Turner, wagons no.18 & 20

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in September 1936
Dimensions given are 10'1" x 7'7" x 4'4"
Painted red with white letters shaded black
The wagons are marked as being 6-19-0 & 9-18-0 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 12 tons



F.Bosley
Courtesy of HMRS GRC&W Co. collection, ref ACG903

F.Bosley, Didcot

F.Bosley, Coal Merchant, wagon no.2

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in September 1906
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 6'11" x 4'0"
Painted lead color [sic] with white letters shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 5-17-2 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 10 tons



T.J.Robbins
Author's collection

T.J.Robbins, Wheatley Oxon. G.W.R.

T.J.Robbins, Coal & Coke Merchant, wagon no.7

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in September 1902
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 6'11" x 3'1"
Painted black with white letters
The wagon is marked as being 5-12-2 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons

Wheatley station opened in 1864 on the line between Oxford and Princes Risborough via Thame and closed in 1963. Some goods services and diverted passenger trains continued along the line until the track was closed between Thame and Morris Cowley in 1968. Whilst no evidence of the station site itself remains, the main road is still named Station Road.



George Wright
Author's collection

George Wright, G.W.R. Thame

George Wright, wagon no.5

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in December 1897
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 7'0" x 3'2"
Painted red with white letters shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 5-17-1 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons

Thame station was opened in 1862 as the terminus of the branch from High Wycombe via Princes Risborough. The line was extended via Wheatley and Littlemore to join the Didcot to Oxford line at Kennington Junction, and thus reach Oxford, in 1864. In 1963 British Railways withdrew passenger services between Princes Risborough and Oxford, closed all intermediate stations including Thame, and dismantled the track between Thame and Cowley. A BP depot remained at Thame and the line from Princes Risborough remained open for oil trains to serve it. In 1991 the oil depot was closed. A few years later all track between Thame and Princes Risborough was lifted, with the exception of a short stub at the Princes Risborough end.



S.G.Foster
Author's collection

S.G.Foster, Thame

S.G.Foster, wagon no.50

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in November 1911
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 7'0" x 3'2"
Painted chocolate with white letters shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 5-19-0 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons



John Wright
Author's collection

John Wright, Thame

John Wright, Coal Merchant, wagon no.7

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in November 1914
Dimensions given are 14'6" x 7'0" x 4'0"
Painted red with white letters shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 6-5-3 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 10 tons

Could John and George Wright (above) have been related?


H.W.Snow & Son
Courtesy of HMRS GRC&W Co. collection, ref ACG322

H.W.Snow & Son, Wallingford

H.W.Snow & Son, Coal Merchants, wagon no.57

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in October 1894
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 6'11" x 4'0"
Painted black with white letters shaded red
The wagon is marked as being 6-1-2 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 10 tons



Weedon Bro's.
Courtesy of HMRS BC&W Co. collection, ref AAA516

Weedon Bro's., Goring

Weedon Bro's., Wallingford Watlington Wheatley Etc., wagon no.131

Made by the Birmingham Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in November 1914
Dimensions not given
Believed to be painted red with white letters shaded black
The wagon is marked as being 6-7-1 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons



Bliss Tweed Mills
Courtesy of HMRS GRC&W Co. collection, ref ACH709

Bliss & Son, Chipping Norton

Bliss Tweed Mills, wagon no.7

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in January 1897
Dimensions given are 14'6" x 6'11" x 3'8"
Painted green with white letters shaded tan
The wagon is marked as being 5-17-1 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 10 tons



Chipping Norton Co-op
Courtesy of HMRS GRC&W Co. collection, ref ACJ128

Chipping Norton Co-operative Society Limited

Wagon no.9

Made by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company Limited and photographed in February 1909
Dimensions given are 14'5" x 6'11" x 3'1"
Painted black with white letters
The wagon is marked as being 5-17-1 tare (unloaded) and to carry a load of 8 tons



Wagon makers plate Wagon makers plate Wagon makers plate Wagon makers plate
Examples of wagon maker's plates.