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Lynton and Barnstable Railway Open Goods Wagons - Missing Details

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stephen goodbody09/07/2021 16:46:49
72 forum posts
43 photos

Hi there,

I am building some open bogie goods wagons in 3-inch scale (7 ¼” narrow gauge) based on the 1897 Bristol Carriage and Wagon Works prototypes delivered to the Lynton and Barnstable Railway. My reference source is predominantly the period-photographs and historical information available on the internet.

Unfortunately, despite much searching and peering with a magnifying glass, I have been unable to determine the following two details. Is there someone out there who can help me fill in the gaps please?

  1. How were the bottom of the doors (gates) secured in the closed position? I can see the catch which closes across the top of the doors and ties them together, but have been unable to find any information as to how the bottoms were secured from opening.
  2. Were the handbrake handles of the ratchet type (whereby the handle slots into a toothed rack) or of the pin-and- holes style?

Many thanks in advance,


br09/07/2021 17:12:42
697 forum posts
3 photos


Above book is the bible and worth having ref drawings and dimensions.

The Lynton and Barnstaple Association may be worth contacting.


stephen goodbody09/07/2021 21:19:48
72 forum posts
43 photos

Many thank Bill, I was unaware that such a book existed and have now ordered a copy as it sounds like an excellent resource. A shame I didn't know about it earlier as it would probably have saved me some research time and puzzlement.

The book will probably highlight the things I've already deduced and built wrongly as the three chassis', their running-gear and the couplings are already built and I've nearly finished the first body in addition. Fortunately I'm not building exact-scale replicas and so will simply call my errors "artistic license" and move on from there!

Best regards

Nigel Bennett10/07/2021 14:24:59
414 forum posts
11 photos

Good luck with your wagons... but why is it that so many people think there's a place called "Barnstable"? It's Barnstaple! If ever I do a Google search for something associated with the L&B I generally do two searches with one mis-spelled...

Close examination of one of Peco's 009 wagons may well explain the odd mystery you may still have.

br10/07/2021 14:34:47
697 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Nigel Bennett on 10/07/2021 14:24:59:

Good luck with your wagons... but why is it that so many people think there's a place called "Barnstable"? It's Barnstaple! If ever I do a Google search for something associated with the L&B I generally do two searches with one mis-spelled...

Close examination of one of Peco's 009 wagons may well explain the odd mystery you may still have.


Many people think there is a place called Barnstable because there is. A google search will tell you that. wink

I for one am pleased I have got it right on this occassion, right spelling, right country.


Edited By br on 10/07/2021 14:35:54

br10/07/2021 14:43:33
697 forum posts
3 photos


Stephen Philiphs is very approachable and, from past experience, will help if he can.

I have every book on the L & B so will help if I can, Just send PM.

Born and bred locally,  my relations worked on the railway, so very close to my heart.


Edited By br on 10/07/2021 14:45:13

stephen goodbody10/07/2021 16:18:44
72 forum posts
43 photos

Many thanks Bill, that's much appreciated.

Nigel - a definite mea culpa on my part. My brain knows it's Barnstaple, my mouth calls it Barnstable, and my typing finger flip-flops randomly between the two!

Best regards


br10/07/2021 16:31:38
697 forum posts
3 photos


Many locals say it so sounds like a B. In fact some of the old boys say it with the broad devonshire accent and it sounds more like BARN STUBBLE.

Also, I think the mind associates a barn with a stable, horses, etc, more than a staple, if you see what I mean.

All good fun


PS  My wife says in old days over here it was spelt with a B.  So I have learnt something.

She says details on wikepedia.

The spelling Barnstable is obsolete, but retained by an American county and city. It appears in the 10th century and is thought to derive from the Early English bearde, meaning "battle-axe", and stapol, meaning "pillar", referring to a post or pillar to mark a religious or administrative meeting place. The belief that the name comes from staple meaning "market", indicating a market here from the foundation of the settlement, is likely to be incorrect, as the use of staple in that sense first appears in England in 1423.[5]


Edited By br on 10/07/2021 16:39:49

Michael Bishop 214/09/2021 10:54:42
2 forum posts

Why, please, will you not post my comment on the authorship of the book Measured and Drawn ? The contributor to the forum read the dust jacket or was misinformed. There has been a loose insert correcting the authorship in every book sold since I got it put in 2 or 3 months after publication.

These drawings were prepared by me over nearly 50 years to go in my intended 2-volume history of the line and were transcribed by Mr Phillips.

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 17/09/2021 10:33:11

Neil Wyatt17/09/2021 10:36:06
18776 forum posts
733 photos
80 articles

Please read our T&Cs.

Mr Philips is acknowledged as a co-author by the publisher.

Michael Bishop 217/09/2021 12:54:12
2 forum posts

Dear Mr Wyatt

Thank you for posting my correction. I have only been acknowledged as an author of this 250-page book on the Lightmoor site as a result of 18 months of many communications from me to Lightmoor, latterly with Ian Pope, one of the partners in the business, who operates from the Witney address. The other partner, Neil Parkhouse, at Lydney, blocked my emails. Mr Parkhouse was originally going to publish my 2-volume history. There has been a correction to the authorship as two authors instead of one by way of a loose insert put in the book since August or September 2012, 2 or 3 months after original publication. However Lightmoor would not alter the blurb, probably written by Mr Phillips, implying that he prepared all drawings in the book from his own work. After more pestering about the inaccuracy of this blurb and asking them to correct it was removed altogether and my name was at long last corrected from Micheal to Michael. Lightmoor Press generally only advertises the books it publishes, but this was an exception, probably because Mr Phillips was employed (or worked) for them. As you can imagine, as I have had no royalties or acknowledgement of my involvement in the drawings (which had the joint copyright notices removed for publication) I am still very annoyed and upset that someone would do such a thing. I even had to buy my own copy of the book. It is for this reason that I kept on at Lightmoor and numerous other internet sites who were mislead by the dust jacket to get some recognition for 60 years research and surveying and drawing. The book is called 'The Bible' in L & B circles. These drawings (or the most important ones) were intended for a 2-volume history and Mr Phillips heard about my project and offered to transcribe my drawings and makers plans onto a computer. The aftermath made me very ill for 7 years, but now hopefully it will be published next year 10 years after it was intended to be.

stephen goodbody02/10/2021 14:21:39
72 forum posts
43 photos

Hi all,

Here are a couple of pictures of the first of the three L&B-based wagons taken last weekend. While not yet fully complete or painted, I wanted to get the loco to the track for its first run before the season ended and this wagon was sufficiently ready for the job.

The wagons are not exact replicas of any particular L&B wagon, and I'm making compromises to allow them to be practical for my purposes, but hopefully I'm capturing the spirit of the L&B at least. The couplings work as the prototypes and interchangeably connect, at least on the workbench!

The book by Messrs. Phillips and Bishop has been very helpful, and Mr. Phillips confirmed that the handbrakes were of the ratchet type. You'll see my attempt to recreate the working handbrake in the first picture.

jennifer ann driving trailer - sept 2021.jpg

jennifer ann sept 2021.jpg

Best regards


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