The earliest Midland sets for Moorgate Street – Bedford services were introduced in 1868 by Kirtley. Calyton’s first sets were ordered from the Gloucester Wagon Co. in 1875, and were 27′ long and 8’6″ wide, and similar carriages with detail differences continued to be built up to 1898. They were gas lit from the outset, initially the gas being carried in leather bags on the roof encased in a long wooden box resembling a clerestory, and from 1883 the bags were replaced with cylinders mounted on the underframe. More batches of these carriages were introduced in 1883/4, this time built at Derby, and these became the standard type for the various Lots over the next 15 years. In a previous post I mentioned the discovery of a short formation in 1893: B3/3/1/1/3/B3 in Lacy & Dow Vol.2, which also gives five of the six running numbers in that set. Fortunately I believe I can deduce the missing number. Like the GWR City sets, these carriages had short buffers (standard length ones on the brake ends) and were close-coupled.

The Brake 3rd in the photograph was one of Lot 100, a batch of 44 carriages built in 1884 to Diagram 505, drawing 596. Straw-lined in the crimson Lake livery of the period, the short buffers on the inner end (long on the outer end), close coupling pinion and side chains are clear, as is a prominent roof destination board.

Mercian produce kits for these carriages, but I’m concerned about the depth of the lower panels and windows – it may just be the photograph, but I’ll need to measure a kit up to be sure. Once I have the opportunity to do so, probably the ALSRM show [edit: ALSRM site unavailable pro tem, alternative link provided] at Reading in May, I’ll report back.

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