View Full Version : Lets Design a Pub Sign!

21-09-2009, 21:25
I get the impression a few of the regular posters on here (as well as their obvious passion for all things 'Pub-Related') also have an interest in The History of Railways! I also detect a few are from The West Country...Oooh Arrrr!
Well.....I have to come up with a design for The Railway Inn at Sandford in Somerset (which has just been bought by Thatchers the Cider Brewers) and as I'm not very well informed on 'Rail-History' wondered if any of our more learned posters would have any info on Train type, numbers, colours destination names on front etc.
All I know is there used to be a railway line between Cheddar and Yatton which passed through the Sandford & Banwell station transporting strawberries ( Known as The Strawberry Line). This line has now disappeared and is made into a foot and cycling path which part of it runs through the Thatchers orchard.
I'm thinking of an image of an old steam train hurtling through the apple orchard but obviously want everything to be factual and historically correct
Any input advice or links gratefully accepted .

Soup Dragon
21-09-2009, 21:52
Hi Youngie

when were you thinking of setting the picture. Its a bit out of my area, but i think it would have been GWR, rather than Souther Railways up until 1948. The GWR was an early railway ( a lot came into being after the re-orgs of 1923, LMS etc). so if you want to be authentic, you need to have an idea of the year that you want first of all - if you are talking 1860s, i think it may have been pre-GWR days - which i am sure i can find out for you if you want

21-09-2009, 22:39
Thanks for the interest Historian

"The station was opened as Sandford with the broad gauge line to Cheddar in August 1869 as a single-platform station. The railway was extended to Wells in 1870, converted to standard gauge in the mid-1870s and then linked up to the East Somerset Railway to provide through services from Yatton to Witham in 1878. All the railways involved were absorbed into the Great Western Railway in the 1870s."

He knows his stuff!;)

To be fair I don't think the year is that vital as long as the train at some point passed through Sandford!!...I'd be more interested in the style/colouring/ aesthetic beauty of the Steam Engine itself...something to make a good picture.
What period was the Golden age would you say?

Soup Dragon
22-09-2009, 08:38
Thanks for the interest Historian

He knows his stuff!;)

To be fair I don't think the year is that vital as long as the train at some point passed through Sandford!!...I'd be more interested in the style/colouring/ aesthetic beauty of the Steam Engine itself...something to make a good picture.
What period was the Golden age would you say?

Railway mania was in the 1840's - too early!

Play safe and go with GWR, rather than one of the smaller companies.

I think the zenith of railway travel was prior to WWI, but i may be wrong - I am sort of a jack of all history, master of none!

I would look for something between those dates!

22-09-2009, 10:19
The original designer of the PG web site and forums is a nice chap called Brian. He is a bit of a trainspotter (I have tried not to hold it against him), I will try and get his feedback on this as he may well have some interesting input.

Soup Dragon
22-09-2009, 10:33
Hi Youngie


I would look for several photographs that you could work off - and if i were looking for railway pics, i would look at two places - first the National Railway Museum, York - i have pasted the link above, as a generic authority. The other option would be local based. We hold photos of the railways around Walsall, so you need to contact the Somerset County Record Office and ask their advice on their holdings and those of any local history centre's, or private collections they know about. If i could draw - that's what i would do, if you want to be authentic:)

You could always just paint a strawberry, or jar of hartley's jam!

Dave M
22-09-2009, 11:43
I've been having a look around the East Somerset Railway site (http://www.eastsomersetrailway.com/page.php?pid=78&show=Locomotives). They seem to have a number of steam engines but having read through the history of each of them as far as I can tell none were actually used on that line! :rolleyes:

22-09-2009, 13:21
Hi Folks,

I couldnt help notice that there seems to be a lot of banter about railways appearing in this thread. Perhaps we should have a pocket railway history section in the new forum that Conrad has created, (Your Services). As Historian is already aware I worked at Thornaby MPD as an Apprentice in the early 70's and have led a double life, so to speak, getting paid on the big Railway and not getting paid on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway since 1968, so if you add up all the hours I've done since 1968 I should have about 80 years service in by now. I took the attached picture while I was at work. I consider myself quite lucky to have these things going past my window most days throughout the summer. Anyone guess where it was taken?

Filo :D

Soup Dragon
22-09-2009, 13:30

I am trying to remember where i have seen signal gantries like that; Leicester used to in my day, but i am guessing its by you, somewhere?, so i would say York, but i would think that is electonic signalling, so i will go for Scarborough - as its just down the road

22-09-2009, 13:38
Hi, Historian,

Perhaps that was too easy. Scarborough is right.

Incidentally Scarborough is the biggest railway station in North Yorkshire with five working Platforms. (York Doesn't count since its in The City of York). The entire station is a listed building and the gantry you can see is a listed structure.

I've mentioned this to point out to Conrad that I dont just do things about Whitby, and websites!


Filo :)

Soup Dragon
22-09-2009, 13:43
Hi filo

does Thornaby still exist as a MPD, considering all traffic on the railways is glorified multiple units - there doesnt seem a need for locos anymore!

i have some great pics of Bescot full of steamers, now, when i go past it, you are lucky to see a couple of locos these days - there a re more awaiting scrapping than being serviced

Oh! the times

22-09-2009, 13:55
Hi Historian,

Thornaby MPD is still there but sadly its now closed. The only thing I think they still use there is the Underfloor Tyre Turning Lathe.

Its true the whole railway seems to be infested with multiple units, but there are still Locos on the freight trains, and at Scarborough we get all sorts of Heritage diesel locomotives as well as lots of steam Charters and the regular Scarborough Spa Expresses.

As for Bescot Depot, you will no doubt be underwhelmed to know that in the early 90's, can't remember quite when, I was the Depot Manager at Bescot and Saltley for an unimpressive 32 days, due to the actual manager being off sick. Actually I'm surprised its not closed, everywhere else I ever worked on the railway seems to have shut, including March Depot. Some good Pubs in March.

Filo :(

Soup Dragon
22-09-2009, 14:03
March was all 31's and 37's when i used to go - Saltley was my local shed - that has pretty much gone as well.

I remember Scarboro' station quite well, went to Filey on the train from there a few months back. The route to York takes you past Kirkham Priory if i remember. I will be in York for a few days in Oct, will do NRM again, as well as an odd 50 pubs! :eek:

In Bridgnorth tomorrow as its a pal's birthday, so will be doing the Railwayman's Arms - as well as checking the choo-choos out. They have a couple of Westerns

23-09-2009, 08:47
Thanks for the advice and links chaps, I'm currently ploughing through them for a decent image!
Could be some time!

23-09-2009, 10:23
I was steered towards this thread by Conrad (from Pubs Galore) and hope the following info will be of value. Ian Allen (the transport book specialist) list two books and one video containing info, pictures and film of the Cheddar Valley Line (Strawberry Line)

Branch Line to Cheddar:



These titles are more likely to feature images from the later years of the railway due to the popularity of railway photography at the end of the steam era.

For earlier info it would be worth contacting local historians with a railway interest - you could start with the local preserved railways - such as the East Somerset, Avon Valley Railway or Bristol Industrial Museum. You could even try "Steam" at Swindon (the branch was GWR operated) as they will know which archives are available. The council libraries should be able to help too!

Local Railway Modeller Societies should be good as they research railway history when making accurate models.



23-09-2009, 21:24
Cheers Brian!

08-01-2010, 13:08
Just an update for all those who kindly offered advice/links etc.
I finished the sign a while back but only just received this photo from the Thatcher's people.
I will endeavor to post it and a few others on the site proper.
This is Thatcher's ( a cider brewery) first pub and hopefully they will snap up a few more because they have done a good job on refurbishing and more importantly I might get some more work out of it!:cheers:
Once again thanks for all the input guys..I might just pick your brains again sometime!:)

08-01-2010, 13:40

08-01-2010, 13:53
Once again thanks for all the input guys..I might just pick your brains again sometime!:)
Please do, even if you ignore us it is good fun, and that sign is amazing, love the apple tree and the motion of the train - please do chuck it up on the main site, it is a fantastic compliment (also it justifies my argument that we are using a pub green as our colour).

I had never noticed that apple before in the Thatchers logo, lovely piece of branding by someone there, it is fantastically subtle.

Also just to echo Hondo's :notworthy: