Southern Style – After Nationalisation, 1948-1964
Following volumes on the L&SWR and LB&SCR, the latest volume in the “Southern Style” series from the HMRS covers the period from immediately after Nationalisation until 1964 when the new British Rail corporate liveries were announced.
It includes carefully prepared paint swatches for the principal colours used by the Southern Region during this period.
This really is the definitive work on the subject. In the period just after Nationalisation several competent observers were keeping detailed notes of all the experimental changes in liveries as the Southern Railway gradually turned into the Southern Region of British Railways. Several of these observers had good contacts inside the railway works.
As a result it has been possible to chronicle just about every change in livery which took place, often to the week for an individual vehicle.
The painters had to become accustomed to new styles of numbers and letters as standards were promulgated from headquarters. Large scale colour samples are included in the book of the principal styles used.
The edicts from the Railway Executive were not always easy to apply to Southern Railway stock, having been devised with large LMS locomotives and modern LMS carriages in mind. As a result there often had to be a good deal of experimentation before satisfactory versions were developed for application at Brighton, Ashford, Eastleigh and Ryde. This applied particularly to lining of locomotives, and the many experimental styles are described and illustrated.
There was also the little matter of cost. The Southern Region was concerned that the liveries being suggested were sometimes expensive to apply and did not last as long as the former Southern Railway green - particularly on the carriages. As is well known, eventually there was dispensation for Regional liveries and the Region was able to go back to green for its locomotive hauled passenger vehicles.
All this is extensively illustrated by monochrome and colour photographs.
The chapter on structures includes numerous documents produced by the Southern Region to guide those responsible on every aspect from waiting room walls to first aid boxes.
The book does not deal with freight stock as there was nothing specific to the Southern Region in the new British Railways liveries for these vehicles.
Softback, 160 pages, black & white and colour photos
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Updated: 1 June 2020