Items of Interest in the Collection

The Shelford Archive
Slop Pail and Chamber Pot
Signal Alteration Books
Menu, Timetable and Map Printed on Silk
The Trust Ticket Collection

 The Shelford Archive

The Trust has had in its collection for some years a remarkable assemblage of data and photographs of Midland Railway locomotives (including those of the constituent companies) known as the Shelford Archive. Click here for a brief description of the scope of this archive.

 Slop Pail and Chamber Pot

Slop Pail

When we originally posted this illustration of Crown Derby china on the website we were not sure of its use. It is some 18 inches high and subsequent research has established it is a "slop pail". In the days before en-suite facilities were the "norm" at all hotels wash stands were provided in the hotel bedrooms complete with a large bowl, water jug, soap dish etc. A slop pail was also provided into which was emptied the dirty water after washing for the maids to clear from the room afterwards.

The china bowls, jugs, pails etc were sold by the manufacturers in sets and the major hotels often commissioned their own designs. The Midland Grand was no exception and went one further. There is evidence that different designs were ordered for bedrooms on different floors - the most elaborate designs were provided for the most expensive rooms and the plainer, simpler designs sufficed for the cheaper rooms.

Chamber Pot

Chamber pots were also provided as part of a bedroom set and it is certain that the design employing gold leaf shown in this illustration would have been used on wash stand sets in the most expensive rooms at the the Midland Grand.

 Signal Alteration Books

The collection contains a set of six books from the Distance Diagram Office of the Midland Railway which was part of the Estate Agent's Department. These are called "Signal Alteration Books" which is something of a misnomer in that they cover much more than "signal alterations". They are in fact, the original record books kept by the staff in the Distance Diagram Office of all changes to the track layouts affecting distances (which was virtually everything) and from which were made the official amendments (and re-issues) of the ubiquitous distance diagrams. They are therefore original source documents of some significance. They also contain much other related information. For example actual dates after the grouping when the Western Division of the LMS took over various engineering responsibilities for the former Midland lines in South Wales (and Herefordshire).

These six books are as follows:
Signals Book No. 1 1890-1893Signals Book No. 2 1893-1898Signals Book No. 3 1898-1902
Signals Book No. 4 1902-1907Signals Book No. 5 1907-1918Signals Book No. 6 1918-1928

These are now available for reference at the Study Centre.

 Menu, Timetable and Map Printed on Silk

A royal train timetable from the Victorian era and printed on silk . It gives details of two royal train journies on the Midland by Queen Victoria in 1849. The first from Normanton to Derby took place on 28 September and the second from Derby to Gloucester the following day. Almost certainly the Queen stayed at the Midland Hotel overnight as she did subsequently in 1852. On that occasion the Dinner Menu was also printed on silk and this item (pictured) is also in the Trust's collection. The silk timetable would have been for use on the royal train as would the third item pictured - an undated but early map of the Midland Railway carrying the royal arms and also printed on silk and recently acquired by the Trust.

Silk MenuSilk TimetableSilk Map


The collection has a number of Midland Railway lamps at the Study Centre. They included some unusual and rare items, three of which are illustrated.

Midland Railway Candle LampEx War Department LampDucket Lamp
1. A Midland Railway candle lamp (stamped M R Co)    
2. An unusual ex War Department (WD) lamp mounted on a stand with brass owner label "Midland Railway MR6" whilst retaining the original embossed "WD".
3. A small copper ducket lamp stamped M R Co.

 The Ticket Collection

The Stations Collections

The major collection is of edmondson tickets printed in the pre-grouping period, arranged on the basis of the station sequence given in The Midland Railway - A Chronology by John Gough (R&CHS 1989). The broad objective is to show tickets for travel from and to each station on the Midland Railway (including those for trains of other companies serving Midland stations), from and to each foreign station served by a Midland train and from and to each station on joint lines of which the Midland was a part owner. Tickets relevant to running powers and to joint lines are integrated into the presentation of the Midland system as such, so that through train services are followed logically. Gaps in the collection are (whenever possible) filled by a photograph of a relevant ticket.

The collection is fully annotated, with station opening, closing and re-naming dates taken from Gough where possible, or from Railway Passenger Stations in England, Scotland and Wales - A Chronology by Michael Quick (R&CHS 2002 and later supplements).

This picture of the day-to-day ticket handling at Midland and joint stations is in a presentation that has been specially developed for, and is thought to be unique to, the Trust. The six albums can be found using location references #552.03.01-04 and #552.04.01-02.

There is also an as yet embryonic Irish stations collection covering the Northern Counties Committee and County Donegal Railways Joint Committee, housed at location reference #552.04.03.

The Types Collections
A types collection enables the student to gain an understanding of the categories of traffic that the company wished to attract, from the passenger for the ordinary full fare single or return journey through the excursionist, the tourist, the workman and those many others entitled to some form of reduced fare travel, to a dog or article that accompanied the passenger. Such a collection traces the development of each category of ticket from its introduction throughout the life of the company, showing how and why the print format on the tickets was changed.

There is available a colour copy of the mainly edmondson types collection assembled by ticket expert David G Geldard to cover the Midland Railway itself and those British joint and worked lines in which the Midland had an interest. Annotation based on extensive historical research makes this a valuable work of reference, the five volumes of which can be found at #552.06.01-05.

There is also a separate types collection covering tickets of Midland constituent companies, and paper and season tickets of the Midland and its joint lines. These five albums are located at #552.04.03-04 and #552.05.01-03.

All albums referenced # are available to view by appointment at the Midland Railway Study Centre, Derby.

Severn and Wye and Severn Bridge Railway - Distance Tables
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Otley & Ilkley Extension Sheet 1
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Formerly The Roy F Burrows Midland Collection Trust Registered Charity No. 1082871