John Speller's Web Pages Paddington

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge

"The Railway Station" by William Powell Frith, R.A. (1819-1909), based on a photograph of Paddington Station by Samuel Fry (1835-1890) of Brighton. It was commissioned by Louis Victor Flatow, who paid £4,500 for it and is shown in conversation with the engine driver. It took two years to paint, and was completed in 1862. It is a fascinating microcosm of what a railway station was like in the early 1860s and contains an enormous amount of fascinating detail. Note, for example, the Gooch 8 ft. "Iron Duke" Class 4-2-2 "Sultan" at the head of the train. Note the Bristol & Exeter Railway "caboose." The word "caboose" was an invention of the L&SWR, based on the similarity of the guard's lookout to a raised deck on naval ships. The caboose had a relatively short popularity in Britain but subsequently found wide usage in the USA. The GWR and B&ER had an agreement that the GWR would provide the coaches and the B&ER the brake vans for through West of England Expresses. Note the beautiful globe-shaped fantail gas lights. There were some of these in other stations such as Taunton. (I wish I could find out who made them, even the Science Museum couldn't help me. I am grateful to Alison Moyra for suggesting that the Nailsea Glassworks is a likely contender.) Note the villain in the process of being arrested by Detective Sergeants Michael Haydon and James Brett of Scotland yard. Note also Brunel's beautiful wrought ironwork at the west end of the station. The Ticket Inspector (extreme right) was a Mr. Craig, then halfway through his career of over 50 years with the GWR, which lasted until 1893. And so on, and so forth.
"The Railway Station" 1862. To enlarge right click and select "view image"
Paddington Station in mixed gauge days, 1886, looking towards "The Lawn." Note the same gaslights as in Frith's painting, and the wide-bodied carriages on the center road. To enlarge right click and select "view image"
Bourne's lithograph of the entrance to the original Paddington Station of 1838
Paddington Roundhouse in 1840
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