Welcome to the Lickey Incline blog devoted to the celebration of the railway and in particular the great days of steam trains both standard and narrow gauge, on the railways of Britain.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The railway artist A N Wolstenholme

A N Wolstenholme was a prolific artist of railway subjects in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s whose work appeared in a variety of media including British Railways posters and flyers, Ian Allan Spotters' Books and jigsaw puzzles. He had a particular and recognisable style particularly when using scraper board to illustrate his subject. In the Ian Allan Trains Annual for 1948, he wrote and illustrated an article under the title of 'A Question of Line' where he looked at the aesthetics of railway locomotive design using one of Edward Thompson's LNER pacifics and William Stanier's de-streamlined Duchess class to make his point.

An improved Thompson Pacific

An improved Stanier Pacific

Little is known of Wolstenholme's life and he is now in the process of being re-discovered and his work deserves greater recognition. But see my later postings on Wolstenholme

For more pictures of A N Wolstenholme's work see the following sites:

The Science Museum here
True Art Work here
National Railway Museum here
and Mike Ashworth's Flickr site here
Phil Beard's blog has some illustrations and comments on ANW's work for Ian Allan here
Dave Rowland's excellent
THE FAMOUS IAN ALLAN ABC BOOKS > Railways > Section 048: Interior Artwork etc of A N Wolstenholme

British Railways - Passenger Train map, c1954 - illustration by A N Wolstenholme

A N Wolstenholme was frequently commissioned to produce scraperboard illustrations for BR and other transport publications in the 1950s. Here, the front cover of the BR system map sees a steam hauled express racing along.

British Railways

British Railways - new diesel train service Birmingham - South Wales, leaflet illustrated by A N Wolstenholme - 1957

British Electric Trains

British Electric Trains by H W A Linecar, second edition 1948 - cover by A N Wolstenholme

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Model railway history - G & R Wrenn Ltd for Sale - 1989

Wrenn  Railways was put for sale as a going concern in 1989 and advertised in the Financial Times in November of that year. The company and most of the assets were ultimately bought by Dapol in 1992 and the story since then has been told elsewhere.

G & R Wrenn Ltd made a loss of £34,000 in 1987 on sales of £201,000 and in 1988 increased sales to £252,000 and made a small profit of £1,133. Illustrated here are extracts from the accounts for the year end 31 December 1988 that were sent to those enquiring about the sale together with a copy of the supporting letter from G R Wrenn the managing director. A copy of the 7th edition catalogue was also sent out. 

In November 2001, three collectors of Wrenn model railways bought the G. & R. Wrenn Company from Dapol, acquiring the Company name, the Registered Trade Marks, the original tools and presses (with the exception of the wagon tools that had been absorbed into the Dapol production lines) and all of the  remaining parts and spares. They have subsequently gone into limited production of short runs of Wrenn models. For more information on the history of Wrenn and the current activities of the company see here

Should anyone wish to have a copy of the sales letter and the full set of accounts (13 pages) without the watermark please send a cheque for £10 payable to BHA Consultants Ltd at the following address

The Director
BHA Consultants Ltd
Brook House
4 Lawrence Gardens

Wrenn Profit and Loss

Wrenn Balance Sheet

Wrenn Catalogue - Title page

Wrenn Catalogue - back page