DERBY WORKS BUILDERS PLATES - AN OVERVIEW

Our story starts with the Midland Railway and two early plates which give us the basis for future Derby plates and thence LMS and BR standard! The first patterns of MR builders plates are ornate and use 3 type faces and a design typical of the time of Kirtley whose engines these adorned. Both contain the DERBY name in the bottom sector and although different in style etc to the later Johnson and Fowler plates a simplified version of the original DERBY letters is perpetuated into their plates. Johnson standardises the MR worksplates giving us the basic approx size of 10 & 1/2 by 6 inch oval with a rim and in most cases 8 & 3/4 centres between mounting holes (but not always!). Johnson continues with the descriptions previously used on plates but adds an extra category of BOILER NEW. By 1921 Fowler introduces his own modern design of plate, drops the word MAKERS and uses BUILT but it is his his pattern of REBUILT is the most important in the story of LMS builders plates as it is adapted to become the standard LMS REBUILT plate, it is likely that the same occurred with the BUILT etc, BOILER NEW not being adopted. The MR type face is retained by the LMS and is adopted by all works copying as best they can, however Crewe only uses the design briefly before going back to LNWR lettering. The standard oval design is perpetuated into BR with the overall rimmed oval and hole centre retained. There are a number of font variations occur concluding with the BR Standard font. (These are explained individually)

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