TO me, the L & Y always reflects its tough northern surroundings. As the Industrial Revolution progressed, the L & Y spread its sphere of influence through the grimy urban sprawl (now thought of as a tourist attraction) and, unaffected
by outrageous thoughts of expansion, got on with the job in hand - expeditious delivery of the goods. In this, the role of the wagon was, of course, vital.
There were moments whilst writing this book that I felt like a contestant on that popular quiz concerning esoteric subjects, `Mastermind', for I was assembling information about a very narrow topic which might not necessarily be of great interest for many people, even those railway enthusiasts devoted to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway itself! I hope that this work successfully fills a space in reference material about the L & Y for them, as well as adding to the specialist group of books solely concerned with railway wagons. I have tried to put an historical perspective to a commercial venture which had no thoughts about its philosophy, but was hidebound by economic pressures (see Fig. 1). I have also worked with the railway modeller in mind because, on reflection, I began this book a quarter of a century ago with a personal desire to create accurate models of the railway close to home, as it had been fifty years previously. Accurate models needed accurate research, and the collection of material began. Some documentary evidence was not forthcoming for a further ten years, and it was not until after the publication of Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Miscellany in 1983 that serious work began on collating the information contained in this book. Thus, the third aim is to supply accurate resource material for the modeller. I appreciate that there will be inaccuracies; some will be errors of judgement on my part, some because of lack of information (either because it was not quantified or it has been lost in the intervening time) but I have tried to overcome the problems and present as precise an account as possible. Alas, until someone invents a time machine, the full story will never be known, but there has been much fun piecing it altogether.
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