Luggage Labels

Once upon a time you could take parcels to a railway station and pay your money and get them delivered. It may be that you needed to send luggage in advance, if going on holiday or maybe you had a product of some kind and needed it delivered.

At the station, somebody would paste a label on your luggage which named the destination station. Your luggage could be loaded into the guard’s compartment of a passenger train and the guard would ensure it made its way to the destination station.

As a train spotter in the early 60s, I collected these luggage labels. A brave boy (that was me) could go to a ticket office and just ask. If luck was in, you’d be given a whole wad of different labels. And they’d be labels with history; labels printed by long gone railway companies; labels, in some cases with aspects of design, or just destination stations which made them interesting.

Here’s a selection of my Southern Railway labels.


These labels have a month and year of printing on them so the oldest is the Norwood Junction one which dates from 1926. But let’s draw particular attention to the Sidley label.


This one dates from 1927 but Sidley was of interest. It was the local station for my dad when he was a lad and is on the Bexhill West branch. One of my first posts on this blog was about that line and it remains my most viewed individual page. You can click here to read it.

I like the label for Parkstone.


This is nearly twenty years newer than the Sidley one and uses what I call the Southern Electric font for the company name. Mind you, I don’t think electric trains reached Parkstone which is between Bournemouth and Poole until 1988!

A mention for Crawley which was my home town for most of my childhood.


I have literally hundreds of these labels – all were free to me and there will be other folks the same. They don’t have cash value but they do remind me of a time when the railways offered more services than they do now,

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