A very battered relic

You have to forgive yourself past mistakes and I certainly made one when repairing an old map with sellotape. I’d have been about 12 at the time so that was over fifty years ago.

I bought the map – probably just about given away – at a jumble sale. It was a map of the railway network of Great Britain and it showed the new grouping.

Before the First World War there had been dozens of privately owned railway companies. My favourite company from that time (always ancient history to me) was the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. I lived roughly in the middle of what had been its area and even though my memories start 30 years after the demise of the old company there were still locos and carriages from that long gone era around.

During World War One the railways were taken over by the government and then, in 1923, they were returned into private ownership. But it was thought that small companies, like my favoured Brighton one, would never have the resources to manage well so all of the dozens of old companies were merged into the ’Big 4’. These were largely regionally based. Again, my favourite was the one in the area I lived and was called the Southern Railway which incorporated the old Brighton company, along with others and it operated trains south of London from Kent to Cornwall.

My map was to show this new grouping of railways. As this took place in 1923 the map must date from about then.

That’s the map cover today showing my awful sellotape damage.

image002 And here’s a little section of the map.


The lines shown in red are those of the Southern Railway whilst the green routes belonged to the Great Western Railway. One line is shown in red and blue dashes. This was a joint line owned by the Southern Railway and the huge London, Midland and Scottish Railway. Each of the counties is shown in colour so here we see parts of Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Just for interest here’s much the same area 90 years on, in 2013.


There are a lot fewer lines than there used to be!


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One Response to “A very battered relic”

  1. Janet Says:

    Reblogged this on Janet’s thread.

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