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My Top Five Liveries

Martin Lovell

MARTIN LOVELL takes us through his top five liveries.

5: London Transport Red

Livery Operated by: London Transport.

Livery Details: Red.

London Transport

When I lived in South East London, some of the first journeys I did usually involved a bus trip - either to the swimming baths, the library or shopping in Bromley or Lewisham. This involved getting either the 36B, 141 or 47 route, all of which were in traditional LT livery.

Later, when attending my Grammar school, namely Haberdashers Askes in New Cross, I still travelled on the 36B or 141, so some great memories come back whenever I see a good old RM or RT bus at rallies, and I was very surprised when my son organised the transport to his wedding on one of these buses. What a nostalgic trip that was!

4: Southern Region EMU Green

Livery Operated by: BR Southern Region.

Livery Details: Dark Green with Yellow Ends.

Southern Region

For travelling longer distances, I would head for either Grove Park or Bromley South to take the train. At the time these were slam door stock, either a 4EPB or one of the 6 car Hastings DEMUs, in BR green, with a yellow warning panel. Eventually, these all changed to BR blue, but the green livery is still my favourite.

3: WW2 RAF Camouflage

Livery Operated by: Royal Air Force.

Livery Details: Various.

RAF Spitfire

As my Father was in the RAF during this period (as a member of ground crew) I was always taken to Biggin Hill for the annual air show. Although at the time I was probably more interested in the newer jet aircraft (F104G Starfighter , Lightning, Avro Vulcan and the like) I have fond memories of being shown over a Spitfire by my Father - and even now, the sound of a Merlin engine sends shivers all over.

The classic lines of the Spitfire and Hurricane always look their best when sporting the wartime camouflage of Green and Brown, so hence this is one of my favourite liveries.

2: Lynton and Barnstaple original livery

Livery Operated by: Lynton and Barnstaple Railway.

Livery details: Green and Black with yellow lining.

Lynton and Barnstaple

Constructed to a gauge of 2ft, this 19 mile line traversed wonderful scenery and its 4 locos, (3 Manning Wardle 2-6-2s, and later a Baldwin 2-4-2) were hard worked over this undulating line. When the line passed over to the Southern Railway, a 5th Manning Wardle locomotive was added to the fleet.

The Original Livery, I feel, was certainly the best, the Coaches had Crimson Lake lower panels, and the upper panels in white, closely resembling the livery of the LSWR. The wagon stock was light grey with white lettering, and the Locos were lined out green.

Peco have produced models of these coaches and wagons, and Heljan have produced superb models of the Manning Wardle loco, both in L&BR, and Southern livery. The railway closed in 1935 but has now been revived, so it is still possible to travel on this line a short distance at present, but getting longer all the time.

1: Workhorse

Livery Operated by: Anyone...

Livery details: Manky.

Dirty Locos

For my top choice, I decided to go for what I would call 'Workhorse' livery - namely, that look which means the Locomotive, Tractor or whatever, has been worked, and worked hard.

This usually means the paint is chipped and faded, rust and grime abound, all in all this machine has been USED. Being a Narrow Gauge nut, especially with an interest in Industrial Railways, this "livery" could have been seen at any of the sites where these locos were used - where cleanliness wasn't an option, as long as the loco did its job. Strange choice I know, but then, that's me!

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