Sunday 28 April 2024

Chicolate Variety (1)

It Started With Dapol

... announcing three private owner (PO) "chocolate" goods vans at a very reasonable price. In recent years there has been something of a Krakatoan explosion of PO wagons for model railway enthusiasts. Often they are painted in far more attractive liveries tan similar wagons owned by the railway companies.
They tended to be boring brown or grotty grey with just the comoany letters (GWR, MR, SR, LNER) by way of ownership indicator.

But a modern trend in model goods wagons is for fake PO wagons; trucks that never existed in the real railway world but which are avidly collected by wealthy elderly enthusiasts because "they look attractive". But you need some knowledge and skill to choose the right liveries if you want you goods train to be genuine.

So How Genuine Are Dapol's Models?

Well now, we all know Cadbury s Dairy Milk, that Bastion of Britishness with its iconic blue wrappers and a glass and a half in every bar. The wrapper hasn't changes in years!
Oh, it has changed quite a lot. In fact the first wrappers were nearer to purple than blue!
This would make Dapol's wagon just right for authenticity.
Bournville was the brand for dark chocolate (fbb's fave) ...
... which perfectly matches Dapol's other Cadbury livery.

Bur first, a bit o background from a q Birmingham railway web site.

In 1861, John Cadbury's sons Richard and George had taken over 'Cadbury Brothers of Birmingham,' then based in central Birmingham at Bridge Street.

Noticing the development of the Birmingham Western Suburban Railway, the Cadbury Brothers began a search for land on which to develop a factory. At the time, their milk was delivered on canal barges ...

... mainly via the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, while their cocoa was delivered either from London or Southampton via railway
Hence they were looking for a junction of canal and rail.

In 1878, the company acquired the Bournbrook estate, comprising 14.5 acres of countryside 5 miles south of the outskirts of Birmingham, right next to the new Stirchley Street station. They renamed the Bournbrook estate to the French-sounding Bournville, and opened the Bournville factory in 1879.

In 1893, George Cadbury bought 120 acres of land close to the works and planned, at his own expense, a full-sized "model£ village which would 'alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions'. 

By 1900, the estate included 313 cottages and houses set on 330 acres of land. As the Cadbury family were Quakers there were no pubs in the estate.

Part of the works included an extensive network of railway sidings ...

... some circing through the main block of factories.
Tracks alo ran alongside the Worcester and Birmingham canal, so both goods inwards modes were available. To get to the wharf, a bridge was necessary over what became the Cross Country main line between Bristol and Birmingham.
Thus, all fbb has to do is to scour the interwebnet for pictures of real full sized Cadbury's wagons and see if the livery matches. While he is searching diligently, he also needs to consider an open wagon painted yellow!
Then there are model coal hoppers in yellow ...
... or a very strange un-Cadbury blue!
But. hopefully, we can find at least some of these resting peacefully in the long-closed sidings at Bournewille.

In the meantime, we might choose to enjoy a selection of Cadbury products which fbb has never heard of.

Apparently they are manufactured for the Australian market but are due to arrive in the UK soon.

fbb simply cannot wait for a Dairy Milk "Perky Nana" bar. Too right, Sport. Were's the fbb hat with the corks?

Meanwhile ...

Is Variety Dead?
Not really. fbb had four topics planned for today's variety blog BUT as he delved deeper into the topics he found that there was far too much fascinating (?) material to cram into a combined blog. So today's planned "Variety" will now be spread over several days!

 Next Chocolate Variety blog : Monday 29 April 


  1. I cannot think of a more impractical colour, in the real world, for a wagon carrying coal !!

  2. Andrew Kleissner28 April 2024 at 09:58

    According to you-know-who, the College was originally at Bournville, founded by George Cadbury, but has since moved. A bit like Arsenal and Millwall football clubs!