Miscellaneous Southern Artefacts

Believe it or not fire buckets have been the subject of several - we are tempted to say "heated" - discussions within the Southern E Group! Naturally in days when building materials were more flammable than those used today and when there were plenty of sources of ignition about - steam locomotives passing through the station, coal fires heating the station and gas lamps lighting the station - readily available materials such as sand and water to extinguish fires had to be available. Before fire extinguishers were both common and economical the galvanised bucket was the common method of delivery. The dimensions of such buckets have been a matter of conjecture but making the assumption that the tools for producing such products have not varied much over the years here are the dimensions of a modern galvanised bucket:

Height = 11 inches, Base = 9½ inches diameter, Top = 11½ inches diameter

For modellers in 4mm scale these dimensions work out at:

Height = 3.666mm, Base = 3.1616mm diameter, Top = 3.8282mm diameter

two fire buckets on the Bluebell Railway Fire buckets on display at the Bluebell Railway...

photograph by Michael Taylor

... on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway...

photograph by Michael Taylor

Three fire buckets on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway
one bucket out of the eight is missing at Ropley ... and at Ropley station on the Mid Hants Railway.

photograph by Colin Duff

SEmG member Mike Dunse is the fortunate current owner of the former LSWR Bridestowe station in Devon. Mike occasionally finds artefacts buried in undergrowth around his property including an unpainted Southern Railway galvanised bucket, details from which can be seen below.

photographs by Mike Dunse

detail of the handle mounting although faint the embossed initials SR can just be made out

All photographs are copyright

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This page was last updated 3 December 2002

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