London Chatham and Dover Railway Railway Luggage Labels
|The LCDR's early efforts in the labels field produced some
of the largest labels of the period but that was followed by easily the
smallest of all pre-grouping labels as will be seen below.
This section on the LCDR points out some oddities in the RPS's guide to
pre-grouping luggage labels. That rightfully respected publication, 25 years
old now, contains the odd minor glitch here and there but the LCDR section has
more than its fair share. In fact, probably as many as in the rest of the guide
put together. the earliest labels are described as being on blue paper which is
clearly correct as shown below but note is made further on of both colour
definition aberrations and a label type mix up.
||This and the following example are believed to
be the earliest luggage labels to have been produced by the LCDR. All the early
labels are of similar size and format to those from the LBSCR's earliest
|Similar to the example to Bekesbourne shown
above but with the company's title in lower case text is this example to
Shepherd's W(ell). the black frame is a feature that was commonly used by
the SER but seems to have been rapidly abandoned by the LCDR.
||Also of the early type is this solitary example
on pink paper to Dover Priory. The crudity of the title text suggestd that it
might be the earliest of the three shown here and note also the use of an
ampersand instead of 'and'.
|Only the one example of the LCDR's interest
in affairs across the Thames has survived in the form of this pristine white
paper specimen to Harwich via the long-forgotten Gravesend Pier. This label is
also notable for the use of a 'From' line which seems never to have
been a common feature on its labels although further examples are shown
||There's more on label colour in the next
The Chatham label is fairly commonly available but the Rochest'r Bdg
example is included both because of it's rarity - 1892 - 1905 -
and to display the standard colour for this type of label
|Mention was made above of colour
definitions in the RPS guide. The type of label shown here is described as blue
which, in the case of the Chatham example, is obviously true. However, that is
the only one of this type I've come across that is that colour! Most of the
rest are typified by the example to Rochest'r Bdg and that matches
turquoise precisely in the Stanley Gibbons colour guide.
|Also in this standard format are white labels to
Walmer & Deal for which no example is currently avalable and the unique
pink label to Sevenoaks (TUB'S HILL).
But that isn't quite all . . . .
||Blackheath Hill, another shortlived destination,
is printed on a rich green, almost emerald, paper whilst the yellow example to
Sheerness-on-Sea on yellow paper is a new discovery since the RPS guide was
written 25 years or more ago. The paper is definitely yellow and not, as is
often the case, faded white.
|The guide to LCDR labels differentiates between
certain colours but not other obviously different formats and inexplicably
lumps together the 'standard' type with a quite different design which
is in complete contrast to the way that the type designations are managed for
|This other format (or type) has a
blank 'From' line above the destination. The Sittingbourne example
shown above is on typically bright turquoise paper whilst the Deal example is
on bright white paper albeit slightly grubby in this instance.
||Only one destination, Beckenham Hill, has ever
come to light for this oddly proprtioned type of label and it's often in
poor condition due to desiccation. This example is in better condition than
most as at least the corners are all intact.
|These two similar labels to Crystal Palace (High
Level) & Upper Norwood suggest a period shortly before the two railways
amalgamated in 1899. Of interest is the fact that Denmark Hill was a LBSCR
station at which the LCDR had running rights.
||Until I was permitted to scan these labels I had
no idea that LCDR routing labels had survived. As can be seen here the
proportions are very similar to the earliest luggage labels and almost
certainly originate from the same era. Interestingly, there is no railway title
|Three further examples of the LCDR's routing
labels with the intriguing use of the term 'Ashford Junction' on the
All photographs are copyright
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This page was created 21 November 2007