Rather pretentiously named this in fact an illustrated description of the Works at Stratford and Temple Mills, suitable for distribution to visitors. The rather precise dating suggests a specific occasion was in mind perhaps a visit by a group of engineers but if so I have not been able to establish any thing further. (Similar booklets were produced by the L&Y for Horwich – July 1907 and the LNWR for Crewe – July 1903. Again I have not been able to establish anything further). There are a couple of features of particular interest in the Stratford publication. An illustration shows suburban carriages being sawn in half lengthways, to widen the bodies so that extra seats could be crammed in. This was the reverse of a technique which Mr.Holden had picked up earlier in his career when employed by the Great Western Railway and broad gauge carriage bodies were being cut in half to be remounted on standard gauge running gear. Also the Great Eastern was in the midst of a flirtation with the oil-firing of steam locomotives and a fueling point is shown.
Most railway companies entrusted the majority of their printing to a regular firm (Midland Railway, Bemrose; North Eastern, Ben Jonson, etc. The GER had its own printing works adjacent to Stratford Market station. This was capable of producing some quite sophisticated work, including this booklet and some attractive tourist publications.
Stratford Works was the locomotive and carriage building works the Great Eastern Railway.
The original site of the works was located in the ‘V’ between the Ipswich and Norwich Main Line and the Stratford to Lea Bridge route. The final part of the works closed in 1991, and the site was earmarked for the new Stratford International station and the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre which opened in 2011.
Overall Stratford works built 1,702 locomotives; 5,500 passenger vehicles and 33,000 goods wagons (although a significant number of these were built at the nearby Temple Mills wagon works when wagon building moved from the Stratford site in 1896).
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