Reginald frederick Stedman


The Trust was established in 1983 to keep the archives of the Leeds Model Company and R. F. Stedman & Company. Today the Trust provides a service of spares, repairs and technical advice to LMC enthusiasts and continues to promote interest in and appreciation of the products of The Leeds Model Company, founded by Rex Stedman in 1912, and which ceased to trade in 1967.

David K. Peacock, Co- proprietor, Trustee and Archivist
Marcus D. Peacock, Co-proprietor and Trustee

Reginald Frederick (Rex) Stedman
1893 -1959

Latest News

Leeds Model Company - the first adverts

Although Rex Stedman founded the Leeds Model Company in 1912, it was not until February 1915, that the company was introduced to the model press, specifically the monthly ‘Models, Railways and Locomotives‘.  In the archive I hold extracts from the ‘Trade Notes’ section of the magazine which run through to 1919. Advert
I am now indebted to my good friends in the Dutch HRCA, Hans van Dissel and Peter Zwakhals who have provided me with copies of adverts which appeared in the magazine from February 1915 through to February 1917. These appear in the Leeds Model Company section of their website,  I recommend this very fine website to you.
The very first advert, reproduced here, shows some handwork in the drafting of the title.  This was soon replaced by fully typeset pages. Read sequentially these adverts show the gradual build up of the LMC product range and the progressive engagement of sales outlets up and down the country. They are an important addition to the Trust archive.

Painting and Weathering

Repainting of LMC locomotives is frequently a necessity to preserve their condition and restore them to their original appearance. Made from tinplate and at the time they were produced not too much being known about pre-treatment for a durable finish, many models turn up with blistered or flaking paint, or outright rusting. The Leeds Stedman Trust has never baulked at repainting to match as closely as possible the original factory hand painted finishes.

But what of models running (probably with a change of wheels) on contemporary layouts, from any of the scale model locomotives to the finely moulded Bakelite coaches and wagons? The original clean glossy or satin finishes may well not suit the ambience of a layout where for more realism service grime and weathering are the order of the day. Graeme Simmonds who specialises in painting and weathering is a recent and very enthusiastic convert to 'The Stedman Style' and LMC models. Click his website on our LINKS page to see what he has done with a basic 0-4-0 ST, and read on his blog an appreciation of Rex Stedman and his

It is always a pleasure to see LMC models, whether 'original' or weathered at work on modern layouts. Long may it be so!

Bassett-Lowke Society 25th Anniversary

Well done the Bassett-Lowke Society team! A splendid day, during which we nearly talked ourselves hoarse with so many old friends - and some new ones stopping to see our display. With due deference to our location all but one of the locos were Great Western, as was all of the rolling stock.


We featured the two Leeds for Bassett-Lowke  4-4-0 locos made in 1922, the Caledonian Pickersgill No 77 and the GWR Churchward County. The tooling from the County was later used to produce the Mogul in 1926 and the small Prairie in 1928 and again in the 1950s. The two larger 4-6-0 locomotives the Star and the Castle were introduced in 1925. A big jump then to the 1952 Hawksworth 4-6-0 County and finally to complete our display the 1955 57XX pannier tank.
We also featured hand built rolling stock from the early 20s, produced up to the early 1930s. Litho wagons and coaches (1921 - 1936) and the 1936 range of GWR Bakelite wagons and coaches which were continued through to the winding up of the company in 1967.
The large hall at Swindon enabled the Society to set out their 42 ft ‘Lowko Junction’, one of the largest layouts we have ever had the pleasure of seeing. With continuous running on five tracks and plenty to see on the sidings, the whole effect was absolutely delightful.


Challenging the 0 gauge layout was the fine but smaller gauge 1 display, equally if not more evocative of those wonderful days of steam locomotives. The selection on show was outstanding for the number and the variety of models.



The  Latest News has been tidied up.

To see the short video clip on the manufacture of Bakelite coaches - go to the History page

To see the two remastered lithos (NE box van and GWR coach) go to  -  Services  - Replacement Parts

To see the Lucky Escape of the LNER K3 and the roof variation on the standard 0-4-0T - go to the History section.


AIMREC update

Contact continues with the AIMREC group concerning the presentation of the Leeds Stedman Trust collection and ephemera in the new Museum to be built at Ashford. We have been asked to consider the feasibility of re-creating for 2022 the LMC layout used for the 1922 Model Engineering Exhibition.  We have now submitted and had accepted a draft proposal covering every detail required to realise the layout in format as close as possible to the original.  The principal exception will be electric operation rather than clockwork, and for this Maldon Rail has supplied a comprehensive and fully costed track plan.  When other costs are finalised AIMREC will approach  companies and individuals to sponsor the layout. Once finance is secure, construction can begin. 
The Leeds Stedman Trust will be providing - in addition to the archive of locomotives and stock, signals - see below, buildings, and the Scherzer Bridge also see below. 

This was set up for clockwork operation. Practical concessions, to use electric power, modern track, and to introduce additional loops for train make up and storage, make the project both feasible and attractive for operation not only with LMC products but also for B-L, Hornby and compatible products of other manufacturers. We are particularly fortunate that the Scherzer lifting bridge used on the original layout is preserved in safe hands and available to us.


Super Detail Signalling

Signals were the first products manufactured by Rex Stedman when he set up the Leeds Model Company in 1912.  Signal parts were listed continuously from then until  the company was wound up in 1967.  Company built signals came in two standards, Standard and super detail, the latter made to order only.  Examples of both types are held in the archive.
The  need for a dozen or so signals for the re-creation of the 1922 layout  (see below) called for an equal re-creation of the super detail signals. Sufficient parts remain in the Trust inventory to provide the necessary  requirements from finials to bases.  Close by, my good friend and neighbour possessed both the skills and patience to put together the example shown here.  More on the signals and on progress with the layout to follow.




Rex Stedman made his first model of the American Scherzer type rolling lift bridge for his 1922 layout at the Model Engineering Exhibition. From his collection of papers in the archive it is clear that this type of bridge had
long fascinated him. The 1922 bridge was then featured in catalogues from 1924 until 1932, offered for Gauges 0 and 1 at £22 and £30 respectively. In the 1932 catalogue only the 0 gauge version was on offer at a reduced, but still, for the time, high price of £15.

BridgeThere is no record in the archive of how many Scherzer bridges were sold, but one, which we believe was used for the model railway at Chessington Zoo, was 'rescued' by John Hart when the layout was dismantled, and rescued again by Peter Sturt when John's grand model railway collection was finally dispersed. This bridge is shorter than the 1922 version but otherwise incorporates all of the features of the Scherzer design. As can be seen in the photograph it is in need of restoration which will proceed, and it will be ready for incorporation
into the re-created 1922 layout detailed below. Grateful thanks to Peter Sturt for looking after this possibly now unique relic of LMC model engineering, and for his kindness in passing it over into the custodianship of the Trust.

'The Leeds Model Company 1912 -2012'

This book can only be obtained directly from the Leeds Stedman Trust.  If you wish to obtain a copy please use the Contact page on this website. The book is priced at £19.95 per copy plus £2.55 post and packing.

The book (128 pages), with both colour and black and white illustrations and with 24 chapters and 19 appendices, covers every aspect of the company history and products.  An accompanying DVD has two video programmes, 'The Leeds Stedman Trust' made for the Gauge 0 Guild  by David Peacock and Jack Ray, and 'Augurswell and Great Blessingsby', the Trust layout, made by David Peacock and Chris Pettit. The disc also carries as a CD a high quality photograph of every locomotive and item of rolling stock held in the Trust archive

Reviewers have said…..

 ….nothing is missed out and it is written in an easy to read style, with plenty of pictures….  a much needed book by an expert on the subject.   I strongly recommend it.    Pat Hammond, Train Collectors Society

….a definitive history of the LMC ….a most welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in the history of model railways. ….excellent value too.
                              John Ingram, The Bassett Lowke Society

…well constructed and the illustrations are generally of high quality….there is much here to grab your interest….I ended up reading it cover to cover.
                               John Kneeshaw, The Gauge 0 Guild

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