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.
If you have any questions about the Trust, would like to enquire for specific parts, place an order or make a comment please send us an email to dkp5506@yahoo.com

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


Latest News

The LNER has arrived! (Click on ‘Videos’)

LNER models are among the most important in the Trust collection:
4-6-2, A1 No 4470 ‘Great Northern’ repatriated from Australia:
2-6-0 K3 No 58 the sole survivor on a bombed layout is one of the only two known Leeds models of this prototype:
4-4-0 D11 No 5507 ‘R.F. Stedman’ MF118 the last but one of the Mansted Foundry locomotives, never made it into G.P.Keen’s K-Lines stud. It came to the Trust as a collection of rusted parts, rebuilt and restored in honour of its creator.
Two further items repatriated from Australia are the post 1948 freelance model of the outside cylinder 4-4-0 still with its original paintwork, and from the same owner, Bert Edwards of South Australia (who repainted Great Northern), the rake of four LNER tourist stock coaches, the original black Bakelite bodies also painted by Bert.
Latest among the collaborations with LMC enthusiasts in Australia were the ‘Leeds Model Company’ wagon lithos produced by Wessex Transfers in Tasmania for the LMC Centenary in 2012. The ‘Leeds Stedman Trust’ litho was a bonus one off!
Work has continued on the layout, priority having been given to the installation of the Scherzer Bridge. Turn down the volume on the video if you do not want to hear the noise of the loco skates clattering over the studs – evidence that work to remedy the wider stud spacing has yet to be done!
We are already thinking about our next programme which logically should feature the SR. This was the least represented of the big four in the LMC product range. For this reason we may combine SR with BR with equally small numbers of locos and stock to make up the programme.


The Scherzer Bridge is installed and operational!


When Peter Sturt very generously handed the Trust a model of the LMC Scherzer bridge a model railway large enough to include it was not even a distant dream. Today with our move to Cambridge and the construction of the Railway Room, not only is there space enough for the bridge but it is an essential item to provide access to the centre of the layout. Visitors unable to scramble under the baseboard are now welcome!

Scherzer bridges were first studied by Rex Stedman in 1915 when he was working at Farnborough with Henry Greenly. Greenly’s design for a single track 0 gauge bridge was published in Models Railways and Locomotives in August of that year. The first LMC model, with a 45 inch span, appeared on the layout provided for the 1922 Model Engineering Exhibition. The bridge design was closely based on the 1914 version pictured in the Scherzer company booklet which was among Rex Stedman’s ephemera and is part of the Trust Archive.
The 1922 layout used clockwork powered locomotives, but was successful in every respect. It was retained with electrification of the tracks for the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924, remaining there until the Exhibition closed in October 1925. The layout – with the Scherzer bridge – was subsequently used to promote the LMC around the country, ending up in 1926 at the Pleasure Beach on the South Shore at Blackpool. There it remained until 1937 when it was retired from use. No record exists of the fate of the layout or of the bridge, or if bridges other than the Trust one had been built and sold.

The Trust bridge, now installed on the new layout, spans 30” the smaller of the two sizes offered in the catalogues from 1922 to 1932. It may have been purchased at some time in the 1930s, but its first – and last - recorded use until today was on the model railway at Chessington Zoo, where it served from 1947 for 2 to 3 years under the supervision of Rob Dettmar and John Hart. It would appear that both 0 gauge and gauge 1 models were run, each of the two 0 gauge tracks running between the 45mm spaced gauge 1 rails. Electrification was by centre third rail.


When the bridge was given to the Trust it was much in need of restoration. Several of the plywood sections were warped and de-laminated, a number of the timber parts were broken or missing and the intricate braced girders which crossed the upper parts of the bridge were damaged to varying extents. Work was started immediately, more to see what could be saved and what had to be replaced than to put the bridge into service, there being no place for it on the small Augurswell and Great Blessingsby layout.
Space was certainly available for the bridge on the Cambridge layout. To provide for setting up in the least possible time a new plywood base platform was put together, ignoring for the time being the side walls and repair of the braced girders, neither being essential to the operation of the bridge. The ‘six foot’ way on the bridge was closer to twelve feet, necessitating moving one set of rails to line up with the tracks on the layout. The centre third rails were replaced with studs.


When the bridge is lifted power is cut off to the tracks approaching the open side of the gap. The counterbalance resting at track level is an effective barrier on the other side. The weight of the counterbalance, a massive bar of lead, has clearly been calculated exactly and the bridge moves smoothly and with minimum effort to open or close, holding its position wherever in its travel it is stopped.

 

 

 


Is ‘half a loaf’ really ‘better than no bread’?

Not if the half is a tender without its locomotive! That is what we came up against in the recent meeting of the Bassett-Lowke Society. On display was the tender for K-Lines No 332, Mansted Foundry No 104, the one and only missing model of the K-Lines 2-6-0 locomotives made for G.P. Keen by Rex Stedman in the mid to late 1920s. No. 332, very much in the style of the other five sister locos in the series is depicted in the April 1927 issue of the Model Railway News. Where is the loco now? Its discovery would be a great step towards a ‘Great Gathering’ around the K-Lines turntable of the Keen collection of outstanding models.

K-Lines 2-6-0 locomotives

The shelves are filled!

With much help from my grandson Luca the shelving on the back wall of the train room is now filled out with all but a few items of the model collection. This picture shows the longer of the two shelves. I had calculated the length of run to display every item, but the spacing between the shelves would have been insufficient to safely handle taller items, coaches, vans and locomotives on and off the shelves. Some locomotives thus remain in the display cabinet in the house, but they will turn by turn be brought out for running sessions, which like those already featured will appear as videos on this website in due course of time.

Shelves full of trains

For a good while now I have been looking to find a home for the archive – a museum or similar where the models would be on display, available to be run, and that there would be access to the ephemera, drawings and the like. Sadly, I have had no success thus far, and so what I have now in the train room is the best that can be done for the time being. I hope you will enjoy the videos as they come out.


An extensive LMC archive from the Dutch HRCA

I continue to be delighted at the work put in by Hans van Dissel of the Dutch HRCA to record on their website adverts, editorials and correspondence related to the Leeds Model Company. Starting from 1915, Hans listings are now into the 1950s, and a most interesting story they make.  All but a few of the items he displays are held in the Trust archives from the combined collections of Rex Stedman and later his son Adrian, but they are not as readily available to view.  To see the Dutch collection please go to

  With their kind permission this link will also be added to the archive section of our website.


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