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Author Topic: BR Standard Totems ... and other standards  (Read 260 times)
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« on: January 22, 2021, 08:04:35 am »

A question from dating photos ... when were totems installed?   A reference I have suggests "as from 1948" implying that they were being put in very soon indeed after nationalisation.   Is that true, or did it take a while for standardisation to start replacing the alternatives that the big 4 had used until that time?

Other standards seemed to take time - locomotive (and other rolling stock?) production lines still made locomotives of the old company's classes, for example, and a couple of timetables I have from soon after nationalisation look like the old company's product with a very thin veneer of British Rail.

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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 08:40:01 am »

The standard was issued in October 1948 and I assume would have progressed from the main stations, gradually replacing the old signs. Some places never received them. Cattistock Halt had a GWR totem until the end and Crewkerne likewise had the SR target until replaced by the new 1969s version. I was able to buy one from BR Swindon in the late 1960s for 10s 6d, or half a guinea (52.5p). On the other hand Dilton Marsh Halt had one of the BR totems.
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2021, 09:55:36 am »

I was told that the totem was designed by a Swindon apprentice who won the competition to design a new totem. Is this true?
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2021, 10:49:09 am »

IIRC Exeter Central did not have any British Railways style totems, but retained the SR style right up until the black on white British Rail standard was installed.

I happened to be passing through Central when the signs were being replaced and saw a large pile under the footbridge. I thought I'd try my luck and ask a member of staff if I could take one. Much to my surprise, said staff member told me to 'help myself'.
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2021, 12:58:02 pm »

Very envious of Phil W there.  Great story and great target.

Yes, definitely 1948 for the first totems.  I've attached an official Southern Region photo dated 23 March 1948 which shows one of the first totems at Surbiton.

As you'll see, this doesn't appear to have a lower flange, instead having screw holes along the white band under the name. 
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