Antics Special Edition ANT047 Dapol 00 Gauge 5 Plank Open Wagon Lettered Wood & Rowe, Stroud
The Stroud based firm of Wood & Rowe, formed by the partnership of Mr Miles Frederick Wood and Mr Charles Mortimer Rowe, were engaged in a range of business, being listed in trade directories as coal, salt and builders merchants. Drain covers around Stroud can still be found bearing the Wood & Rowe name, so the company evidently had some iron manufacturing capability. The partnership was mutally dissolved in 1922, notice given in the London Gazette lists the business as Coal and Builders Merchants at Cheapside, Stroud, Nailsworth, Ryeford and Stonehouse. The business was to continue under Mr Wood using the same company name.
The company certainly had a significant requirement for railway wagons, 8-ton 5 plank opens 23 to 31 being ordered as a batch from the Gloucester Carriage & Wagon company in 1905, following on from several orders for 10-ton 7 plank wagons. The 5 plank wagons may have been ordered for their usefulness in both the coal and building supply trades, lower sided wagons often being preferred for aggregates to prevent gross overloading, thus keeping the wagons busy all year round.
Many years later number 25 of this batch was photographed at Frocester station on the Midland Gloucester to Bristol route delivering a load of coal. It would seem likely therefore that Wood & Rowe supplied coal for local merchants or contracts to stations as required in addition to their own trade.
Many Wood & Rowe wagons have empty to instructions for return to collieries in the Tamworth area, initially Hockley Hill, one of the later Kingsbury group of collieries. This colliery appears to have been running down before the first war and had been completely removed by 1923. Immediately south of Hockley Hill was Whateley Colliery, the location being known in railway terms as Whateley Sidings. Tamworth, Mid. Rly. was added as the Midlands' Birmingham to Derby route crosses the LNWR (now West Coast Mainline) at Tamworth. These collieries, along wth Wood & Rowes' depots around Stroud, were all served by the Midland company.
Original photograph can be found in the GRC&W archives at D4791/16/34 located at the Gloucestershire county archive.