Moquettes for vintage railway carriages - 1950s
In 1951 a number of new moquettes appeared, coincident with the Festival of Britain, where mock-ups of compartment designs for the new "Standard Steam Stock" (i.e. Mk.1s) were displayed. There were five designs of third-class moquette, and four (all basically blue) for first class.
"Boomerang" or "Aeroplane" - Third Class
Apparently the most popular of the Festival of Britain third-class moquettes, it is seen in three 1951 photographs: on pages 78 and 82 of Parkin, plate 152 of Haresnape's Vol.2 on railway design, and, in the first BR(S) EPB, at plate 5 of Marsden's second electric multiple-unit book. This moquette was still being used in 1956, as seen in plate 32 in Marsden, where it was used in the prototype CEP.
A production run of this striking moquette would seem appropriate for use in Bulleid and early Mk.1 stock on preserved lines at some time in the future. The photo on the right shows the reverse of a trimmed pad, where the colours are fresh, having been protected from the light over the years.
"Cartwheel" - First Class
A Festival of Britain moquette, the photo on the left shows a faded example, a cushion trimmed in the moquette. We have trimmed the first class in Maunsell BCK No.6686 in this moquette, and the photos on the right show this.
"Blue circles" - First Class
Probably another Festival of Britain moquette, the photo on the left shows a Bulleid seat cushion trimmed in a moquette with blue circles, or maybe it's a representation of pebbles with the occasional starfish. The photo on the right shows an unfaded area from the underside of the cushion. There is a photo showing a 1951-built FO with this moquette in Parkin's book on Page 82.
"Chestnut Leaf" - First Class
As an uncut moquette of the early 1950s, this was possibly another Festival of Britain design. It has been reproduced as a cut moquette, and used to trim Pullman Car Fingall and the Great Northern Railway Directors' Saloon. The photos show one of the loose chairs in the GN Saloon. The photo in Parkin, page 77, shows a very similar, but larger-patterned design.
Chain Link - Third Class
A typical 1950s moquette, extensively used throughout BR. On the Bluebell it was initially used in several vehicles because we had a stock of seating already carrying it, and subsequently a batch of the moquette was reproduced by Holdsworths (reference Chain Link WV-X). We have used this in some Bulleid vehicles, and in Maunsell 1309 as seen in the photo on the right.
Parkin (page 89) has a 1954 photo of an Eastern Region Mk.1 CL in this moquette.
"Sprig and Octopus" - Third Class
Another typical mid-50s moquette, uncut this time, and extensively used on BR(W) but also on the Southern Region, and possibly elsewhere.
It features in photographs in Parkin on page 90 (1955-built non-corridor Mk.1) and page 84 (1956-built TSO).
Turquoise with red diamonds - First Class?
This uncut moquette may be the first-class companion of "Sprig and Octopus".
Red crosses and waves - Unknown class and date
Cut moquette, a sample obtained from Eastleigh Works.
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Last update 26 December 2003 by Richard Salmon, with thanks to Trevor Rapley.
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