Posted by: aj427 | June 9, 2014

Introducing Bowling Street Goods – ‘G’ Shed

Late last summer work all but stopped on Great Hotton and has not really continued since. At the time we were seriously considering a house move: How long would it take? What space would I end up with for a layout? How much free time and cash would I have for modelling? These sorts of thoughts led me to consider a small shunting layout to tide me over rather than potentially wasting time on a layout that might not fit in a new location. Some ideas were sketched up but the house moving plans were shelved indefinitely. Then came the wet winter and the shed leaked (somewhere). The result was thick mould growths, rusty rails and banana shaped cassettes. Demoralising and not a healthy or inspiring environment to work in I’m sure you’ll agree. With the leak fixed (I think) it had taken three months to fully dry out the floor and get rid of the mould and the idea of the shunting layout had become so firmly stuck I decided to give it a go.

I intended to restrict myself to a single 4′ x 2′ board (plus fiddle yards) that would need to be completely portable and easy to carry. I wanted it to be in the West Riding/Bradford area in the 50’s/60’s for common use of stock and for somewhere to showcase the J50 models. Small goods stations were looked at but were generally too large so I considered the possibility of modelling a part of a much larger complex. The obvious place was the sprawling Adolphus Street Goods complex on the east of Bradford centre. These vast yards grew up as first the LB&HJR and then the GNR moved somewhat piecemeal into Bradford. Passenger stations, goods sheds and engine sheds were built and often re-tasked to other uses as bigger or better buildings were built closer to the city with the GNR eventually abandoning it’s Adolphus Street station and sharing the Exchange station with the L&YR from the 1870’s. The Adolphus Street train shed became a rather grand goods shed, known as ‘A’ shed, whilst the original LB&HJR grain shed became ‘E’ shed. The LB&HJR engine shed became a stable block and the original GNR engine shed became a carriage shed (later ‘D’ shed) when the adjacent Bradford Bowling MPD (aka Hammerton Street) was constructed. Purpose built goods sheds were the ‘B’ and ‘C’ wool warehouses and ‘F’ banana warehouse. This last seems to have been a later addition, partially built-on and accessed from the original LB&HJR 2-road coal drops on Dryden Street. The yard area behind the coal drops was framed to the east by the banana warehouse and the stables and to the west by the grain shed, behind it all was an embankment carrying the original LB&HJR main line (on a 1 in 40 incline) heading down to Adolphus Street train shed.

Since a coal drops was something I wished to incorporate and due to it’s partly contained nature this part of the facility was chosen. Whilst researching, some new images became available on the Britain from Above website showing the site (the bottom right corner EPW054318) and I was also delighted to find that quite a lot of the coal drops still exist in industrial use as well as a part of the banana warehouse wall and the steps up the side of the coal drops. A photographic and measurement survey was undertaken of the remains.

Dryden Street Survey (5 of 15)web

Wall to former banana warehouse ‘F’ shed showing hinge points

Dryden Street Survey (12 of 15)web

Steps up from the yard to rail level. The warehouse would be on the left, the drops on the right.

Dryden Street Survey (15 of 15)web

Our friend the Google camera car provides further insights not viewable by the general public:

Google Street View 1.

Google Street View 2.

This enabled a plan to be drawn up with some rationalisation, compression and artistic license. I envisaged that the buildings (which will be largely guess work since there are few close-up photographs) would be cut-down ‘bitsa’ versions helping to hide fiddle yard exits with the coal drops at the front and the LB&HJR incline at the rear to provide added interest. The ‘stables’ engine shed (here reduced to a single road) is still in use as a goods shed. These are the concept visuals, the grey area at the back will carry the former main line:

Bowling Street Goods 7Bowling Street Goods 3Bowling Street Goods 1

So, all systems go and I just needed a name. I didn’t want to call it Dryden Street as it’s not close enough to reality but I did want something that would be synonymous with the area and so I came up with Bowling Street Goods (there is in fact no such street). The suffix ‘G’ shed suggests that it’s an extension of reality.




  1. I’ve found you blog very interesting.

    My Mum (now 85) lived on Buck Street in the 1930’s (just out of shot on the photo of the goods yard that you have reproduced). She used to ‘kick a ball around on land where the railway no longer ran’. Over the years she’s often mentioned that Fyffes Bananas had a depot close by. Perhaps that is shed F. She’ll be very interested to see your finished model.

    Do you remember the name of the book from which you took your photo? I’m just curious in case there is more detail of Buck Street/St. James’s Market area, than is contained in your blog photo.

    Kind regards.

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