For enthusiasts, researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

The Great Eastern Railway Society’s Dupen Collection - Introduction

This is a complete listing of the Society’s Dupen Collection which comprises about 9,500 photo tracings produced at Stratford Works between the late 1870’s and the early 1960’s. The drawings were donated to the Society by our late member Peter Dupen in 1983.

They were produced in the Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Department’s drawing office at Stratford, located within the main works which closed at the end of 1963. The drawing office was probably established with the transfer of the Eastern Counties Railway’s works from Romford in 1847/48. At closure a significant quantity of drawings existed relating not only to locomotives, carriages and wagons but also to road vehicles, war time work, track plans and some machinery.

The photo tracings, mostly drawn in ink on tracing cloth, from which prints were obtained, were dispatched to the Doncaster drawing office together with the card index and other documents relating to rolling stock. Due to lack of space the photo tracings and index were transferred to Darlington North Road works. The other drawings at Stratford, including office copies for reference, shop copies for use in the workshops and bench hole copies, effectively part of a technical library, were regarded as of historical value and transferred to the Museum of Transport at Clapham as part of the national collection. These are now at the National Railway Museum, York but their history is not part of this story.

At the end of 1966 Darlington North Road Works closed and the output from this works as well as the Stratford material was moved to Doncaster. Early in 1968 Peter Dupen, who was a skilled model engineer, wished to build a 7½” scale model of the GER class Y14 and through his friendship with George Dow discovered that the Stratford drawings were still at Doncaster. Although given access to search for suitable drawings such was the mass of unsorted material that only 20 detailed drawings were located.

A week later Peter was advised by George Dow that the offices were to be closed and their contents destroyed. It was suggested that he put in a reasonable bid for the Stratford drawings and Peter’s offer of £50 was accepted and a hired van filled with all that he could locate.

Peter subsequently sorted out sufficient Y14 drawings to enable him to build a superb model, illustrated in the Society’s GE News No 111. As the remainder of the drawings were of no practical use to him he donated them to the Society followed in 1996 by the Y14 drawings.

Our archivist, Lyn Brooks initially organised their listing following their deposit at the North Woolwich Old Station Museum, then thought to number about 2,000, a serious under estimate. At a time when home computers were still several years away it was decided to describe each drawing on a pre-printed colour coded card, pink for locomotive subjects, green for carriage stock, blue for wagons and white for all other miscellaneous subjects including road vehicles.

The task of entering details of each drawing onto the cards was mainly undertaken by Lyn Brooks, John Gardner and John Watling and was completed in 1997. By then the agreement to transfer the Society’s Collection on loan to the Essex Record Office was in place, thus assuring a permanent home for the drawings where they could be referred to. The age of the home computer had dawned and with it the practicability of creating a date base from the information entered onto the cards.

A successful appeal in the spring 2003 GE News for volunteers to help create this data base resulted in all 9,500 entries being transcribed by March 2005, a magnificent achievement. It was decided to retain the four separate listings of locomotives, carriages, wagons and the miscellaneous subjects. The drawings themselves are currently stored in metal plan tubes and as they are not sorted into in numerical order the data base records the tube number for each item.

The protocol for listing, appended below, is the same as that used by John Watling for listing the Stratford Works drawings at the National Railway Museum, thus the two data bases are compatible. The information for each drawing has come primarily from the drawing itself but some dates have been obtained from the card index system, known as the Shannon, much of which survived to be transferred to the NRM.

The ability to produce this data base is largely thanks to my willing volunteers who entered the information from the cards. They are, in alphabetical order, Bernard Anderson, Christopher Cave, Anthony Hubbard, Bill King, Brian McCarthy, Graham Rowland, John Shelley and Frank Tanner. Thanks to their efforts access to this irreplaceable collection is possible.

The Dupen drawings, as with most of the Collection, is kept at the Essex Record Office. However, thanks to the M&GNJRS, most of the locomotive-related drawings have been scanned. Copies may be requested from the Webmaster for a fee of £5 per drawing or 50p for a thumbnail - so you can check the drawing will be of use to you.

Explanation of Headings

Dg No – Drawing Number, entered as the first line. All affix or suffix numbers and letters are on the second line as a suffix, e.g.

-1, etc. - for drawing sub numbers

A, etc, - for suffix letters

Part - for a part drawing

Att - for ‘attachment’ drawing or ‘attached to’

Ren - for a renewal drawing, to replace a worn or missing drawing

Some drawings have identical numbers and these have been distinguished by the addition of  an affix (1), (2), etc.  This addition have been made here for clarity only and do not appear on the drawings themselves.

Where two or more drawings are contained in a single box this shows they are drawn on a single sheet.

An asterisk * in this column means that the drawing has not been scanned.

Title – entered as shown, save that certain abbreviations like Engs for Engines are not always faithfully recorded. If a title is lacking ‘Untitled’ is entered.

Description – commences with the scale or scales or ‘various scales’ if there are more than 3 scales, including full size. Some drawings are unscaled or diagrammatic. This is followed by a brief description of drawing content.

Any alterations or comments are preceded by ‘Endorsed’ on a new line and drawings produced by another railway or contractor is noted. All explanatory notes are preceded by ‘My comment’ to indicate that this is information not shown on the drawing.

Date - as recorded, if lacking the column is blank.

Year – is repeated from the previous column.

Order No – The Order Number relates principally to the GER order, the LM (Locomotive Machinery) or D&P (Departmental and Personal) numbers only.

Class/Diagram – The Class refers only to the LNER engine classification. Diagram refers to the GER system for carriages (suffix C), miscellaneous stock (suffix M) and wagons (suffix W). Note that these suffixes are a device used only in these lists to distinguish the three groups of stock.

No attempt has been made to relate crane and road vehicle drawings to their diagrams.

Dg Type – Drawing Type-the Appendix lists the codes used to describe the medium used for each drawing.

Roll No – prefixed by D, is used to distinguish the listing from NRM material, separately listed. The number refers to the tube in which the drawing is located at the Essex Record Office.

Cd - stands for condition, but for this collection is not used


Drawing Type - List of Code Letters

PT     photo tracing; ink on tracing cloth

PT-C  photo tracing, ink on tracing cloth, coloured

TI     tracing paper and ink

TI-C  tracing paper and ink, coloured

TP    tracing paper and pencil

Listings to download:

pdf Dupen locomotives (5.81 MB)

spreadsheet Dupen carriages (383 KB)

document Dupen wagons (211 KB)

spreadsheet Dupen misc (203 KB)