Leisure and Pleasure: enjoying the railways

Leisure and Pleasure: enjoying the railways

The railways have always been celebrated through toys, games, books, posters and art. Trainspotting has been a popular hobby for many years, with souvenirs and publicity materials aimed at enthusiasts. Model railways also have a long history and are still incredibly popular amongst both children and adults. Take a look at some of the more light-hearted objects in our collection…

Coronation Scot railway board game.

Coronation Scot Board Game

In this game, players had to race forwards through all the stations between Euston and Glasgow, just like the ‘Coronation Scot’ express passenger train service. The first person to reach Glasgow won!

Coronation Scot railway board game.

The ‘Coronation Scot’ service was introduced by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway in 1937 to mark the crowning (Coronation) of His Majesty King George VI and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

Jigsaw with a picture of the Royal Scot train.


Trains are popular subjects for jigsaws, and were good publicity for railway companies. This jigsaw has a picture of Princess Coronation Class locomotive no. 46243 City of Lancaster operating the ‘Royal Scot’ express passenger train.

Oil painting of the steam locomotive Princess Margaret Rose.

Railway Art

Locomotives have been a popular subject for artists for over 150 years. The Guild of Railway Artists was formed in the 1970s. They organise art exhibitions and carry out historical research. The West Shed collection includes artwork featuring our locomotives. This oil painting by James Clowes shows 46203 ‘Princess Margaret Rose’ carrying ‘The Red Rose’ headboard.

To view more paintings, take a look at our entry on the Art UK website. This only shows our oil paintings – we also have some watercolours and prints.

Railway poster featuring the viaduct at Monsal Head in Derbyshire.

Publicity Posters

Railway publicity posters were very popular in the 1930s. They became an art form in their own right. The images were designed to encourage people to travel by train to different destinations. Posters often advertised places to visit for a day out or holiday. This example features a picture of Monsal Head in Derbyshire.

Framed poster - LMS In Perspective - number 5 - the locomotive.

Other types of poster might explain how a locomotive works. This example has a photograph of a Princess Coronation Class locomotive alongside a cross section diagram showing the mechanical parts inside it. It was produced by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway.

Framed set of British Railway cigarette cards.

Cigarette Cards

Set of 48 cards produced by ‘Senior Service Cigarettes’ on the subject of British Railways. Each card shows a particular aspect of the railway and has a black and white photograph with a description on the back.

Cigarette cards were popular before the Second World War and were inserted into cigarette packets by the manufacturer. They were produced on a range of topics including transport, history, racehorses and sport. The idea was that people would collect the set. Children also collected the cards – they were often stuck in albums or swapped in games. Now that the health risks of smoking are understood, this link between cigarettes and children would not be encouraged!

Box of matches with a picture of a steam locomotive on it.


Box of matches with a picture of a ‘Duchess’ Class steam locomotive on the box. All sorts of items were decorated with pictures of locomotives.

Front cover of the Hornby Book of Trains 1939-40 showing a steam locomotive.

Hornby Book of Trains 1939-40

Hornby is a popular model railway manufacturer with a long history. Their first ’00’ gauge train was sold in 1938 – this is still the most popular scale (size) used for model railways. Hornby advertised their models in booklets like this example. The cover features a painting by Bryan de Grineau of the LMS locomotive no. 6231 ‘Duchess of Atholl’. As well as advertising Hornby products, there are articles inside including :
• Standard Locomotives of the LMS.
• British Express Trains and their Names.
• Some Features of British Main Line Railways.

A model railway layout in the West Shed.

Model Railways

We have lots of different sized model locomotives at the West Shed. Here is our model railway, which volunteers have built. You can usually see it in action during school holidays.

A wooden model of the steam locomotive Princess Alice.

This model of Princess Coronation class locomotive no. 6223 ‘Princess Alice’ is made mostly of wood. It was made by hand by one of our volunteers, Eddie Dolby – what a talented man! The size is 3-inch gauge.

Booklet - LMS Route Book number 1.

Route Booklets

These booklets were introduced by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway in the 1930s. They show the increased competition between railway companies – popular train services were given names, and journey times got faster.

Booklet - The Track of the Coronation Scot.

The booklets were intended to have overall appeal, although the amount of detail probably meant they were mainly bought for older children and adults.

Pottery plate featuring a painting of the steam locomotive Duchess of Hamilton.


Many people like to collect sets of items. This plate is one of a set of eight produced by the Davenport Pottery Company in 1988. The theme is ‘Great Steam Trains’ and each plate features artwork by Paul Gribble. This plate has a painting of 46229 ‘Duchess of Hamilton’ pulling the ‘Royal Scot’ train. The set includes ‘The Flying Scotsman’, ‘Golden Arrow’, ‘The Cornish Riviera’, ‘The Queen of Scots’, ‘The Southern Belle’, ‘The Ocean Mail’, and ‘The Waverley’.

Cover of a vinyl record featuring sound recordings of Stanier Pacific steam locomotives.

Record (vinyl)

Railway enthusiasts have often recorded and listened to the sounds of steam locomotives in action. This record is called ‘Stanier Pacifics: The Princess Royal and Princess Coronation Class Pacifics of the London Midland Region’. It was produced in 1965 by the Argo Record Company. The sound recordings are listed as:
A. On Board The Aberdeen Flyer, headed by 46201, leaving Perth and climbing towards Beattock.
B. Lineside recordings of Princess Coronation Pacifics at Tebay, Beattock and Shap Summit.

Metal toffee tin featuring a painting of the steam locomotive 46220 Coronation.

Toffee Tin

This tin was made by ‘Fillerys Toffees’, who had a factory in Birmingham from 1923. The lid has a picture of locomotive no. 46220 ‘Coronation’ carrying the ‘Royal Scot’ headboard. Fillerys Toffees were a popular company for many years. Their tins were decorated with a range of different pictures.

Pack of playing cards with London Midland and Scottish Railway adverts on.

Playing cards

Pack of playing cards with LMS (London, Midland & Scottish Railway) branding for advertising. The slogan on the side of the packet reads “LMS – for speed and comfort”.

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