Carter Paterson

Last Sunday I picked up  from Wessex Wagons stand at the Uckfield Show some OO wagons and an O gauge coal wagon.

The OO wagons included a Carter Paterson container on an SR flat.

It is quite amazing how few models of CP’s fleet you see on model railways set up to the 40’s & 50’s. Their lorries were seen on every street delivering & collecting goods & parcels- I believe they were THE parcel carrier in those days & had been owned by the “big four” railway companies from 1933, although the company dated back to 1860. For most of their existence they acted as parcel agents for  railway companies.

After the railways and road transport nationalisation in 1948, they were progressively absorbed into British Road Services.

They were also associated closely with a breed of dog- the Jack Russell terrier. To cut down on pilfering from the rear of their delivery/collection lorries they had a large number of these canine “employees”. The dogs spent their working lives bedded down with the parcels in the rear area of the covered lorry. Wobetide any light fingered opportunist who placed his hand inside this area. The breed are very territorial & have extremely sharp teeth. The company gave proper provision for their welfare & feeding & were probably lodged with the drivers family when not working!

I have personal knowledge of the breed- they are the most loyal & active dogs imaginable and in the past were used to flush out or kill fox cubs in their lair  or hunt rats. They do however make wonderful house dogs and are great characters full of spirit!

Would make a wonderful High Street scene on a layout, with the open back lorry- often just a canvas curtain and a little terrier looking out.