Reginald frederick Stedman

 


The Trust was established in 1983 to keep the archives of the Leeds Model Company and R. F. Stedman & Company. Today the Trust provides a service of spares, repairs and technical advice to LMC enthusiasts and continues to promote interest in and appreciation of the products of The Leeds Model Company, founded by Rex Stedman in 1912, and which ceased to trade in 1967.

David K. Peacock, Co- proprietor, Trustee and Archivist
Marcus D. Peacock, Co-proprietor and Trustee


Latest News

London Midland and Scottish

Our layout had insufficient space to contain at one time all the possible combinations on hand of LMS locomotives and stock. Marcus and I did much fly shunting during a busy day to take the following video shots showing Leeds Models from the earliest days of clockwork and paper lithographs through to the final years of the Company. Marcus has a fine collection of LMS models in his own right, some were brought along including historic rakes of Bonds and Exley coaches.

Two LMC coach rakes are of particular interest, the first starting with the litho Midland coach and full brake, followed by the same lithos but overprinted LMS. The coach following these was the first ‘true’ LMS model the brake composite, which still retained end turn under, a feature carried on from the pre-grouping litho coaches. The final two coaches in the train are flat ended suburban stock introduced by Rex Stedman from 1928 when he was running the company under his own name.

The second rake, of the post 1945 ‘Rigid Litho’ coaches turned up as a batch of twelve, sadly most of them suffering from the effects of swelling and cracking of the cast zinc ends and bogies. Three were OK to run, and made up a short train with the one coach held in the Trust archive. All of the coaches were well made and the lithos had additionally been given a coat of varnish, indicating that they had most probably been put together in the Leeds works and either held there for sale or for delivery to one or more stockists.


The LMC and Skinley Drawings

Once again I am indebted to my good friend and fellow Leeds enthusiast Martin Dawes for bringing to my attention a number of the ‘new and wide’ series of drawings which were first listed by the Leeds Model Company in the 1935 catalogue and substantially added to thereafter. These drawings which were all the work of John Skinley, were acquired by Martin as a large ‘job lot’ which also included a few Greenly and LMC prints, suggesting that originally these may have come from the LMC itself. Bearing in mind their age most are in reasonably good condition and as time permits we will publish a supplementary list of the ones held by Martin, so that they may be made available to anyone interested.


One Hundred Years Ago….

I am indebted to Paul Gumbrell for the supply of two copies of the Railway Magazine, December 1922, and January 1923. These feature advertisments from the Leeds Model Company, the December issue of Great Northern Railway Pacific No 1470 ‘Great Northern’. The January advert shows the LSWR Urie 4-6-2T. The photographs replicate those which appear in the LMC 1922/3 catalogue, which is also promoted in the advertisements.

One example of the several surviving LMC GN/LNER Pacifics, (also ‘Great Northern’ see the History section) is held in the Trust Archive. This came from the Hordern collection in Australia, where currently the only known surviving example of the Urie tank resides.

We might suspect the hand of G.P.Keen in placing these adverts. In the same issues of the Railway Magazine are advertisments for Bassett-Lowke model railways, ships and stationary engines.


Is ‘half a loaf’ really ‘better than no bread’?

Not if the half is a tender without its locomotive! That is what we came up against in the recent meeting of the Bassett-Lowke Society. On display was the tender for K-Lines No 332, Mansted Foundry No 104, the one and only missing model of the K-Lines 2-6-0 locomotives made for G.P. Keen by Rex Stedman in the mid to late 1920s. No. 332, very much in the style of the other five sister locos in the series is depicted in the April 1927 issue of the Model Railway News. Where is the loco now? Its discovery would be a great step towards a ‘Great Gathering’ around the K-Lines turntable of the Keen collection of outstanding models.

K-Lines 2-6-0 locomotives

The shelves are filled!

With much help from my grandson Luca the shelving on the back wall of the train room is now filled out with all but a few items of the model collection. This picture shows the longer of the two shelves. I had calculated the length of run to display every item, but the spacing between the shelves would have been insufficient to safely handle taller items, coaches, vans and locomotives on and off the shelves. Some locomotives thus remain in the display cabinet in the house, but they will turn by turn be brought out for running sessions, which like those already featured will appear as videos on this website in due course of time.

Shelves full of trains

For a good while now I have been looking to find a home for the archive – a museum or similar where the models would be on display, available to be run, and that there would be access to the ephemera, drawings and the like. Sadly, I have had no success thus far, and so what I have now in the train room is the best that can be done for the time being. I hope you will enjoy the videos as they come out.


Running days at Great Shelford

The basic track layout in the new train room has essentially been completed. A plain board covers the gap where the Scherzer bridge, when restored, will allow access without the need, as now, to pass under the baseboards. Additional sidings with a section of three rail test track have yet to be connected. Apart from this there is no scenery, no underlay and hence no sound proofing. You may also hear the clack clack clack of the skates rising and falling over the studs, and this presents a problem. The distance between the studs is greater than on my previous layout; the shorter skates required there drop as they pass over the more widely spaced studs on the new layout.
For all of the above but with Marcus less than five minutes away, and well into making videos on his own layout, the pressure was on to do the same here. The arrival of a rake of GWR litho coaches simplified both the timing and the choice of company so that before they were sent off to their new home they could be used along with the archive models to make up a couple of long trains. The following shots show how they and others ran behind one or other of the seven GWR locos we have in the archive.


From 1922, and before Grouping liveries were established and became popular with railway modellers, the LMC was delivering models of the Robinson Great Central locos, 4-4-0 (typically ‘Charles Stuart Wortley’) and 4-6-0, (typically ‘Sir Sam Fay’) in full Great Central livery, and very handsome locomotives they were. Very few examples survive in good condition today, as compared to relatively many more in LNER colours. The Trust thus took the decision to restore and repaint two very tatty/damaged LNER models in the full GCR livery. The first of these, the 4-4-0 can be seen running on the following video. The 4-6-0 on which painting was only recently completed awaits re-assembly.
Despite his enthusiasm for GCR locos, Rex Stedman did not go further with the Great Central than to offer just one litho open wagon. For the running session Marcus supplied his one and only GCR coach, (not LMC), several of his locomotives, and much of the other non LMC stock you will see on the video, mainly LNER, although there is a short rake of his Hull and Barnsley coaches too.

An extensive LMC archive from the Dutch HRCA

I continue to be delighted at the work put in by Hans van Dissel of the Dutch HRCA to record on their website adverts, editorials and correspondence related to the Leeds Model Company. Starting from 1915, Hans listings are now into the 1950s, and a most interesting story they make.  All but a few of the items he displays are held in the Trust archives from the combined collections of Rex Stedman and later his son Adrian, but they are not as readily available to view.  To see the Dutch collection please go to

  With their kind permission this link will also be added to the archive section of our website.


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