Merlin Loco Works

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Peter Butler
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Merlin Loco Works

Post by Peter Butler » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:43 am

Can anyone advise on the way Merlin locomotives were numbered? The Mayflower, recently purchased by Just Julie, is numbered 675, but surely that doesn't mean there are so many of one design built.... I visited the Merlin Loco Works at Llanfair Caereinion in possibly late 80's and I doubt there was enough space for a team of dwarfs working 8 days a week in shifts!..... Yes kids, I know Santa can do it!
Any suggestions please?
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Big Jim
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Re: Merlin Loco Works

Post by Big Jim » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:07 am

I am certain that someone more knowledge than me will turn up soon.
I have heard that the numbering was somewhat random and may not reflect what actually went out of the door. Both Merlins that I have owned had worksplates that were devoid of numbers.
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TonyW
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Re: Merlin Loco Works

Post by TonyW » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:39 pm

I've seen two Merlins with the same number. Does that help? ;-)

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Peter Butler
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Re: Merlin Loco Works

Post by Peter Butler » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:49 pm

TonyW wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:39 pm
I've seen two Merlins with the same number. Does that help? ;-)
Erm.... not really! Am I to understand it is absolutely meaningless?
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Re: Merlin Loco Works

Post by Big Jim » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:06 pm

It might be worth taking the approach that was used in the distant days when I was an archaeologist.
When confronted with a building with a date carved in stone above the door. The only assumption you can make is that some one, at some point carved 4 random numbers on a piece of stone and stuck it in place.
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IrishPeter
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Re: Merlin Loco Works

Post by IrishPeter » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:49 pm

Big Jim wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:06 pm
It might be worth taking the approach that was used in the distant days when I was an archaeologist.
When confronted with a building with a date carved in stone above the door. The only assumption you can make is that some one, at some point carved 4 random numbers on a piece of stone and stuck it in place.
Agreed! On that basis these two might amuse you.

1. I have an architectural historian who sees a date on a building and always says, 'Let's see if I can prove it...'
2. Of the three dates on "our" church's foundation stone one is wrong, one is wishful thinking, and the other is correct. The trouble is no-one can agree which one is which!

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Re: Merlin Loco Works

Post by Big Jim » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:24 pm

IrishPeter wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:49 pm
Big Jim wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:06 pm
It might be worth taking the approach that was used in the distant days when I was an archaeologist.
When confronted with a building with a date carved in stone above the door. The only assumption you can make is that some one, at some point carved 4 random numbers on a piece of stone and stuck it in place.
Agreed! On that basis these two might amuse you.

1. I have an architectural historian who sees a date on a building and always says, 'Let's see if I can prove it...'
2. Of the three dates on "our" church's foundation stone one is wrong, one is wishful thinking, and the other is correct. The trouble is no-one can agree which one is which!

Cheers,
Peter in Va
In this situation the only thing I can suggest is 'find' a 'document' that has a fourth date on it to really confuse everyone.
If at first you don't succeed, use a bigger hammer!

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Oily Rag
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Re: Merlin Loco Works

Post by Oily Rag » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:43 pm

I stand to be corrected, but did not Tom Cooper in the very early days use Christian Beck chassis badged as Merlins? I know I have repaired one some long time ago. He then used the design as the basis for later Merlins? The numbering could then have been somewhat random.
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Re: Merlin Loco Works

Post by MikeDoc » Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:43 pm

Probably not much help but the message below was made as a contribution to a similar discussion some years ago on the 16mm forum.
Regards, Mike Dockery.

"Owen,
I am afraid that, if you are referring to a number on a Merlin worksplate, it might not be an entirely reliable piece of data regarding production numbers. I have examples of Merlin Midas and Matador that have numbered Monarch plates (it seems that Monarch didn't sell as well as the other designs but a lot of plates had been etched) and there is at least one loco known to have had different numbers on each side. None of this really matters and perhaps it even adds to the charm of the Beck-based products from the pioneering days of the Tom Cooper era. They were certainly attractive looking locos as I am sure yours will also be when the restoration is complete.
Cheers, Mike Dockery."
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