A few weeks ago Dave wrote a brilliant post on Authenticity within in the railway heritage world (which can be found here) which inspired me on 2 projects featuring Canadian Pacific (bet you’re all surprised about that!) The first of these projects being to track down Canadian Pacific’s original nameplates. As many people know; the nameplates that most steam locomotives wear today aren’t the originals they had in BR service and are in fact replicas. During the last days of steam most nameplates were removed by yard foremen so that they weren’t stolen by rail enthusiasts, which is why in photos you see locomotives in the last days of steam running without plates. Tracking down the original nameplates and finding out what happened to them isn’t as easy as it sounds, as unlike most locos the locomotives of the Merchant Navy class had originally three nameplates, two of which were worn by the locomotive and the third which was given to the head (or representative) of the Merchant Navy company that the locomotive took its name from during its name dedication ceremony.
I posted a request for help in tracking down these plates on my volunteer diary thread on the National Preservation forum and luckily for me a railway enthusiast in Canada knew that two of them where in his neck of the woods. The first of Canadian Pacific’s nameplates ended up at Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum which alongside a nameplate belonging to 35004 Cunard White Star arrived via a private donation to the museum. (The relevance of 35004 was that Samuel Cunard was a Canadian from Halifax, Nova Scotia.) The second nameplate is currently at the Science and Tech museum in Ottawa and their CP nameplate is still in their collection, at present in the conservation lab. Without Owd Sweedys help I would of struggled to find these nameplates, as they aren’t advertised on either museums’ websites and neither are on display. Owd even managed to get a photo of both 04 and 05’s nameplates from a friend who worked in the museum.
We have successfully tracked down two of the plates but the destiny of the third remains a mystery. If you have any information that might be lead to the location of the third nameplate I’d love to hear from you.
On that note a final thank you to Owd Sweedy for his help and thank you for reading