London and South Western Railway Luggage Labels

O d d m e n t s

by Mike Morant
All railways that issued copious volumes of luggage labels endeavoured to introduce some measure of standardisation but there are always the inevitable oddities that fall outside that ideal and the LSWR was no exception.

The labels on this page are reproduced just to show that not all was as mundane as it might seem. Nearly all these oddments have an alphabetic suffix after the ‘787’ code. One point to note is that all of these examples are larger, condiderably so in some cases, than the general rule.


The essential blank labels

This is the catch-all label that was designed to cope with the situation whereby no pre-printed label was available. The design achieved longevity as it was adopted by the Southern Railway after the grouping in 1923.

Note that the printing of this label was outsourced to W & S Ltd. (Waterlow & Sons).


Routing labels

Luggage_label_L9x_routing_IoW This is the most common of the routing labels but several other examples are illustrated below at a reduced size. Each label has a different colour although that isn’t immediately obvious and all have an alphabetic suffix immediately after the ‘787’ stock number.

Others noted are to the GWR (white paper), Mid. Rly. Tilbury Section (green paper) and GCR (orange paper).

Luggage_label_L9x_routing_Metropolitan Luggage_label_L9x_routing_Midland Luggage_label_L9x_routing_MSWJR Luggage_label_L9x_routing_NLR

Offshore destinations

These are the only two labels of this type. The Guernsey example was originally yellow but has discoloured with age. Note the W & S Ltd. printer's mark on the Jersey Example. Luggage_label_L95-2_GUERNSEY Luggage_label_L95-3_JERSEY
Luggage_label_L95-4_HAVRE This and its pink companion to Jersey are something of an oddity as the style implies a very early type of label but it's unlikely that they are that old. They are also quite large compared with the labels described in Coloured Labels of Type 2. Note, also, that the familiar ‘787’ stock No. is absent.

Excursion labels

The second of this pair of excursion labels to Southampton is included in order to show that standardisation wasn't quite perfect. Spot the difference:
Luggage_label_L94_787 Luggage_label_L94_787K
This very plain label is the only known example of an LSWR label that has the printer's mark on it. W & S are the initials of Waterlow & Sons who printed vast quantities of luggage labels for many pre-grouping railways. Luggage_label_L9X_EXCURSION_WATERLOO
Luggage_label_L9X_EXCURSION It's believed that this label was intended to be used as a general purpose excursion label as the black outlined box is conveniently the size of 'standard' LSWR labels.

All photographs are copyright

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This page was last updated 7 July 2007

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