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McKenzie and Holland (?) knee frame

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McKenzie and Holland (?) knee frame

Unread postby Pete2320 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:10 pm

I had cause to look at a 15 lever knee frame at Leeming Bar on the Wensleydale railway last week. Partly overgrown in brambles it was difficult to examine fully. Initially I thought it might be a Stevens frame but not quite right but then discovered it had Cam and Tappet interlocking so presumably McKenzie and Holland. Now I have seen a C&T ground frame before (on ebay!) but it wasn't like this. I also know McK&H made Stevens style frames with C&T locking but these were proper signalbox frames (13C I think) so I'm wondering if they also made a knee frame version?
Another clue to its' origin is that it has all the hallmarks of having been at the NRM, fully painted grey underneath/inside and with perspex covers on the locking tray and "front" of the frame, just like all the assembled ones at Foundry Lane. Anybody any thoughts on its' origin? It has no markings on it but that fits with pre 1900 McK&H.

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Re: McKenzie and Holland (?) knee frame

Unread postby Pete2320 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:53 am

I've added some photos of the frame to my Photobucket account

http://s257.photobucket.com/user/pete23 ... g.html?o=5
http://s257.photobucket.com/user/pete23 ... g.html?o=6
http://s257.photobucket.com/user/pete23 ... g.html?o=8
http://s257.photobucket.com/user/pete23 ... g.html?o=7
http://s257.photobucket.com/user/pete23 ... g.html?o=9

Note the position of the locking tray, just where the signalman would stand but presumably on a floor above it. This makes the frame very awkward for anybody much over four feet tall. If you stand behind the tray you can be poked by the tappets.

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Re: McKenzie and Holland (?) knee frame

Unread postby David Holden » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:13 am

Apart from the locking, there is a lot of Stevens in there.
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Re: McKenzie and Holland (?) knee frame

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:33 am

I agree it has a lot of features that look very "Stevens". The only thing that strikes me as unusual is the shape of the cast shoes which I cannot associate with anything.

It should not be forgotten that Stevens & Sons just slipped gently out of the business at an unusually early date and many other contractors would make something very similar to what a particular railway company had been using all along - the best example perhaps being Scotland where the Railway Signal Company were producing Stevens-type frames well into the BR era. In the case of the NER, the Northern Division had been pretty loyal to Stevens, switching to McKenzie & Holland upon their demise. And, as has been noted, McK&H certainly supplied some Stevens-style frames for use in gantry boxes where their own product wasn't suitable.

If this frame is on NER territory, looks like a Stevens Ground Frame ("Ground Frame" was the official term) and has McKenzie & Holland locking on it then I think that should be taken as being exactly what it is.

I have another NER "Ground Frame" puzzle to throw into the melting put soon but I won't distract things here with it.

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Re: McKenzie and Holland (?) knee frame

Unread postby Pete2320 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:05 pm

Although I have seen catch blocks with the pointed bits on a fullsize Stevens frame, also at the NRM, these they were the usual Stevens three sided type whereas the GF has four sided blocks. I think the "points" are to mount the number plates/leads on.
The layout of the frame (if the levers colours are anything to go by) also seems a bit odd though of course not impossible. I get the feeling that wherever it came from was a block post (FPL and distant signals). Had it been a normal Stevens type frame I would have said from the Southern but I don't think it is, I'm thinking of the booking office conversions. The other area I think possible is Highland Railway. Were there any such frames used at perhaps a "typical Highland" passing loop? To save you checking, it is not Dingwall North! I don't have any reason to believe it is from the NER area but can't rule that out.

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Re: McKenzie and Holland (?) knee frame

Unread postby John Hinson » Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:57 pm

There were certainly Stevens "ground frames" at boxes in Scotland but I can't think of any on the Highland itself. These were mostly Stevens Glasgow pattern frames at differen centres to the English version - usually 4 5/8" from memory.

John

Correction: The I think the English ones were 4 5/8" and the Scottish 4 3/4"

Another correction: Stevens "ground frames" should read Stevens "dwarf frames". Brain definitely not operating correctly today.
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Re: McKenzie and Holland (?) knee frame

Unread postby Fast Line Floyd » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:17 pm

It certainly doesn't look like any of the Southern ones that I have seen.
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