F. Moore (Edwin Thomas Rudd of King's Lynn?)
V.R. Webster's 'F. Moore': the story of a notable railway artist appeared in Railway World, 1984, 45, 582-91. The following is an edited version of this text (no attempt is made to reproducee the many illustrations) where some effort has been made to ensure that Webster's observations are clearly attributed. For once it is hoped that KPJ keeps out of the way, except to note that he has always been fascinated by colour plates and always looked forward eagerly to their appearance in the Railway Magazine. Contains new information about "Tom Rudd" alias F. Moore.
Thomas Rudd painted pictures of locomotives and trains for over 40 years leaving an incomparable record of the appearance of all forms of the railway scene in the days of the pregrouping companies. Most of Rudd's work was done for The Locomotive Publishing Company, his pictures usually being signed 'F. Moore' or 'F.M.'. Rudd painted the original oil pictures from which colour plates were produced for The Locomotive Magazine from 1897 until 1933. His work is probably best-known in the series of coloured postcards which appeared between 1903 and 1927 with many later reprints. His paintings also formed the background for many coloured plates in the Railway Magazine and numerous books such as The Wonder Book of Railways, J. R. Howden's Locomotives of the World, etc. as well as for cigarette cards. Some pictures of ships were included.
It all started in the 1890s when the brothers A.R. Bell and A. Morton Bell, together with A.C.W. Lowe, established a business selling photographs of railway subjects. The Bell brothers were apprentices with the Great Eastern Railway at Stratford, where the last-mentioned was a pupil. They traded under the name 'F. Moore's Railway Photographs' to conceal their connections with the GER.
In spite of enquiries, Webster never traced the origin of the trading name adopted: C.R H. Simpson, the last editor of The Locomotive Magazine, averred that no F. Moore was ever connected with the business. The sale of photographs gave rise to so many requests for information as to justify the appearance of Moore's Monthly Magazine, its title a mastery of alliteration but conveying the impression of a street-corner almanac rather than giving any indication of its real contents. Walter Bell, the third brother, was the consulting editor and it is hardly surprising that with the 13th issue in January 1897, the title was changed to The Locomotive Magazine. Its full title eventually had the words ... and Railway Carriage and Wagon Review added to it. In 1899, The Locomotive Publishing Company was formed with offices at 9 South Place, Finsbury, removing by the end of that year to 102 Charing Cross Road and, in 1903, to premises at 3 Amen Corner, in the shadow of St Pauls Cathedral, where the first meeting of directors was held on 15 September. Here the LPC stayed until the office building was bombed in the great fire raids on the City of London in 1940.
Of the original founders it is likely that A.C.W. Lowe was the most influential being a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, with his home at Gosfield Hall, Halstead, Essex. It is not now possible to say whether he provided significant financial backing, although this has been suggested. He wrote extensively for the magazine, always anonymously, and possibly contributed the magnificent series of articles on Great Eastern locomotive history which ran from 1901-13. Moreover, he checked the proofs of every issue of The Locomotive until his death on 3 February 1942 in his 76th year.
At the end of the nineteenth century, Rudd probably lived in north London near the Great Northern Railway main line and Simpson recounted that Walter Bell chanced to meet him when both were indulging their enthusiasm in matters GN. In course of conversation it transpired that Rudd '... was addicted to painting locomotives and trains. . .' (This was in a letter from Simpson to Norman Kerr, from whom Webster gained the information). The upshot was that Rudd was engaged to do paintings for 'F. Moore' and in the magazine's first year of production it advertised the sale of oil paintings as well as photographs. Rudd's first colour-plate reproduction for The Locomotive Magazine was a picture of Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway 4-4-0 No 694, which was printed by Alf Cooke of Leeds as an 8½in x 15in folding plate in The Locomotive Magazine of July 1897.
It is remarkable that whilst Rudd painted pictures for LPC until 1933, his true name was never revealed. No doubt this was an agreement with the firm, but as far as can be ascertained there never seems to have been any acknowledgement of the artist. Webster failed to trace an obituary, nor did he discover the date of his death. Simpson indicated that, after 1934, Rudd's artistic abilities diminished somewhat, but he continued to do less onerous work for LPC throughout World War 2. To Webster's knowledge he never put his own name to a picture, always using the marque 'F. Moore' or 'F.M'. His output was prodigious, and often he turned out two pictures a week. He also undertook private commissions, many of which were not signed in any way.
From his earliest days with the Bell brothers, Rudd painted pictures to order and, in the first year of Moore's Monthly Magazine, there appeared the announcement that 'F. Moore has had the honour of supplying his paintings to the Chief Mechanical Engineers of the leading British Railways and. .. gentlemen connected with many of the large foreign companies'. The LPC catalogue for 1901 offers photographs and paintings of Locomotives and Trains. The oil paintings were described as ' . . . Of the latest Express Locomotives, size 15in x 12in, Price 30/- each . Framed in Handsome Frames, Price £2.2s each. A Large Assortment to select from.' It will thus be seen that it is an impossible task to produce anything like a definitive catalogue of Rudd's work.
Inevitably, the question arises as to whether Tom Rudd was the only artist to paint 'F. Moore' pictures. From time to time claims have been made that there were others although no name is mentioned and so far it has not been possible to trace another painter. C. Hamilton Ellis in Railway Art (1977) wrote that F. Moore'. . . was a trade name under which several painters worked to an unchanging and meticulous style.' Webster also "understood" that K.A.C.R. Nunn, who was related by marriage to the Bell family, once stated that more than one artist was employed. This, however, refers to statements made many years ago and certainly in the 1940s there were other artists in the field. J.D. Goffey also studied the subject in detail, told Webster that in later years other artists did some work for LPC using the 'F. Moore' signature. Likewise, Murray Secretan did some superb work for LPC but in this case under his own name.
Against all this, however, is the evidence of Simpson, who, in communication with Norman Kerr, asserted that Rudd was the only artist. In Webster's opinion, most work turned out between the appearance of the Locomotive Magazine series of cards in 1904 and the last Locomotive Magazine colour plates of 1933 was from original oil paintings by Tom Rudd. Possible exceptions will be mentioned later. Rudd's unmistakable style is seen in the treatment of foreground and background, the fleecy clouds (though occasionally this was not a feature), and the representation of smoke. There is also a perceptible light line between sky and solid masses, only seen on close inspection of originals and indiscernible on reproductions.
K. Groves, Secretary of Ian Allan Ltd, permitted Webster to peruse the Minute Book of the Locomotive Publishing Company, which Company, was still in existence. Unfortunately, there is scant reference to people in the records; no artist's name is mentioned, for instance, as such. All one can discover about Rudd is that in 1907 he became the holder of a modest 10 shares in he Company, which he retained until at least August 1923.
As a person, Rudd remains something of an enigma. Webster remembered him at the end of the 1920s as middle-aged, rather small in stature and wearing glasses. He occasionally worked in a corner of the general office where his easel could be arranged to get a north light. He was not always to be seen and apparently had a 'studio' elsewhere in the building along a corridor and up two flights of stairs. He was a bachelor and it has even been implied that at one time he actually lived on the spot (although this is dispunted by another and reliable source of information) and that he was a sort of recluse speaking to few people. S. Micklewright, who worked for the LPC from 1919-26, knew Tom Rudd well. He assessed him as a kind and good-natured man, but a speech impediment might have caused him to be somewhat solitary. For some time he worked at his home on the north side of Clapham Common in South London, before coming to work at Amen Corner. He and Micklewright spent many Saturday afternoons on Platform A at Paddington station in the years when The Great Bear was a common sight. (This location was the excursion platform beyond the end of No 1 platform, later part of the parcels depot.).
Further information from 1911 Census
Peter Mayer has e-mailed KPJ with interesting information from the
1911 census about a Rudd living at 6 Mossbury Road, Battersea SW:
(1) Edwin Rudd "Locomotive Picture Painter", aged 50 and born in King's Lynn.
(2) His sister Mary Rudd, 47, born Islington.
Both were single.
An Edwin Thomas Rudd was born in 1861. The transcript says Kings N, but this appears to be an error for Kings Lynn. His father Edwin Thomas Rudd (1839-1916) was also an artist and photographer according to the 1881 census and young Edwin was listed as an artist's assistant.
The last picture Webster saw Rudd engaged upon was a fine view of LNER Pacific No 4476 Royal Lancer, seen standing outside King's Cross locomotive shed. It was used as the cover illustration for Locomotives of the LNER Past and Present, published by LPC for the Railway in 1929 and sold at 1/- . Rudd was applying his oil paint to a large lightly-printed photograph. This was his standard method of working and it had the merit of producing a completely accurate picture with correct perspective throughout. It has been suggested that Rudd was a colourist rather than an artist, but it required the skill of an artist to interpret the colours correctly from the lights and shadows of a half-tone print. Only in this way could a true record of the scene be made: this being Rudd's objective. There are many railway artists who use direct brushwork on to canvas and, while some very fine artistic impressions are made, many of the results could not be defined as accurate historical records. Rudd's work was nearly all executed prior to the general availability of colour photography.
Normally Rudd painted on a card base about 10in x 15in, but Webster knew two originals as large as 24in x 36in and of quite a number that are of near postcard size. The smallest know n to Webster was only 2½in x 3¾in, or about the size of a No 2 Box Brownie print. Such small pictures required the brushwork demanded by a miniature. Kerr told Webster of an original of postcard size showing the tourist office of the Irish Railways at the 1924 Wembley Exhibition in which an accurately coloured and lined-out locomotive measured only 1¾in. The National Railway Museum at York has two originals, both mounted on board, showing London Brighton & South Coast Railway 4-4-0 No 213 Bessemer (8½in x 15in) and North Eastern Railway 4-4-0 No 115 (8in x 11in) on which the full names of the railways in minute lettering around the number-plates are clearly readable in each case; Rudd clearly had some of the skills of a miniature painter. Webster considered that for such small work a transparent colour wash was put over the number-plate so that the numerals and letters appeared in the desired colour leaving the background to be painted.
Webster located 112 original oil paintings mainly in private possession. Fourteen are in the Science Museum collection, of which almost all are on display, while the National Railway Museum at York has 26 specimens. Webster had examined several Museum originals as well as some in private collections. Two in the Science Museum and seven at York are mounted on board but the great majority have a card support on which a photograph is mounted. Seven of the York paintings and one privately owned have been seen to have the signature 'F. Moore' in inverted commas, which is a fairly clear way of indicating a fictitious character.
The last-mentioned are all mounted on wood and show techniques rather different from usual. The sky has a distinct glow and the treatment of the foreground is alien to that of other pictures. The signature is also different from the monogram usually employed. It could, perhaps, be argued that they might be by a different hand. The subjects are all solo locomotives built between 1885 and 1894 and represent the latest machines of each railway; there is little doubt that they are early pictures done before the end of last century. They may, therefore, represent an earlier style from which Rudd's work developed in later years.
The colouring of the originals was extremely accurate. Rudd appears to have made up for himself a standard range of colours which may have been prepared from sample panels supplied by the railway companies. Unfortunately, the standards of reproduction of the age often left a lot to be desired and the plates and postcards frequently lost much of the true and delightful colouring of the originals. However, the five cards produced by the NRM in the 1980s and printed in England by 'SP&S Ltd' were masterpieces of faithful colour reproduction.
Predictably, the printed reproductions were of varying standards and the high-quality colour reproduction methods of today were then not available. In particular, it was very difficult to maintain correctly the many shades of green used by the various railways. Indisputably the best and most accurate of the postcard series were the original productions of LPC, which were on stout card and had rich, clear colours. The London Tilbury and Southend Railway green seems to have given some of the best card reproductions in that colour. The engine Stepney Green and the delightful picture of No 80 Thundersley on a long train of LTS carriages match extremely well to the colour of the NRM's recent large postcard showing the same engine carrying what must have been the most lavish decorations ever seen on a locomotive. The swags of bunting, baskets of flowers and coats of arms marked the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911 and included busts of Their Majesties on either side of the front of the running plate and even a fountain playing in front of the smokebox. Certainly the engine travelled with all this paraphernalia; Webster had a photograph of it running into Upminster on 22 June 1911. All this ornate colouring was faithfully painted by Rudd and is superbly reproduced on the NRM card. The original is in the Science Museum collection and measures 23in x 35in.
Notably accurate were the blues of the Caledonian and Great Eastern engines. In fact, four of the most attractive cards in Webster's possession showed a double-headed London express leaving Glasgow hauled by a rebuilt Connor 2-4-0 piloting a Dunalastair 4-4-0, a Glasgow to Perth train leaving Stirling behind 4-6-0 No 904, the 2pm from Glasgow near Beattock hauled by the famous 903 Cardean and a small 'Oban' 4-6-0 of the' 51' class in classic scenery on the 12.30 from Oban. The Stirling view is an 'Alpha' reprint and the colours are a trifle dull, but it is nevertheless a highly interesting view which includes a North British 4-4-0 shunting carriages. In this printing the title is in black on the surface. It is styled 'Corridor Express' which it plain]y is not, but on the various editions of the cards there were several curious mistakes of this kind. Webster assumed that in spite of its technical expertise the 'company' did not always have a very discerning eye. (Several LPC cards were reprinted by the Aphalsa company between 1914 and 1918, but there were no new titles, unlike those by Tuck's and Valentine's mentioned later).
Webster attempted to catalogue Rudd's work and succeeded in isolating more than 600 separate subjects, although it remains impossible to produce a definitive list in view of the large number of private commissions undertaken. In making this assessment of Rudd's output and an analysis of his work it is essential to record that an original and a reproduction of the same were treated as one subject. The obvious starting-point for any attempted catalogue is the series of postcards produced by LPC from 1904. These were preceded, possibly by a year, by three composite cards showing three small views each of Great Northern, London & North Western and North Eastern subjects. J.D. Goffey drew up a comprehensive list of all these postcards and listed them numerically in Railway Pictorial No I in 1946/47. This list is such a valuable guide, not only to the postcards, but to Rudd's work, that several dealers have identified the subjects by their 'G' numbers.
Goffey listed 328 specimens. A few of these did not, Webster believed, involve Rudd in any work of artistic merit. Accordingly, he discounted the 25 cards of the 'Knight Series' of 1904 as these appear to be tinted monochromes, which, while pleasant, afford no true record of colours. Likewise, eight cards printed in Germany in 1907 are, Webster believed, colour printed photographs rather than reproductions of original oil paintings, though some bear the 'F. Moore' signature. Card No 308 in Goffey's list also appears to be a bit of a maverick, showing Caledonian Railway 4-4-0 No 142 and purporting to be a reprint of a Railway Magazine production. (This magazine produced one set of six locomotive postcards.) The list sets out the cards in chronological order but, as Goffey pointed out, appeared in sets, half a dozen or more at the same time.
The Locomotive Magazine series of 18 cards appeared in 1904. The colouring was delicate; in most the photographic background could be discerned. The weakest one was No 5 (G33) showing GN Stirling Single No 221 at the main departure platform at King's Cross. It was transformed into a night view, the carriages were modified and ill-defined, people were expunged and the platform assumed a pronounced curve. The original photograph was taken by G.W. Tripp.
Between 1904-07, cards appeared with gilt titles on the face. Between 1907-14 174 cards were issued with titles on the back. A further 24 appeared during World War I, some of which were made topical. Thus appeared eight ambulance trains and a multi-view card showing trains of the Allies; Britain, France, Belgium and Russia. Another showed a London & North Western Railway 'Claughton' engine flanked by Napier lorries. (There was a Locomotive Magazine plate in December 1916 with a GNR engine similarly accompanied, all no doubt symbolical of a joint War transport effort). Other subjects included a Hawthorn Leslie combined locomotive and crane and six Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway cards.
In 1922/23, 17 cards came out which at the time of the Grouping and portrayed the new Pacific engines in GNR and NER colours, plus five dreadful reproductions of early Grouping trains with yellow skies and mustard-coloured fields, a distant range of hills at Acton and a sylvan setting where Kensal Rise gasworks should have been! Webster did not consider these five as Rudd's work. Six Railway Centenary cards were produced in 1925, of variable quality, and a final 14 were issued in 1926/27. These last included seven views on the just-opened Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway and five post-Grouping engines in the best Rudd tradition of solo locomotives with a 'cropped-grass' foreground and a meadow background.
Rudd painted 13 official pictures for the Piccadilly tube line from which a set of cards was made, and also 12 official cards for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.
Goffey omitted three cards from the series which showed a petrol shunting engine, the Irish railways' stand at the Wembley Exhibition in 1924 and a Midland Manchester express. Thus 291 of the Locomotive Publishing Company's cards were probably from original paintings by Thomas Rudd. To this total must be added at least 23 of the 24 titles from Tuck's 'Oilette' series, Nos 6493, 9040, 9150 and 9329. Then there were 18 cards published by Valentine, issued from 1904 with several reprints, most bearing the name 'F. Moore' or the initials 'F. M.' Some of the 'Oilette' cards of the series mentioned were beautifully executed through there were some anomalies. The Great Western Railway 'Flying Dutchman' in series 6493 shows the train hauled by No 3433 City of Bath 'near Slough'. Windsor Castle originally appeared in the background but, by the time City of Bath was in service, the double line shown had been replaced by four tracks. A reprint expunged both the castle and the words 'near Slough' from the caption. In the very pleasant picture of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Dover Boat Express passing through Grove Park drawn by 4-4-0 No 726, the six-wheeled stock shown in Dr Budden's original photograph has been replaced by none other than the Folkestone Car train. The beautifully coloured Bournemouth Express drawn by two LSWR Drummond 4-4-0s had the length of its train increased by several carriages.
One might wonder why a railway-orientated concern like LPC should alter the original photographs, but these postcards were marketed for run-of-the-mill stationers' shops, when railways played a dominant part in the life of the travelling public, and it was commonplace to send a card reassuring folks at home of one's safe arrival, and a picture of one's mode of travel was thought appropriate. There was also the appeal to the younger element, and there are many revealing messages to be read on the back of old cards like, 'I hope you haven't got this one' (probably from a fond aunt); or, 'this is like the train I came in'; even, 'this is daddy's train' (no question about it!), to realise what a strong pull the railway had on the emotions of the people of those times. So these cards were designed to be a commercial proposition as well as to appeal to the general public. The latest, the best, the longest, and the fastest were all good-selling qualities.
Rudd's pictures were not confined to the British Isles. Several foreign and colonial cards were included in the LPC series and these included the only goods trains to be depicted (not surprising when the previous paragraph is considered). There was a 1,500-ton coal train on the Bengal Nagpur Railway and two startling USA views, one of a triple-headed coal train of 60 bogie wagons on the Pennsylvania Railroad. Possibly the most impressive card published showed 'The Fast Denver Limited' climbing the I in 25 to Soldier Summit in the Wasatch Mountains on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. The eleven car train has four engines at the head and one pushing in the rear. Tuck's set No 9329 comprised six 'Wide Wide World Famous Expresses'. Among these overseas cards, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway 4-6-0s of series 209-223, contemporary with, and strikingly similar to, the early Great Central 4-6-0s appear twice, once on a Tuck card and once on a German produced colour-printed card. In both cases they appear on the Bombay to Poona mail train.
Mention has already been made to Rudd's first folding plate in The Locomotive Magazine of July 1897, which was claimed as the first full coloured plate of a railway engine to be published. Fourteen 8½in x 15in plates appeared up to January 1903. The colour reproduction for all these and for many other plates in this and The Railway Magazine was done by Alf Cooke of Leeds, a firm then still in existence but no longer undertaking artwork of this type.
Some of Rudd's earliest printed work included a large folding coloured plate issued with The Boys' Own Paper in 1898 which showed broadside views of twelve express locomotives. J.D. Goffey noted that a framed copy of this was displayed in the Toy Museum in Craven Hill, Paddington. There was also a six-picture plate issued by the same journal in November 1900 entitled 'Our Lightning Expresses'. J.E. Kite drew Webster's attention to this which was headed , . .. from oil paintings by F. Moore'. As with most colour reproductions of the time the cruder lithographic process was used on which the colours were printed. A good deal of detail was lost and the range of colours severely limited.
Towards the end of 1901, LPC issued The Locomotive Portfolio which contained ten of the large folding plates, each 8½in x 15in, which had previously been issued with The Locomotive Magazine at the price of 3/6. They were also sold separately at 4d each, 6d by post.
In addition to the fourteen large folding plates of locomotives mentioned above, another showing the GNR 'Flying Scotsman' appeared in 1905. The plate in The Locomotive Magazine did not reproduce particularly well; for some reason the carriages became rather blurred. The postcard made from the same painting (55 in Goffey's list) is a far more satisfactory reproduction. Then there was a striking plate of a L&YR 4-6-0 on an express train on a plate 10½in x 15in in June 1911. Rudd's last reproductions for The Locomotive appeared also as folding plates, size 10in x20in: LMS 4-6-2 No 6200 Princess Royal in November 1933 and SR 'Schools' 4-4-0 No 910 Merchant Taylors in January 1934. It is suggested that the former was the last picture Rudd painted for reproduction in this magazine but the dates given are those of publication.
While Rudd's paintings as a whole achieved a very high standard of accuracy there were certain cases where the original photograph from which he was working sometimes failed to give the required result without some modification. The publishers had, to some extent, to react to popular demands and this sometimes meant producing a composite picture made up from more than one original. On other occasions, a more satisfactory picture resulted from the elimination of obtruding features. It is likely that Rudd's hand was forced on these occasions with the result of one or two lapses in the standard of accuracy.
To be topical it was thought desirable to issue a postcard series of Red Cross trains in the 1914-18 period. Accordingly, seven views of trains were painted and converted into 'Ambulance' trains by having red crosses painted on the coaches. One of these, in fact, was already in the postcard series and showed a LNWR 'Prince' on Shap with a heavy Scottish express. Oddly enough, even the original card had had an early aeroplane superimposed upon it to satisfy another whim and the mountainous background flattened out a bit so that the flying machine did not appear to be taking an undue risk! And so postcards were issued showing trains for the wounded on the Caledonian (an enormous 16-coach train), on the Great Central (really a five-coach Manchester express passing Gerrards Cross, but suitably adapted), on the Great Western ('Star'-hauled and recorded as Knight of the Garter but the inside-cylinder cover clearly indicates a later engine) and a Great Eastern example in which the carriages are in slightly different perspective from the 4-6-0 at their head. There were also L&YR and LB&SC ambulance trains.
One other aeroplane view was dreamed up, this time showing a most unlikely looking contraption seemingly threatening a L&SWR Drummond 'Paddlebox' quietly minding its own business on a Bournemouth express. The caption claimed this to be a 'North Devon' train, but again the editors were not sufficiently discerning of the London and South Western headcodes. But this was not Rudd's responsibility. There were several other cases of wrongly captioned postcards. In a post-Grouping reprint, LPC No 120 (G123) purports to illustrate a GER 'Boat Train' drawn by 4-4-0 No 1872. This actually shows a train leaving Cromer; the signal gantry was unique and n use until the 1950s! Again on the GER, reprint LPC 23 (G247) claims to show a Hunstanton dining car express on Brentwood Bank. Anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of the GER map would realise that this is a major aberration. An even more blatant GER error concerns the view' of a rebuilt 'Tl9' 4-4-0 on Carlton Colville swing bridge over Oulton Broad South hauling a train of five six-wheelers, two with clerestory roofs. This was produced as a card showing a nine-coach dining-car train on 'Trowse swing bridge'. The original photograph appears on p819 in the Railway Magazine of December 1954. These Great Eastern errors are hard to explain in view of the close connection between the Bell brothers and that Railway.
Some of the plates in the Wonder Book of Railways were amended, too. The well-known view of 'Claughton' 4-6-0 Lord Rathmore leaving Carlisle on an up express was reproduced as a very fine postcard (G230), but in the 6in x 8in Wonder Book picture a rural background was substituted for Carlisle station approaches and the rolling stock was updated, replacing the low arc-roofed stock with elliptical-roofed stock. The Wonder Book also sported the beautiful picture of Caledonian 4-6-0 No 908 leaving Stirling, although with a somewhat simplified background, and the picture of 'The Southern Belle' in which the carriages are too large for the LB&SC 'Atlantic'. The latter appeared in the postcard series, again with a modified background.
At some time too, it was obviously thought that a series of postcards of tunnels would be popular. Rudd produced two striking views of Ipswich and Shakespeare Cliff, the latter from a Budden photograph showing 'D' 4-4-0 No 730 emerging. In the others, trains had to be superimposed and, apart from the view of the Severn Tunnel showing No 4002 head-on and about to run down the artist, Rudd was not at his happiest. In the view of Woodhead Tunnel, an official photograph of a double headed up express about to enter the west portal was taken for a base. The painter not only added a down train emerging hauled by a GCR Atlantic, but replaced the two 4-4-0s on the up train so that Pollitt No 268, painted grey, piloting Parker 4-4-0 No 709 gave way to a couple of Robinson's later' 11B' class. In this transformation, the driver of 709, giving the photographer an inquisitive backward glare was translated to the newer engine.
As has been pointed out, backgrounds were often modified to give a clear outline of the engine or train. This, of course, was a time-honoured practice with official photographs. In Rudd's pictures this usually resulted in an engine standing on a single line with a distant view of meadows and trees and a foreground of close-cropped grass. North Eastern engines were often shown against a wide river background. This was because engines leaving Gateshead Works were often taken to an isolated track at Jarrow Slake where they were officially photographed against a background of the Tyne estuary.
The large painting of the south end of York station showing engines of the NER, GNR, GER and Midland Railways measures 24in x 36in and is in the possession of the NRM at York. A reproduction of this picture appears in a modern picture history book dealing with railways of the North-East and was also used for a railway record sleeve. On this occasion, the artist saw fit to reverse the aspects of the up main and up platform starting signals. The original photograph showed the up platform signal at clear, presumably for the NER 4-6-0 to draw ahead so that the waiting GNR engine could come out of the bay and back down on to the train preparatory to continuing southwards. Rudd, however, has 'pulled-off' what is presumably the up through signal. K. Hoole informed Webster that at the time the up main platform line ended in buffer stops between the end of the platform and Holgate Bridge.
Rudd's paintings have been used for a variety of publications: Webster attributed 58 plates in The Locomotive Magazine plus another 35 in the Railway Magazine to him. Of the latter, some are signed and others accredited to 'F. Moore' in the captions. There are a few that fall into neither of these categories but Rudd's hand is unmistakable. The Railway and Travel Monthly, in its comparatively short life, also produced a few colour illustrations which were almost certainly by the same hand, from the postcard-sized Great Northern rail-motor No 2 in the text to the folding plate of MR 4-4-0 No 483. There is also a "nice plate" of GWR 4-4-0 No 16 Brunel. Its not altogether satisfactory colour may have occurred in the printing process, but apart from a slightly woolly grass foreground it has the 'feel' of a Rudd painting.
Rudd's work, too, is seen in the colour plates of the numerous editions of The Wonder Book of Railways, probably about 40 all told, C. J. Allen's The Steel Highway and Locomotives and their Work and in books by J. R. Hind. Sixteen of the best reproductions seen by Webster appeared in the first edition of J. R. Howden's Locomotives of the World which came out in 1910. George Dow used three in his Great Central (published Ian Allan) and one each for the frontispieces to The North Staffordshire Album and London Tilbury and Southend Album (both published Ian Allan). showing a comparatively unknown panorama of Southend-on-Sea station at the beginning of this century. Another rarity was the frontispiece to Sir Malcolm Barclay Harvey's History of the Great North of Scotland Railway; the original edition contained 'The Deeside Express'. a superbly coloured plate showing GNS 4-4-0 No 104 running fast under easy steam in a mountainous countryside.
A 'window' cover-picture appeared in 1926 in the second edition of Locomotives of the Southern showing the 'Atlantic Coast Express' leaving Waterloo behind the then new No E850 Lord Nelson while, in 1928, four of the old postcard blocks were used for J.N. Maskelyne's Locomotives of the LB&SCR 1903-24 showing the 'Terrier' 0-6-0T No 39 Denmark, 'G' Single No 332 Shanklin and 'B4' 'Scotchman' No. 70 Holyrood, all in Stroudley's gamboge colour and 4-6-2T No 325 Abergavenny in the Marsh umber livery. In 1936, these all appeared again in C.F. Dendy-Marshall's History of the Southern Railway, but the highlight of this volume was the full-page picture of South Eastern Railway Sharp Roberts 2-2-2 No 13, which in its turn appeared in The Locomotive Magazine Supplement of 1913 entitled 'The First Railway in London'.
Three LNWR postcards were used as colour plates in O.S. Nock's Premier Line, published by Ian Allan Ltd in 1952 and, in 1954, three North Eastern cards were reproduced in Locomotives of the North Eastern Railway (published Ian Allan Ltd). No fewer than eight of Rudd's pictures were used to illustrate Part 1 of the Science Museum's 1972 publicatIon The Pre-Grouping Railways including the interesting view of Taff Vale 4-4-2T No 175 decorated for a visit by the Prince of Wales to Cardiff in 1896.
A highly interesting subject appeared in print in 1952 when the Railway Correspondence & Travel Society used Rudd's painting of GWR Armstrong Goods engine No 700 in Part One of The Locomotives of the Great Western Railway. The engine is shown in the livery of Wolverhampton Works in the 1880s when engines were painted in a more blue-green shade than at Swindon and lined out with black and white lines. This was from a photograph by R. E. Bleasdale of Warwick, one of the earliest of locomotive photographers, who 'worked' the GWR extensively in the period 1878-90. Several paintings were made from Bleasdale subjects. Other paintings were made from pioneers of moving train photography, notably Dr Tice Budden. In later years, Rudd painted extensively from the photographs of F.E. Mackay, H. Gordon Tidey and F.R. Hebron and then from the latter-day steam train photographers, such as G. R. Grigs.
Many solo-locomotive pictures were, of course, based on official photographs and, as so often happens with these, the background was already painted out so that the outline of the engine was seen to best advantage.
There were many other publications that contained one or more reproductions of Rudd's work but to attempt to list more would be impracticable and tedious. Webster claimed to cite sufficient works to indicate the variety, the quality and the quantity of Rudd's output.
There were occasions when more than one painting was made of the same subject. Webster owned an unsigned painting of Midland Compound No 1013 on a down Manchester express near Mill Hill. This was done from a photograph by F.E. Mackay which appeared in the Railway Magazine of April 1912. From this picture a postcard was produced (G No 197) but it was decided to show the engine as originally built with a three-link coupling. The original oil painting for this is also in a private collection and is signed by the artist, no doubt as this was painted for LPC. On Webster's copy the engine is seen exactly as in the Mackay photograph having a screw coupling and with the addition of splash guards to protect the bogie when a leading engine was picking up water at speed.
Three pictures were painted of GER 4-6-0 No 1500. In each the perspective shows a slightly different angle which seems to indicate that a series of official photographs was taken. Rudd painted very slightly different views for The Locomotive Magazine plate used in the issue of March 1912 and for the Jubilee number of The Great Eastern Railway Magazine. Webster believed that the former was used for the composite 'Ambulance' train postcard.
Goffey noted the popularity of the Great Western engine Caerphilly Castle when new, of which paintings were made for several customers. The official three-quarters view was made into one of the later postcards, (G No 302), while the broadside view formed the largest picture of a composite plate issued with The Children's Pictorial for 31 October 1925 in connection with the Railway Centenary celebrations. The folding plate contained fourteen coloured reproductions purporting. to illustrate the historical development of the steam locomotive.
In 1913, the LPC produced a novelty in the form of 72 coloured adhesive stamps of railway scenes. They comprised six sheets of 12 perforated pictures, each picture measuring 1½in x 2¾in. Most were signed 'F. Moore' and all had the appearance of being from originals by Rudd. They formed a delightful set of miniature gems of colour reproduction and only 10 were smaller versions of postcards or (so far as can be traced) other publications. Although so small the pictures of Liverpool St, Cannon St and Fenchurch St stations were redolent with 'atmosphere', as were the pictures of a Midland '800' 2-4-0, a Beattie 2-4-0T on a train (though one wonders whether this engine should have been brown rather than green), the Ealing to Shoeburyness corridor express and numerous foreign views. Among the last one sees the 'Vienna Express' about to leave Ostend in charge of a Belgian inside-cylinder 2-4-2, a view that appeared at least as early as 1904 in the Knight series of colour-printed monochrome cards where it was called 'The St Petersburg Express'. Rudd also produced the originals for two important series of cigarette cards, 75 for Lambert and Butler's in 1911-13 and 50 for Wills' in 1924. Neither was his work confined to railway subjects' and it is known that he was responsible for a series of coloured pictures for the Cunard Steamship company and for certain motor manufacturers.
To conclude, some idea of the scope of Rudd's work should be attempted. Rudd had catalogued 626 separate railway subjects, some of which have been reproduced more than once. This figure excludes the cigarette cards. As might be expected, some railways tended to receive more attention that others; thus there were 57 GWs, 51 GNs, 40 LNWs, 37 LBSC and 30 Midland subjects. At the other end of the scale, only four G&SWR subjects have turned up, five Highland and two GNSR. The other Scottish lines fare rather better with 23 Caledonian and 15 NB subjects. In England, there are 28 NERs, 14 LSWRs and 15 SE&CRs. The smaller lines are not forgotten: there are three H&B, five Furness, seven LT&S, five Metropolitan, two Somerset & Dorset, four NSR, three NLR and six M&GN pictures. The whole of Ireland produced only five, but among the miscellaneous subjects are seven RH&DR and six Eskdale postcards. Webster also catalogued 42 overseas and 35 post-Grouping subjects.
Since Webster's letter on the subject of railway postcards appeared in the correspondence columns of Railway World in July 1983 he had received from readers numerous replies which have led to a voluminous correspondence of a very fruitful nature. Acknowledgement to some of these correspondents has been made in the text but, in addition, I should like to thank D.S.M. Barrie, Brian Dobbie, D.J.W. Brough, George Dow, G.R. Grigs, J.E. Kite, A.B. MacLeod, H.C.B. Rogers, L. Ward, K. Hoole, C. Bayes, M. Lewis and E. Eades for writing (in some cases on several occasions), lend material or meet him to discuss the subject. He also thanked members of the staff of the Science Museum and the National Railway Museum who had gone out of their way to be helpful in allowing him to examine some original paintings.
See Rly Wld, 1985, 46 (546), 516-18 for article by V.R. Webster which is based on correspondence received in response to an earlier article (same magazine: November 1984). This shows that "F. Moore" was probably Thomas Rudd and that H.M. Le Fleming in his own published collection of paintings that he had acted as an "F. Moore" by painting in oil upon enlarged photographs
Steel's The miniature world of Henry Greenly decribed the artist's location within the Locomotive Publishing Company: "A knock upon a door would bring a loud 'come in' from the other side. On entering the visitor would be confronted with an old-fashioned iron bed, a table with the remains of a meal, and the occupier seated at a drawing board surrounded with books and piles of drawings. There was so much furniture crowded into the low ceilinged room that it was almost impossible to get inside. Here was the abode and studio of an elderly recluse who produced the drawings, often supplements to the magazine, which are now collectors' pieces. (An F. Moore had been the founder of the magazine, and the anonymous artist accordingly always signed his work F. Moore.)