I saw this sign in a pub in North Wales and it cracked me up. It says it’s from the Somerset and Dorset Railway in 1864 and it looks quite old but, who knows, maybe I’ve been played. I did a bit of research on the web and it looks like you can buy original, antique, cast-iron versions of this Somerset and Dorset Railway sign, and a lot of recent reproductions are available as well.
Thanks to the Somerset and Dorset Railway for inadvertently cheering me up at that pub in North Wales. I had to try and find out what this really meant and it appears to be a steam train issue as the cocks are located near the front drive wheels of a steam train and are used to expel condensed water and steam. So, I assume that if the train driver drained the cocks at the station, he’d send a blast of condensed water and steam across the platform. Easy to see how that would be unpleasant and frightening to horses and passengers.
Here’s a video of a steam train pulling forward with cocks open..
It’s interesting to think back to what life would have been like with steam trains, horses close to the platforms and train drivers tempted to give everyone a fright. A simple sign from the Somerset and Dorset Railway in a pub in North Wales has led me to have a laugh and learn something.