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The 1950's and 1960's were probably the most colourful in the long history of British Railways. Being divided into six regions, each region had its own colour scheme from the rich brown and cream of the Western Region to the pastoral light blue of the Scottish. Nowhere was this more evident than on the stations themselves with the evocative "Totem" name tablets and "running in" boards. In all there were almost 3,000 stations known to have had totems - and over 1,000 of these stations have now closed - many without trace.

With the re-organisation of the late 60's, most of these signs were unceremoniously scrapped, although a few did find their way into enthusiast's possession for about 10 shillings each. Nowadays, when they do surface at auctions the prices realised are often out of reach of the average enthusiast, ranging from around £250 to the astronomical heights of over £12,000.

A vitreous enamel surface finish is achieved by fusing glass particles to sheet metal or cast iron by firing it at a temperature in excess of 800°C. This results in a surface that is incredibly hardwearing to all the elements. It is temperature resistant (up to 800°C) and chemical resistant with exceptional colour stability. The finished enamelled product is easy to maintain, clean and hygienic meaning it can be used for many applications internally and externally


The first essential in making any reproduction article is to follow as closely as possible in all respects to the original. The metal is good quality 16 swg steel shaped and sized as the original with the 12mm fixing holes in the top and bottom flanges correctly spaced. The metal is thoroughly cleaned, and the base colour is baked on at over 800 degrees. The second colour of white or cream is then baked on at a slightly lower temperature. Masks for the outlines and lettering of the names are prepared and applied to the totem and the body colour is then baked on at a lower temperature.

We can produce totems of your choice of name in any of the regional colours whether it be a genuine station name to bring back memories of favourite spotting locations, your home town, or, as many of our customers have had, a name for house, or business

As an alternative to our vitreous enamel finish, all signs can be supplied utilising a paint and lacquer finish on a stove enamelled base

Click here to view our totem order page


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