The Mersey Tunnel Railway

Reference Number:- Sprake Number:- Godden Number:-
st 436 STG191 44

Image of train running through tunnel, with ships on the Mersey river above the tunnel
the image of this silk picture was kindly donated by John Hartwig, USA

Woven on silk:-

Printed at bottom of card-mount:-

The Mersey Tunnel Railway.

cm deep by cm wide

cm high by cm wide

by Austin Sprake:
A sectional view of the tunnel with a train passing through, with sailing ships and boats above.

by Geoffrey Godden:
This rare landscape view shows the River Mersey with both sail and steam shipping, and a four-coach train passing from left to right in the tunnel under the river. The Mersey Tunnel was opened on 1 February 1886 and the title was first included on 20+2 but was discontinued as from label 31+32 of early 1900.
This silk was apparently introduced at the little known Liverpool International Exhibition of Navigation, Travelling, Commerce and Manufacture which opened on 11 May 1886. The Scotsman of 11 May 1886 reported: 'This same firm [Thomas Stevens] is exhibiting at Liverpool a somewhat similar loom on which are being woven representations of the Mersey Tunnel Railway. . . .'
The early issues are mounted on type B card-mounts (as above); later ones are on type C mounts.
A very rare variation occurs in which the small paddle-steamer ferry to the left of the large vessel is shown with much smoke issuing from the two funnels. This smoke measures about half an inch. It was reduced on the later, normal issues. This rare smoky variation [st432 on this site] occurs with the first label 20+2 and was apparently the first design, soon amended to the standard version shown here.

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