The Cambrian Railway started building the ‘low sided goods wagon with drop sides’ at Oswestry in the 1890s but also used outside builders including Ashbury’s and Pickering’s. The drop side was by far the most numerous wagon in the fleet. By grouping the Cambrian had several hundred out of a total fleet of 2200 wagons.
Over the years various changes to the tongue and groove sheeting occurred. This model represents an example with the more ‘decorative’ grooved sheeting produced at Oswestry and fitted with grease axleboxes. All wagons were probably built with single side brake gear but it is possible that some were modified to the either side pattern during routine maintenance or repair. In GWR days axleboxes were sometimes changed to the standard GWR oil box.
The drop side wagon was used for all manner of traffic, in particular the transport of roofing slate from Wales to destinations nationwide. These wagons were often seen in goods yards throughout the country.
Wagons of this type are known to have been in service with the Great Western in the twenties. During this period the Great Western was enforcing a drive to scrap timber underframe stock and it is likely few, if any, existed after 1931.