Issue No. 97 (Winter 2016)
Unidentified Hall backing out of Paddington in 1955/6. . J.
Bassingdale. front cover
See letter from D.G. Appleton on page 115: Grange not a Hall and official erratum
W.J. Matthews. More memories of St. Ives. 3-13.
Writer lived and, for a time, worked at or into, St. Ives railway station. Records names of the lorry drivers and coal merchants based there and the methods of working the very restricted size terminus; both freight on which he worked as the goods guard and the ten-coach holiday trains which required two 45XX locomotives. See also letter from Bill Crosbie-Hill on page 180 and KPJ notes that he was still surprised when he returned to St. Ives in 2016 to find the masonry skew bridge between St. Ives and Carbis Bay to retain evidence of its broad gauge origins..
|St Ives station architectural drawing||2|
|St Ives station from above on 24 September 1948 (L.E. Copeland)||3|
|St Ives station architectural drawing (plans and sections)||4-5|
|St Ives station c1961||6|
|St Ives station looking towards buffers||7u|
|Early BR DMU in platform||7l|
|Porthminster beach c1960||8|
|St Ives station looking towards buffers (A.E. Bennett)||9u|
|No. 4570 in lined green with barefoot boy at platform end (A.E. Bennett)||9l|
|St Ives West Cornwall Railway goods shed architectural drawing||10|
|Through train corridor coaches ready to depart and goods yard||11u|
|Goods shed, crane and camping coach c1961||11l|
|45xx running round its train in 1948 (P.J. Garland)||12|
|No. 4566 on the sea siding||13u|
|Signalman collecting single-linr staff from arriving train in June 1954||13l|
John Copsey. Winter arrangements for water troughs in
the 1950s. 14-27
Fourteen sets of water troughs which had to be closed for routine maintenance or severe cold and alternative arrangements had to be made for trains to stop to take on water, or to stop for a longer period. The troughs at Aldermaston; at Fairwood (between Westbury and Frome); Creech (to tyhe east of Taunton); Exminster; Goring; Keynsham; Sodbury; Magor; Ferryside (near Carmarthen); Ludlow; Denham (or Ruislip); King's Sutton; and Rowington (north of Leamington). See also Issue No. 48 page 422 et seq
|Goring water troughs||14|
|No. 5009 Shrewsbury Castle picking up water from Keynsham water troughs on 22 March 1958||15|
|Map; water troughs West Country South||16|
|Grange class 4-6-0 picking up water at Fairwood water troughs when hauling 08.30 Paddington to Weymouth Quay train in 1949||17u|
|Fairwood water troughs during refilling (A.C. Sterndale) see letter on page 115 from T.W. Wykes||17l|
|Map; water troughs Bristol route||18|
|No. 5903 Keele Hall on down stopping service picking up water from Goring water troughs c1953||19u|
|Star class on up milk & parcels train picking up water from Goring water troughs c1935 (C.R.L. Coles)||19l|
|No. 1012 County of Denbigh on up express on Up Main picking up water from Goring water troughs: note stone packing||20|
|43XX No. 5326 on H class down coal empties picking up water from Goring water troughs||21u|
|No. 6118 on Up Relief with H class freight passing over Goring water troughs (see erratum p. 120 if checking to see if 61XX water pick-up fitted) and letter from Eric Youldon on p. 180.||21l|
|No. 6829 Burmington Grange on Up express picking up water from Keynsham water troughs in 1957||22u|
|Map; water troughs South Wales route||22l|
|No. 2887 with H class freight passing over Sodbury water troughs c1953||23u|
|No. 7815 Fritwell Manor on Down express picking up water from Magor water troughs on 15 September 1958 see also letter from David J. Tomkiss on page 116||23l|
|Map; water troughs Northern & West Midland route||24|
|No. 6008 King James II on 11.45 Birkenhead to Paddington express picking up water from King's Sutton water troughs in GWR period||25|
|Southern Railway D15 No. 465 (caption states S15 see erratum p. 120 if any doubt) 4-4-0 on 09.40 Bournemouth to Birkenhead passing over Rowington water troughs in August 1925||26u|
|Star class No. 4040 Queen Boadicea on down express from London picking up water from Rowington water troughs c1929 see also letter from David J. Tomkiss on page 116||26m|
|2361 class 0-6-0 No.2378 on H class freight picking up water from Rowington water troughs c1930||26l|
|Charlbury water troughs with stopping train picking up water (J.E. Norris)||27u|
|Charlbury water troughs looking towards Charlbury (J.E. Norris)||27l|
See also page 115 for further photograph of tank for Charbury troughs and letters from D.G. Attwood and from T.W. Wykes on '00' section used for permanent way at water troughs and in other demanding situations
John Copsey. Traffic at Birmingham Snow Hill. Part 2.
Part 1 see previous volume page 422. Text describes decision to upgrade station made by the Traffic Committee on 13 August 1896 which required new station buildings on the Up side; improved buildings on the Down side; extensions to the platforms at the northern end; additional bay platforms for suburban traffic; widening pf lines from Snow Hill to Hockley South; new offices for Divisional and District Officers and staff. The construction of Moor Street formed part of these changes: these are fully illustrated in Railway Archive No. 1. One change which is not visible in the photographs was the installation of a 65 ft turntable in association with the introduction of 4-6-0 express locomotives. The maximum use was made of the limited space available and was assisted by the introduction of electricity for lighting and signalling and powered lifts. This was supplied by Birmingham Corporation.
|Barnum 2-4-0 No. 3222 c1910||28u|
|39XX 2-6-2T Np. 3904 c1910||28l|
|Two Achilles class 4-2-2 at head of down express c1908||29|
|Great Western Hotel and tramcar in Livery Street||30|
|Main carriage entrance & concourse off Livery Street c1913||32|
|Atbara 4-4-0 No. 3294 Blenheim with work on roof in progress c1910||34u|
|View from Up Main platform||34m|
|Erecting stage in foreground looking north west c1911||34l|
|Newly completed north west end early 1912||35u|
|Number 7 (Up Main) platform, telegraph offices & third class waiting room||35m|
|as above (but straight across)||35l|
|Sector plate for platforms 4 and 3||36u|
|Diagram of sector plate for platforms 4 and 3||36l|
|Viewe from north west of station looking towards Leamington||37u|
|Standard Goods 0-6-0 No. 399 passing No. 7 platform c1912||37m|
|First class refreshment room with electric lighting||37l|
|Parcels yard under construction beneath Up Relief line||38u|
|Parcels yard in use during 1911||38m|
|Parcels yard under construction beneath Up Relief line||38l|
|Parcels yard completed in 1913 showing large electric switch box and horse-drawn parcles lorry||39u|
|Electric cabling being installed from Siemens cable drum||39l|
|Birmingham North signal box exterior||40u|
|Signal with route indicator||40lm|
|Electric locoking frame in Birmingham North signal box||40rm|
|View from Birmingham North signal box||40lr|
|Snow Hill looking down thoroughfare with tram track under repair||41u|
|Outside of Snow Hill Parcels yard from street||41l|
Bracket at Bugle. P.J. Garland. 42
Two photographs og GWR bracket signal at Bugle: one showing end of china clay train in siding
John Copsey. '45xx' class 2-6-2Ts at work. Part 3.
Part 1 aee page 362 (Volume 12) and Part 2 see page 448. General arrangement drawings feature prominently
|No. 5574 on centre road in Gloucester Central c1952||43|
|No. 4557 outside Swindon Works on 15 August 1954||44|
|No. 5563 approaching Taunton probably from Yeovil on 27 August 1955||45u|
|No. 5515 at Truro taking water in 1955 (P. Rickard)||45l|
|No. 5508 at Wells Tucker Street with train for Yatton in late 1950s||46u|
|No. 5528 in Down Bay at Yatton with train for Wells and Witham c1955||46l|
|No. 5572 at Senghenydd with push & pull service: see also letter from David J. Tomkiss on page 116 on South Wales push & services||47u|
|4575 class at Savernake Low Level with Marlborough branch service in mid-1950s||47m|
|No. 5509 in Down Bay Platform at Swindon with Down local c1955||47l|
|No. 5500 being coaled at Truro shed with primitive crane (P. Rickard)||48u|
|No. 4585 with red backed number plate at Swindon||48l|
|No. 4560 on Up freight between Criccieth and Porthmadoc in July 1959||49u|
|No. 4507 see also Issue 2 page 65 et seq||49l|
|No. 5545 at Washford c1961 (Joe Moss)||50|
|No. 5569 inside Swindon roundhouse in 1963 (John Strange)||51|
|No. 4569 in lined green at Cardiff General on 3 July 1961 (J.M. Hodgetts)||52|
|No. 5521 at Taunton on 23 October 1959 viewed from above (C.E. Tickle)||53u|
|No. 5521 at Taunton bunker from rear on 23 October 1959 (C.E. Tickle)||53l|
|General arrangement drawings (diagrams) 4575 class Swindon No. 79052, Swindon February 1926||54-7|
|No. 5511 at Plymouth on 22 October 1959||54|
|No. 5511 at Plymouth on 22 October 1959 (8 views)||56-9|
See also letter from Mike Barnsley on page 116 with two photographs of No.4550 colliding with buffers at Tidworth
Driver Jack Jenkins. Bill
I was very pleased to read Mr. Toomer's account of his memorable footplate trip with Driver Jenkins (GWRJ No. 88). The management at Landore seem to have regarded Jack Jenkins as a 'Star' man. When the 10.55 from Paddington was accelerated in 1955 it was this driver who was rostered for the inaugural run. That morning, on Platform 5 at Paddington, I asked Driver Jenkins what he thought of the new 128 minutes timing to Newport. "We'll probably end up in the fields", was his reply, with not a little Welsh hyperbole. His engine, No. 5074, was a sorry sight. The shed plate was missing from the smokebox door, the grab rail was bent and to add to its general dirty state, there was a lot of coal on the running plate.
Driver Jenkins made a lot of noise out to Westboume Park, and linked up to a smooth if stately acceleration to running in the mid seventies. Riding in the first compartment, there was no hint of vibration but we passed Twyford in 29 minutes, 12 seconds before the brakes went on for a long track relaying speed restriction of 20 in Sonning Cutting. I thought, given the circumstances, the driver might show a little impatience, but the '20' was scrupulously observed. A steady 75 was maintained up to Swindon when a second check of 20 was caused at an underline bridge. I think it may have been the Cricklade Road. Undaunted, our driver pressed on, making up as much time as he could until we were pulled up at signals at Patchway where we stayed 11 minutes! The Western Region obviously did not like this train! The vigorous running and the careful observation of speed restrictions were equally impressive. A few weeks later I received a postcard from O.S. Nock where he described the footplate trip with Jenkins mentioned by Toomer. A minimum of 71 at Badminton impressed the famous recorder. Apparently Jack had remembered my run with 5074 which he said (despite its appearance) was "quite good in the cylinders".
Looking back all those years, I suppose that if he had worked from a more 'fashionable' shed, Jack Jenkins would have been as well known as the legendary Jim Street of Old Oak, Laurie Earl of Camden, Sam Gingell (say it 'Jingle') at Ramsgate and all those other footplate immortals we like to read about. Perhaps this correspondence will serve to put Jack Jenkins' name before all those enthusiasts who never had the pleasure of meeting him.
The '44XXs' in traffic. G.B. Bolland
Having spent some years at school in Wellington (Salop), I was very familiar with Wellington's and Much Wenlock's allocation of 44XX class engines and by 1944 had recorded Nos. 4400, 4401, 4403, 4406 and 4409, as shown in the allocation lists for March 1938 and January 1947. However, No. 4404 was also recorded and although it is shown to have been at Tondu in both 1938 and 1947, one wonders whether it was at Wellington during part of the intervening period. The evidence of schoolboys might be viewed with some scepticism, but these engines were always at rest or moving slowly in the station area or shed yard when we saw them, unlike many other classes that came through our village station at speed. If the engine was never allocated to Wellington, there is a possibility that it might have been seen at the rear of Stafford Road Works, Wolverhampton, when waiting for attention there. Can anyone throw some light on the matter? [This engine visited Tyeseley Shops for a 'Light' repair in April 1944, being afterwards transferred back to TDU - Ed]
As a rather belated postscript to my letter in GWRJ No. 67, in relation to an article entitled 'Water on the Northern Routes', I would like to point out that my suggestion that the stock of our school train was worked back empty to Shrewsbury is incorrect. Mr. Copsey has kindly pointed out that although it was empty stock from Albrighton to Cosford, the next station,- it waited an hour there and then formed the 5.55 p.m. passenger service to Wrexham. Schoolboy evidence again! Leamington Spa
The '44XXs' in traffic. Eric Youldon
With reference to the article in GWRJ No. 80, a technical point worth noting concerns engine 4410 pictured on page 454 which shows the small bunker and short rear frame still present. In fact 4410 never did acquire the large version of the bunker and was therefore unique in this respect.
Wenlock branch auto. Charles Underhill
A comment on the use of an Autocoach & Van Third on the Wenlock Branch (GWRJ No. 80). One particular reason for this was because of the School Trains which took pupils from as far west as Presthope to and from Coalbrookdale County High School, which I attended in 1944/5. The pupils all had to travel in the Autocoach under the supervision of the Train Prefects, leaving the compartments in the Van Third for the other passengers. (Actually the Prefects usually went into the Van Third with their current inamorata, leaving the younger pupils to get along on their own). The morning train connected with a Severn Valley train at Buildwas which brought more children from the Shrewsbury direction (this was usually hauled by a Salop 'Duke', either Mounts Bay or Isle of Jersey). The northbound SVR (with an '81XX') didn't bring us any business; those children had to walk from Ironbridge & Broseley over the Iron Bridge. Our SVR colleagues did not return with us in the afternoon, but left school early(!) and walked to Ironbridge for their train home. On the last day of term, all were let out early and the Wen lock branch children walked along with SVR pupils to lronbridge (paying our penny toll over the bridge) for the novelty of catching the SVR to Buildwas and changing there.
I remember one occasion when the Autocoach failed to appear on the afternoon return train and its substitution was an Open Third with tables in the bays. We thought it luxury indeed!
London Transport red Metropolitan Line surface stock heading for Hammersmith
in 1956/7. J. Bassingdale rear cover upper
No. 5675 hauling empty carriage stock (carmine & cream LMS coach visible with Hammersmith train just in view. J. Bassingdale rear cover lower
Issue No. 98 (Spring 2016)
Castle class No, 7007 Great Western leaving Paddington with Cathedrals Express on 22 July 1961. M.G.C. Smith. front cover
John Copsey. 'Castles' in traffic. 62-77
Developed from the Star class with larger cylinders and new standard No. 8 boiler and side-window cab. A few were rebuilt from Star class and The Great Bear was a nominal rebuild. At first 3500 gallon tenders were fitted, but these were replaced by 4000 gallon tenders. An experimental eight-wheel tender was fitted to one locomotive.
|No. 4082 Windsor Castle at Swindon Works in 1924 See letter from Dick Potts on page 180. and after a slight delay from Tom Kirtley on page 427 of Issue No. 103.||62|
|No. 4077 Chepstow Castle passing Hayes & Harlington on up express in 1920s||63|
|No. 4078 Pembroke Castle with down milk empties on down relief road near Iver in 1924||64u|
|No. 4075 Cardiff Castle on up Torbay Limited on Teignmouth seawall on 24 April 1924 (H.G.W. Household)||64m|
|No. 4079 Pendennis Castle on down Cornish Riviera passing Dawlish Warren on 24 April 1924 (H.G.W. Household)||64l|
|No. 4082 Windsor Castle near Iver with doen express||65u|
|No. 4082 Windsor Castle with brass plate stating that HM King George V drove engine at Swindon: at Old Oak Common in 1924||65l|
|Castle class No. 111 Viscount Churchill at Slough on local train on down relief road on 25 April 1925 (H.G.W. Household)||66u|
|No. 4088 Dartmouth Castle with 4000 gallon tender alongside River Exe on 12.20 Truro to York with GWR brake composite for Glasgow and LNER brake composite and brake van for Aberdeen||66m|
|No. 4088 Dartmouth Castle with 4000 gallon tender in the west?||66l|
|No. 4091 Dudley Castle and No. 2979 Quentin Durward on 12.00 Truro to Banbury with LNER brake composite for Aberdeen, GWR brake composite for Glasgow and LNER brake van for Edinburgh in summer 1927||68u|
|No. 4083 Abbotsbury Castle on up express at Teignmouth in 1927||68m|
|No. 5009 Shrewsbury Castle at Starcross on down express in 1927||68l|
|No. 5010 Restormel Castle at Old Oak Common in July 1927||69u|
|No. 5010 Restormel Castle on turntable at Oxford shed||69l|
|Unidentified Castle at Goring withn milk empties in 1920s||70u|
|No. 4076 Carmarthen Castle at West Drayton with up express||70m|
|No. 4094 Dynevor Castle on northbound express at Leamington Spa||70l|
|No. 5006 Tregenna Castle passing Bentley Haeth Loops with 11.45 Birmingham to Paddington (W.L. Good)||71u|
|No. 4096 Highclere Castle with 4000 gallon tender at Starcross on down relief express in 1929||71l|
|No. 4099 Kilgerran Castle with 4000 gallon tender leaving Marshfield with a Cardiff to Bristol stopping train (Noel Webster): who is chap with panama hat on footplate?||72u|
|No. 4074 Caldicot Castle with 4000 gallon tender at Reading on 07.20 Cheltenham to Paddington on 12 July 1929||72l|
|No. 5001 Llandovery Castle with eight-wheel tender at King's Sutton with Paddington to Birmingham via Oxford train including through coaches from Southern Railway||73|
|No. 4099 Kilgerran Castle passing Old Oak Common with up express c1935||74u|
|No. 4085 Berkley Castle with 3500 gallon tender outside Paddington station c1930||74m|
|Castle class No. 4000 North Star inside Tysley shed in 1932 (W.L. Good)||74l|
|No. 4074 Caldicot Castle on down exptress near Brewham on 13.30 Paddington to Penzance on 23 July 1935||76u|
|No. 4074 Caldicot Castle on down exptress near Witham on 13.30 Paddington to Penzance on 30 May 1935||76l|
|Streamlined No. 5005 Manorbier Castle at Swindon: see letter from Eric Youldon on p. 180: bull nose is correct name for dome on smokebox||77u|
|less streamlined No. 5005 Manorbier Castle at Swindon station on 1 December 1935||77l|
G.F. Taylor. Labelling of passenger trains.
The cover of Notice Number 210 is entitled Standard Instructions relating to coach working, labelling and cleaning and equipment of train lavatories [pity that copy not supplied to "First" Great Western whose trains seem to lack water]' Illustrations include a Cornish Riviera Express roofboard; a coach destination indicator for Minehead and painters at work on headboards for Cornish Riviera Limited and The Cornishman. The list of trains to be labelled is included from an Appendix. See also letter and photographs on pp. 305 & 308
Woodstock station. 85-8.
Blenheim & Woodstock branch clossed on 27 February 1954 and photographs probably taken about that time: first inclues the auto trailer and 14XX?; second the buffer stops; the next two look towards Kidlington and on page 88 one by W.A. Camwell (taken in summer) and one by J.E. Norris of station exterior with cars and motor cycle of that period (or earlier)
'45XX'details. C.F. Tickle. 89-92.
Six photographs of Nos. 4565 and 4549 on 18 October 1959 taken in Wolverhampton Stafford Road Works. Pages 90-1 Swindon drawings of side tanks, cab & bunker (November 1920).
4566. Dave Cook. 93
Group photograph taken outside shed, including Joe Stevens, shedmaster.
John Copsey. Traffic at Birmingham Snow Hill. Part 3. 94-112
|Great Western Hotel in 1914||94u|
|Main Up Platform 7 in 1914 with probable 12.55 Birkenhead to Paddington||94l|
|Star No. 4050 Princess Alice at Down Main Platform 5 with down express in 1919||99u|
|No. 3804 County Dublin with down express in 1925||99l|
|Colmore Row facade in 1927||104|
|39XX 2-6-2T in Platform 5||107u|
|Refreshment room interior on Platform 7 in August 1926||107l|
|Great Western Arcade in 1933||110|
|2-6-0 No. 4387 entering Snow Hill on 26 August 1933||111|
Double-frame survivor: No. 1287. 113-14
1076 class. See also Volume 5 Issue 36 page 240 where Anthony East noted that locomotive survived at Leamington as a stationary boiler until mid-1950s. See also letter from Dick Potts on p. 180
|No. 1287 at unientified location in 1930s||113u|
|No. 1287 out of service in Leamington shed on 22 April 1945||113l|
|No. 1287 awaiting breaking up at Swindon showing eop of tank||114u|
|No. 1287 awaiting breaking up at Swindon side on view||114l|
The last two pictures were taken on 14 June 1953 by Douglas Clayton on a Stephenson Locomotive Society visit: they were submitted by Terry Wykes.
Water tank for Charlbury troughs. J.E. Norris.
Space precluded incorporation of this photograph.
Cover GWRJ No. 97. D.G. Appleton
The cover photograph of issue No. 97 pictures a 'Grange' (not a 'Hall') backing out of Paddington arrival, Sadly no smokebox numberplate nor shed code plate appears. Two-cylinder engines were used on South Wales passenger traffic from time to time, as is evidenced in the photo opposite page 313 in issue 78, with 'Grange' 6857 setting out for home in early 1948, just weeks into nationalisation. 'Halls' or 'Granges' could well manage 12-coach loads on the down run to the Principality - apart from the climb out of the tunnel to Severn Tunnel Junction, the route was easily graded. In former times, 'Saints' were a common sight.
Water troughs. D.G. Attwood
Writer lived near Midgham station for many years, and so the Aldermaston troughs were not far away. A minor road crossed the troughs between the two stations, and I seem to recall a very hard winter when, looking from the bridge, I saw the PW gang breaking the ice in the troughs, lifting the blocks of ice out and putting them on the lineside a bitterly cold job and hard on the hands.
But I recall a summer problem. I was on Newbury station waiting for the train to take me home from school in either 1944 or 1945 when the up Cornish Riviera came into the up platform and stopped for the locomotive to take water. We subsequently learned that the canal bank had burst near Aldermaston and the troughs were dry. Amusingly, a man on the platform who was bound for Paddington realised that the next stop would be Paddington rather than all stations to Reading to change and get a fast onwards. So he opened a door and got into a coach, when a porter came up, saying "Scuse me, Sir, you can't get in there - this train don't stop here".
"Oh, in that case, I can't have got in, can I?" said the passenger. "Good afternoon."
He pulled the window up and walked along the corridor to find a seat.
Water troughs. T.W Wykes
The cast-in lettering on the chair which appears in the bottom left corner of the lower photograph on page 17 of GWRJ No. 97 shows that the rail is '00' section, water troughs being one of the relatively few locations where this rail section was used. The suffix 'ST' denotes a chair with a deeper than normal rail seating. '00' section bullhead rail was introduced by and (as far as I am aware) only used by the GWR and its successor region of British Railways. When new, '00' section rail weighed 97½, lbs per yard, i.e, 21½ lbs more than BS95 section, the latter being the most widely used bullhead rail in the later years of the GWR. The additional weight resulted from the '00' section rail having a deeper head than BS95, and as the overall depths of the two sections were the same (within i/32in), a consequence was that the web of '00' section was shallower than that of BS95. When 1 worked in the Permanent Way Drawing Office of the BR (WR) District Engineer at Wolverhampton, Mr. A W. McMurdo, our chairmen (corrected see errata page 180) (surveying assistants both of whom had previously worked in length gangs) said that '00' section rail could be distinguished from BS95 by a clenched fist test; if the knuckles of four fingers of a clenched fist would enter the web, then the rail was BS95 section - if not, it was '00'. The size of the standard hand required to ensure universal validity of this test was not specified!
During the time 1 was employed on permanent way work, '00' was regarded by the Western Region civil engineering hierarchy as the 'Rolls Royce' of rail sections, being considered superior in terms of corrosion resistance and wearing qualities to the FB 1 09 flat-bottom rail which at that time was gradually replacing bullhead track in main running lines. Only a limited quantity of '00' section rail was manufactured and its use was tightly controlled by the Chief Civil Engineer's office. Generally, the use of '00' rail would be authorised in tunnels and on water troughs, where conditions were likely to give rise to excessive corrosion and also for switch and crossing replacement in a few heavily used principal stations, e.g. Paddington, Birmingham (S.H.), Bristol T.M. Any proposal to use '00' rail in locations other than those I have described would require a very strong case to be made by the relevant District Engineer.
An unusual feature of '00' section rail was that some of the lengths in which it was manufactured differed from those of its BS95 and FB 109 counterparts. Although all three sections were produced in 60ft lengths (and 59ft 9in for the inside of curves), the '00' equivalents of the BS95 and FB 1 09 45ft and 40ft rails were 44ft 6in and 39ft 5in respectively. When designing and ordering materials for switch and crossing replacements using '00' section rail (which in the case of the Wolverhampton District would only have been for work at Birmingham S.H.) one had to be mindful of these differences in rail length in order to avoid the embarrassment of having it pointed out to you by someone further along the material requisitioning chain!
The excellent current GWRJ article on Birmingham S.H., a place where writer happily spent much of my youth, reminded him that he still has the drawing prepared in 1961 for renewal of the scissors crossover between the down through and down platform lines, '00' section rail being used, of course. During the week following the Sunday relaying, the drawing was returned to me without any adverse comment by the Permanent Way Inspector who had supervised the work, so I assume that all must have gone well on the day and that I had ordered all the materials correctly!
'45XXs'. David 1. Tomkiss. 116
Magor troughs were very useful for the North and West expresses non-stop from Bristol to Hereford which seem to have been the main beneficiaries. Page 26 (middle) a Concertina restaurant car heads the train - not many photographs of them around.
Regarding the 45XX auto engines in South Wales, when the even interval timetable for the Cardiff Valleys was introduced in September 1953, it was decided that the lighter-used services could be operated by 3-coach auto trains. 64XX auto engines were quite capable of operating these with two coaches, but three were deemed necessary on some routes, and it would need 45XX engines to work them. Those at Tondu worked the routes to Porthcawl, Nantymoel and Abergwynfi, together with the unadvertised services to Tremains Factory Halt and the Llanharan school train. The Barry engines worked to Llantwit Major, Pontypridd via Wenvoe, Penarth via Sully and Cardiff General, Clarence Road or Queen Street. There were not many passenger trains through Wenvoe! Cathays engines worked to Sengenydd, Coryton, Bute Road or Penarth. Reduced passenger numbers meant that 64XX and two coaches could cope; diesel cars and branch closures deprived the 45XX of work and they gradually drifted away. The final Tondu duties were to Porthcawl, Blaengwynfi and Tremains until DMUs took over.
None of the above services were exclusive to the 45XX; locomotives and coaches always worked the more popular trains. The 'BA' turn described on page 468, issue No. 96, is perhaps the most adventurous and was one of the few times that an engine could be seen working 'chimney down valley' on alternate days.
Pontypool Road. R. Crump
All freight trains from Pontypool Road to Llanhilleth had the unofficial title 'Muck Hole' believe me it was not very nice as it was situated in a busy and narrow part of the Western Valley where it had four roads and sidings, the single-track line coming down from Crumlin Junction (on the Taff Vale Extension) to Llanhilleth Middle signal box. To quote from a book by John Drayton, who was a driver at Pontypool Road, titled On The Footplate, "The single line between Llanhilleth Middle and Crumlin Junction signal boxes was worked by electric train token system. It was the rule that all trains from Llanhilleth conveying more than a single engine load must be assisted in the rear. Up trains exceeding 20 wagons could not be accepted by Crumlin Junction unless a clear run was given off the branch. The signalman at Llanhilleth Middle Box had to inform his confrere at Crumlin Junction on the telephone whether it was a one, two or three engine load before asking 'Is line clear' for the train." During the Second World War, workmen's trains also worked over this steeply-graded mineral branch which was I in 42, double- headed by two Panniers from Aberbeeg shed, the trains originating from Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr and joining at Aberbeeg. When banking freights up, both engines were flat out, full regulator and full forward gear, so no firing was done, the fire well built-up before the start.
45XX. Mike Barnsley
I have in my collection a pair of very fuzzy snapshots of No. 4550, for which I enclose scans, showing her after she had made violent contact with buffer stops. Unfortunately, the prints are anonymous and undated, so apart from the location being recognisable as Tidworth, I have been unable to find out any details of the circumstances of the incident. I have found that No. 4550 was recorded as working in the area in the mid-1950s, although after the line was transferred to the Southern Region in 1952, the LMS 2MT locos seem to have been favoured for the Tidworth services.
'94XX'. Dave Cousins 117
I have managed to complete a set of plates for the '94XX' classes. Note that the Hunslet plates for the '84XX' and '34XX' are of different patterns. (The engines were actually built by Yorkshire Engine Co.) The '94XX. types only had one plate each, on the left-hand front splasher. This is why they are hard to find. Engines involved are 8424 (WB), 8458 (YE), 8485 (HC), 9440 (RSH), 9496 (HE/YE) and 3404 (HE/YE).
Photograph: Top: 8458, 2nd row: 9496 (YE 2550) and 3403 (YE 2578); Centre: 8424; Bottom row: 8485 and 9440
Birmingham Loco. Ken Rathbone
A minor lapse of memory appears to have taken place in Dick Potts' article in GWRJ No. 92, page 234. Response from Dick Potts on page 180. The workmen's trains serving the Austin Motor Conpany's employees at Longbridge did not in fact pass through Rednal, which never boasted any rail connection, but through nearby Rubery on their journey from Old Hill and Halesowen to Longbridge.
At Rubery there was a loop through the station, which enabled the two late-afternoon trains to pass. The first arrived at Longbridge at sometime before 5.0 p.m., where the Pannier tank loco ran round its train. It had arrived bunker first, and, after coupling, waited for the 5 o'clock rush of workmen to board the two (or maybe three) third class non-corridor coaches. This train departed at 17.10 and crossed with the later train at Rubery. This later train arrived at Longbridge at between 17.20 and 17.25 and was of similar composition to the former train. This collected the 17.30 exodus from the Austin, and departed at 17.50.
In the Longbridge West (or was it North?) signal box, it was my 'job' to release the Down starter, a GWR lower quadrant signal which was the easiest lever in the box to move. Most of the point levers and the exchange of the single-line tokens I left to the signalman himself. After all, it was by his invitation I was there, and in 1942 or so I was only 11 years old!
Newport. David J. Smith
Several of the captions in the photo-feature on Newport (Mon) in GWRJ No. 88 state that on the River Usk viaduct the main lines were on the north side, on the new part of the structure, but this was not so. The relief lines ran alongside the main lines on their northern side continuously from Gaer Junction to the former Maindee west junction, where the Hereford lines diverged to the left and the relief lines merged with the main lines in the direction of Maindee Junction East. Reference is made to the deficiencies in the layout and the operating difficulties that arose in consequence. An example is seen in the upper illustration on page 453 a photograph that was taken many years before 1946 where the up platform line in its original form looped into the up main line. Trains at this platform for the Hereford line needed to reach the up relief line but to do so had first to join the up main line before immediately entering the facing crossover leading to the up relief. When such movements were being made, no train could be signalled up the main line from Newport West. Conversely, if a train was signalled on the up main line, no train could leave the platform.
Matters in this respect were improved by the provision of a facing connection between the up platform line and the down relief line, just discernible in the lower picture on page 453 and also visible in the upper one on page 452. Hereford-line trains could now avoid the up main line and proceed to the up relief line via the down relief and the slip road in the diamond of the main-to-relief crossover in the right foreground of the latter picture, and as exquisitely depicted on page 450. No physical alteration in the signalling was required by this alteration. The facing points in the platform line were normally set for a straight-ahead movement whilst those in the relief line were set for platform 6.
The downside of this arrangement was that whenever a train was signalled on the up platform line, no train was allowed to approach on the down relief line because of the risk of a head-on collision should the up train overrun its home signal at the platform end. This precaution was necessary as the only measure that could be taken against such an occurrence, but of no real practical use, was the provision of a three-shot detonator placer at the signal. Trains on the down relief line included Eastern Valley local services, which normally entered platform 6. When a potential conflict arose, up platform line trains normally took precedence.
Apart from the relief lines which were signalled for two-way working through the station, other short sections of line were also used for two-way running as a matter of operational necessity, as evidenced by the proliferation of facing-point-lock covers around the layout. The ladder crossover on page 452, lower, was a case in point, catering for train movements both from the down relief to down main, and the up main to up relief line.
Access to the loading dock and sidings on the right-hand side on page 450, known as the Fish Jetty, was from a trailing connection in the down platform line, also seen on page 452 upper, that led to a spur and stop block on the Usk viaduct, seen on page 452, lower, whence a kickback led to the sidings. At the points of the trailing connection there was a double ground disc, situated between the tracks. This site was the scene of an accident that resulted in a change in the signalling arrangements. A daily service from Crewe was due at the down platform a little before midnight, where it was divided, the front portion continuing to Cardiff and the rear portion forming the 23.54 train. Newport to Bristol. Early on 19 August 1938, after the train's late arrival, engine No. 4925 Eynsham Hall backed out of the spur and coupled up to the rear of the train. The signalman left the points set for the spur but, when setting the road to the up main line, inadvertently pulled off the lower disc; the fireman misread the red-over-green disc display; the driver, on the platform side of the cab, saw the green aspect of the up main advanced starting signal and accepted his fireman's call that the disc was off. Soon after the train started, the fireman saw the red light on the stop block ahead and shouted to the driver who at once responded but was too late to prevent the engine carrying away the stop block and stopping, with all wheels derailed and the buffer beam and bogie damaged, after striking the lattice girder parapet of the viaduct. Three passengers had minor injuries and two coaches were slightly damaged. As the remainder of the train was intact, it later went on to Bristol.
In his report on the accident, the MoT inspecting officer said that a regular daily movement of this kind should preferably be controlled by a running signal, and recommended accordingly. The GWR noted this and later replaced the double disc with a route-indicating semaphore, sited at the rear of the platform, as seen on pages 450 and 452, upper.
At the other end of the station, as shown on page 455 upper, Gaer Junction's down main distant signals were slotted by West box's down platform and down main home signals, whilst the inner distant is discemible on page 456, lower, slotted by the down main advanced starting signal at the entrance to the Old Tunnel. What is not so evident is the absence of an intermediate distant with the down main starting signal on the left of the picture. This equal-sided bracket signal with calling-on arms had to be fitted into a very confined space, with limited visibility. Even the running-signal arms were only 3 feet long and of special design, so a distant signal could not be accommodated as well. Although unorthodox, the arrangement worked because drivers were acquainted with it and, with a permanent restriction of 40mph and few trains running non-stop through the station, speeds were not high.
The view of Gaer Junction on page 457, lower, is another that is earl ier than 1946, by at least ten years. Just discernible on the right is the down Western Valleys home signal with a right-hand bracket duplicating that of the up relief starting signals in the right foreground. Reflecting the MoT Requirements of 1925 this superfluous duplicate arm and bracket were removed around 1943, as were the left- hand bracket and arm with the up goods line home that duplicated the tall up main starting signals just left of centre. In the picture the up goods home is largely obscured but its position, on the down side of the down goods line, can be deduced from the plume of steam from the engine of a goods or mineral train waiting there, like many others, for a path through the tunnel to Newport station. Like most of the trains that stood at this signal, in the block section, the brake van at the rear was somewhere near Alexandra Dock Junction, where it is likely that a bank engine would have buffered up to assist the train engine in starting on the I in 101 rising gradient. Bank engines worked right up to the tunnel mouth, where the gradient slackened, and dropped back to A.D. Junction on the down goods line via a trailing crossover within the double scissors similar to that in the relief lines on page 457, upper, that is distinguishable by the ground disc at the end of the slip road in the diamond. The main lines through the station were frequently occupied by goods trains that were stationary or drawing forward to an adverse home signal at the far end, waiting to go forward, as on page 451. Down empty mineral-wagon trains for the Western Valleys usually crossed to the relief line at the West signal box. Bay platform 3 on the left, with two coaches stabled there, was variously used for departures to Brecon and Cardiff, as well as excursion trains to Barry Island. In the top right-hand corner, below the white building (the partly finished Civic Centre, finally completed with the addition of a clock tower in 1964), is a large square brick building, with four windows visible on the top floor, which had three storeys. This was the GWR Newport Divisional Engineer's (BR (WR) District Engineer's) Office in Devon Place, where I worked in the Permanent Way section in the mid-1950s and again in the early 60s. The two-storey building immediately to its left was also part of the DEO. Beyond this building is an elevated water tank that supplied the platform water cranes at the western end of the station, complementing the one at the other end, seen on the facing page. The white masonry two-bay building to the right of the smoke plume, former carriage and wagon shops, was occupied by the S&T Department, and was where the District Iinemen were based and stores were held.
The designated carriage sidings were situated behind the West signal box and were numbered 1-6. Coaching stock and an engine are seen in them on the left of the picture on page 454, upper. The man in front of the coaches could be a carriage shunter, as several were employed here. Coaching stock could also be stabled in the six-road carriage shed at Ebbw Junction, two miles down the line. On page 455. upper, the train on the right of the picture appears to consist of LMS stock, with a Webb 0-6-2 Coal Tank at the front, awaiting departure to the Sirhowy Valley via Risca and Nine Mile Point. The coal tanks were the mainstay of these LMS services to and from Newport during the wartime and early postwar years.
Appeal. Steve Douglas. 120
I am currently undertaking a model of Minehead station around 1947. Despite a number of excellent reference books, I am sadly lacking information on two aspects of the station.
Does anyone have drawings or detailed photographs of the crane that was in the yard at the time? I hope to get a CAD drawing made of the crane so I can commission a 3D printed model. There are distant photographs and some speculation in the excellent book by Ian Coleby that it is a Stothert &Pitt crane. This seems quite possible as they are a local manufacturer, based in Bath, more known for their dock cranes such as those at Bristol Docks. A similar crane can be seen in photographs of Ross on Wye.
Similarly, the goods yard built in the 1930s on the same side of the station as the engine shed is never represented in photographs. Does anyone know where photographs of this part of the station can be found?
GWR Journal. No. 97:.
Cover photo: As pointed out in the first letter, the engine shown is a 'Grange', not a 'Hall' as stated, The Editor would like to thank the numerous people who have written to or phoned us to point out this error.
Page 21 bottom - the '61XXs' did not have a water pickup; earlier '3150' 2-6-2Ts had been fitted. but all apparatus had been removed by this time. Page 26 - Troughs: the Southern engine pictured passing Rowington is a 'D15' 4-4-0, not 'S15',
Leamington Spa. J. Bassingdale. 118-19.
Colour photographs: No. 4074 Caldicot Castle entering station with 09.25 Margate to Wolverhampton train in 1962 or 1963 (train formed of Southern Region stock). No. 1005 County of Devon arriving with 10.30 Weymouth to Wolverhampton with maroon Western Harrier on express for Paddington. See errata on page 180 (Issue 99)
Pannier tanks Nos. 1504, 8763 and 3646 in Old Oak Common yard on 1 October 1961. M.G.C. Smith. rear cover
Number 99 (Summer 2016)
King class at Birmingham Snow Hill on 09.00 Paddingtonn to Wolverhampton.
This is a very poor quality cover either due to the original photograph of to is reproduction: therefire the reae cover is reproduced
John Copsey. 'Castles' in traffic. Part 2. 122-41.
|Streamlined No. 5005 Manorbier Castle passing Haresfield with 5 coach 16.20 Cheltenham St. James to Paddington on 30 March 1936||123u|
|No. 100 A1 Lloyds on down main platform at Swindon on 28 February 1937 (H.F. Wheeler)||123l|
|No. 5016 Montgomery Castle on Crewe to Plymouth train near Pilning on 23 January 1936||124u|
|No. 4085 Berkeley Castle on down West of England express near Frome on 23 April 1936. See letter from Eric Youldon on page 246.||124m|
|No. 5052 Eastnor Castle at Newport station with a down express on 31 May 1936||124l|
|No. 5021 Whittington Castle on Crewe to Plymouth express near Brent Knoll on 6 May 1936||125u|
|No. 5043 Barbury Castle near Standish Junction with up Cheltenham Flyer on 9 June 1936||125l|
|No. 5018 St. Maws Castle passing Beaconsfield on Paddington to Wolverhampton excursion on Sunday 20 September 1936||126u|
|No. 4092 Dunraven Castle at Plymouth North Road waiting to take over down Cornish Riviera on 27 March 1937||126m|
|No. 5036 Lyonshall Castle at Newton Abbot with Holiday Haunts Express headboard on 28 March 1937||126l|
|No. 5014 Goodrich Castle stopping at Beaconsfield on 16.40 Paddington to Banbury semi-fast||127u|
|No. 4037 The South Wales Borderers at Dawley on 15.55 Paddington to Carmarthen express on 29 May 1937||127m|
|No. 5044 Beverston Castle (or Earl of Dunraven) at St. Mellons (Noel Ingram)||127l|
|No. 4032 Queen Alexandra on 10.25 Birmingham Snow Hill to Weston-super-Mare express leaving Wickwar Tunnel on 14 April 1938||128u|
|No. 5064 Bishop's Castle at Uphill Junction on down Devonian on 2 June 1938||128l|
|No. 5058 Earl of Glencarty passing Dawlish Warren with down Devonian on 21 June 1938||129u|
|No. 5048 Earl of Devon on 12.15 Minehead to Paddington near Westbury on 6 August 1938||129m|
|No. 4099 Kilgerran Castle on 15.30 Paddington to Penzance near Frome on 20 August 1938||129l|
|Castle class allocations 1939 (map)||130|
|No. 4068 Llanthony Abbey being rebuilt as Castle at Swindon on 26 February 1939 (B. Eccleston)||131|
|No. 5016 Montgomery Castle on Old Oak Common shed on 4 March 1939 (B. Eccleston)||132u|
|No. 5093 Upton Castle on Swindon shed on 18 June 1939 (B. Eccleston)||132l|
|No. 4000 North Star entering Beaconsfield station with probable 14.40 Birkenhead to Paddington on 23 July 1939||135u|
|Unidentified Castle passing Iver in 1939||135l|
|No. 5071 Spitfire in September 1940 See letter from Eric Youldon on page 246.||141|
Arrangement of boiler mountings - S/5 boiler 4500 class Swindon October 1930 No. 89614. 142
Chris Turner. Britannnia Crossing. 143-5.
See also Issue 25 page 2 et seq for article on Kingswear. Britannia Crossing Halt originated on 18 October 1877 when the Prince of Wales took his twp sons to start their naval training at HMS Britannia and a platform was erected. From early 1888 this became a semi-public facility and enabled access to the Higher Ferry. The adjacent level crossing was open from 07.00 to 22.00 in summer (19.00 in winter) for access to the ferry. The illustrations and notes are based upon an interview with Joyce Adamson, daughter of Bob Ashton, the crossing keeper. Bob had been born at Tiverton in about 1895 and worked as a signalman there. Joyce was born in 1920 (he had married Edith Potter in 1918). An accident made him unable to work large manual signal boxes and he was employed as a crossing keeper including at Whitehall Halt on the Culm Valley line, but moved to Britannia Crossing on 12 April 1935. Electricity was provided for the halt and accomodation from 1938 (formerly paraffin) which arrived by train. Drinking water came by churn, but there was a well for other water supplies. There are five illustrations including one of Bob Ashton in GWR uniform.
Richard Watts. Schoolboy memories of the Abingdon branch,
From 1952 until 1960 author attended Abingdon School (known locally as Roysse's School) using The Bunk (auto train) from Radley to complete the journey from Didcot. Latterly the train service deteriorated and was provided by a diesel railcar. Further memories of Roysse's School and school trip to Sothampton by train in 1958 or 1959 from Kit Spackman on page 248. and more on this little stub from Tony Stockwell (pp. 425-6).
No. 1442 with auto coach at Radley in December 1956 (J.H. Venn)
No. 1437 with auto coach at Abingdon in 1955 (P.B. Whitehouse)
Mail being loaded into modern auto coach at Abingdon on 12 June 1956 (S. Fletcher)
Abingdon station forecourt on 28 May 1957 (R.M. Casserley)
Engine shed, spare auto trailer and gasworks (R.H.G. Simpson)
Fireman Den Carter, Driver Harold Ludlow and a porter with 14XX at Abingdon on 16 May 1952 (J.B. Snell)
Castle class No. 5081 Lockheed Hudson passing Appleford Halt with Hereford express on 11 June 1960 (Frank Saunders)
John Copsey. Traffic at Birmingham Snow Hill. Part 4.
On page 161 the phrase Scilly Isles appears rather silly as railwayless islanders prefer Isles of Scilly: see letter from Len Whitehouse on p. 246. Bob Crump notes that 45XX used as freright locomotives at Ponypool Road for banking on the Taff Vale Extension Railway and to Glascoed R.O.F. on the Monmouth branch.
|Star class No. 4058 Princess Augusta probably on an up relief or excursion in early 1930s (M.F. Yarwood)||151|
|No. 4579 on 08.40 freight from Stourbridge Junction and No. 5167 with stock for 12.24 to Lapworth on 7 September 1934 (M.F. Yarwood): see letter from Dick Potts on p. 246||152u|
|517 class No.1466 with auto trailer No. 70 with 13.45 to Dudley via Old Hill on 7 September 1934 (M.F. Yarwood)||152l|
|No. 5192 arriving in Up Main platforms with express from Wolverhampton on 3 August 1935 (H.F. Wheeler)||153u|
|Holidaymakers boarding Up train off end of No. 11/12 Platform entering articulated triplet set on 3 August 1935 (H.F. Wheeler)||153l|
|Northern approacvhes with power signal box and diesel railcar (probably on Cardiff service fill-in turn to Stratford) in late 1930s (L.E. Copeland)||154-5|
|No. 2981 Ivanhoe on Up Middle road probably on pilot duty||156|
|Station pilot (possibly Saint class) at north end||162|
|Hotel viewed from across Colmore Row and down Livery Street on 11 June 1939 (GWR official)||165|
|View down Livery Street on 11 June 1939 (GWR official). Letter fromRobert Smallman (p. 246) wonders if date should be 1949 not 1939 for this and adjacent||166u|
|View down Livery Street on 11 June 1939 further North (GWR official)||166l|
|Hotel viewed from across Colmore Row at junction with Bull Street and down Snow Hill on 11 June 1939 (GWR official)||168|
|Station entrance off Snow Hill on 11 June 1939 (GWR official)||169u|
|Snow Hill at north end of station with Slaney Street on right on 11 June 1939 (GWR official)||169l|
|Sandbag architecture to proect windows on platform buildinghs during WW2 on 2 May 1940 (GWR official)||171|
|No. 6905 Claughton Hall on Up Middle road probably on pilot duty in 1944 (GWR official)||175|
Platform trolleys at Banbury station. H.J. Stretton Ward, 176
Three different 4-wheeel trolleys. Merton Street station in background. See also British Rly J. No. 70 and LMS Reviewl No. 2.
John Lewis. The manufacture and distribution of gas for coach lighting.
Most railways used the German Pintsch process, but the Great Western used the Pope process developed by W. Pope of the Gotha Works in Slough to produce oil gas for carriage lighting. The shale oil used came from Scotland and was carried in GWR tank wagons. It was refined in retorts separately from coal gas although the two plants (one for coal or town gas) were adjacent at Swindon. The gas was purified using natural iron oxide from peat and this eliminated sulphur from the gas. The oil gas was conveyed in cordons under pressure to gassing points around the system. Thhere are two photographs of the Swindon oil gas works, John Lewis covered cordons in first issue
Birmingham Loco. Dick Potts
In answer to Keith Rathbone's letter in GWRJ No. 98, I must plead guilty as charged. Mitigating circumstances - old age! He was right. I always got the two tram routes to the Lickeys mixed up as you could catch either depending which side of the hills one wished to go. The Rednal tram terminated at the more popular side of the Lickeys and the Rubery trams terminated at the entrance to the Mental Home as it was called then. Well spotted, Brummie!
In the I950s when I fired over the line, Tyseley had two trains, the 4. I 5 a.m. ex- Bordesley June. and in the afternoon the 2/15 ELS from Tyseley Carr Sdgs to Longbridge to return with the 5/0 p.m. (?) workmen's to Old Hill. By the time we had drawn up to the water column, all the passengers had disappeared. We were relieved by Stourbridge men, then travelled to Snow Hill to relieve Tyseley men on the 5/5 p.m. ex-Cardiff and work ECS to Tyseley Carr Sdgs.
Re GWRJ No. 98, page 62. The photograph of 4082 Windsor Castle, I don't think it's at Swindon. It had been to Darlington for the Stockton & Darlington celebrations and still had the parade number '50' on the top smokebox lamp bracket. Also, if you look closely, the front RH splasher seems to have been damaged compare with other two splashers. The celebration dates were 1-3 July 1925. Brickwork and windows don't seem, to me, like Swindon. We shall see, and no doubt someone will write to you and after a slight delay from Tom Kirtley on page 427 of Issue No. 103.!
Saw 1287 at Leamington several times but the darkness of the shed where it was parked prevented me taking any photos.
Water pick-up and 'Castles'. Eric Youldon
The only GWR tank locomotives that had water pick-up apparatus, which incidentally had to be two-way, were the 36XX and 2221 classes plus a few 3150s, all from new. The last mentioned lost it in 1912 and the others by 1922. The driver of 6118 in the photo on page 21 of GWRJ 97 therefore had no option to staying dry!
Re Castles article in GWRJ 98, I have just one comment and that concerns the bull nose (official term) 5005 in page 77 photos. Removal of streamline sections is quoted in the RCTS Locos of the GWR Part 12 and were thus:
September 1935: Front cowling and tender fairing.
June 1943: Bull nose, chimney and safety valve casings, straight splashers and nameplates.
June 1947: Wedge-shaped cab.
GWR Journal.No. 98
Page 119 - The picture taken at Leamington Spa should, of course, have read County of Devon not Countess of Devon.
Page 115 - In the letter from T. W. Wykes, middle column, 15'" line, the word 'chairman' should have read 'chainmen'.
St. Ives shed man. Bill Crosbie-Hill
Re Matthews' memories of St. Ives (GWRJ No. 97), we stayed in the camping coach at St. Ives in June 1960. After the arrival of the last train from St. Erth, the crew put the engine on shed. The driver had a new Austin A40 and he gave the fireman a lift home. Soon after, in the gathering gloom, a man of short stature, somewhat rotund and who walked with the sailor's roll, came down the path behind the station. This was the shedman going to put the '45' to bed. As he did not return, we assumed he slept with the engine to prepare it for the next day's work before going home in the morning. Later I learned the shedman was Tommy Bassett, who had done the job for a number of years. I expect he would have retired the following year when the shed closed and with it the end of personal locomotive care.
No. 4155 on a Lapworth to Snow Hill stopping train at Bentley Heath. J. Bassingdale. rear cover
Number 100 (Autumn 2016)
No. 7032 Denbigh Castle at Old Oak Common on 24 November 1963 front view. M.G.C. Smith. front cover
C.F. Taylor and John Copsey. Labelling of passenger trains.
Part 2. 182-4.
Roof boards or destination boards for cross country seervices and trains onto other railways
John Copsey. Melksham. 185-202
Opened on 5 September 1848 on line which links Chippenham with Holt and thence to Trowbridge or Bradford-on-Avon and providing a divertionary route avoiding Box Tunnel. Its major industry the Avon Rubber Company is barely mentioned yet it must have provided considerable inwards traffic for raw rubber (certainly natural rubber and probably synthetic rubbers), carbon black, textiles and rubber chemicals and outwards traffic of tyres, conveyor belting and railway components before being usurped by the free provision of motorways and their associated pollution. The line had been converted from broad gauge in 1874. Passenger services are covered in considerable detail, but many did not stop at Melksham. See also long letter from Dvid J. Tomkiss. and from Eric Youldon with response from John Copsey (p. 424) and from Bill Crosbie-Hill (p. 425)
|Melksham station c1900 with baulk rail on Up Main line||185|
|Area map c1925||186|
|Ordnance Survey map/plan 1875||187|
|Melksham station c1930||192|
|Melksham station c1950||192|
|Ordnance Survey map/plan 1942||195|
|Ordnance Survey map/plan 1945||196|
|Looking north to goods shed from down platform in 1950s||197|
|Star No. 4038 Queen Berengaria arriving on short stopping train from north||197|
|Star No. 4038 Queen Berengaria moving to attach siphon||197|
|Melksham station forecourt||199|
|Looking north to footbridge and goods shed from down platform in 1950s||199|
|No. 5422 with an autocar on service to Chippenham||199|
|Looking south towards Bath Road overbridge||200|
|No. 5422 with an autocar on service to Chippenham||200|
|Up platform shelter||200|
|Looking north from Bath Road overrbridge towards main station building||201|
|Looking north to goods shed from down platform||201|
|Melksham signal box||201|
|No. 5422 with an autocar departing for Chippenham||202|
|Looking under Bath Road towards Ministry of Works grain silos built in 1939||202|
Jack Matthews. St. Ives station in detail.
Photographs by P.G.F. English. Views coloured by miserable arrival by Last Great Western to St. Erth to see "connection" departing as we crossly crossed unsafe footbridge and then the connection expired at St. Ives where we were too late to find accommodation office open. Fortunately we were able to retun by train to St. Erth and thence to Paddington to find that Circle Line service was disrupted. Needless to state that First service was late due to prolonged stay at Ivybridge where staff attemted to let ivy grow over train. Disenfranchise should re-establish its true meaning. See also letter p. 368 from Laurence Hansford and from Peter Simpkins on page 424, with three photographs, recalling holiday in camp coach in 1956
|Eastern end looking towards Malakoff||203|
|Looking west with main station building||204|
|Main station building||204|
|Main station building with Porthminster Hotel behind||204|
|Parcels office & gas light||205|
|Chocolate machines, Mail box & bookstall||206|
|Telephone kiosk on platform||206|
|View towards telephone box and Malakoff||207|
|Forecourt at rear of platform||208|
Standard boards. 209
WHISTLE diagram 1923
Loading potatoes (in sacks) at Canons Marsh, Bristol onto Great Western
horse-drawn lorry in March 1926. 210
Official photograph (NRM)
John Copsey. The Great Bear. 211-18 (including folding page with frame
plan and elevation diagrams)
Also two photographs: outside Old Oak Common shed in 1919 and inside thereat (no date given); also quotations from Holcroft . but more especially see Great Western locomotive page
John Copsey. 'Castles' in traffic. Part 3. 219
|No. 4093 Dunster Castle on down express under Warren Road bridge in Sonning Cutting c1945||219|
|No. 5008 Raglan Castle approaching Bentley Road crossing on 16.05 Paddington to Shrewsbury in August 1945||221|
|No. 5072 Hurricane at Kingswear on 25 August 1945 (H.C. Casserley)||221|
|No. 5012 Berry Pomeroy Castle on empty stock passing Goodrington Sands Halt on 25 August 1945 (H.C. Casserley)||221|
|No. 5011 Tintagel Castle at Taunton with a down express on 6 July 1946||222|
|No. 4000 North Star arriving Leamington Spa with local passenger train from Banbury in early 1947 (H.J. Stretton Ward)||225|
|No. 5048 Earl of Devon with long express c1947||225|
|No. 5076 Gladiator at Dawlish with up express formed of LNER teak c1948||225|
|No. 5075 Wellington with 51XX assisting behind Castle nesar Bentley Green crossing c1947 (C.F.H. Oldham)||226|
|No. 5087 Tintern Abbey on turntable at Oxford shed c1947 (R.H.G. Simpson)||226|
|No. 5036 Lyonshall Castle at Old Oak Common c1947||226|
|No. 5033 Broughton Castle arriving Leamington Spa with 20.10 local passenger train formed of Q set from Banbury in 1947 (H.J. Stretton Ward)||227|
|No. 4000 North Star near Saunderton with 16.10 Paddington to Birkenhead on 24 May 1947||228|
|No. 4093 Dunster Castle at Bristol Temple Meads with eastbound train on 12 July 1947 (W.H. Stone)||228|
|No. 7004 Eastnor Castle with parcels train at Gloucester on 17 May 1947||228|
|No. 4037 The South Wales Borderers on Whitnash Bank with 11.40 Birkenhead to Paddington on 16 May 1947 (H.J. Stretton Ward). See letter from Michael Dunn who states Leamington not Wellington||229|
|No. 5075 Wellington descending Whitnash Bank with 14.10 Paddington to Birkenhead on 19 May 1947 (H.J. Stretton Ward)||229|
|No. 4097 Kenilworth Castle entering Par with 10.40 Penzance to Wolverhampton on 25 August 1948||230|
|No. 4096 Highclere Castle at Hereford station on 26 March 1948 (W.A. Camwell)||230|
|No. 5067 St. Fagans Castle at Port Talbot on 27 March 1948||230|
|No. 4094 Dynevor Castle on 15.45 Snow to Cardiff entering Cheltenham Malvern Road on 21 May 1948||231|
|No. 5055 Earl of Eldon passing Beacomsfield with .11.10 Paddington to Shrewsbury on 9 May 1948||231|
|No. 7008 Swansea Castle (tender lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS) with 09.20 Birkenhead to Bournemoth formed of Southern stock descending Hatton Bank (L.H. Leftwich)||231|
|No. 5055 Earl of Eldon in full GWR livery on Old Oak Commnon shed in May 1948||231|
|No. 7011 Banbury Castle in light green livery (tender lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS) at Bath Road shed in June 1948 (H.C. Casserley). See also letter from Eric Youldon p. 424||232|
|No. 5021 Whittington Castle in light green livery (tender lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS) at Par with down Cornish Riviera on 25 August 1948||232|
|No. 5021 Whittington Castle under hoist at St Blazey shed with centre coupled wheelset removed||232|
|No. 4084 Abbotsbury Castle with smokebox numberplate and GWR livery on Cardiff Canton shed on 14 August 1949 (H. Cooper)||233|
|No. 4076 Carmarthen Castle (tender lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS) on Stafford Road shed on 24 April 1949 (C.F.H. Oldham)||233|
|No. 5079 Lysander passing Whiteball signal box with down express in September 1949||234|
|No. 4091 Dudley Castle under repair in Old Oak Common shed on 18 September 1949 (F.J. Saunders)||234|
|No. 5031 Totnes Castle (tender lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS) at Stafford Road shed on 30 April 1949*||235|
|No. 7007 Great Western at Old Oak Common shed on 27 April 1950||235|
|No. 5017 St. Donats Castle and another Castle with 11.00 Paddington to Plymouth on climb to Dainton||238|
|No. 5092 Tresco Abbey with departure from No. 1 platform at Paddington on 27 May 1950||238|
|No. 7030 Cranbrook Castle at Swindon with up parcerls train on 11 June 1950 (L.R. Peters)||239|
|No. 7000 Viscount Portal leaving Parson's Tunnel on 11.25 Cardiff to Penzance on 8 July 1950 (B.M. Barber)||239|
|No. 7024 Powys Castle approaching Reading with up Red Dragon from Carmarthen on 18 July 1950||239|
|No. 4073 Caerphilly Castle at Salisbury with 11.00 Brighton to Cardiff on 12 August 1950||240|
|No. 7027 Thornbury Castle and No. 4077 Chepstow Castle on 07.30 Penzance to Wolverhampton climbing in South Devon on 11 September 1950||240|
|No. 5057 Earl Waldegrave passing Twyford with 11.15 Paddington to Weston-super-Mare The Merchant Venturer in 1951 (M.W. Earley)||241|
|No.5003 Lulworth Castle at Exeter St. David's on 21 June 1951||241|
|No. 5094 Tretower Castle at Weymouth on 27 June 1951 (R.S. Carpenter)||242|
|No. 5053 Earl Cairns with 43XX No. 5331 north of Bentley Heath with 11.50 Bournemouth Central to Birmingham formed of Southern stock on 21 July 1951 (C.F.H. Oldham)||242|
|No. 5075 Wellington on turntable at Reading shed on 10 August 1951||242|
|No. 5017 St. Donats Castle at Torquay station with 11.25 Kingswear to Paddington on 15 August 1951||243|
|No. 7028 Cadbury Castle in rock cutting near Winterbourne with 12.20 Neyland to Paddington on 19 August 1951||243|
|No. 5059 Earl St. Aldwyn on Exeter shed in August 1951||243|
|No. 7006 Lydford Castle on Gloucester Horton Road shed on 27 April 1952||244|
|No. 5038 Morlais Castle at Old Oak Common on 10 May 1952 (H.F. Wheeler)||244|
|No. 4091 Dudley Castle approaching Thingley Junction with 16.15 Paddington to Bristol on 23 May 1952||245|
|No. 7027 Thornbury Castle approaching Thingley Junction with 17.05 Paddington to Plymouth on 26 May 1952||245|
|No. 5020 Trematon Castle on Canton shed on 26 July 1952 (R.C. Riley)||245|
*locomotive with chalk markings: Wembley 1949: Wolves were playing Leicester City in Cup Final at Wembley
'Castles' at work. Eric Youldon
Refers to No. 4085 on page 124 and to experimental fire-iron compartment (tunnel) (KPJ likes to think of this Castle as being "Private Passions Castle") and to No. 5071 on page 141 which shows staandard fire-iron compartment, Collett experimental eight-wheel tender and blanked cabside window.
Snow Hill. Len Whitehouse.
On page 161 the phrase Scilly Isles appears rather silly as railwayless Scillonians prefer Isles of Scilly
Snow Hill. Robert Smallhouse
Questions whether given for photographs on pp. 165-9 should be 1949 not 1939 as per caption as tram wires not visible. See also extensive letter on Birmingham trams on page 298 from Geoff Kelland.and another from Mike Barnsley
'45XXs'. Dick Potts
45XX only used for a short time at Tyseley due to incidence of hot boxes caused by running fast on North Warwickshire line to Henley-in-Arden
Double chimneys. R.S. Potts
Photograph of types fitted to county class from 1956 and for Castle class also from 1956
'45XXs'. Bob Crump
During time that writer was at Pontypool Road the 45XX were not used on passenger workings yet Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith's Monmouthshire Eastern Valleys, Middleton Press, 2006 includes a photograph of No. 4541 at Pontypool Crane Street on a passenger working in 1938. Between 1944 and 1947 the 45XX were used onbn the Taff Vale Extension as bankers of freight trains to Cwm Glyn signal box and on freights to the Royal Ordnance Factory at Glascoed. Noted how his work was covered by an Essential Works Order which exepmted him from military service, but dictated wher he could work
'45XXs'. R.L. Pittard.
Pre-1953 the two 45XX at Tondu worked the Bridgend to Abergwynfi service and the two 44XX worked the Porthcawl branch.
'44XX', '41XX' and '45XX' classes. Robert
44XX: allocated to Tondu: No. 4404 seen in October 1951 and No. 4408 in July 1952. Worked traffic to British Industrial Solvents at Margham known locally as the Carbide Works.
41XX: No. 4164 painted in green and lettered BRITISH RAILWAYS in GWR style lettering was sent new to Dyffryn Yard: in 1951 was working on Rhondda & Swansea Bay servicess. The Landore based 41XX worked a Saturdays only Porthcawl to Swansea service, but when not available service worked by 56XX, 57XX and in 1959 by 61XX and by 2251 No. 2226. Last regular South Wales 41XX workings were on Pontypool Road to Neath service. Adds that also used on Severn Tunnel Junction to Pilning car transporting service until Severn Bridge opened.
45XX: No. 5555 sandwiched between two Hawksworth auto trailers worked Porthcawl services in summer 1957. On 10 September 1964 saw No. 4564 woring as a pilot locomotive between Beechley Junction and Lydney.
The Abingdon branch. Kit Spackman.
Attended Roysse's one year later than Richard Watts. School trips normally made by motor coach, but in 1958 or 9 made by train to Southampton
No. 7032 Denbigh Castle at Old Oak Common on 24 November
1963: side view. M.G.C. Smith. rear cover
Caption incorrectly states Penrice Castle: see letter from David Appleton on page 298 and from Michael Dunn on page 424
Number 101 (Winter 2017)
John Copsey and Richard Parker. Traffic at Birmingham
Snow Hill. Part 5. 250-83
Many of the photographs seem to have been taken in fog or from smoke, clearly visible in southwards views, but also some looking northwards. Many of the scenes are untidy and must have been a shock for passengers arriving with experience of London Transport's signage. Post-WW2 restorations of services, followed by further reductions during the coal crises that followed. Notes on working the two early power signal boxes: the South Signal Box was heated by gas. 51XX dominated local passenger services. Keith Steele was a train recorder at the South Signal Box: he sarted work on 6 June 1945 when the station master was Arthur Hammond Elsdon. The signalmen were Jim Hollies, Joe Robinson and Herbert Parsons. The other train recorder was Dennis Winkles. The equipment was manufactured by Siemens and consisted of a miniature lever frame and train describers. Snow Hill Tunnel was 596 yards long on a 1 in 45 gradient. Special measures were in place to cope with trains which had stlled on the climb. Colin Jacks remembered working on the little pilot, which had the task of hauling stalled train out of the tunnel. Firemen Dennis Herbert and Dick Potts worked on the big pilot which tended to work southwards. See also letter from Dick Potts p. 366.
|No. 6001 King Edward VII (probably painted blue) entering Platforms 7/8 with 14.40 Birkenhead to Paddington in 1950||
|56XX on up Class F freight||
|Aberdare 2-6-0 No. 2651 on down Class F freight in 1948||
|No. 5147 on Class K freigght heading north on 6 May 1948 (E. Oldham)||
|5101 Class No. 4111 light engine in 1847||
|Double chimney King on 16 .10 ex-Paddington to Birkenhead arriving through Snow Hill Tunnel c1957||
|Birmingham South signal box||
|Looking outwards throuigh vehicle entrance off Livery Street with Wymans bookstall||
|Tickets in advance & Enquiry Office||
|Sloping walkway down towards stairs to platforms||
|Main booking office||
|Clock above booking office & booking office||
|Sloping walkway towards footbridge||
|Stairs off platform (compare with recent exits from Edinbugh Waverley): therse were ill-lit and dangerous||
|Finger signs to trains (more like rural England) and slate noting alterations||
|Plan post 1930||
|No. 5980 Dingley Hall alongside Platform 7 on short express formed mainly of BR Mark I coaches||
|No. 5954 Faendre Hall with up Cambrian Coast Express c1955||
|Platform 8/7 looking north||
|Platform 7 looking south||
|Platform 7 Empire Fruit Stall & Weymans bookstall||
|Refreshment rooms: dismal lighting and dreadful hygiene (5 views)||
|Platform 7 with limited visibility||
|94XX Class No. 8438 on local passenger train at Platform 5 (Bill Richards)||
|Star class No. 4061 Glastonbury Abbey on local passenger train alongside Platform 6 (Bill Richards)||
|43XX 2-6-0 No. 5312 on northbound train of iron ore tipplers||
|No. 1000 County of Middlesex in BR lined black alongside Platform 6 with express passenger train||
|No. 1458 on Dudley Dasher auto trailer in No. 4 bay platform road||
|Old brake van used as store for filling tail lamps in No. 4 bay platform road||
|Scissors crossover on downside from Platform 7||
|Signals at north end of Platform 8 with route indicator displays||
|Signal at north end of Platform 9 (arm marked "BAY") with route indicator displays||
|No. 6008 King James II approaching Platform 8 passing North Signal Box in 1949 (see letter from Dick Potts p. 366)||
|North Signal Box exterior||
|North Signal Box interior (P.J. Garland)||
|North Signal Box interior||
|King? class departing Platform 6 with northbound express moving towards North Signal Box: note complex points & crossings||
|No. 4905 Barton Hall on turntable at north end c1955||
|Water tank and water crane||
|Northwood Street Carriage Sidings||
4259 in close up. C.F. Tickle. 284-8.
Eighteen photogtaphs take at Wolverhampton shed on 16 October 1960.
Jack Matthews. St. Ives station in detail. 289-92
Photographs by P.G.F. English. Previous Part see page 203 et seq..
Chris Turner. Newbury passenger train operations. 293-7.
|43XX No. 5385 on 16.36 Newbury to Weymouth (R.C. Riley)||293|
|Railcars Nos. 33 and 36 with centre trailer on Reading service on 2 September 1953 (T.C. Cole)||294|
|Railcar W12W in up bay platform||294|
|Railcar No. 18 on Lambourn service||295|
|Hall on Frome to Paddington express calling at Newbury in 1959||296|
|94XX No, 8430 on up local serviice||296|
|Modified Hall alongside down platform and 2251 0-6-0 No. 3211 with train for Winchester & Southampton?||296|
|2301 No. 2573 possibly off Lambourn freight (J.H. Russell)||297|
See also letter from John Daniels p. 423-4
Penrice Castle. David Appleton
Caption (rear cover of Issue 100) covering front and rear cover photographs call locomitive Penrice Castle but was Denbigh Castle. [KPJ front number plate looks like a wooden replacement and no shed plate]. The original Denbigh Castle was No. 7001 in the 1946 batch but name was transferred to No. 7032 in the 1950 batch and the former engine renamed Sir James Milne.
Snow Hill. Mike Barnsley
Contrary to Robert Smallman 's letter in issue 100, I can see no reason why the photos of the Snow Hill station area cannot have been taken any time from the spring of 1939 onwards. The trams from Snow Hill to West Bromwich ran via the Soho Road. My grandparents lived in Linwood Road, off the Soho Road, and when I was taken to see them in the 1940s the Soho Road trams and their overhead wires were long gone. Checking in the booklet A nostalgic look at Birmingam trams, 1933-1953, confirms that my memory is not playing me tricks, as the trams on the Soho Road routes had been replaced by buses on 1 st April 1939. As Snow Hill was just a blind loop at the end of the route, there was no need to retain the wiring to permit transfer of the redundant trams elsewhere, and so, by the date of 11th June 1939 claimed for the photographs, the corporation would have had some ten weeks in which to remove all the redundant wiring.
Snow Hill. Geoff Kelland
The tram services between Birmingham and West Bromwich have an interesting and complex history seeing traction provided by horse, steam, cable and electricity and operated by various different companies. The electric era commenced in 1902 following on from The West Bromwich Corporation Act of 1900 which gave powers for West Bromwich to operate tramways within the borough. West Bromwich exercised these powers in 1902 by purchasing the track and infrastructure and electrifying the tracks; however, they declined to purchase tramcars and leased the operation back to The South Staffordshire Tramways (Lessee) Company who commenced electric operation between Handsworth Boundary and Carter's Green, extending to Dudley on 30 May 1903 and to Wednesbury on 8 October 1902. At this date Handsworth was still a separate Urban District Council and was not incorporated into Birmingham until 9 November 1911.
At the termination of the South Staffs lease on 31 March 1924 a new 15-year lease was awarded to Birmingham City Transport who then took over the whole of the service network between Birmingham, West Brornwich, and Carter's Green and onward to Dudley and Wednesbury as well as the South Staffs small depot at The Hawthoms which was used for stabling cars on the occasion of football matches. As an aside, this depot was subsequently demolished brick by brick and rebuilt at The Black Country Museum at Dudley.
On expiration of the 15-year lease and due to the poor track condition, it was decided to convert the routes to motor bus operation, though West Bromwich had favoured the use of trolleybuses and had gone as far as to rebuild the entrance to their garage at Oak Lane with doorways of sufficient height to accept trolleybus overhead. Trams ran for the last time on the Soho Road group of routes on 31 March 1939 with a Birmingham and West Bromwich joint bus service commencing on the 1 st of April. The system of fare collection was unique in the West Midlands area in that passengers travelling across the boundary had to rebook at this point, though there was no necessity for tickets to be changed or cash bags as all revenue could be appropriated from study of the conductor's waybill. This system continued until August of 1967 when a formula had been worked out to apportion revenue on a mileage basis; this, however, only lasted until October 1969 when the Passenger Transport Executive was set up and all revenue ended up in the same pot. The photographs that appear in issue 99 and are dated 11 June 1939 are correctly captioned as the last trams had run at the end of March and show that the overhead had been removed but the more complex job of lifting track had still to be undertaken. Another pointer that these are pre-war photos is that two Birmingham buses are visible in the upper view on page 169 sporting cream roofs; this was the Birmingham livery until the outbreak of war in September when khaki paint was applied to make vehicles less visible from the air, and in some cases a camouflage pattern was applied. It was discovered that the khaki paint was so hard wearing that it was retained on Birmingham's buses well into the 1970s.
45XX . Cedric Appleby. 298;
Memories of this class in the west of Cornwall in the early 1950s: Penzance was allocated nine or ten of these engines, all in the 4500-74 series the as the only ones permitted on the St. Ives branch;.the 4575 being too heavy. The Helston branch was less restricted but it was more convenient for the whole allocation at Penzance to be of the lighter version. Both the first and the last locomotive of the series (4500 and 4574) happened to be at Penzance at that time. ot only were they used on the St. Ives and Helston branches but they were also used on the branch to Hayle Wharves when one of the two 2021 class pannier tanks were not used there. This was a turn which included the 08.30 'Hayle Wail' which took the Hayle Grammar School boys from Penzance to Hayle. After shunting the Wharves, it would work a transfer goods to Gwinear Road. Other 45s would be seen shunting at Gwinear Road and occasionally doing the same at Penzance station and the yards at Ponsandane and Marazion.
Much photographed was their use on the Summer Saturday St. Ives Limited which was the Cornish Riviera with all ten coaches double-headed on the St. Ives branch. There were also Sunday School Treat trains from Penzance to Carbis Bay which were also long. Between 1951 and 1953 three 45s were withdrawn from Penzance and in the following years others followed. This created a problem since there was a notable decline in numbers of the lighter 4500s. From the mid- 1950s some were transferred to Penzance from other sheds in the Newton Abbot division and beyond, even from Machynlleth. In the end some members of the 4575 series were allocated to Penzance but not used on the St. Ives branch except at least once by mistake.
Bill Barron was the signalman at Trenance box, just west of St. Austell, which was manned when required. He was there when the down Cornish Riviera Express broke down with a diesel just outside his box. There happened to be a 4500 class tank around and this was put at the head of the train. Bill was astounded at the way in which this small engine accelerated away with what could have been eight or nine coaches including a restaurant car. No wonder there were stories on other occasions of guards being left behind by these racers!
As I mentioned, 4500 was at Penzance and by chance I saw its departure from Long Rock shed on its last journey. I must have been about thirteen years of age at the time. I was on the path opposite the shed when I heard the sound of a hooter [Crosbie whistle] and saw the front of a Britannia Pacific running slowly as it crossed on to the turntable road. It was 70019 Lightning which had been the first Pacific to come to Penzance a few years before. It was turned, visited the water column, and then backed on to 4500 in the yard which was then towed away in the direction, presumably, of Swindon.
Train label boards. Colin Jenkins.
When Swindon Works closed down, I pretty much had the run of the place, turning up all sorts of things. Among the 'discoveries' was an old desk, and nailed to the back of the desk were pieces of sawn-off train label boards. (Another had a leg made from a panel with a Brecon and Merthyr monogram on it.) Obviously they were scrap boards and had been put to further use.
Photos 1 & 2 show the style of boards used on top expresses in use from 1935. Lettering is in black with an orange line (loco?) inside. This is replicated around the edges of the board. They would be style l. Photos 3 & 4 show the same lettering but without the orange line, although it is possible to discern the black and orange line around the outside. Again, style 1. Photo 5, same again but in style 2.
Photos 6 & 7 show the destinations written in sans serif letters and I would suggest that they are from the immediate postwar period. Again it has black and orange lining round the edge. Style 3.
Around the same time, the new museum was being set up and on one visit I noticed another old desk with some old boards nailed to it. It was not possible to get in a position where they could be photographed but they were lettered as per Photo 8. They were very colourful with reds, gold and greens in evidence. I have not seen the desk since, but I imagine it must still be there somewhere. One point to note is that these boards were flat with large radiuses on the ends.
Photos 9 & 10 show one of the 'specials'. These boards also appear to be flat. The original photo shows two Clerestory carriages and a Dreadnought Diner. Unfortunately, the photo is undated but as the two Clerestories are brown and the Diner is chocolate and cream, it would put it at about 1908/9. The lettering would appear to be gold (and it looks as though it may be shaded) on a brown background.
I have seen a reference to boards being red during the period from 1912 to 1920. Presumably the same colour as the carriages. Photos 11, 12 & 13 show boards in the twenties. They are now scalloped out and have a rounded top and bottom so that they do not trap the rain. In preservation, these boards have always been painted white, but looking at the photos (and these carriages are fresh out of the box) they would appear to be cream. Can anyone confirm?
Photo 14 shows the 1935 style of lettering in use for run-of-the-mill trains. Certainly black on cream with black and orange lining round the border.
Finally, Photo 15 shows the style of board in use in 1947 as used on Hawksworth stock. These boards were only 15ft long. Gold on Brown. Older stock would have used boards in the style of Photos 6 & 7.
One thing somebody may be able to clear up: one of the boards I uncovered was in the postwar sans serif lettering. The board had been cut so that it just read ... SEA and NE ... I am assuming that it would be something, Swansea and Neyland. However, nothing like it appears in the copy of train labelling that I have (circa 1927).
Lighting jumpers. David Burton. 308
Researching the early arrangements of electric lighting on Great Western coaches for some time, but have drawn a blank on the jumper arrangements prior to 1921 on suburban stock. The RM has the wiring diagrams but no drawings of the jumpers. I know that the 1913-built stock (D53/E96 and D551E97) had jumpers at the top of the roof but can find no drawings or decent pictures showing them, and have no idea regarding what was fitted to the 1911-built stock (D491E89). If any readers can help it will be greatly appreciated.
Chris Turner. Lad porter at Yelverton. 299-304
Related by Larry Crosier who started at Yelverton in October 1943 and travelled to work on 10.47 from North Road (he lived in Plymouth) and returned on 19.30. These trains were worked by 45XX class and were formed of old stock. The station master was Charlie Badcock who suffered from rheumatism. There were two signalmen: Percy Willmott and Fred Nicholls. Ther was another lad porter Ken Gay and one porter, aged over 80: Jimmy Thomas
|Looking north towards tunnel on 15 September 1959||299|
|Downside platform shelter||300|
|Down passenger train (L.E. Copeland)||301|
|No. 44XX on Princeton single coach: turntable also visible (R,J. Doran)||302|
|View of junction with Princeton mixed train in platform and pannier taank powered train from Plymouth (W.B. Waraburton)||302|
|Up station building||303|
|View towards Plymouth (L.E. Copeland)||304|
Number 102 (Spring 2017)
Castle class. front cover
See letters from T. Coldicott on location and D. Appleton on locomotive (probably No. 4098 Clifford Castle) in Number 103
Gareth J. Price, Mick Haynes and Colin Jenkins. Collett 57ft
bow-ended carriage design. 310-21.
From 1925 until late summer 1939 steel-panelled, oak-framed, bow-ended 57ft bow-ended carriages were produced with galvanised steel roofs. Partly an appeal to restore No. 6045 owned by the Great Western (SVR) Association.
|Composite No. 6096 in August 1828 (GWR Official)||310/11|
|C54 third No. 4805 photographed at Snow Hill on Cardiff-Worcester-Birmingham train on 11 October 1947||312|
|Compartment side of C54 third No. 5078 at Snow Hill in early 1947 (P.J. Garland)||312|
|C54 No. 5078 at Stapleton Road on 26 January 1939||312|
|Roof of bow-ended coach; also showing bomb damage at Newton Abbot in August 1940||313|
|Brake third No. 4753 of Lot 1353 in December 1925 (M. Longridge)||313|
|E132 composite W6078W at Brmouth in 1957||313|
|E128 composite No. 6479 at Tyseley in 1949 (P.J. Garland)||313|
|Inward opening hopper window to toilet (Roye England)||314|
|Underframe detail on composite No. 6085 (Roye England)||314|
|Compartment in No. 9103 (Dave Smith)||315|
|Toilet pan in No. 9103 (Dave Smith)||315|
|Corridor in No. 9103 (Dave Smith)||316|
|Corridor connections in bow-ended stock||316|
|No. 9103 as finished in 1930 double-lined livery (Mick Haynes)||317|
|No. 6045 as before restoration (colour: Mick Haynes)||318|
|Various pieces of No. 6045 during restoration (colour: Mick Haynes)||318-19|
Chris Turner. Newbury goods rn the early Postwar years. 322-32.
Jack Humphrey is the source for much of the information and the majority of the photographs. There were two pilots: the Town pilot which faced west, and the Racecourse pilot which faced east.
|View from Sterling Cables building towards goods shed and widened Cheap Street bridge (Jack Humphrey)||322|
|Looking east from Cheap Street bridge with Middle Signal Box||323|
|Ordnance Survey 25-inch map of 1932||324-5|
|57XX No. 4649 acting as Town pilot (Jack Humphrey)||326|
|28XX arriving with 13.20 Reading Scours Lane to Tsavistock Junction unfitted freight (Jack Humphrey)||327|
|No. 6864 Dymock Grange on 08.45 from Reading one Sunday in 1948 photographed from top of gas works (Jack Humphrey)||327|
|ex-M&SWJR 2-4-0 on Lambourn branch freight: see letter on page 423 from Mike Barnsley: No. 1335||328|
|Standard goods 0-6-0 on 14.47 freight from Lambourn (Henry Toomer)||328|
|Middle Signal Box||329|
|Looking east from Middle Signal Box (Jack Humphrey)||329|
|Forecourt (north) elevation of goods shed||329|
|10-ton yard crane||330|
|No. 2202 on freight one Sunday in 1948 photographed from top of gas works (Jack Humphrey)||331|
|Diesel railcar No. 19 with three horseboxes for Lambourn (Henry Toomer)||332|
|Jack Humphrey, Fred Richens and Bill Guy (shunters at Newbbury Town Yard) in 1948 (Henry Toomer)||332|
|No. 2202 with Driver Bill Fidler and Fireman Wally Atkins (Jack Humphrey)||332|
G.F. Taylor and John Copsey. Labellrng of passenger trains.
Part 3. 333-6.
Includes hand-written amendments as late as 1950
Blunsdon road crossing. Seaton Phillips. 337-8; rear cover
Photo-feature: Highworth branch: No. 1400 on branch train at road crossing where guard opened and closed gates and (rear cover) at terminus: all on 9 May 1949
Richard Parker. Traffic at Birmrngham Snow Hill. Part 6. 339-46.
Parcels office at Snow Hill station with experience of Colin Jacks, a 15 year old lad, who started work on 28 March 1948 under the awesome presence of waxed moustached and uniformed Mr Fulwell, the foreman. He worked with Mrs Edith Weston on a horse drawn lorry powered by Dolly, the mare. Their round was in the city centre. Substantial tips were give on the trips to the Royal Mint. Don Martin was a leading parcels porter in 1951. Passengers luggage in advance required stamps to show the cost, a combinaion of weight and distance of journey, stuck on with fish glue. Bullion required a strong police presence.
|No. 6854 Roundhill Grange on southbound excurion at Platform 7 with platform trolley with pile of Royal Mail sacks.||339|
|Exterior of parcels office and yard viewed from street (Snow Hill)||341|
|Plan of parcels office and yard||342|
|Underpass giving access to Snow Hill and Great Charles Street||342|
|Parcels office yard (2 views)||343|
|Platform 6 with stairs down to underpass with exit to Great Charles Street||345|
|No. 4954 Plaish Hall with southbound parcels train||345|
|No. 6853 Morehampton Grange with special express at Platform 12||346|
John Copsey. Castles in traffic. Part 4. 347-66.
|No. 5091 Cleeve Abbey at Bristol Temple Meads on 8 September 1952||347|
|No. 5096 Bridgwater Castle leaving Alderton Tunnel on 13.37 Bristol to Paddington on 15 March 1953||349|
|No. 7037 Swindon at Swindon on 14 June 1953 (R.J. Buckley)||349|
|No. 5080 Defiant at Cardiff Canton on 7 August 1953||351|
|No. 5028 Llantilio Castle on down Torbay Express crossing Broadlands Viaduct on 23 May 1953 (C.H.S. Owen)||351|
|No. 4000 North Star near Saunderton on 06.30 Birkenhead to Paddington on 5 September 1953||351|
|No. 7005 Lamphey Castle on Worcester shed on 16 November 1953||353|
|No. 7010 Avondale Castle approaching Dainton Tunnel with 12.05 Paddington to Plymouth on 28 August 1954 (Peter W. Gray)||354|
|No. 5066 Wardour Castle at Oxford on up slow passenger train on 13 November 1954||354|
|No. 4082 Windsor Castle at Swindon on 12 September 1954||354|
|No. 4087 Cardigan Castle arriving at Truro on Penzance to Wolverhampton Cornishman in 1954/5||357|
|No. 5098 Clifford Castle at Truro on a down express on 8 July 1955||357|
|Castle on 06.15 Swansea to Paddington passind Didcot on 2 January 1956 (R.S. Potts)||358|
|No. 7024 Powis Castle approaching Keynsham on 09.00 ex-Exeter on 9 March 1956||359|
|Nos. 4087 Cardigan Castle and 7008 Swansea Castle in Swindon Factory on 12 March 1956||360|
|No. 4099 Kilgerran Castle on shed at Penzance Long Rock in April 1956||360|
|No. 5024 Carew Castle at Newton Abbot in April 1956||361|
|No. 5017 The Gloucestershire Regiment, 28th/61st at Swindon in 1956||362|
|Noo. 5009 Shrewsbury Castle at Reading with Class C fish empties on 8 August 1956||363|
|No. 5037 Monmouth Castle at Newton Abbot possibly on 00.35 Manchester to Penzance||365|
|No. 7024 Powis Castle at Swindon in 1957||366|
See also letter from Tony Gosling on page 423
Birmingham Snow Hill
I offer a small correction to the caption to the I picture of the main booking office in the bottom right-hand comer on page 263 (GWRJ 101).
The date stated is c.1947-8. This is not correct. The same poster for Stanley V. Parkin's Grand Christmas Circus (December 1951 to January 1952) appears in two other pictures on that page. In addition the Phase I Standard Vanguard car in the picture would not have been available on the home market until 1950 at the earliest.
May I add my appreciation for John Copsey's work as Editor of GWRJ since its inception, and my regrets that this fine magazine will shortly cease regular publication. It has always been - and will remain - a definitive record. Tim Barnard Amersham
Birmingham Snow Hill. Dick Potts
Page 278, the photograph of 6008 arriving from the north end is one of mine and one of my first successes at the time. You have made a good job of it.
Page 262. Misprint or my writing. The Little Pilot went off shed at midnight and would tail the 4.0 a.m. approx. of the 'Mail' from Paddington.
Page 282 should read 6853 and 6866 (not 6856).
While spotting from Golden Hillock Road bridge, Small Heath, I saw the working of the ECS of the 5/5 ex Cardiff en route to Tyseley Carriage Sidings, which was always worked by open-cab 3578, 3571 Class 0-4-2T. This would be 1940/41.
Superb piece from Keith Steele who, of course, I knew at work. It was a real insight into the working of the station. I also knew Stan Vaughan, later an inspector, and signalman Charlie Spooner. It was very nice to read the contributions of my colleagues Dennis Herbert and Colin Jacks.
Newbury. Bob Crump
On page 294 the caption to the top photograph of diesels 33 and 36 standing in Newbury Down platform states that their home depot was Southall. That is incorrect as their home depot was Reading. They were there when I arrived in Reading in 1948, and were always stabled on No. 1 road. This I know only too well, as during the winter months all four engines of these cars would be started, so much so that one could not see from one end of the shed to the other for the amount of blue smoke, which seeped into all the mess rooms and the time office. The regular turn of duty for the 'Twins', as they were known, at Reading was the 6.55 a.m. workmen's to Slough. I do not remember the return working to Reading but they then worked Reading to Newbury for the rest of the day, coming to shed sometime in the evening. A spare driver was usually sent out to set the points to No. 1 road as they came directly to shed off the down main. On the start of the morning turn, a driver from the diesel link would first sand the rail up the slope to the down main exit so that the diesels would not slip to a standstill; all single railcars were stabled on No. 2 road, of which there were three. Also there was a dedicated link to the diesels. Drivers who did not fancy driving them would swap places with drivers already in the link. Consequently, some stayed in the link for quite a few years. If I remember correctly, the only steam they worked was if any diesels were out of action.
When the Twins were out of action, two autocars were used coupled to a 61 XX. This was not a popular turn as the engines used were usually in a very run-down condition, Having worked the turn, I can vouch for this as I now have tinnitus.
Diesel railcars were regularly moved round the system. Reading at one time had 27 and 38 stabled there. Both sets of twins had a buffet bar as standard. I believe the other set to be shedded at Bristol for services to Weymouth, but I could be wrong.
On page 296 in the picture showing two locomotives, the 22XX is a Didcot working to Southampton via Winchester; when 3440 was at Didcot, this engine, when not working specials regularly, did the turn and was kept in tip-top condition.
The opposite page shows 2573 taking water. This engine also worked the Lambourn branch passenger service, later taken over by the 22XX class, then by the 57XX when the route colour was eased from blue to yellow having found reduced hammer blow. Having worked both classes of tender engine over the branch, I can certainly vouch for the fact that the 57 and 8750 classes made for a more comfortable journey out across the Downs, especially when working the branch goods. I remember when 1335 or 6 worked the goods, these engines could find it a struggle on wet days to climb the bank up to Speen, in fact I was told that some drivers had three attempts before climbing the bank, to the point where they had to ignore the speed restriction over either the river or canal bridge.
Reading men did work to Winchester via Newbury; the train concerned left Reading at 7.10 a.m. and called all stations to Winchester. then it was on shed at Chesil, turn, have breakfast, and back to Newbury, arriving about 12.00 noon. We put the coaches in the up bay, then ran light engine to Reading. Later, when boundary changes took place, Reading men worked the train as far as Woodhay where we changed footplates with Southern men. Most times it would be a BR class 4 Mogul, but I have seen the Southern Moguls on the job when Eastleigh did not have a class 4. These were not as good as a 43XX.
Melksham. David J. Tomkiss. 367-8
The station area and that to the south was subject to regular flooding in winter, or after heavy thunderstorms, until the A von was straightened in the mid-1950s. Perhaps the worst occasion was in December 1900 when the 5.50 a.m. from Swindon ran into water so deep that the fire was extinguished. The driver stayed with the train while the fireman swam back to Melksham Signal Box to obtain a wrong line order. Eventually a locomotive propelling 20 wagons arrived and pulled the train out. With regard to the query on page 197, the goods traffic using the down side sheds was as follows: outgoing wool and cereals were the initial trades, and the first buildings they were built in three stages hard against the outer siding, were used as malting sheds. Both these trades declined in the 1890s and were replaced by the following, which were themselves in decline from the 1950s as far as the railway was concerned.
The Atworth & District Farmers Co-operative, said to be the first such organisation in the country, moved to Melksham in 1916 and reformed itself as the Wiltshire Farmers Co-operative. It set up on a site south of the station on the down side without direct rail connection. It brought in all agricultural necessities and set out cereals and produce via the buildings on the 'long loading platform' and end load dock. There was no 'platform' as the wagons and vans stood hard against the side of the building so that the doors of both vans and building had to align hence so many doors. The wartime MOW grain silos and sidings were operated by the Farmers Co-op and gave them direct rail connection at last. There was no connection to the main line at their south end as built. The inlet facing to down trains was controlled from the signal box an ordinary stop arm into a dead end siding, wartime expediency? The silos were built to be bomb proof, their resilience making their eventual demolition very difficult. Prior to re-opening to passengers, track alterations meant that the silo siding was the only one remaining with the south end connection now made. Melksham ground frame was replaced nearby.
The Avon India Rubber Company needed to expand and moved to Melksham in 1889, having a patent for railway rubber buffing and hauling gear. By the 1930s they were making anything using rubber, from tennis balls to vehicle tyres via protective clothing and non-slip matting. There was no direct rail connection but they brought in coal in wagons bearing their company markings from 10-ton wooden wagons, via 12-ton steel underframe wagons to 20-ton 'Felix Pole' wagons marked 'AVON TYRES' in their peculiar script. They were likely used for outward traffic as well. Spencer Engineering moved to their rail- connected site in 1903, bringing in coal and raw materials. They had an international reputation and market in all matters of mechanical handling, specialising in bulk grain suction elevators and associated apparatus. Their smallest product was roller trays, used to move cartons and crates, usually by gravity. I have seen them used for bringing bales of wool or cartons of butter from store to shipside in Australia and New Zealand. The larger items were assembled and tested in their yard, then dismantled and sent out by rail.
Sawtell's started a feather purification factory in 1902 and brought in pluckings by rail. One consignment in 1928 occupied 4T trucks brought in two special trains of 26 and 15 wagons. Bales of purified down and feathers went out to pillow and bedding manufacturers.
Hurn Brothers brought in timber and logs via the goods yard 6-ton crane and sent out trellis work and fencing, being the largest manufacturer of trellis work in the country. Charles Maggs was, as mentioned in the article, sending most output via the goods shed and warehouse.
Wilts United Dairies were in town by the river with no rail connection, sending out milk in chums or Ro-Ro tankers using the end loading dock.
The Co-operative Wholesale Society ran a creamery, rail-connected on the up side south of the station. Cream in churns or milk powder in cans went out in syphons, while whey and waste liquid went out in chums or tanks to the cheese makers.
As stated on page 194, the Melksham pilot had much shunting to do, but there were no water columns at Melksham, so the occasional trip to Holt gave it a chance to fill its tender. It also served the Nestle's milk processing factory at Staverton, which specialised in condensed milk and milk powder. Most of the condensed milk used in ships' lifeboat emergency rations, as laid down by the Board of Trade, came from this factory. Vans and tanks for Nestle's usually came and went via Melksham.
After the signal box closed in 1967, a ground frame with intermediate token instrument was erected on the up side opposite the main entry point to the loops and sidings near Dunch Lane bridge. This allowed all down sidings to be shunted while the through line remained available for traffic. The western most up siding was used to stable dormitory coaches for men working during the re-signalling of the 'Westbury Blockade'. They appeared to be Collett sleepers with two bunks per compartment and a brake third converted to kitchen and mess van. A cook/steward remained on duty at all times while the coaches were there. Sadly, they arrived and left in the dark. By 1985 only the silo siding remained with its connection at the south end and the ground frame apparatus nearby.
Now there is just a single line with two-car platform at Melksham. When first re-opened in May 1985 the first train from Gatwick to Reading enabled me to connect there and eventually catch the 10.30 off Swindon to Melksham, with enough time at Swindon to go ashore and post the crew's westbound mail at the main post office. Passenger numbers then were such that on my next trip three months later the guard recognised me. Today, passenger numbers are up and the latest one-year target was met in three months. The buildings on the 'long loading platform' still stand in use by Novacast Castings, who make non-ferrous castings, some of which are for preserved steam engines. The Co-op creamery building has been extended while the 'Great Western Railway Warehouse' (page 202, upper) is now painted cream. The composite map on page 196 shows a 'gas works'. This site does produce gas but is actually the sewage works. The real gas works, in town, ceased producing gas in the 1930s, and was then used for storage and metering.
St. Ives. Laurence Hansford
I write regarding the article and photographs about St. Ives station in GWRJ 100 and the query on the first page about the brick shed halfway up the steps to the Malakoff. As a nosy schoolboy living in St. Ives throughout the 1950s, I saw what was inside several times: an exceptionally large gas meter, which I seem to remember was something like 4ft high and 2ft 6in wide (there was an even bigger one in an outbuilding round the back of Tregenna Castle Hotel, also, of course, ex-GWR).
The entire station, signal box, goods shed, engine shed, water tank and platelayers' hut were lit by gas. the supply of which came in from the road above through the conspicuous black pipe visible to the left of the shed. As far as I am aware, the station had been lit by gas right from when the line was opened in 1877. as a public supply of gas had already been available in SI. Ives for more than 40 years. It may surprise the reader. but SI. Ives gas works dated all the way back to 1835 although even in 1877 the light would have come from open jets as the incandescent mantle had yet to be invented. However, don't forget that William Murdoch (Boulton and Watts's agent in Cornwall, responsible for the erection of their steam engines on the tin mines) single-handedly pioneered the production and distribution of coal gas and its use for lighting and he lived just a few miles up the road in Redruth. This he did in his spare time virtually as a hobby and his house is widely credited as being the first building (in the world) to have been lit by gas in 1794. Sometime between the wars, all the old square-sided lanterns were swept away and the station re-equipped with Sugg's 'Littleton ' pattern lamps which were then the latest thing and modern competition for electric public lighting. These can be seen quite clearly in the views showing the station awning and will be recognised as common throughout the railway system.
Above the two arms allowing individual lamps to be turned on or off can be seen a mysterious dark object which I suspect few people would recognise as a vital part of a remote control system allowing a group of lamps (in this case the three under the awning and a further three 'harp' lamps down the platform) to be turned on and off in unison and at will. If my memory is correct, the control valve for this (which was operated by one of the porters) was situated in the small cream painted box which can be seen in the views looking along the platform towards the town on the wooden partition immediately behind and below the PARCELS & LEFT LUGGAGE sign. To save gas, during the hours of darkness these light were normally kept turned off and it was a sure sign of the pending arrival of a train when the platform suddenly lit up. 'Littletori' lamps could also be found in the Engine Shed (2), under the water tank, in the Goods Shed and outside the Signal Box on a lamp-post. This last was always kept alight when trains were running. More were on lamp-posts on the other side of the station towards the town, with one at the foot of the stairs to the Malakoff, another halfway up next to the meter cabin (inexplicably this one was of the 'harp' type), and another just beyond the large poster hoarding. A further two could be found around the corner on the road up to the bus station, one at the top of the staircase leading down to The Warren and the other. rarely in working order, opposite the other stairs leading up to the Malakoff. There was actually another lamp-post. but all it had was a capped-off gas pipe poking out of the top and. judging by the layers of paint. it had been like that for a very long time. This was to be found by the kiss-gates at the far end of the little used footpath which ran up behind the goods shed.
One might wonder why such a substantial supply pipe and meter were necessary, but the answer relates to the main cause of the demise of the gas lamp notwithstanding that the light they produce was very pleasant and, given enough of it, is every bit as satisfactory as that from an ordinary filament light bulb. The fact is that although they were much improved over the years, even the best were hopelessly inefficient; a typical gas lamp producing the same amount of light as the familiar 6O-watt light bulb actually burnt the best part of a kilowatt's worth of gas if not perfectly adjusted. The 'Littletori' was made in a range of sizes and could be fitted up for differing numbers of mantles from one up to, I think, eight; from what I remember, most, if not all, had several mantles. Between them they just consumed a lot of gas but, doubtless, the supply was over-sized 'to be on the safe side'. On a different subject, just a final point. In the photo of the back of the station building on page 208, the sharp-eyed may notice 12 dark strips running upwards either side of the windows and doors of the central section. These were the remains of the cast-iron brackets which had supported the short awning shown in the architect's drawing on pages 2, 4 and 5 of issue 97. The awning itself had long gone by the early 1950s, but its former presence was betrayed by these strips of cast-iron. Apparently it was originally provided so that the 'better class of people' could step from their horse-drawn conveyances straight into the booking office without getting wet. In reality, people went in and out via the platform side and nobody went around the back. In all probability those few people who could afford horse-drawn con veyances opted to cut out the 'inconvenience' of the branch and drove straight to St. Erth.
During my time, the doors were only ever unlocked on a hot summer's day (maybe) and I was told that the awning had become a nuisance as goods vans tended to collide with it in darkness.
From the rusty vestiges it was possible to see that the brackets had been crudely removed and enough remained on some to tell that they had been of similar pattern to (but smaller than) those used on the platform side. To me they looked as if they had been butchered by leaving ugly stumps behind' Funnily enough, there are still some brackets of the same pattern to be found in the town supporting the balcony running across six houses on Draycott Terrace which are visible immediately above the Signal Box in the upper picture on page 204.
Number 103 (Summer/ November 2017
No. 6781 Bourton Grange on Up train at Oxford on 29 August 1964. M.G.C. Smith. front cover
John Copsey. 'Castles' in traffic. Part 5. 370-80.
Castle workings dimished by Britannia Pacifics at Canton, by diesel traction (inititially diesel hydraulic) and by electrification to Birmingham from Euston
|No. 5020 Trematon Castle passing water troughs near Ludlow on 4 June 1956||370|
|No. 5058 Earl of Clancarry passing Wrangaton station with 07.30 Penzance to Crewe on 4 July 1957||371|
|No. 7036 Taunton Castle with up Cambrian Coast Express on Whitmash bank in 1957 (H. Stretton Ward)||372|
|No. 5080 Defiant at Canton on 1 June 1953 (R.C. Riley)||372|
|No. 4095 Harlech Castle on up Cornish Riviera Express at Truro on 29 September 1958 (Pat Garland)||373|
|No. 7016 Chester Castle at Old Oak Common on 16 August 1959||374|
|No. 7003 Elmley Castle with double chimney at Bath Road in June 1960||375|
|No. 7007 Great Western at Swindon wiith up express in 1960||375|
|No. 4087 Cardigan Castle with double chimney with 06.55 Penzance to Paddington at Saltash on 23 September 1960 (R.C. Riley)||377|
|No. 5097 Sarum Castle on up The Red Dragon passing Tilehurst in summer 1961||378|
|No. 5038 Morlais Castle at Stafford Road||379|
|No. 5039 Rhuddlan Castle on Fishguard Goodwick shed on 26 August 1963||380|
In close up. Maurice Early. 381
No. 4085 Berkeley Castle front end on 29 December 1946
No. 7017 G.J. Churchward: mechanical lubricator in 1955
Maurice Early took these close-ups for the Reading Society of Model and Experimental Engineers
Jack Matthews. St. Ives in detail. 382-3
Photographs by P.G.F. English taken after the end of steam: point leading into locomotive shed and new viaduct; water tank; disused ivy-clad locomotive shed; entrance to locomotive shed.
Chris Turner. Newbury Racecourse goods train operations.
The strategic nature of Newbury in relation to the United States involvement in the invasion of France during WW2 dominates and out-flanks the few wagons of coal and animal feed conveyed to Lambourn. Shunting operations involved 15.30 Acton to Newbury Racecourse; 18.05 Didcot to Westbury; 22.10 Paddington to Plymouth usually worked by a 47XX; 22.40 Paddington to Weymouth; 01.20 Reading Scours Lane to Tavistock Junction and 02.15 Reading West Junction to Holt Junction. Train loads of ammunition arrived from Pembrey or Burry Port and (accompanied by two American soldiers) travelled on to Welford Park. Remarkably for short periods prior to the American influx racing took place on the racecourse. Two former GER 1500 class 4-6-0s (B12) worked the air-braked hospital trains.
|Aerial photograph of racecourse with military installations still in place on 12 March 1948||384-5|
|Newbury Racecourse staion viewed from Sterling Cables building in smmer 1966 (colour: Jack Humphrey)||386|
|MSWJR 2-4-0 No. 1334 in 1948 (Jack Humphrey)||386|
|Aerial photograph of racecourse with United States military installations of stores including locomotives 2 December 1943||388-9|
|Plan based upon photographs of United States military installations||389|
|Aerial photograph of racecourse with United States military installations on 7 December 1944||390|
|Two photographs of staff inside shunters cabin||391|
GWR concrete bin. 392
Swindon Drawing Office 1945 drawing and photograph of BR No. 4159 (still lettered GWR) at Bristol Temple Meads alongside one such bunker
Bob Jenkins as related to Richard Parker. Titley and
Bullocks Mill Crossing in 1947-48. 393-7
Raconteur lived on a farm near Titley station andhad access to the signal box when a boy: his grandmother was crossing keeper at Bullocks Mill Crossing
|3571 class 0-4-2T No. 3574 on Worcester to New Radnor service at Titley Junction on 27 September 1947 (R.J. Buckley)||393|
|Junction at Titley in June 1951 with closed line to Eardisley and lines to Preseign and Leominster and route indicator (Derek Clayton)||394|
|Titley Signal Box with signalman Lloyd||394|
|Titley Junction station in June 1951 (Derek Clayton)||395|
|Titley Junction station forecourt c1959 (J.H. Moss)||395|
|Titley Junction station pointwork at east end c1959 (J.H. Moss)||396|
|Bullocks Mill Crossing with 14XX/58XX on freight and mill leat||397|
|Bullocks Mill Crossing with gates being closed and freight departing||397|
John Copsey and Richard Parker.Traffic at Birmingham Snow Hill.
Part 7. 399-421
Signed contributions from Jim McEwan on North Box signalman (pp. 407-9); from Joe Evitts on South Box recorder (p. 409); from Bill Wright on the high level booking office ; and Great Charles Street booking office; and Control Room operations (pp. 409-19)
|Colmore Row frontage on 17 April 1964 (colour: Roy Denison)||398|
|Standard Class 5 4-6-0 No. 73020 approaching from north passing North signal box||399|
|Large 2-6-2T on freight on Down midddle road with colour light signals||401|
|28XX 2-8-0 No. 2849 on southbound freight passing North signal box||401|
|43XX 2-6-0 No. 5212 with train of iron ore from Banbury||401|
|Two GWR diesel railcars in bay pllatforms at north end||402|
|Angular type GWR diesel railcar with non-corridor brake second||402|
|BR cross country DMU at Platform 7||403|
|Looking towards Snow Hilll Tunnel from Platform 7/8 in June 1966 (Peter Bird)||404|
|5101 class No. 4175 arriving from north in summer 1960||405|
|Birmingham North signalbox with new relay room behind in June 1966||405|
|New signal box and colour light signals looking north (Peter Bird)||405|
|Birmingham Snow Hill 1960 new panel control plan||406-7|
|No. 6980 Llanrumney Hall in Platform 12||406|
|Castle class on southbound passenger train||406|
|High level booking office on station forecourt (colour: Robert Darlaston)||410|
|Great Charles Street booking office interior (Bill Wright)||411|
|High level booking office interior with multiprinter machine (Bill Wright)||411|
|Control Room (Bill Wright)||412|
|Platform 7 on 17 April 1964 (colour: Roy Denison)||414|
|Looking along Down main platforms towards Snow Hill Tunnel (J.H. Moss)||415|
|Looking along Platforms 1/2 on Down side in June 1966 (Peter Bird)||415|
|Looking along Platforms 1/2 on Down side in opposite direction (i.e. towards Tunnel) in June 1966 (Peter Bird)||415|
|Looking north from Platform 5 on 17 April 1964 (colour: Roy Denison)||416|
|Looking south towards Snow Hill Tunnel along Platform 7/8 with southbound express in June 1966 (Peter Bird)||417|
|Looking north along Platform 8 in June 1966 (Peter Bird)||417|
|Looking along Platforms 11/12 in June 1966 (Peter Bird)||417|
|Platform 7 in August 1966 (colour: Robert Darlaston)||418|
|Exteerior with posters and taxis in June 1966 (Peter Bird)||419|
|Nearly over (five colour photographs of derelict but still in partial use Snow Hill taken in May 1967 by Sean Bolan||420-1|
John Chadwick. 1617 on the Abingdon. 422
Firing 16XX on Hinksey to Abingdon goods. Photograph by R.H.G. Simpson of No. 1617 working the passenger service
KPJ: Appears that some of letters may have been found in a drawer and is a warning that "specials" lack the authenticity of periodicals with responses from readers
Cover photo of GWRJ 102. T.
The photographer was standing in Webb Lane, Hall Green, halfway between Hall Green and Yardley Wood (not Yardley) stations. The Hall Green distant can be seen above the second carriage. As a child writer lived close to this location which is where he spotted between 1945 and 1950. Most evenings were spent awaiting the northbound 'Penzancc' which came past at about 19.00., invariably in charge of No. 5015 Kingswear Castle, followed by the 'Cardiff' at about 20.00, the usual loco being No. 2906 Lady of Lynn. On Saturday mornings after the age of about ten, he was allowed to cycle the two or so miles to Tyseley station road bridge, to join the throngs of spotters who congregated there. This gave a view of the Paddington-Birmingham Snow Hill main line and also of trains coming off the North Warwickshire line. Fortunately, it is still possible to see the steam-hauled Shakespeare Express and the occasional steam special from this location, although the spotters have long since disappeared.
Cover photo of GWRJ. D. Appleton.
The engine pictured is almost certainly 4098 Clifford Castle, which went new to Newton Abbot. It was in regular use on the West to the Midlands and North traffic in 1946. No. 5099 Compton Castle went straight to Old Oak Common at the same time and was employed on just about all of the main line duties out of the terminus. However, I have no memory of seeing it west of Bristol although it must have put in an appearance from time to time.
'Castles'. Tony Gosling
Re 'Castles' article in GWRJ No. 102 and in particular the section relating to the Royal Train in Cornwall in 1956 at that time, writer was a 16 year old schoolboy! On 9 May 1956 he took the train from his home in Penryn to Grampound Road to see the Royal Train there and found a position on the embankment, just on the Truro side of Grampound Road to witness proceedings. In the afternoon, he saw the splendid sight of the two 'Castles' returning the Royal Train towards Liskeard and took one photograph of the train approaching Grampound Road station. A computer scan of that picture is appended. It was a memorable sight. He returned to his civilian occupation in a Bank when demobbed in January 1961 working at Truro but was sent on relief to St. Blazey for only a week or so in about 1962 to work the Par sub-branch of the bank. In those days, the sub-branch clerk set off on a daily basis with cash to work the sub-branch and then return to the main branch at the end of the day with any cash, etc, that had to come back. The bank employed an OAP on a casual basis usually to come with the clerk as 'security'!
My guard was a certain Ted (?) Dobson and during my conversations with him during the day that he was in attendance, he found that the security man was a retired engine driver who had worked out of St. Blazey and, amazingly, was the driver of 7024 on that Royal Train as one of his last duties before he retired!
And then, like drawing a rabbit out of a hat, he produced a photograph from his wallet of the front of the Royal Train stopped just beyond the Plymouth end of Platform 4 at Truro formerly Platform 3 clearly showing the two 'Castles' with a smiling Mr. Dobson leaning out of the cab. There was a very large stake driven into the ground just there and Mr. Dobson told me that he had been instructed to stop the train with his cab directly opposite that stake as that would bring the Queen's carriage door directly opposite her red carpet.
MSWJ 2-4-0. Mike Barnsley
Re issue No. 102, the loco at Newbury in the photograph on page 328, which might be No. 1335 or 1336, can be identified with certainty as No. 1335, as the handrail on the cab sidesheet is immediately in front of the cut-out. The handrail on loco No. 1336 was much lower down, level with the boiler handrail.
Newbury passenger train operations. John
Re article in GWRJ 101: the service on the Lambourn branch was operated by railcars, principally car 18. Whilst writer does not possess a copy of the 1954 service timetable, others from the 1950s show that one train from Newbury in the late afternoon, generally at 16.15, was loco hauled. This appears to have been a three-coach train (probably, at that time of the day, to cater for schoolchildren), and would guess that two additional coaches would have been beyond the haulage capacity of the railcar. The locomotive returned light engine to Newbury, crossing the railcar at Welford Park. It is not immediately apparent how the coaches returned, perhaps singly behind the railcar.
The Dean Goods photographed taking water was regularly used on the branch but rather than working the goods it may have just returned from Lambourn light engine having worked the 16.15 p.m. train. Other locomotives used on the branch (they were provided by Reading shed) were 57XX panniers whilst MSWJR 2-4-0s 1335 and 1336 also appeared.
'Castles' in Traffic Part 3. Eric Youldon
In GWRJ No. 100 on page 232 you comprehensively detail the experimental light green livery of No. 7011 in the photo; by coincidencee the two photographs of 5021 on the same page also feature this livery as too does the view of 4091 on page 234. There were altogether nine Castles turned out this way in the summer of 1948, namely new locomotives 7010 to 7013 and existing ones 4089, 4091, 5010, 5021 and 5023.
'Castles'. Michael Dunn
Corrections: No. 7032 on front and back covers of No. 100 is Denbigh Castle, not Penrice Castle, and on page 229 (upper photo), 4007 is climbing out of· Leamington, not Wellington on 16 May 1947. Note not 4007, but 4037!
St. Ives. Roger Worner
In GWRJ 100, page 203 (top illustration), the Pedn Olva Hotel is at the western end of Porthminster Beach (the beach below the station).
St. Ives. Peter Simpkins
Memories from May 1958, when we stayed in the camp coach. Mr. Martin was the St. Erth station master and responsible for the whole branch as well. When he saw my interest, he kindly arranged a cab ride in 4570, which was wonderful for a ten year old, and visits to the signal box, which was fascinating. The attached pictures (sorry for the quality but a Brownie 127 was all I could afford) also show a movement that has not been mentioned the double-header. I assume it was to change over loco and stock with Long Rock, but do not understand why they ran to St. Ives and didn't just swap at St. Erth. Both trains ran separately to St. Ives and combined there for the return. My picture of the station also shows a spare branch set parked rather wastefully all two weeks we were there.
Melksham. Eric Youldon
In the article on Melksham in GWRJ No. 100, the table on page 196 includes a train as a passenger working at 1120 from Swindon to Weymouth behind ROD 3034. The same train appears in the table on page 198 as a freight train, which must be correct because the RODs (apart from a few in early years) were without vacuum connections so were goods only.
Response. John Copsey
I have just rechecked the original documents to find that it was the 13.20 class 'J' Freight from Swindon to Weymouth, not passenger. Out of interest, that train was held at Chippenham West at 14.30 (/5 minutes late) when the third wagon (containing a consignment of ironwork) was found to be emitting smoke. It was a piece of waste smouldering under some of the metal, which 'was extinguished by a bucket of water from the engine '. It was naturally assumed that a spark came from the engine, No. 3034, despite that it 'was fitted with the latest appliances for the prevention of the emission of sparks '.
Melksham. Bill Crosbie-Hill. 424-5l
Living at Devizes (1939-45), Melksham was a bus ride and we never used the station there. However, a local newsagent and printer published a monthly summary of the area's bus and train times including the Melksham line. This aroused my curiosity. My mother worked for Wadworth's brewery and on Saturday mornings from 09.00 to 12.30. I saw her into her office one Saturday and trotted off to Melksham. I was under ten so it must have been early 1943. I discovered that the station was a good half-mile from the town centre, saw it, turned and walked briskly back to Devizes. I don't think that my mother believed me but I had covered a distance of 14 miles without refreshment or training!
The local timetable showed only one train a day that did not call at Holt Junction, the 23.20 [11.20 pm] from Swindon to Frome. Now Trowbridge and Holt were our platform spotting locations and so I fully expected to see the 23.20 sweep through Holt at lunchtime. All trains called at Trowbridge and Holt so an 'express' was a rarity. I have not misread p.m. for a.m. since.
The engines I remember most on the Melksham line were 2927 (SDN) and 2928 (WES) on 4-car sets. I never saw the Weymouth 'Saints' 2912 and 2955 even though 2912 often spent the night at Chippenham. We tended to see the day trains. One use of the Melksham line was to deliver the US 2-8-0 engines shipped through Newport docks. They were shiny black and quite small.
The auto-train 'CHPI' used No. 4833 (SDN) but when not available a '55' series 2-6-2T substituted. The more widespread 5400 class used to 'pitch' when running over 50 and 'CHPI' included two runs down from Patney to Westbury. So the '48' 0-4-2T type was preferred as it was so free running. I enclose a diagram based on the 1948 timetable but was much as I remember it in the WW2 years.
One day when I caught the 14.40 from Trowbridge, the Trowbridge guard went up to the driver of the 2-6-2T and said "You've got it today then". I didn't hear whether the dri ver approved, as although he had much more power than usual, his engine was not auto-fitted and he would have to run round at Patney & Chirton.
In the postwar years a down auto-train left Broughton-Gifford Halt without the guard on board. These auto-trains seemed to be worked a bit casually with the guard/conductor giving hand signals often out of the window no flags or whistles. I once put my hand out of the autocar window and made a circling motion in the style of the lady conductor. She was furious and threatened to remove me from the train.
Meanwhile, back at Broughton-Gifford, the guard found a bicycle, probably belonging to a member of the S and T staff, and pedalled furiously along the 'cess' in pursuit of his train to Holt Junction. I expect the bike was returned in the luggage compartment. From your records on page 196, the use of No. 3034 on a passenger train must surely have resulted in a failure at Chippenham, with the 2-8-0 helping out as far as Westbury. These ROD engines did not seem to have much of a turn of speed and not likely to be rostered for passenger work. In contrast, the use of a '29' with four coaches could be quite exhilarating:" .
Today Melksham has 19 trains on Mondays to Fridays, 16 on Saturdays and 11 on Sundays. This must be the best train service the town has ever had when you consider the connections possible at Swindon and Westbury.
BR(W) SUMMER 1948 TIMETABLE DIAGRAM FOR CHPI SDN CHIPPENHAM
CLASS 48 0-4-2T - CLASS 55 2-6-2T
|Patney & Chirton||08.55|
|Patney & Chirton||09.10|
|Patney & Chirton||09.44|
|Loco to Shed|
|Shed to Station|
|Patney & Chirton||15.27|
|Collect 2nd Trailer|
The Abingdon Branch. Tony
His former school classmate Richard Watts brought back a flood of recollections of the time we both travelled between Didcot and Abingdon by train. Memory is fickle in that we each tend to have very different recall of those journeys. There are several occasions that stick in my mind. In the early 1950s our parcels train was often headed by one of the few remaining 'Star' class engines. I was not a keen loco spotter at that time and to me they seemed like any other 'Castle' except for the curvature of the steam pipes. However, I did notice that under their name on the nameplate in much smaller letters was 'Star class'. One morning we changed trains as usual at Radley where the bunk was waiting for us. After all the parcels had been dealt with, we waited for the Station Master to send us on our way (we never had a guard on the train) but nothing happened. After some delay, the Station Master appeared and told us that he had had to send for a bus for us as the fireman had let the fire out! You can imagine the derision that was aimed at the poor fireman as we got off and crossed over from the island platform to the main station entrance to await our bus. Later we learned that when the bunker had been refilled at Oxford shed, it had been topped up with coal dust and very small coal. The fireman up until then had managed by searching through the bunker for any lumps of coal left at the bottom but had now exhausted that supply and the engine refused to steam on the rubbish that was left. At certain times of the year, the Saturday early afternoon train that we caught was probably the busiest service of the week as our connecting train offered a very good service through to Paddington. One Saturday we were met by the Abingdon Station Master who told us that the Parcels Clerk had got married that morning and was on the train with his bride going off on honeymoon. They wanted to give them a good send off and he handed us a cardboard box containing a number of detonators and invited us to make good use of them. These are explosive devices that can be clipped to the railhead and explode when a train runs over them. The platform at Abingdon was six coaches long and the bunk with its single coach always pulled right up to the buffer stops. One of our group took the box and jumped down onto the track and clipped a detonator every few yards for the length of the platform. Quite what the large number of passengers thought about the continuous deafening explosions I have no idea, but I am sure the Parcels Clerk got the message.
One year the school decided that the whole school (over 400 boys) would have a day excursion to Bath & Wells to visit the Cathedrals. A special train was ordered and after the morning roll call we all trooped down to the station to find our train waiting. It stretched beyond the platform and comprised eight coaches which was the longest length of train that allowed the train engine to run round upon arrival in Abingdon. At the front of the train was our usual 14XX tank engine. This caused much speculation as to whether it would succeed in getting us to Radley. In the event it did so without difficulty and we were then taken on by an extremely dirty-looking Oxford shed Hall. It gave us a very spirited run that day in both directions. Many years later I became a member of the steam locomotive department of a heritage railway and we had visits from 1450 which in the late 1950s had been an Oxford engine and so would have worked the Abingdon branch. Once we had mastered its firing, its load moving performance never ceased to surprise us. At that time, the late Tony Simms was our firing instructor and in the 1950s he had been a fireman at Oxford and had often worked the Abingdon branch. Talking to him one day, he informed me that there was nothing unusual about a train of that size being worked to and from Abingdon by a 14XX class engine. He explained that at that time during the summer months, the Western Region would advertise cheap midweek excursion fares to Oxford. Upon arrival there would be a walking tour of the Oxford Colleges and then they would be walked down to Folly Bridge and join a Salters Steamer for a trip down river to Abingdon. A six to eight coach train would be worked from Oxford empty coaching stock to Abingdon. After the river trip, it would be a short walk from the river up to Abingdon station where the train would be waiting. The 14XX would then take them all the way back to Oxford. He said that they had to be careful as the distance was the absolute limit with that load for the engine's 800 gallon water capacity.
Though the GWR had a large number of 14XX class engines, they also built just 20 identical engines but without the auto-train equipment, and numbered them as 58XX class. When I first started at Abingdon, the signal box at Abingdon was still in operation and so it was possible at certain times to see two engines at Abingdon, one working the auto-train and the other shunting the goods traffic. The goods traffic loco could be another 14XX engine or a 58XX. At that time railway staff had told me that only engines with four-coupled wheels were allowed on the branch and six-coupled or larger engines were banned due to the sharp curve where the line deviated away from the main line. After Abingdon signal box closed and the line was worked on the one engine in steam principle, very rarely, Oxford shed would send a 58XX to work the auto-train. According to regulations, at each end of its journey, the engine should have run round its coach. With there being about sixteen return trips on the branch each weekday, it was not surprising that the enginemen considered that this was not necessary as the public would not notice and so on the journey from Abingdon to Radley the driver would stand in the vestibule where he was able to operate the vacuum brake and the fireman would drive the propelling engine. There was no window in the partition between the vestibule and the passengers, so no one would realise what was going on.
One day we arrived at Radley in the morning and were surprised that the bunk was not waiting for us. Together with a few other passengers we stood around waiting. A concerned-looking Station Master joined us and said that he did not know where the train was as it had left Abingdon on time. Sometime later someone gave a cry and pointed up the line where we could see a few people walking down the track towards us. On the short branch line there were no bridges or level crossings except for one farm crossing. It transpired that on approaching the farm crossing, the train had encountered a tractor with a trailer load of bales stalled across the line and there had been a collision. Apparently no one had been hurt but it had been discovered that there was a 58XX engine propelling! Whether this was a factor in it being unable to stop in time we were never to find out. All the railway staff were very tight-lipped about it.
During our time using the branch we got to know many of the railwaymen quite well. There was one young engineman who was quite happy to inform us that he thought that driving the bunk was a waste of his talents and that he would be much happier to be driving on the main line. We could not resist the temptation of attempting to wind him up. When travelling from Abingdon to Radley he would be in the vestibule at the front of the train with only a very thin partition between him and the passengers. If we sat right by the partition, we knew that he would hear everything we said. Therefore, we pretended to time his runs and at various landmarks on the journey comment that he was so many seconds slower than certain other drivers. As a result, our journeys got quicker and quicker and going around the curve got quite exciting. He was not rostered as the driver of the bunk for very long, which probably was just as well. Some months after he moved on, on the way home one evening we encountered some gangers at Radley awaiting a train back to Oxford, and we enquired whether they had been working on the branch. They told us that it had been found that the curve had moved sideways by a couple feet and they had been instructed to get it back into position. Today, on the rare occasions that I travel by train through Radley, I find it very sad that so little evidence remains of this former branch line.
Paddington. John Darling. 426-7
Re backnumbers of GWR Journal: comment on the articles on Paddington which are extensive. Regarding Railcars/Autos, it seems on Sundays cars A & B did afternoon trips from Hayes to Platform 12 until service cuts in 1955 when they were stopped, just before the GW DRC 17 was sent to Oxford owing to its wheels which were rubber lined [KPJ: were resilient wheels on more than one of the diesel railcars?] did not make the track circuits. Auto Trains moved to Platform 11 or 12, at that time, although the last evening Auto from Greenford to Ealing continued to Paddington back to Hayes. Why Hayes? you might say. Well many engine crews lived there, or just up the road there, also signalmen. After Hayes they went back to Southall. Some drivers had cycles or motorbikes for those early starts from Southall - the first Auto was 04.30. Some did it year in year out. Our friend Fred did, he didn't enjoy later years as station foreman at Slough owing to the number of suicides he had to deal with, but he did like driving a 54XX pannier and once a King!
Now to another edition, Colin Metcalfe visited Honeybourne in July 1952 and wondered why Worcester's 1408 was working the 12.55 to Cheltenham hauling a 1951 Red & Cream trailer. At that time many 14XX tanks were being overhauled at Worcester shops, so if Cheltenham were short of a 14XX, Worcester shed would send their spare 14XX, in this case 1408. It had two others which were adequate for its services a few trips to Malvern, Bromyard, a school journey to Ledbury and early evening trips to Honeybourne and Stratford-on-Avon also standing in for a DRC, so not overly intensive services. Worcester also borrowed Cheltenham 14XXs if one of theirs was out of action being overhauled. 1402 and W43 were working the Worcester-Stratford-on-Avon during 1951; there may have been other swaps. Worcester Works also overhauled Lydney & Gloucester 14XX tanks at one period during the 1950s.
Lydney 54XX panniers and Auto Trailers were in use at Cheltenham to Honeyboume & Evesham. 5408 and 5417 were at Lydney, 5417 moved to Cheltenham in January 1955, 5418 moved to Cheltenham and was on Cheltenham-crewed trips on the Gloucester-Chalford and Honeybourne until at least 1959. 5413 arrived in 1957 and also worked at Lydney and on the Cinderford branch. One more 54XX was used from Cheltenham shed, 5421 which c.1959 was on Chalford & Honeybourne Autos. It is possible that 64XX were also used at Lydney & Cheltenham; of course a few 14XXs were at Lydney & Cheltenham. Previously 517 tanks were used and 2021 tanks at Lydney, 2080 being used on Berkeley Road trips after the river bridge was damaged in October 1960. The train left Lydney and travelled via Gloucester. 2080 was long gone by that time, and later Bamwood took over the Sharpness-Berkeley Road Autos 5420 and 64XX tank and 14XX tanks worked them.
Faverdale Works. Tom Kirtley
Referring back to issue No. 98, page 62. and Dick Potts' response in issue No. 99, he is right in his assertion that the building in the background is not part of Swindon Works. It is. as he suspects, a location in the Faverdale Works, Darlington, of the former North Eastern Railway.
Oxford. Simon Rocksborough Smith
With reference to your feature in GWRJ No. 75, 'Oxford Cross-Country Traffic in the 1960s', with pictures taken on Saturday 10 August 1963, I was at Basingstoke that day taking part in a survey organised by the Bournemouth Railway Club, and can identify the trains pictured.
Train I X58 was the 10.30 Portsmouth Harbour to Nottingham relief. 6831 Bearley Grange took over at Basingstoke from Class 33 (as it would become) D6566. While this engine change was going on, the next train, hauled by 34042 Dorchester (also pictured), had to wait outside for twelve minutes to use the same platform. This was not the Pines Express but the 10.10 Poole to Birkenhead (mentioned in the last caption). The Pines Express was in front of the Nottingham relief, and was hauled by 34105 Swanage which duly returned with the southbound Pines.
Westbury East Chord . D.E.
The comment about Westbury East Chord (GWRJ No. 74) amused me as the local reason it wasn't used I could not mention lest a diplomatic incident occurred. The idea of the Chord was so trains from the London direction could run straight into Hawkeridge without going into Westbury to run round. This was a misnomer as the trains would still arrive in the wrong direction. A better plan would be to put a line in coming from the Trowbridge direction. Although the main-line engine would not have gone into the MOD depot, they could have done when the ambulance trains started to run. I was cycling over to Westbury one morning in 1945 on the Yambrook to Westbury road and the police had closed the road as an ambulance van was slowly moving over the unguarded line. The train consisted of LNER teak coaches with blacked-out windows containing servicemen being repatriated after the casualties suffered in (Ardennes) the Battle of the Bulge. The train had an engine each end and the one I saw was a 'Claud Hamilton'. After checking the number, another spotter suggested it was one of the royal 'Clauds' kept at King's Lynn to use for the royal parties at Sandringham. The reason an engine was at both ends was that one engine only would have had to uncouple and, while running round, the coaches would not be heated. I am not suggesting that an LNER engine was on the train, it may have come from an eastern port (Harwich). It may well have come from Southampton and the LNER was just supplying coaches. I believe all subsequent trains came from there and I did not see any more foreigners.
I never once saw a complete train leave Hawkeridge sidings. It was the practice for the Up side yard shunter to take traffic out at 08.15 each morning and bring in traffic to be forwarded. Before the Americans took over, a standard WD 0-6-0 tank brought the traffic out to Hawkeridge sidings, but it disappeared when the Americans took over. They had their own engine No. 1284, an 0-6-0, the same as the type used after nationalisation on Southampton Docks. A further loco arrived in 1944, the number of which I don't have. The original loco was painted green with shaded numbers painted on the tank. The second loco was painted black (number unknown) but the first number began 113- - with white numbers on black.
I don't know exactly when East Chord was constructed, but travelling from Melksham to Westbury each day from September 1947 to December 1948 it was in place all this time, with track sections placed so as not to be used. I was promoted to be a fireman in December 1948 and in the summer of 1949, I, with my regular driver from the Junior Relief Link, Cecil David (CA), travelled to Bristol and walked to North Somerset June. to relieve a crew who had come from Cardiff on the 15.05 Whitland to Kensington milk train. The engine was 4078 Pembroke Castle 87 A (load unknown) and were relieved at the Hawkeridge home signal by driver Tom Casement and fireman Stan Lester. There was certainly a problem as the load was designed to go via Badminton and was still at Hawkeridge when we walked back to book off. When ten years later a 17.55 milk train from Wellington to Kensington started to run, a set of men with a 63 ran each evening to Freshford to assist the train to Savernake. One for the purists among our readers the engine of the train was 7914 Lleweni Hall. How did it get to Taunton each day to perform this duty? It transpired that all trains via the East Chord had separate loading instructions and the milk train in question (e.g. 17.55) could have gone on unaided; the assistance was only for the East Chord!
I am not suggesting that the day we brought 4078 from Bristol was the first time the East Chord was used; the work at Badminton went on all summer and the 15.05 and several others had run previously and also running right through the summer service. Fireman Stan Lester had been a flier which attacked a battleship in Brest harbour, disabling it. Perhaps some worthy will write in to tell us the name of the battleship. The raid was featured in a documentary as the planes used were a squadron of Gloucester Gladiators.
Condensing pannier tank No. 9707 heading towards Metropolitan Line with a short freight passing Paddington Goods. L. Brownhill. rear cover