New Years Eve 2001/2
The water started rising around 2100 and by midnight the floods had more or less reached a peak of 6 feet deep in the milk factory yard and on the road both sides of the crossing. The water was also running down the the railway line through the old branch platforms like a river. The men in the factory weighbridge hut were marooned there for three or four hours until the water subsided. Likewise I couldn't get out to go home because of the floods in the road, so I advised Waterloo control of the situation and told them I would remain on duty through the night to monitor the situation. Gradually the water receded and by 03.30 was clear of the road and milk factory yard and the milk lorries got on the move.
I then took a handlamp and walked the station limits between both sets of points inspecting the line,thankfully the track was o.k. After this I reported to Waterloo control and told them, that while the track was ok at Chard junction, I suggested that p/way carry out a full examination of the line before any trains were allowed to run in the morning. This they did and found the washout at Broom.
What a night!! cheers JOHN C. Luckily for us John has sent us pictures from his 'Treasure Trove'of the washout at Broom Crossing. Many thanks to the man at the scene, John Cornelius - it's recorded history. By his actions in phoning Waterloo Control and closing the line there is no doubt that John prevented a serious accident.
Please click here to view
Sid Sponheimer’s photo taken over the roof of Truro steam shed was of much interest to myself, as I was a regular on the ‘Black Bridge’ back then and I can recall the rakes of stored coaches there in the late 1960s. I had no real interest in coaching stock at the time and all I can remember is that they were mostly maroon with one of two green ones mixed in. Looking back I decided that these must have been Hawksworths which had been in mainline use up to 1967. Sure enough, much of the stock visible in Sid’s photo has the characteristic Hawksworth curved roof ends and window layouts. Those which don’t may have been Bulleids, a few of which the Western Region received in the mid-1960s (brake vehicles only I believe) which would account for the green ones. I wasn’t there to witness it myself but I was told that D6322 was used to drag them away – I’m sure it was before 1970 - and the noise and clouds of rust dust from virtually seized brake shoes was very entertaining!
My earliest surviving spotting notes from 1967 include the sighting of Class 08 shunter D3525 at Truro – could that be it lurking below the bridge? Maybe not, but it was certainly in Cornwall 50 years ago – and it still is! D3525 became 08410 at TOPS renumbering and is Long Rock’s resident shunter. Half a century of service (although admittedly not all in Cornwall)!
Good to see the Swindon & Cricklade Railway featured, my daily commute takes me close to Blunsdon station. I admit that I don’t call in as often as I should…..
Best regards, Neil Phillips. Many thanks Neil for your memories.
Ron & Jenny Westwater
Three from us today. Best regards, Ron & Jenny Westwater.