Monday 7th August and Loram rail grinder C21(01) C21(01) is named Peter Erwin as 6Z08 departed Tavistock Jn at 2240 heading to Long Rock arriving at 0045 Tuesday 8th after working in the area it left Long Rock at 0433 heading to Truro Yard arriving at 0506. I visited her at Truro around 1100 that morning (photo 1) from the foot bridge; I then went and photographed each of the vehicles in the yard (photo 2) DR79237, (photo 3) DR79326, (photo 4) DR79233, (photo 5) DR79232 and (photo 6) DR79231. It departed Truro 2011 that evening for Bristol East Depot arriving at 0133 on the morning of the Wednesday 9th. As a point of interest the train consisting of five vehicles, used to be seven vehicles long the two intermediate vehicles DR79234 and DR79235 are supposed to be at Derby.
Both of these events are generating heavy traffic on the Newquay and Falmouth branches and cause gridlock on the roads not exactly welcome to local folks unless you have a business.
Tall Ships Race
Michael L. Roach
The race came to Falmouth in 1966 when I went out in a pleasure boat to see the ships cross the start line and I was able to photograph them under sail; a truly memorable and spectacular event to witness. The tall ships return to Falmouth this month (August 2023) when the vessels will be moored in Falmouth Docks and some will be open to visitors from 15 to 18 August. Earlier in 2023 some of the ships had taken part in a 4-leg race across the North Sea starting from Den Helder (Netherlands) on 2 July; then going to Hartlepool, Frederickstaad (Norway), Lerwick (Scotland) finishing at Arendal (Norway). Wikipedia has an interesting list of sailing ships that have participated in the races over the years.
Hartlepool has a large number of docks which were united and extended by the North Eastern Railway. The tall ships were there from 6 to 9 July 2023 when they departed at 15.00 hours for Frederickstaad. I watched one of the ships, the DAR MLODZIECY of Poland cross the North Sea. On the morning of 11 July at 09.00 the ship was making 10 knots but at 22.00 that evening it was making 14 knots as it entered The Skaggerack. At the same time I was also watching the cruise liner Aurora (because our neighbours were aboard) on a 11-night trip from Southampton to the Fjords of Norway and very often it was travelling much slower than 14 knots. In a joint venture with other contractors the Austrian construction company Strabag is building some of the tunnels on HS2. The firm has just completed a new factory within the dock complex at Hartlepool on 24 July 2023, which will produce 83,000 concrete tunnel segments for HS2 which will be transported south by rail.
My first encounter with the Tall Ships was in 1962 on the evening of Monday 6 August which was a Bank Holiday. We travelled from Plymouth to Dartmouth to see the Tall Ships sheltering in the harbour at Dartmouth and some were duly photographed from the harbour wall. Most were some distance away but with the wonders of modern technology in the form of home scanning and cropping the sailing ships have been brought closer. The three largest ships were: the SORLANDET of Norway built 1927 and displacing 891 tons; the GORCH FOCH of Germany built 1958; and the AMERIGO VESPUCCI of Italy built 1931 and displacing 4,081 tons. Thirty two vessels crossed the start line in Torbay at 3.00pm on Wednesday 8 August 1962 for the next leg to Rotterdam.
The tall ships are returning to Falmouth in a few days time; and full details can be found at www. falmouth.co.uk/tallships. Among the large sailing ships confirmed as attending is the DAR MLODZIECY and the CUAUHTEMOC. The latter is the sail training vessel of the Mexican Navy for officers; and is a pleasing looking vessel – a barque 220 feet (67 metres) long displacing 1800 tons. When I searched marinetraffic.com for the Cuauthemoc on the morning of the 4 August it was in the Mediterranean west of Corsica on passage from Naples to Falmouth. I checked again on Sunday 6 August and the Cuauhtemoc passed through the Straits of Gibralter between noon and 13.00 hours that day making 8.5 knots using the engine. The vessel is scheduled to arrive Falmouth at 09.00 on Tuesday 15 August 2023.
It is particularly appropriate that Cuauhtemoc is coming to Cornwall because there are many links and connections between Cornwall and Mexico. As the price of tin collapsed in Victorian times many Cornish miners and mining engineers went overseas to work, including Mexico. Many of those emigrants stayed in their adopted countries, as a personal anecdote will show. It was just after lunch at our house in Camborne, Cornwall on Friday 30 September 2022 when the doorbell rang. Standing on the doorstep was a man in his fifties who was obviously foreign, but he spoke perfect English. He explained that his brother, mother and father were in the hire car parked outside the house. We invited them into the house, gave them some hospitality, and delayed their journey back to London by some ninety minutes. They explained that their surname was Rowe; that they were all Mexican-born and lived on the outskirts of Mexico City. The older man's grandfather had been a mining engineer who had been born, raised and studied in Cornwall. He had gone to work in the metal mines of Mexico in the 1910s, returned to Cornwall and finally returned and stayed in Mexico, marrying and raising a family. His last address in Cornwall was at our house in Camborne about 1916. You can imagine our surprise and delight at being able to be a small part of their 4-night visit to Britain. What had prompted their visit, which they had been talking about for years, was watching the funeral of our Queen on television a few weeks earlier.
MLR / 6 August 2023
Devon aerial views