& St Ives
Jon Hird & Craig Munday
In my last report in May 2022 I included two photos taken in March showing a pair of long-lost rails uncovered during vegetation clearance. I was very surprised to discover that, not only has this road off the turntable now been completely cleared, but it forms a loop back onto the branch into Par Docks – the set of points visible from the level crossing gates, which I had assumed had been retained as a catch point leading into bushes, was still connected to the turntable under the vegetation!
Photos taken on Saturday 1st April 2023.
St Blazey Turntable
One of the shots depicted today shows the newly-discovered points leading from the old Fowey line to the turntable. Here are the same points, 70 tears ago.
The two pictures are 70 years and about 2 feet apart!
The signals and points were operated by Par Bridge Crossing box.
In his very interesting and detailed article (6th April) John Roberts enquired about photos of Britannia class locomotives in Cornwall. The Bradford Barton album ‘More Great Western Steam in Cornwall’ includes four views (steam yes, Great Western no, but rare so forgiven!), and another three in ‘Cornwall’s Railways – A Pictorial Survey’ from the same publisher. Only 70019 ‘Lightning’ and 70024 ‘Vulcan’ feature, mostly the former. I believe they only appeared between 1951 and 1953, as if BR wanted to show off their new hardware as far and wide as possible, even if only temporarily, but by all accounts they weren’t that popular with the crews. I know of one photo of a 4MT 75xxx (75025) on the Cornish main line, exiting Highertown Tunnel, Truro with a parcels train in 1954, the year after the Britannias had departed.
These old Bradford Barton albums (published in Truro) provide evidence that in the early years of Nationalisation Cornwall saw visits by ‘Stars’, 28xx 2-8-0s, the heavy 72xx 2-8-2T tanks and 111 ‘Viscount Churchill’, rebuilt as a ‘Castle’ from the GWR’s sole ‘Pacific’ 4-6-2 ‘The Great Bear’ in 1924.
Best regards, Neil Phillips.