23rd June 1974
6th December 1981
Note how ‘open’ it all looked back then compared to Guy Vincent’s first photo – is it really the same place?! I’m sure it is - a black & white chevron sign just visible below the footbridge in Guy’s photo would confirm the basic orientation of the road.
1. St Austell dockyard train - 05.10 St Austell to Plymouth and 16.20 SX (12.00 SO) return (times ECS ex-Marsh Mills).
This was the first Up train of the day from mid-Cornwall, well before the 06.25 Penzance which was useless if you worked in Plymouth. Rather inefficiently it had a dedicated set of five coaches (a 5-set) which spent the day at Laira Carriage Sidings. As the light engine had to start from St Blazey and shunt at St Austell, wouldn't it have been easier to start from Truro, or were the clay-workers of St Austell seen as skilled men ripe for poaching by higher wages in the docks (ironically it called all-stations except Dockyard and Ford)?
It's also shown in the 1949 WTT so when did it start? And when did it finish - was it replaced by the Up Golden Hind which started in the 1970s? Was it the only passenger train ever booked to originate or terminate at St Austell (apart from the Motorrail)?
2. Hayle school train - 08.30 SX Penzance to Hayle (school terms only).
This dedicated coach ran a grand total of 15 miles per day. The Up Hayle Wharves engine conveyed one BC (non-corridor) coach, which it then attached to the 06.50 Plymouth to Penzance, presumably at the rear, which called at Hayle at 09b34; letter b means that this train stopped for only 2 minutes which must have meant some spirited shunting. It's also shown in the 1949 WTT, but in the 1911 WTT there's an 08.45 Penzance to Camborne Passenger Motor which could have provided a similar service, so when did it start and finish? Was it the only train ever booked to terminate at Hayle?
Which school did it serve; did the school or the council contract it or was it provided by the railway? Unless 12 children travelled First Class, one BC has seats for only 18 or 24. Why wasn't it more efficient to put the children on the 18 bus, as at over 3 miles from the school the council had to pay anyway?
3. Camborne-Redruth holiday train - 07.55 MFO Camborne to Bristol.
Two dedicated 10-sets formed the 07.20 MFO Ponsandane to Camborne ECS. The Friday set formed the next day's 09.35 SO Bristol to Penzance, but the Monday set continued empty to Swindon to form the following Saturday's 07.00 SO Swindon to Penzance, provided mainly for rail workers' holidays. The Up Camborne was a booked service, rather than an excursion which would have had a Q-path (run as required). It's not shown in the 1949 WTT; when did it start and finish? Was it the only express train ever booked to start from Camborne?
I remember the 08.30 Penzance to Hayle which normally left from the front of Platform 1 at Penzance. It conveyed children to Hayle Grammer School a fee paying school. This train was normally hauled by a 45xx Tank which would then go on to Gwinear Road after attaching its coach (6333) to the rear 06.50 Plymouth -Penzance at Hayle.
On one occasion 4095 Harlech Castle left Penzance with its one coach to Hayle.
I attended Hayle Grammer School for 5 years from 1958 to 1963. This school had 110 pupils when I joined split into 5 classes. The 08.30 from Penzance to Hayle was for pupils of The Grammer school only, no doubt others may have had a free ride from time to time
I also like the idea of our 'News Column' becoming a 'Chat Column', no one knows what might be 'unearthed' of general interest information which can at least can be dispersed to a wider field.