The "summer house" was in fact the S &T Lineman's cabin where brains and brawn ensured our "patch" from St. Germans to Par was maintained to the standards of safety the travelling public expected.
I was in residence there with a mate from approx. 1963 to 1975 when my mate went to Plymouth Panel; I took his job but the base was moved to Lostwithiel.
I am now drowning in so many memories of time spent in the cabin and the camaraderie that existed back then.
Best regards, Brian Grigg.
Further to Howard Sprenger's picture:
The building at Liskeard was the signal lineman's hut. These were often built from components of old boxes. There was a similar one at Totnes. Sometimes a whole disused box was used in this way (Tavistock, St Erth, Truro), The building at Liskeard was not the former Liskeard box, which was of a different type.
Masbury – Steep Gradients and the 7Fs
Michael L. Roach
For north-bound trains the climb to the summit began just before Evercreech Junction Station and ended just past Masbury Halt 8½ miles away. The incline was split into two parts, both at 1 in 50, with three quarters of mile of downhill through Shepton Mallet Station. Most expresses were assisted with a pilot engine at the front running right through to Bath Green Park Station. For the last few years of the line's existence Bath Shed had a couple of 9F 2-10-0 freight engines. With their small wheels and large tractive effort the 9Fs could take longer passenger trains unassisted. but only in summer when train heating was not required, as the 9Fs did not have any. However nearly 50 years before our visit Henry Fowler CME of the Midland Railway designed a small class of 2-8-0 freight engines with 4 feet 7½ inch wheels specifically for hauling freight trains over the steep gradients of the S & D. Six were built in 1914 and a further five in 1925 making a total of 11 in the class, which BR designated 7F. On Saturdays in Summer the 7Fs were pressed into use on the long distance passenger trains to and from Bournemouth. At the time of our visit the six in the first batch had all been withdrawn but the second batch of five 7Fs was intact. We saw just one number 53808 which lasted until February 1964, but was out of use that day. In the other direction the climb from Bath to Masbury was more than 17 miles long but pilot engines ran through to Evercreech Junction before being taken off. That climb will be described in a later part of the series.
After arriving at Evercreech Junction in the previous part we drove north to a bridge over the line near the summit of the bank. The first train to come up the bank was the 9.25am SO Bournemouth West to Manchester and Liverpool behind 9F 92245. Next came the 9.45am Bournemouth West to Manchester which was The Pines Express behind a double header. From Monday to Friday the train also had through coaches to Liverpool and Sheffield. There were other Saturday holiday trains from Bournemouth West at 8.40am to Derby on three Saturdays only; at 10.05 to Bradford; at 10.32am to Manchester on nine Saturdays and at 11.12am to Sheffield. A year later in summer 1963 there would be no long distance expresses but some trains would run to and from Bristol Temple Meads where there were connections for all parts. We drove south to park the car at Templecombe Station where we needed to be at the end of the day. The train journey to Bath was on the 12.03 local off Templecombe consisting of 75071 with three coaches. This was a very routine journey of 95 minutes but what was interesting was the number of steam engines seen en route, as follows:
Templecombe 73049 on 9.53am Bath – Bournemouth
Evercreech Junction 75009 pilot engine; 43216 shunting
Shepton Mallet 73024, 73051 on 11.55am Bath – Bournemouth
Chilcompton * 92001 on 12.25pm Bath – Bournemouth
Radstock North 47557 on shed
Midford 44559 on 1.10pm Bath – Templecombe
* actually between Chilcompton and Midsomer Norton
MLR / 9 July 2023