Michael L. Roach
On Christmas Eve 1962 I walked to Plymouth Station in time to see the 3.00pm departure to Cardiff which started here and picked up a portion from Paignton at Newton Abbot Station. The train was hauled by 6935 “Browsholme Hall” of 88L Cardiff East Dock Shed which historically had always been allocated only tank engines. Most of the South Wales to London trains had been dieselised earlier that year but the diesels lacked a proper depot in Cardiff. In September 1962 Cardiff Canton Shed closed to steam to be rebuilt into a diesel depot. The remaining steam engines at Canton were moved to East Dock Shed including main line 4-6-0 express locos. 6935 departed on time with five coaches.
I walked down platform 8 to find small prairie 5569 on the 3.05pm to Launceston and boarded the train for a short return trip to Tavistock South. 5569 was a long term resident of Laira Shed dating right back to nationalisation in 1948. It was now a little over 48 hours since “The Big Freeze” had commenced, and very unusually 5569 took water at Horrabridge Station rather than at Tavistock Station where it had a longer stop and normally took water. I soon learnt that the water crane on the down side at Tavisock was already frozen up and unuseable, I returned from Tavistock on the 4.30pm auto which consisted of two coaches propelled by 6430. Further down the auto coach was the transport correspondent of the Western Morning News Mr. David St. John Thomas (1929-2014) who would become a very well-known author of railway books and a publisher. He co-founded David & Charles Publishers of Newton Abbot who at their peak had 300 employees. When Mr. Thomas addressed a meeting of the Cornwall Railway Society some thirty years later he spoke for more than two hours with stories, anecdotes and amusing incidents about the railway and without a single note to refer to.
MLR / 06 December 2022
I was intrigued by the request from Andrew McPherson about private owner (PO) wagons used by businesses in Cornwall as I was sure that I remembered a list somewhere on the web …
Andrew may well be aware of the following but it could be of interest to your wider audience.
Lightmoor Press have an extensive list of private owner wagons on their website. This indexes an owner’s name to the publication(s) containing a drawing of the wagon. The location of the owner is also listed (where known). The list can be found by searching:
Lightmoor Press Private Owner Wagons & Tankers Index
I’m afraid I cannot find a reference in Lightmoor’s list to Holmans or J and F Pool but there could be others in the list of interest to Andrew.
In addition, S Ellison has created a “Private owner wagons index – searchable” as an Excel spreadsheet which can be found by searching on rmweb. (The chat starts on May 5, 2015).
There is a suggestion in internet forums that much of the output from Hayle left by ship and the main types of Cornish PO wagons mentioned seem to be china clay or coal carriers. Bachmann set 37-081TL for example is three Cornish Coal Trader wagons in OO scale, namely Thomlin and Co of Truro, Rowe of Camborne and Helston Gas Company.
Finally, Hayle Railway Modellers have commissioned a Harvey & Co Ltd coal wagon from Bachmann but as the other offering is a Hayle Railway Modellers van I’m not sure about the accuracy of this wagon – you would have to ask Hayle Railway Modellers!
Hopefully Andrew can find something suitable and let us know the results of his search.
Newton St Cyres
Regards, Clive Smith
Wishing you all the best for the festive season!
Best Regards, Chris.