Michael L. Roach
The Plym Valley (2)
In Part 13 yesterday I described how I spent the afternoon of Friday 28 December 1962 in the Plym Valley between the viaducts at Cann Quarry and Riverford, later moving back to an overbridge just south of Cann Viaduct. All told four trains were seen in 160 minutes while I endured the cold for my hobby. The last one was the 3.05pm Plymouth to Launceston which was running some 16 minutes late, after which I headed for home.
It is worth looking at the maps and plans of this area on the NLS website; particularly the OS 25-inch 1873 – 1888 (SW England only) because it shows the broad gauge track still extant at the time. The area around Cann Viaduct (then called the River Plym Viaduct) was at the time alive with industry, and the works of man. Besides the South Devon Railway Tavistock Branch there were tramways, a canal, a weir across the river, quarries and spoil heaps. This was a very isolated area miles from the nearest villages and I wonder if the workers who created this huge industrial complex would have walked there on a Monday morning and stayed the week in one of the many buildings on the site. The last photo was taken from the overbridge south of the viaduct beside Cann House and shows the preserved prairie 4555 heading north along the valley through deeper snow than seen earlier.
MLR / 15 December 2022
Seven minutes of diesel delight
My Christmas treat for myself this year was transferring some of my old ciné film, taken in May 1985 a couple of screen shots includes (see below) 47509 'Albion' arriving into Taunton under the fine array of signals and an unidentified HST hurries through Dawlish. Warren with a West bound service. Here is the Youtube link Diesel Locomotives in the Dawlish area around 1985 - YouTube
Bodmin & Wenford
Thought I’d send you a few photos I took today, before rain stopped play.
The BWR were tidying up after their Christmas trains in preparation for a couple of steam running days tomorrow and Friday. 08359 was busy shunting the station at Bodmin General to make up the train for tomorrow, and 2 excess coaches were tripped down to Bodmin Parkway for undercover storage.
I am a big fan of the visiting blue ‘08’ on the railway, I think it fits in perfectly, watching it run light engine through Coleslogget on its way back up the hill it was easy to imagine it heading out for a days work on the Wenford branch, it just needed a brake van accompanying it.
I also grabbed a couple of photos of some HST’s, reality is starting to set in now that these really are on borrowed time, so my New Years resolution is to make more of an effort to point my camera at them.
All the best and happy New Year, Jon Hird
all a good 2023 too.
Could you please convey to Michael Roach the absorbing pleasure which his End of 1962 series is giving? - especially to one who can well remember that year, with its Big Freeze at the end of it. The black and white pictures are, frankly, as good as anything in colour these days - and, of course, are properly part of that era.
Yet, alas, there is also a quite forbidding sense that another sort of Big Freeze was then just beginning - namely, the desolate winter of closures and decline that befell the railways generally from around that time onwards until a revival some thirty-odd long years later.
Looking forward to what I take to be the blizzard-ridden climax of Part 15; in the meantime, I have been taking Michael's advice and examining the NLS website OS mapping, and have finally (as someone entirely unconversant with the Tavistock Branch) established the locations of Cann and Riverford Viaducts.
Best Wishes, Geoffrey Barnes (Cambridge)
Hythe Pier and Tramway