& Lock down
Best wishes for 2021 to you and the Cornwall Railway Society. As is usual at this time of year I often reminiss about photographs I have taken in the past and where we are now. Browsing over your website during the latter end of 2020 I found there were some pictures of Poltimore Siding at Pinhoe. I can tell you a little story about my endeavours to get a photograph of a train in that location. During the mid 1980's I was determined to photograph as many locations around Exeter as I could, being aware that rail freight traffic was being rationalised. One particular location was said Poltimore Siding, where the occasional load of bricks would be sent out by rail, often to the Midlands. As I worked in Exeter at the time I would regulary drive along Chancel Lane to see if there were any wagons in the siding. Of course 90% of the time there was nothing. Then around April 1987 the occasional wagon would appear, get loaded with bricks and then disappear! We didn't have Realtime Trains or any other internet website to guide us and so it was 'pot luck' when this happened. However, I kept a watching brief until one day I happened to see a light engine class 50 pass through Central Station. I took the chance and followed it as best by car as I could. Sure enough it stopped just past Poltimore Siding and reversed. At last I had found my quarry and photographed 50047 picking up its solitary wagon. The use of a 2700 h.p. locomotive for this duty probably explains the economic demise of such operations. This was the only time I saw this working at Pinhoe and the date was 6 May 1987 - exactly six months before the siding connection was removed.
The late John Cornelius