Michael L Roach
17 23 Plymouth to Penzance at 19 40 on Saturday 3 October
19 55 Penzance to Plymouth at 20 20 on Saturday 3 October
There were no Sunday trains
Gwinear Road was the junction for the Helston Branch
The freight-only Helston Branch also closed completely the same weekend; it had been closed to passengers about 2 years earlier.
Rather strangely Gwinear Road Station stayed open for goods for another 10 months to 9 August 1965. In earlier years one of the commodities to be taken out of the area by rail was beach sand from a sandpit just to the north of Gwithian Village some 2½ miles to the north-west of the station. The former sandpit survived the closure of the station by several decades, and after closure became a nature reserve.*
Gwinear Road Station was very roughly mid-way between the villages of Connor Downs and Carnhell Green. In the middle of Carnhell Green is a crossroads where the finger post still in 2019 proclaims the distance to Gwinear Road Station as ¾ mile. The station is also still signposted from the next road junction to the south on the B3280.
* Mike was asked about the staying open for goods for an extra 10 months -
MLR/27 September 2019 If parcels traffic had not ceased earlier (as it did in some cases) then when passenger services ended parcels traffic would normally cease on the same day. This is because the station buildings would be locked up and later demolished; there would be no staff left; and no passenger trains calling to load the parcels onto. Of course there are always exceptions to any rule. If a station was dispatching hundreds or thousands of parcels a day a parcels train could call specially to pick them up. This might occur in an a large urban area possibly, but not at Gwinear Road. Even in an urban area BR would normally just expect the company dispatching the parcels to take them to a different station for loading. Its worth mentioning here that it was the arrival of the railways that allowed mail order to take off. It was a Welsh entrepreneur who set up the first modern mail order business in 1861 in Newtown in Powys. His large Victorian warehouse still stands directly opposite the railway station in Newtown.
You might like to run these words past the very knowledgeable Roy Hart to see if has anything to add. * Roy has added :- see below.
Best wishes, Mike. Many thanks Mike for a most interesting reminder.
Roy Hart writes - Further to Mike's very interesting piece:
It was known when the Helston passenger service ended, in 1962, that a freight service would continue for 2 years only. October 1964 was the expiry date of the contract for daily meat traffic from Helston. On 5th October 64, the East box at Gwinear Road was switched out (it remained switched out for 9 months) and the yard was cleared of wagons over the following weeks. A final train ran to Helston on Thursday October 8th to clear Helston, Nancegollan and Praze sidings.
I am not sure, but I believe that some perishable traffic continued to be loaded on the west end sidings at Gwinear Road in the spring of 1965.
In June 65, the up goods loop between West and East boxes was lifted and the East box abolished. All point connections, ground discs and subsidiary signals at West box were taken out of use in August 1965, leaving the box working just the running signals and the level crossing. Thus it remained until it was abolished in the October.
Gone were the days to 'change here for Helston, The Lizard, Mullion and Porthleven'!
This is one of six songs Salty River Band recorded at my place. They wanted a rustic (or rusting) railway backdrop.
I hope you'll like one, recorded at Christow E & TV.