Colas purchased 37099 (or 37324 'Clydebridge' as it was also known) from preservation a couple of years ago and it has recently returned to the main line for a second career working infrastructure monitoring trains. Overnight on 4th-5th it brought a 5 coach structure gauging train from Eastleigh to Bristol High Level Siding. This then went out late on 5th to Basingstoke and back via Westbury and Salisbury, a planned run over the Ludgershall branch seemingly being omitted from the programme. It left the area for Derby RTC (via Swindon, Pilning, Swindon again, then Oxford and the Birmingham area) late on 6th.
While sister locomotives 37097 and 37098 were fairly common in the west of England from early 1991, both being operated by the civil engineers department and both wearing 'Dutch livery until their withdrawal in late 1998, 37099 seems to have spent the bulk of it's former mainline career well away from the former Western Region bar a spell allocated to the Trainload Metals pool Cardiff Canton between May 1992 and January 1993. Just before withdrawal it arrived back at Canton from Bescot for storage on 24th February 1996, finally leaving by rail for preservation in Norfolk in September 1997 (source- Class 37 Locomotive Data Site). A later move saw the loco based for several years at the Gloucestershire - Warwickshire Railway at Toddington where it ran as 37324.
37099 worked the 1C09 0635 Bristol-Plymouth as far as Exeter with 50009 on 25th January 1985, taking the same train through to Plymouth the following day. It then performed in the Royal Duchy on RESL's 'The Cornishman' railtour on 26th in top and tail mode with Cornish favourite 37207 (see Six Bells Junction website for details and photos). Maybe one of your contributors has an image or two of this west country-shy loco they could post up on the site? Hopefully it won't be too long before 37099 finds it's way down to Devon and Cornwall for a well overdue return visit so definitely one for you all to look out for!
37099 as viewed from platform 13 at Bristol Temple Meads then from a departing HST.
Many thanks Guy for the detailed history.
In 1968 some filming for the remake of “Goodbye Mr Chips” took place at Sherborne station, which was renamed ‘Brookfield’ for the purpose with temporary signage. This caused some confusion for arriving passengers, including apparently some people on a train from Waterloo who were late for their part in the filming as they went on to Yeovil Junction before realising their mistake! Many thanks for that Chris.
gTrack renewals between Redruth & Truro.
Day one at Cardrew.
By Mick House Roger Salter Andrew Triggs Jamie Dyke, Roger Aston and Roger Winnen.
This weekend they are in the area stretching from Drump Road Bridge to the A3047 road bridge near Treleigh Community Primary School, in the area behind Cardrew Industrial Estate.
Two class 70s 805 & 807 and a selection of plant and machinery including two twin jib rail cranes and an assortment of road rail excavators with various attachments are in the possession area stretching from Truro to St Erth.
70805 arrived last night with an empty spoil train and the two twin jib rail cranes, this was followed by 70807 and a train of empty wagons to remove track panels. Words & Photos by Mick House Roger Salter Andrew Triggs Jamie Dyke Roger Aston and Roger Winnen
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Many thanks Geoff
I had a pleasant surprise this week when I received this picture taken by a (modest) colleague on 20th Dec 2016. It was the day GWR 57605 assisted 66154 into Lostwithiel Up Loop from 20th Dec. Great to see this exclusive picture.
Also from early January, a sunset at Nunpusker Angarrack, and a quiet scene from St Blazey shed over the new year.
All the best, Craig Many thanks
Because I wanted to finally nail the question of whether the actual Cornish Riviera Express did work in and out of St Ives on summer Saturdays (as well as make sure that my memory wasn’t playing tricks with me) I have been doing a trawl of all the magazine and book articles I could find, looking for photographic evidence.
Considering how well used and well-loved the line is and how scenic its route, there has been surprisingly little written about it – certainly no glossy Coffee Table book dedicated to it, like some relatively minor branches. I suppose it is because of its short length with not even a siding from one end to the other, never mind a crossing place, together with its predictability in motive power, making it rather boring in railway terms.
None-the-less, I have found a number of articles (and there probably are others) and quite a few photos of through Paddington trains. However I have restricted myself to just those photos where the Name Boards are clearly visible on the sides of the carriages.
I have tabulated the results in chronological order as follows:
Railway Bylines July 1999
The St Ives Branch Oswald J Barker
p350, R C Riley collection, undated but pre-war 4410, hauling at least 1 coach plus some others down near Carbis Bay(maybe just a single through coach but impossible to tell).
GWR Journal late summer 1992
The St Ives Branch Stanley C Jenkins MA
p15, Ray Holland, late 1930s, 4517, Centenary Brake Compo evening arrival loading up Tregenna Castle Bus. Is it train or through coach? Not more than 6 coaches, Lettering dark on light.
p17, Ray Holland, some time between 1953 ( arrival of hut on putting green) and 1955 (rebuilding of viaduct). 10 coach evening arrival, mixed assortment of coaches, lettering light on dark.
p21, B A Butt, 15-08-1953, Down train 10 coaches out on the cliffs.
Steam Days April 2002
Steam Days at Penzance
p240, B A Butt, 01-08-1953, Down train just arriving with 10 pre BR coaches.
Railway World Special 1988 “Cornish Riviera”
Summer Saturday service to St Ives Chris Lea
p45, Chris Lea, 04-07-1958, 4564 & another have just parked down train in St Erth down Refuge siding
p43, P Q Treloar, 26-07-1958, 4547 & 4566 wait in St Erth up refuge siding for RA to St Ives with delayed down service.
GWR in West Cornwall
p36, Alan Bennet, 30-08-1958, 4554 & 4568 with down 10 chocolate & cream coaches on Lelant towans.
Steam in Cornwall
P W Gray
p62, P W Gray, no date, Colour photo 4549 & 4570 have just parked chocolate & cream stock in down refuge siding at St Erth.
The St Ives Branch Alan Bennett
p39, P W Gray, same photo as above but gives date as 30-07-1960.
Railway Bylines July 1999
The St Ives Branch Oswald J Barker
p355, P W Gray, 30-07-1960, 4549 & 4571 at Lelant Towans rounding the curve towards Hawks Point. Has the other end of the Choc/Cream set in the above photo lost its nameboards?
The one thing that is immediately apparent from the above is that every single picture is of an evening “down” train. One might, then, be tempted to conclude that whilst the down CRE definitely did visit St Ives in post-war years, the GWR and its successor only treated visitors on their way to St Ives to the delights of the Cornish Riviera Express and wasn’t too fussed how they got home.
In fact it’s not as simple as that: out of all the photos in the dozen or so publications, I could only find TWO of the corresponding morning train and these were taken by P W Gray in the last days of steam when things were in a state of flux. That a morning up train ran is beyond doubt, so why so few photos? The reason, I believe is simple and depends upon two facts.
Here is the first. As far as I was aware, apart from B A Butt, whose Cornish railway photos appear from time to time, (Mr Butt, incidentally, was a professional photographer who earned his bread from wedding photos and had a shop next door down Tregenna Hill from the Catholic Church) there was nobody else living in St Ives who showed even the vaguest interest in railways; certainly I never saw anybody else local hanging about the station with or without a camera. I discount, of course, railwaymen, but they didn’t generally carry cameras with them.
Now for the second. Throughout the fifties my favourite time of the day during the summer months was before 9:30 in the morning. Why? Because there were no visitors about; the streets and beaches were deserted and I had the place virtually to myself. One must remember that back in those days all Hotel and Guest House accommodation was either Full Board or, maybe, Bed, Breakfast & Evening Meal and in the days of rationing you had to hand over your Coupons. People were far more regimented then and my mother put breakfast on the tables at 9:00 – this was universal; if I was out I would hear dinner gongs and bells being rung all over the place. There was none of this “breakfast is 8:30 till 10:30”. Like all other establishments, if a guest missed it that was it, which people didn’t do since they had paid for it. It wasn’t as if they could get a breakfast easily anywhere else, especially under rationing. Consequently, anybody wanting to photograph the up Riviera had to go without breakfast! Before anyone asks, we did make an exception for guests who had to actually catch the Riviera or an earlier train!
So I think that simply due to circumstances of the day, photos of the morning train will be much rarer than those of the evening one. In 1955 even a keen railway photographer would have thought twice about giving up breakfast when there would be a similar photo-opportunity at a much more convenient time after spending the day on the beach with the family but before heading back to the hotel for dinner, the standard time for which was 7 o’clock.
Unless some other photos turn up it looks to me as if the only way of settling this is to delve back into the working timetables. Unfortunately, apart from those I have already mentioned I don’t have any myself so, at the moment, it is down to other people.
Finally, one of the most interesting photos showing the Cornish Riviera Express in St Ives station is actually to be found here, on this very web-site, at the extreme far end of the St Ives section of the Cornwall Galleries. From the number of people on the beach and putting-green this can only be the evening train and the passengers standing around in the foreground are all waiting for transport (almost certainly taxis) to their Hotels and Guest Houses. As for the train, there would have been another 2 or 3 carriages, plus an engine, out of sight to the Left. I wonder what happened to the original negative? I bet there is a wealth of detail which has been lost in the half-tone printing. What publication did this come from, anyway? My guess is Holiday Haunts. As an aside, I remember all the characters shown (this was by no means the full staff complement for the branch) but I only got to know the last two really well.
Even more finally, we have the piece by Colin Burges on the 28th December with the link to the very interesting 1952 BR film. What particularly caught my eye was the shot of the up “Riveera” itself, hauled by, I think, a Manor. It must have been winter time as there were only 7 coaches but the interesting bit was an absence of loco headboard and a measly 3 carriage name-boards. An example of post-war make-do-and-mend.
And, really, really, finally we come to Colin Burges’ comments about the pronunciation of “riveera”. From what I remember, I think he is absolutely right, but I suspect this was as a result of the word having been “Cornishized” after having first been Anglicized. According to my dictionary “Riviera” was adopted from Italian back in the middle of the 18th century, no doubt as a result of the Aristocracy going on the “Grand Tour” and you can be pretty sure that they would have been punctilious about using the Italian word.
My understanding is that the term “Cornish Riviera” was coined by the GWR Publicity Dept in 1904 to encourage the tourist trade. I am on guessing territory now but my feeling is that previous to that the word would have been virtually unknown to Cornish railwaymen and when it started to be used on publicity material they had no idea how it was supposed to be pronounced so invented their own. It was, after all, many years before the BBC started to broadcast a standardised English to the nation; previous to that the only way it spread around was by the movement of people and there were probably more Cornishmen involved in running the “Riveera” than anyone else! I could go on about this but I will just say that on recent visits to Cornwall I hear very few people talking with even a mild Cornish accent and what I do hear is seriously watered-down compared with what I heard all around me as a child.
Cheers for now,
Laurence Many thanks indeed for such an extensive article