Gwinear Road East was my first main line signalling job. The box had a 15 lever frame and permissive block instruments for the up loop and a detonator for the down main. Often up freights would refuge in the up loop and the loco would pull across the main lines and set back into the down yard to collect any wagons off the Helston branch which had been propelled to the far ends of the loop sidings 1,2 and 3. Movements had to be carefully timed so as not to interfere with main line traffic. Sidings 1, 2 and 3 were called No. 1 down yard and sidings 4,5,6 and 7 were called No. 2 down yard. East Box was open from 06.00 until 22.00 or until the 19.30 Ponsandane to Tavy. Jct. freight had cleared Camborne. Vehicles without rear lights were permitted within the confines of the station from the up sidings but were protected by West box keeping the point set to the up sidings until the entire train was in the up loop. The box was particularly busy during the sugar beet, broccoli and potato seasons especially on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays when as many as 13 additional trains were dealt with in a day working block to block up to Truro and beyond. On my "promotion" to West box a fireman, who was a talented artist, presented me with a cartoon showing me as a mounted cowboy with the caption "Go west young man!"
The Helston line closed to passengers in Nov. 62 and to freight in Oct. 64. Gwinear Road station closed in Oct. 64 and I remember in the period between the removal of branch passenger services and total closure the sign just said Gwinear Road with the "For Helston The Lizard Mullion & Porthleven" blanked out. Latterly some of the sidings were removed or used for storage until the boxes were closed in 1965, East in June and West in October. During that year an inspection trolley was used in demolition and track recovery and I recall a return trip to Nancegollan, perhaps the last "train" on that section.
CAN YOU HELP PLEASE?
Information taken from a HRT brochure in my possession, there are also some photos on Smug Mug put on by Neil Dimmer showing the train in question.
I hope this information is useful to you and thanks again for this excellent site. Best Regards, Neil Vincent. Frome, Somerset.
Many thanks Guy