Making a Start - The Peak District Midland / Monsal Dale pre 1903

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:41 pm

Highpeak wrote:During my recent visit to the Peak District I walked the line from Millers Dale to Bakewell and measured up the dock at Monsal Head.
Starting at the Millers Dale end, the height (and these figures are approximations because it is not very easy to determine where exactly the ground level is) is 4'. This height is maintained for 12' and then an upward slope starts to raise the height to about 6'. The length of the slope is about 18'.
The raised part of the dock is about 27 yards long and then drops down to the lower height, the length of that slope is about 16 yards, very gradual. Presumably this was so that loaded carts could be pulled up to the higher level.
The final lower part of the dock is about 15 yards long.
If you look closely at the stone work I think you can see how the height was raised, there seems to be a definite straight line at around the three to four foot height with a more random arrangement of stones above it:
IMGP1069.JPG
I hope this helps. The height measurements are, as I said, only approximate because of the tangle of undergrowth.


Thanks Neville,

That is very thoughtful and kind of you.

Reading back through Bill Hudson's research on the station, he advises that in 1914 the spar mine asked the Midland to put in a dedicated private siding. However when informed of the cost (£320 in 10 annual instalments at 4% interest) the proposal was dropped. Although there is no further record of any work to the wharf (the landslip and resultant consolidation is recorded as being to the upside of the line), from the photo evidence and your observations, one hypothesis might be that the wharf was raised to 6 feet following the abandonment of the planned private siding to accommodate the increased spar production.

Regards

Tim
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:05 am

I have been thinking a little further about the public wharf conundrum at Monsal Dale ...building on advice received and my research to date.

Assuming that ( as advised by Bill Hudson) part of the function of the wharf was the delivery of Coal for the community/Mill (even though in relatively small amounts) I am thinking that a portion of the siding must have been at ground level (perhaps as Kieth has suggested) located at the Buffer end before the start of the wharf. Otherwise unloading into delivery carts would have been difficult .... My father recently described to me unloading from a wagon into 100cwt sacks on a weigh scale on the back of a lorry (a summer job in his youth). The lorry was at ground level so its loading bed was at wagon floor level.

With Neville's information I am assuming that the public wharf was then set at 3ft 6" ish above rail top for general goods. This suggests that the mine originally used the public wharf in this form ( relying on the cart bed height to allow loading of wagons over the sides?). However a portion of the wharf was then raised higher following the ditching of the private siding scheme to cater for the increasing production from the mine.

I am still puzzled why the wharf drops down again at the far end of the platform, (the early photos and plans suggest that this portion is beyond the original extent of the wharf prior to its raising and was extended perhaps at the time of the raising of the wharf. At the same time a direct track from the mine to the wharf appears to have been put in rather than using the public lane. It may be that as part of the works to raise the height of the wharf additional retaining was required at the far end of the platform. This speculation is for interest only as it is not relevant to my time period.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:23 am

I have now had chance to sketch Neville's rough dimensions onto the Midland Railway 1905 2 chain plan of the station overlaid on the OS plan. Bill Hudson''s later plan shows the track and wharf coming right to the buildings and not with the space to the rear, so I have positioned Neville's lengths accordingly. This tallies with later photos
Cresbrook Station plan.jpg

Bill Hudson Plan.jpeg


As becomes clear, the lower portion of the wharf next to the station buildings and the slope up to the higher area all but encompass the original wharf.

The 1905 plan indicates a flat area at track level to the back of the buffers. Might this have been used for offloading coal? Can you offload over the buffers, or would you need access to the side of the wagon?

I have also found this great image of the up platform.

Monsal Dale view.jpg
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:49 am

Thoughts begin to turn again to modelling as the count down starts to Scaleforum and the Autumn!

I was recently rummaging through my father's photo collection and happened across these slides of myself as a nipper (with my elder and younger brothers) in the early 70s walking the track bed ... must have been quite soon after it was lifted (1971/2 ish?).
2.jpg
2.jpg (312.33 KiB) Viewed 2725 times
1.jpg
1.jpg (348.92 KiB) Viewed 2725 times


I have no recollection of the walk
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:39 am

Le Corbusier wrote:I have now had chance to sketch Neville's rough dimensions onto the Midland Railway 1905 2 chain plan of the station overlaid on the OS plan. Bill Hudson''s later plan shows the track and wharf coming right to the buildings and not with the space to the rear, ....... The 1905 plan indicates a flat area at track level to the back of the buffers. Might this have been used for offloading coal? Can you offload over the buffers, or would you need access to the side of the wagon?


From my post earlier ...

Does anyone have any thoughts on my question regarding offloading coal? The earlier plans clearly show a flat area to the rear of the siding before you get to the buildings and one reading is that this area is at the level of the buildings and not the wharf
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby martinm » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:04 pm

The 1905 plan indicates a flat area at track level to the back of the buffers. Might this have been used for offloading coal? Can you offload over the buffers, or would you need access to the side of the wagon?

From my post earlier ...
Does anyone have any thoughts on my question regarding offloading coal? The earlier plans clearly show a flat area to the rear of the siding before you get to the buildings and one reading is that this area is at the level of the buildings and not the wharf


A flat area behind the end of such a sidng is frequently an 'end loading' facility, for coaches and the like.

Coal was invariably shovelled from the side door of wagons though, usually, this would usually be into vehicles at ground level.
If the there were an 'end loading', the first platform would be at floor level, leaving no drop from the coal wagons to be emptied, making for a lot of hard work! Even without this, there would not be a great drop from the wagon floor level.

I'm not convinced that the maps show any significant change to the buildins - but would they have dug up the platform to extend the siding by such a small amount?

An interesting conundrum.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:35 am

martinm wrote:
A flat area behind the end of such a sidng is frequently an 'end loading' facility, for coaches and the like.

Coal was invariably shovelled from the side door of wagons though, usually, this would usually be into vehicles at ground level.
If the there were an 'end loading', the first platform would be at floor level, leaving no drop from the coal wagons to be emptied, making for a lot of hard work! Even without this, there would not be a great drop from the wagon floor level.

I'm not convinced that the maps show any significant change to the buildins - but would they have dug up the platform to extend the siding by such a small amount?

An interesting conundrum.
regards,
martin


Thanks for the response Martin.

I am going to have to come to some conclusion on this.

The evidence from the Bill Hudson research appears pretty unequivocal ... Coal was supplied to the wharf for the use of both the community and the Mill during my period (1902-ish). I find it hard to believe that the new wharf would have been built to make un loading difficult and hard work.

We know that the mine was no where near its later production at this point so the public wharf would I assume have been for mixed loading in and out (general goods/Mill goods/Spar from the quarry) - none of it particularly large from the timetables and Bill's research (a few wagons a week).

My reading of the official Midland photos is still that there appears to be two levels to the yard at the back of the station. I am going to assume that the wharf (based upon Neville's observations following his visit) was originally set at the standard 3'6" above rail top. Looking closely at the images, the siding itself seems to rise from the main line bed as it docks behind the station platform. We also know from Bill Bedford that the platform itself was set somewhat low in relation to the main line. I think it might therefore be fair to assume the goods track could have been set pretty much at platform level.

I am therefore going to assume that the portion of the line at the station end of the platform had level access from the yard at track level to allow the unloading of a coal wagon (perhaps 2 ? ... not sure about this) via the side door directly onto a cart (explaining the anomaly between the buffer positions on the OS and in the photos - assuming the OS stopped at the wharf extent). After this I am proposing that the wharf wall started allowing loading onto wagons at the 3'6" height. This means that the higher level of the wharf would be accessed via the rear of the yard. The photos attached with my lines show the theory. There does to my eye appear to be evidence of different cart track routes within the hardcore of the yard on the 2nd and 3rd images to support the hypothesis.
Platform from west-1 copy.jpeg
Monsal Dale station 1911 copy.jpg
Monsal Dale station 1911 copy.jpg (85.57 KiB) Viewed 2552 times
Monsal Dale station 1911 Detail.jpg
Monsal Dale station 1911 Detail.jpg (139.98 KiB) Viewed 2552 times

For the purposes of the model (even if my reading of the photos is wrong), is this conceivable?

Tim
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby billbedford » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:34 am

Le Corbusier wrote:My reading of the official Midland photos is still that there appears to be two levels to the yard at the back of the station. I am going to assume that the wharf (based upon Neville's observations following his visit) was originally set at the standard 3'6" above rail top. Looking closely at the images, the siding itself seems to rise from the main line bed as it docks behind the station platform.


Looking at your first photo I would say that the passenger platform was higher at one end than the other, with a definite kink at about 2/3s the way from the nearer end. This suggests that any variations in the height of the ground in the yard were geological or historical rather than an attempt at finessing the method of loading and unloading wagons.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:12 am

billbedford wrote:
Looking at your first photo I would say that the passenger platform was higher at one end than the other, with a definite kink at about 2/3s the way from the nearer end. This suggests that any variations in the height of the ground in the yard were geological or historical rather than an attempt at finessing the method of loading and unloading wagons.


Agreed Bill as far as the platform is concerned ... but to me there does seem to be a greater change to the yard level than the platform, suggested by the shadowing, if one were looking to justify it!

I don't think the platform level change you note in photo 1 precludes the siding raising to pretty much platform level and Bill Hudson in his book does make a point of stating that the platform itself was set lower than standard. This later photo is one which led me to draw this conclusion
4561220160117_17394675.jpg
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Will L » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:09 am

Remember the main line was on an up grade and the siding would probably have been laid level. so by the time the siding abuts the station building rail level it will be approaching platform level I think this shows in this picture you used earlier in the thread.
Image

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:31 am

I have come across this photo of the station recently and wondered what it might tell us ... if anything?
Old Monsal station pic copy.jpg

It clearly places the wharf level above buffer height so I assume at the level of the wagon floor.
The position of horse and cart appears to suggest that the wharf runs right to the buffer at the rear waggon ... so no lowered area here. I am assuming the man is standing in the end waggon and is presumably the owner of the horse cart. I assume it is spar in the wagons and that he has been loading the wagons from the cart?
The buffer appears set some way away from the high timber fence and hut to the back of the station - hinting at a flat area to the rear of the buffer at platform level accessed from the rear yard. If you click on the photo allowing you to zoom in there appears to be a pile of something on the ground to the rear of the buffer?
Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas?

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:23 am

That's a beautiful photo.

My reaction is that the cart is slightly beyond the wagon, not next to it . The perspectives don't look right to me for it to be quite in the position you describe.

The man near the cart looks well dressed for a labourer.

You can clearly see the start of the slope of the road as it descends from the loading dock to station level. I would guess it starts more or less opposite the buffer stop. If so, the loading dock is all at the same level.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:55 am

This photo may be useful

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Monsal-Dale-R ... SwnipWWFqQ

Just a thought but I wonder if the man near the cart in your last photo is standing on the roof of that hut with the sloping roof.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:00 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:That's a beautiful photo.

My reaction is that the cart is slightly beyond the wagon, not next to it . The perspectives don't look right to me for it to be quite in the position you describe.

The man near the cart looks well dressed for a labourer.

You can clearly see the start of the slope of the road as it descends from the loading dock to station level. I would guess it starts more or less opposite the buffer stop. If so, the loading dock is all at the same level.


It is a good picture isn't it ... this is the whole image -You can click on it to enlarge.
Old Monsal station pic.jpg


Its so useful having other pairs of eyes looking at this ... thanks.

I agree the cart is a bit beyond the last wagon - though it may overlap a little. The waggon appears to be spaced off the buffer by perhaps 1/2 its length. If you look closely there is another figure standing next to the cart's wheel ... perhaps the labourer? The loading dock is definitely all at the same level ... so that puts that one to bed.

The space between the buffer and the shed is quite considerable and I think would tally with the OS of the period. What do you make of the apparent mass to the rear of the buffer? Is it a pile of material (coal?) I am trying to work out what the first man might be standing on (I don't think the sloping roof was in existence at this point and the later picture shows I think an extension to the dock with less space between buffer and out buildings). If not the wagon I can only conclude it is the wharf edge adjacent to the buffer. This suggests that my reading of the shade in the photo from the other direction was correct and there is quite a drop off from this point.
Monsal Dale station 1911 copy.jpg
Monsal Dale station 1911 copy.jpg (85.57 KiB) Viewed 2429 times
It also means that the visible tracks at the lower level definitely lead to the rear of the buffer area. Not withstanding the aforementioned pile which may be apparent from the photo ... if you can't unload wagons over the buffers, why would there be evidence of traffic to here - perhaps milk or other goods to be collected from the platform by passing trains?

I assume that coal must have been unloaded on to the dock ... perhaps into sacks? and then manhandled up onto carts for supply to the neighbourhood - however inconvenient that may have been. Bill Hudson suggests quite a through put at its height!!
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:33 pm

Looks like the goods wagons in the two photos with the horse & cart are the same. Both photos may well have been taken on the same day?

I wonder, looking more closely if the horse & cart are actually for carrying goods. It could easily be a country trap, with bench seats along the sides. There is just a suggestion of the end of a seat in the high quality photo. Maybe that is how the photographer got to the station? Maybe one of the men in the photo is his assistant? More questions than answers!

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby RobM » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:38 pm

Le Corbusier wrote: I am assuming the man is standing in the end waggon
Tim

Comparing Will's photo with the others, the man at a height does not appear to be standing on a wagon, so, was there a wooden stage with incorporated steps?......Just a thought. Shame the photographer had the man almost growing out of the lamp post......
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:58 pm

.........alternatively, there could be a wall at the end of the loading dock. There is the suggestion of an old wall in that eBay photo I referred to earlier

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Monsal-Dale-Railway-Station-Photo-Great-Longstone-Millers-Dale-6-/252188056646?hash=item3ab7945c46:g:66oAAOSwnipWWFqQ

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:41 pm

The chain plan of the station shows the following - click on the image to enlarge
Monsal Dale two chain plan -detail.jpg


I think the wall in the later picture is indicated ... though in our picture it appears to be timber or clad in timber. The gap between the dock and the outbuildings is clear I think.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:02 pm

RobM wrote:
Le Corbusier wrote: I am assuming the man is standing in the end waggon
Tim

Comparing Will's photo with the others, the man at a height does not appear to be standing on a wagon, so, was there a wooden stage with incorporated steps?......Just a thought. Shame the photographer had the man almost growing out of the lamp post......
Rob

Rob,
It is a conundrum. I think the man is the same in both photos. What I can't figure out is that in the one with the locomotive coming through the scale of the man would lead one to believe he is closer to the camera. He certainly looks quite a bit larger that the man at the wheel of the cart and of course he is significantly higher - this is why I initially thought he was standing in the wagons. Your idea of a stage might fly ... buy why would there be a stage?

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:10 pm

Just speculation, but the load in the far (4th) wagon seems a lot lumpier than the load in the 2 nearest wagons (1st and 2nd). Also, the 3rd wagon may be empty. Just wondering if the 4th wagon is incoming coal and the 3rd wagon an empty coal wagon waiting to leave.

The 4th wagon is not coupled to the others. There is a gap between it and the 3rd wagon.

That might suggest that incoming full coal wagons are shunted to the back of the siding and empty wagons to be loaded are left at the Millers Dale end. Possibly the 3rd wagon is coupled to the first two ready to be taken away empty.

Why an empty coal wagon was not taken away by the last goods train is not known. Maybe it was not quite empty at the time?

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:48 am

That could be a good call ... The last two also appear to be the same type of wagon with straight top and appear to have M R on the side. The front two don't (might they be private owners wagons) - though different in size both have the same curved profile to the top. The empty coal going out with the two spar up to Millers Dale perhaps? Circa 1911 when I think the picture was taken Bill indicates that there may have been 5 or six coal wagons weekly.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:26 am

Monsal-station-pic.jpg
Monsal-station-pic.jpg (169.92 KiB) Viewed 2281 times


The 4th wagon is MR, but the 3rd is definitely BC (I am guessing Butterley Company, before they started putting the full 'BUTTERLEY' on their wagons) The second wagon I can't make out any lettering, but the 1st has a 'C' very similar to the 3rd wagon and possibly a 'B'.

The Butterley Company was a big concern in eastern Derbyshire with interests in collieries, ironworks, quarrying etc. so it is quite possible that their wagons were being used to carry different materials. The MR wagon may be on hire to the Butterley Company - you certainly see lots of MR wagons in photos of their collieries. Fluorspar is a flux for smelting, so it would make sense for them to send wagons to Monsal Dale for loading up. They could also feasibly have a contract for supplying coal to the mill etc.

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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Noel » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:41 am

Le Corbusier wrote:He certainly looks quite a bit larger that the man at the wheel of the cart and of course he is significantly higher


I'm not sure that the man at the wheel of the cart is not an optical illusion, but, if real, the 'man' may not be a man. Given the time and place he could be a boy as young as 12, the school leaving age having been raised to that figure under the 1899 Act. The age limit was not increased to 14 until the 1918 Act.
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:42 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:Monsal-station-pic.jpg

The 4th wagon is MR, but the 3rd is definitely BC (I am guessing Butterley Company, before they started putting the full 'BUTTERLEY' on their wagons) The second wagon I can't make out any lettering, but the 1st has a 'C' very similar to the 3rd wagon and possibly a 'B'.

The Butterley Company was a big concern in eastern Derbyshire with interests in collieries, ironworks, quarrying etc. so it is quite possible that their wagons were being used to carry different materials. The MR wagon may be on hire to the Butterley Company - you certainly see lots of MR wagons in photos of their collieries. Fluorspar is a flux for smelting, so it would make sense for them to send wagons to Monsal Dale for loading up. They could also feasibly have a contract for supplying coal to the mill etc.


Thanks again ... really useful for my stock building.

Tim
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Re: Making a Start - The Peak District Midland pre 1905

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:52 am

Noel wrote:I'm not sure that the man at the wheel of the cart is not an optical illusion, but, if real, the 'man' may not be a man. Given the time and place he could be a boy as young as 12, the school leaving age having been raised to that figure under the 1899 Act. The age limit was not increased to 14 until the 1918 Act.


This is about as much as I can enlarge the photo ... still looks like a figure with a hat of sorts to me - It being a lad is an interesting explanation ... I initially assumed that because of the colour and the hat he might be railway staff? ... but then looking again it might simply be the rump of the horse etc ... hmmmm!
Old Monsal station pic copy 2.jpg
Old Monsal station pic copy 2.jpg (191.54 KiB) Viewed 2273 times

Tim
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