Bristol group visit Highbridge Part II

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Tim V » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:35 pm

We aim to please......
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Paul Townsend
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:14 pm

Tim V wrote:
My 1913 instructions relate to working the "hole", not Highbridge.


Sorry you will have to explain that.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby essdee » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:10 am

Paul,

The Sutters layout, Highbridge Vicarage Railway, came up in a link on the SDJR Yahoo chatline:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil-seafo ... hotostream

They were in a sub set on the Somerset and Dorset.

Will be in touch about the Highbridge fly ash pics shortly, which I will need to scan

Best wishes

Steve

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby MarkS » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:05 am

Are you telling me that there was a mail apparatus at Highbridge? I have no evidence of it and am doubtful that such a tinpot town would have justified it. Photos of the North end of the B&E station environment and goods yard entry are non-existent so it might have been there. What a fun thing to try and model tho'. There must be records of all exchange apparatus locations somewhere.


Perhaps this will shed some light..?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil-seafo ... /lightbox/
Cheers,

Mark.
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Paul Townsend
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:40 am

MarkS wrote:
Are you telling me that there was a mail apparatus at Highbridge? I have no evidence of it and am doubtful that such a tinpot town would have justified it. Photos of the North end of the B&E station environment and goods yard entry are non-existent so it might have been there. What a fun thing to try and model tho'. There must be records of all exchange apparatus locations somewhere.


Perhaps this will shed some light..?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil-seafo ... /lightbox/


Dazzling!!
Thanks for posting this. It fixes the location of the apparatus and the site is just about on N. station limit, within my modelled area so I MUST add it.
How did GPO staff access it I wonder?
Was it a requirement that a road would be close by or were bags humped along the cess for several hundred yards?
I must look at large scale map again to see if a road end was actually there.

Now I know that I have to model the apparatus it raises many queries. First I must locate drawings and closeup photos of the lineside kit, then start to think about the TPO itself. Having gone DCC last year I will consider the challenge of modelling a working exchange. Has anyone done this in 4mm?
If I can make that work then I will also have to make a working Whittaker Tablet exchanger for the S&DJR!

Martin, I will have to duff you up when we next meet, you have opened such a can of worms :D
Tim, I had no inkling that your pix of the BS4 visit would have so many long term implications!
Other S4 area groups beware publicity ;)

I have just looked thru' the Rev's collection now on Flicker and am delighted to find he took pix of several views of Highbridge that no-one else managed AFAIK.
In particular there are 3 of the S&DJR Goods shed and a couple of the Pitts Brick and Tile works which are invaluable to modellers and timely because we havent yet made these essential buildings properly, just mock ups as the only previous known photos were rather inadequate.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby martin goodall » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:58 am

paultownsend wrote:First I must locate drawings and closeup photos of the lineside kit, then start to think about the TPO itself. Having gone DCC last year I will consider the challenge of modelling a working exchange. Has anyone done this in 4mm?


Tri-ang? (Oh, well, perhaps not.)

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Noel » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:31 pm

Russell, Great Western Coaches, Part 2, pp162/3 shows the basic layout of the trackside apparatus.
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby John Palmer » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:50 pm

I can help out a bit more with the TPO lineside equipment. Here is a picture of the entire apparatus I took in the late 60’s/early 70’s, I guess, and looking towards the Walrow overbridge. The apparatus was immediately adjacent to an occupation crossing visible on Google Earth.

TPO_apparatus.jpg
TPO_apparatus.jpg (153.84 KiB) Viewed 10003 times


The photograph shows two pouches suspended from one of the pickup standards ready for despatch, but with the capability for two more to be taken from the second standard. I don’t recall ever having seen more than two pouches being picked up at the same time.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photograph – best I could do with my antediluvian ScanJet II. However, you may just be able to make out the two lengths of string used to attach the bottom of each pouch to the platform halfway up the standards. I assume this was a precaution against excessive displacement of the pouches caused by the turbulence of the locomotive passing.

Though it may not be clear due to the poor quality of the picture, the standards are four-ribbed castings.

My memory is a bit hazy now, but I think that the three timbers on which you see the receiving net mounted were pivoted at their base. Thus the net could be lowered so as to provide greater clearance from passing trains when the apparatus was not in use.

As you can see, the postman was provided with a hut immediately in rear of the apparatus from which to observe the exchange. It appears that this is carrying the insulators for a telephone connection, presumably to make it possible to advise the postman if the mail train was not running to path.

I’m pretty sure that the approach to the apparatus was marked with the usual black and yellow chequer board, but can’t now recall whether it was square shaped or tall and narrow, such as was used in restricted clearance locations.

Road access to the apparatus was via Springfield Road off the A38, about half a mile north of the Walrow bridge. Adjacent to this there used to be an oil works, from which there always seemed to some small leakage into the ditch alongside the track, so that the water was always covered by an oily rainbow sheen – strange, the things one remembers.

The Sutter photograph collection is a great find, and as Paul says, pictures of the S.& D. goods shed are exceedingly uncommon. The collection includes a couple of quite good shots of the backing arm on the Down platform, together with route indicator frame. I am wondering whether this signal not only read back over both connections across the Up line but also controlled a setting back movement into the Down lie-by, with the indicator shewing (!) how the road was set.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:50 pm

Noel wrote:Russell, Great Western Coaches, Part 2, pp162/3 shows the basic layout of the trackside apparatus.


And the TPO catcher quite adequately for modelling. Also the lineside net arrangement is clearer than John Palmer's piccy.
TVM

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:33 pm

John Palmer wrote:I can help out a bit more with the TPO lineside equipment. Here is a picture of the entire apparatus I took in the late 60’s/early 70’s, I guess, and looking towards the Walrow overbridge. The apparatus was immediately adjacent to an occupation crossing visible on Google Earth.


Excellent, not just any old apparatus but the actual one. Anyone know when it was installed at Highbridge?

My memory is a bit hazy now, but I think that the three timbers on which you see the receiving net mounted were pivoted at their base. Thus the net could be lowered so as to provide greater clearance from passing trains when the apparatus was not in use.


Its a bit too fuzzy here but Russells piccy is adequate to allow modelling with your description....another job for a Merg style servo like turnout and signals.

Those timbers look pretty heavy for one man to heave up. Did they collapse inwards or lean in same direction together, one imagines together and towards the approaching traffic.
Bearing in mind that Highbridge was a tinpot town, was this typical? I mean did every little market town along the line have mail exchangers except where mailtrains were scheduled to stop? What about the Down side?

I love little huts but Highbridge has so many, all different and all take a while to build.....

backing arm on the Down platform, together with route indicator frame. I am wondering whether this signal not only read back over both connections across the Up line but also controlled a setting back movement into the Down lie-by, with the indicator shewing (!) how the road was set.


Not sure about that. I would have to dig out my notes on it, probably courtesy of Chris Osment.
I would not have thought this was a common movement as the layby was a loop in 1913 so normally/frequently entered from the North end. However it also gave access to the brick works siding so N. bound traffic with supplies for the factory would likely get in as you suggest and of course some shunting of products departing to the N. may also have done this. I will check in due course what my notes say.
Having said that, all the ground sigs in the vicinity of the layby S. end face N. so have little relevance to your move, increasing likelihood of the route indr./backing arm being involved.
PS I must plant that signal in its current state, it will encourage me to add the indr. sooner

The info from John and Noel is pretty good and enough to work out rough dimensions. However it will be even better if someone has drawings of the lineside gadgetry????

What words are on the sign by the hut/road access?
Why is there a timber frame behind the 2 ladders

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:09 pm

More on TPO for Highbridge....
Russell Pt1 p 27 has excellent closeup of the mobile gear on a clerestory which is right for my period, and the book series give quite a lot of info about diag Nos over the years. It is also a good pic for capturing the critical dimensions and relating them to the lineside gear.

It looks like a heavy modelling job to butcher some standard clerestory...much digging required to identify any suitable kits for bashing...just found 247 Devs do some for LMS,LNWR and GWR. Sadly the GWR kits are all too late diagrams for me but they do have traductors and other accessories. I will need to assess dates for their foreigner TPO kits

I am sure I am not the only bod outside of Pendon who has done or will model these...anyone recall any write-ups?

Martin started all this by referring to Midland bound trains including foreign mail stock. The LNWR livery was lovely so I will have to acquire one of them too.
He mentions LMS, did M.R. have West Country mail coaches too? As I have some red painted clerestories ( temporary for S&DJR) I could butcher one of those too.

Bulwell Hall

Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Bulwell Hall » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:42 pm

Hi Paul

This matter of the TPO is getting very interesting. It may be of interest that there was also TPO lineside exchange apperatus at Liskeard - another little tin-pot town about the same size as Highbridge! Therefore, one asumes, it served a district rather than just the immediate town. Apologies to any natives of Liskeard or Highbridge reading this! No doubt John Hosegood's book will tell you more - I can't lay my hands on my copy at the moment.

Also there is a set of lineside exchange apperatus at the Great Western Society site at Didcot which is/was used to give demos of the exchange using their restored Collett TPO vehicle. How different this would be from the exchange apperatus of circa 1913 I don't know but I suspect very little.

Hope this helps.

Gerry

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby John Palmer » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:24 pm

It’s entirely possible that my memory of the collection net arrangement is completely wrong, and that the posts supporting it were fixed. However, I am reasonably confident I used to see the postman doing something to rig the net to receive pouches. Possibly nothing more was required than to raise a bar to which a section of the net was attached, so that the bar would intercept the strap by which the incoming pouch was suspended from the train and detach it from the traductor arm on the apparatus van.

There’s a bit more information at http://www.allanyeo.co.uk/html/bristol_penzance.html about this TPO between Penzance and Bristol and the ‘Great West TPO’ running between London and Penzance via the Berks & Hants. Unfortunately nothing I can find about the locations of other lineside apparatus.

The Signalling Record Society site has a low resolution diagram for Highbridge West/Crossing Box. Looks like the indicator beneath the backing arm displayed four routes via levers worked from this box, whilst the ‘To S&D’ frame was worked by lever 8 in the S. & D.’s East ‘B’ Box.

<edit>

Even looking at my original print I can't make out the wording on the sign. My best assessment is:

"Warning
Trespassers
will be prosecuted
By order"

But I stress this involves a high level of guesswork. I think the sign was there due to the presence of the occupation crossing rather then the TPO apparatus.

I suspect that the section of fence near the pickup standards was to discourage postmen from moving closer to the ditch I mentioned. There appears to be another section of fencing on the same alignment close to the hut, so what you see may be the remnants of a longer length of fencing as originally erected.

Sorry, the bit about Great West TPO should have read "between London and Plymouth", not "between London and Penzance".

</edit>

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby martin goodall » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:43 pm

I was under the impression that I had seen a set of working drawings for mailbag exchange apparatus in one of the WSP journals (either GWRJ or BRJ) but have been unable to find the reference.

There is certainly a drawing in John Hosegood's book (on page 12) and plenty of photographs. This is the publication I mistakenly referred to earlier as a 'booklet'. It is in fact a full-size 76-page softback book from WSP (ISBN 0 906867 16 9), published in 1983.

My understanding is that the mail exchange apparatus was a GPO design, and so was common to all lines, irrespective of the owning company. (If you think about it, through working of these trains made standardisation a necessity.)

I can't help being slightly amused by the fact that a casual passing remark I made in an earlier post has generated such an extended discussion. I can see why Paul would like to 'duff me up'. There he was, with not the slightest thought of TPOs and exchange apparatus, and now he is faced with the prospect of having to build not only the lineside apparatus (possibly working?) but one or even two TPO trains. :twisted:

By the way, Pendon Museum researches the consist of its trains meticulously, so Paul might find it worthwhile to ask them about the make-up of their West Coast Postal. Admittedly this is circa 1925, which is outside Paul's chosen period, but I get the impression that the vehicles modelled had been around for some time, dating back possibly to the turn of the century or the 1890s in some cases, and the train certainly includes a couple of vehicles still in LNWR livery.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:50 pm

Bulwell Hall wrote:Hi Paul
No doubt John Hosegood's book will tell you more - I can't lay my hands on my copy at the moment.

Also there is a set of lineside exchange apperatus at the Great Western Society site at Didcot which is/was used to give demos of the exchange using their restored Collett TPO vehicle. How different this would be from the exchange apperatus of circa 1913 I don't know but I suspect very little.

Gerry

I don't know JH book, what is it called?
I will be at Didcot in the Spring so will take my tape measure etc.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:58 pm

John Palmer wrote: Unfortunately nothing I can find about the locations of other lineside apparatus.

The Signalling Record Society site has a low resolution diagram for Highbridge West/Crossing Box. Looks like the indicator beneath the backing arm displayed four routes via levers worked from this box, whilst the ‘To S&D’ frame was worked by lever 8 in the S. & D.’s East ‘B’ Box.


Russell GW coaches Pt1 p25 lists several Cornish locations and Gerry has mentioned Liskeard.

4way route indicator...ooer

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Paul Townsend
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:20 pm

martin goodall wrote:There is certainly a drawing in John Hosegood's book (on page 12) and plenty of photographs. This is the publication I mistakenly referred to earlier as a 'booklet'. It is in fact a full-size 76-page softback book from WSP (ISBN 0 906867 16 9), published in 1983.

By the way, Pendon Museum researches the consist of its trains meticulously, so Paul might find it worthwhile to ask them about the make-up of their West Coast Postal. Admittedly this is circa 1925, which is outside Paul's chosen period, but I get the impression that the vehicles modelled had been around for some time, dating back possibly to the turn of the century or the 1890s in some cases, and the train certainly includes a couple of vehicles still in LNWR livery.


Gerry Beal also mentioned this as a titleless book....ta for ISBN no, got the title now and ordered a second hand copy.

Good idea re Pendon, I am due for another visit so I will go trainspotting....
According to Russell the 1880s TPO clerestories continued in service for 40 yrs and "modern" non-clerestory TPOs didnt start appearing until late 1920s.
Thus Pendon's train is likely correct for 1913.

and now he is faced with the prospect of having to build not only the lineside apparatus (possibly working?) but one or even two TPO trains


I have always been a sucker for a challenge, love to have a go, don't always succeed but get brownie points for trying!

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby doktorstamp » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:56 pm

Another source of information would be The National Postal Museum.

regards

Nigel

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:57 am

doktorstamp wrote:Another source of information would be The National Postal Museum.

regards

Nigel

Ta for that, I hadn't known it existed....now I feel a visit to the smoke coming on.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby martin goodall » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:07 pm

My apologies for not having mentioned the actual title of John Hosegood's book. Paul now knows this, but for anyone else who is still looking for it, it was - "Great Western Railway Travelling Post Offices" (publication details as previously mentioned).

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Paul Townsend » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:49 pm

martin goodall wrote:My apologies for not having mentioned the actual title of John Hosegood's book. Paul now knows this, but for anyone else who is still looking for it, it was - "Great Western Railway Travelling Post Offices" (publication details as previously mentioned).


Book arrived and fascinating....

A quick scan answers some of my questions:
Highbridge did indeed have a down line exchanger and its location is given, it may well be better for me to just model the down and ignore the up due to location contraction issues on the model.

The timetable for 1908 shows an exchange on the Down Bristol-Penzance scheduled for 6.53 am and UP at 6.42pm. That is close to my 1913 period so it will be good to provide a train for this.

So far I haven't found any info on a quick look in this book on Plymouth to Midlands mail trains to allow inclusion of fancied LNWR TPO as reported by Martin, but I will dig deeper. Maybe the train ran without exchanging at Highbridge.

Astonishing to me is the fact that there were at one time 6 lineside exchange locations between Bristol and Bridgwater, possibly both on Up and Down. Some of these would have serviced branches eg Yatton and possibly the S&DJR lines too but Nailsea and Hewish especially surprise me.

Anyway ta to Gerry and Martin for alerts re this book.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge

Postby Tim V » Wed May 02, 2012 3:45 pm

And now it's on page 3 of the MRJ.....
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge Part 2

Postby Tim V » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:58 pm

A further visit last night.
The normal Castle on the Up Cornish Riviera Express was replaced by Duck which romped around easily. Wrong headcode I know, Duck normally pulls a much more prosaic train....
IMAG0400.jpg

Martin Goodall was also there, and he'd brought along some of his wagons with EM wheels. Duck was given the task of pulling them around, and backing them into a siding. I'm disappointed to say that they were near faultless - but I'm not going to eat humble pie over this - Martin made the point that EM wheels are OO wheels pushed out, well I've got some of those so it won't hurt to try at home. After all what one gets up to in the privacy of ones own home won't hurt the S4 society....
IMAG0399.jpg

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, in my haste to remember to take Duck, I forgot my camera, and these were taken on the camera phone.
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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge Part 2

Postby martin goodall » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:11 pm

Tim V wrote: Martin made the point that EM wheels are OO wheels pushed out, well I've got some of those so it won't hurt to try at home. After all what one gets up to in the privacy of ones own home won't hurt the S4 society.


This is correct, but is quoted slightly out of context. Alan Gibson sells the same wheels as 'EM' or as '00 (finescale)' - the difference being purely in the back-to-back setting. The wheel profile is the modern EM profile, and this is the profile of wheels I use, set to the P4 back-to-back gauge.

As we proved last night, they run perfectly happily on P4 track. I already knew that (having used them on 'Burford' for some years past) but I think we convinced one or two doubters yesterday.

The wheels under the coaches and wagons I took to run on Paul's layout were in fact Kean-Maygib, which really do roll superbly. None of these vehicles was sprung or compensated in any way. The only wagon which mis-behaved itself slightly was the lead wagon in Tim's photo - the short W3 cattle wagon, which is still fitted with..........[pause for effect]........P4 wheels.

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Re: Bristol group visit Highbridge Part II

Postby steamraiser » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:48 pm

And a nice pint of Fullers afterwards.

Gordon A


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