Bodmin

bordercollie
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Bodmin

Postby bordercollie » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:04 am

Hi

I am at present researching for a layout based around the China Clay Industry in Cornwall in 1929.

I have come across the Scaleforum magazine 2009. Looking at the cover photo and the other photos of Bodmin, I can see some EEC wagons and the P.O wagon of Renwick Wilton.

I know that there were at least approx 300 EEC wagons in 1922. I was wondering if the EEC wagons at Bodmin where based on any documents or photos or was it an educated guess? What were the loads in the wagons. It looks to be coal or casks(of clay). Could you clarify this me?

Similarly, I am finding it hard to find information about other PO wagons that may have been seen in Cornwall. So again is the presence of Renwick wagon guess work. I have read elsewhere that coal was mainly brought to Cornwall in ships but I would have thought that some coal would have reached Cornwall by rail. In any case the coal would have been transported from the ports to where it was needed.

Any help that you could offer would be appreciated.


Best wishes

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Noel
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Noel » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:18 am

EEC is actually ECC [English China Clays Ltd., created in 1919]. They used 4- or 5-plank end tippers for clay, as most of it was delivered to Fowey for onward transit in coastal vessels; they also had some coal wagons. The two traffics were never carried in the same vehicles, as coal dust contamination would make the clay unusable.

Renwick, Wilton and Co. Ltd. [later Renwick, Wilton and Dobson Ltd.] originated as coal merchants in Torquay, but by 1926 they were also coal factors active in the Westcountry more generally and also elsewhere in England, so their wagons would have been widely distributed. They seem to have changed their liveries quite frequently, and the models available are often carrying inappropriate livery for the type of wagon.

The layout was originally built in 1977/78, so I imagine that the stock shown was chosen from the very limited options commercially available at that time as the most appropriate for the location and period. The ECC wagons in the cover photo would have been coal wagons; china clay is white. [As an aside, one of my childhood memories is going to Cornwall circa 1960 and seeing the waste tips bright white in the sun - sometimes referred to as the "Cornish Alps"].

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/73810-cornish-coal-traffic-in-the-1930s/ may be of interest.
Regards
Noel

kelham
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Re: Bodmin

Postby kelham » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:21 pm

The wagons were accurate models derived from some photos of Bodmin taken c1925. As Noel says, Renwick Wilton wagons could be seen anywhere in the West Country – including Bodmin. The 1925 photos also depicted a New Rock Colliery wagon from Somerset as well as the ECC coal wagons. I vaguely remember the NLG inveigled Peter Chatham into doing some special transfers for their Bodmin project.

There is an e-list (on Groups.io) dedicated to the china clay branches which may be of interest to you. I can't remember the new address but it is organised by Colin Withey feltham2099@hotmail.co.uk.

I have been collecting material on Cornish POs – if I live long enough it may find its way into print!


Richard Kelham

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Dave K
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Dave K » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:05 am

In the Great Western Journal Special Cornish Edition there is an article on Cornish China Clay which includes two photos of PO wagons. One is of wagons belonging to West of England China Clay Co. being loaded 'in the traditional manner' from an 'linhay' the other is of empty ECC wagons.

Dave

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steve howe
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Re: Bodmin

Postby steve howe » Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:21 pm

I stand to be corrected, but I seem to remember the NLG having a number of specially commissioned PO china clay wagon transfers made for the original Bodmin. I acquired a set but then was told that the wagons they referred to were scratchbuilt because (at the time) no suitable kits existed. I still have them somewhere but I guess they will be to old and dry to be of much use now.

POWsides do two versions of the Renwick Wilton wagons and will supply the appropriate wagon kits ready lettered at very reasonable cost. I got three for Lower Rose Goods because RW seem to crop up in so many pre-War photos of Cornish railways.

Steve

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Noel
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Noel » Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:14 pm

bordercollie wrote:I know that there were at least approx 300 EEC wagons in 1922. I was wondering if the EEC wagons at Bodmin where based on any documents or photos or was it an educated guess?


Most china clay workings were south and west of Bodmin, where there was a network of GWR branches. The significant exception was clay from Bodmin Moor which went to the Wenfordbridge dries, on the SR's goods only branch, which were operated by ECC from 1919 https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1391566. Traffic for Fowey from there would have been worked by the SR to Boscarne Junction, and from there by the GWR. So far as I know, this was the only china clay traffic worked via Bodmin.
Regards
Noel

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Tim V
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Tim V » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:07 pm

A long time ago, when I joined the society, the joining leaflet had on the back a reading list of P4 related articles.

I thought I'd find the answer there as to which MRC the NLG's decisions were set out in. A very comprehensive set of articles were in the MRC on the building of Bodmin.

Unfortunately, my list is full of Heckmondwike stuff - it pre-dates the Bodmin articles!
Tim V
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martin goodall
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Re: Bodmin

Postby martin goodall » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:54 pm

The North London Group’s Bodmin GWR layout project was conceived in 1976, following the successful launch of the Group’s Heckmondwike layout earlier that year. The genesis of the project was a desire to replace the small P4 demonstration layout that the Group had been taking around various model railway shows on behalf of the old Protofour Society.

I compiled a portfolio of photos that I had taken a year or two earlier at the former GWR branch terminus at Bodmin, and showed these at the NLG meeting at which the replacement of the old demonstration layout was to be discussed, and I suggested that this might be the sort of layout that could be built. By the end of the evening I found that I had been appointed historical adviser and ‘gaffer’ for the layout (although I managed to persuade Ken York to take over the latter role from me).

Several members of the Group willingly participated as historical researchers, and we managed to assemble a substantial amount of material. We tracked down a group of official GWR photos taken in 1925, as well as a couple of shots in the L&GRP collection, taken in 1922. These showed the various wagons that have already been mentioned. Renwick Wilton delivered coal to the local Bodmin coal merchant, who (so far as I know) did not have his own PO wagons. Among colliery wagons in evidence at Bodmin in 1925 was one from New Rock colliery and an example from the Ebbw Vale company (branded ‘EV’) which was delivering loco coal to the coal stage. There were also four 7-plank coal wagons labelled English China Clays, which were clearly used for delivering coal to the company’s clay dries.

To get more information on clay traffic, I wrote to ECC, and found their PR manager extremely helpful. She sent me a whole set of photos from the company archives, showing not only the early 5-plank end-tipping ‘clay hood’ wagons operated by ECC, but also those operated by their predecessor companies prior to the 1919 merger that brought ECC into existence. These liveries probably survived for a number of years after 1919 before those wagons were repainted. It was from these photos that members of the NLG were able to prepare artwork from which transfers could be made. I forget now who actually did the artwork, but I believe that Les Williamson and Mike Peascod may both have had a hand in preparing this artwork. As mentioned, Peter Chatham (of PC Models) was commissioned to produce the transfers, in the form of ‘Pressfix’ transfers which he also made available for sale to the public in his well-known range of ‘Methfix’ and ‘Pressfix’ transfers (although I believe these particular PO wagon transfers were only ever produced in the ‘Pressfix’ version). It occurs to me that the artwork may still be in the hands of the HMRS, who took over the PC transfers when Peter Chatham retired, so it might be worth asking them whether they might still be available (if only as a special order).

[The GWR also built their own version of the 5-plank end-tipping ‘clay hood’, which has subsequently become available as a plastic kit.]

Armed with the surprisingly large quantity of prototype information that we had been able to assemble, the construction of the Bodmin layout proceeded rapidly, and it made its first appearance as a fully finished layout at the MRC’s Easter exhibition at Central Hall, Westminster in 1979. So it has now been on the exhibition circuit for 40 years (a record that has probably only been surpassed by the Epsom & Ewell club’s ‘Ruxley’ layout). As a ‘dress rehearsal’ before Bodmin’s first official exhibition appearance, the layout was taken to the Chase Locomotive Society’s exhibition at Enfield late in 1978. By this time, the layout was fully operational, but the signals were represented by colour lights (simply in order to prove the system), and the scenery comprised bare cutting sides still in pristine white Mod-roc. When asked by a visitor why all the scenery was white, Ken York told them that it was china clay, which appeared to satisfy them (!)

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Noel
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Noel » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:32 pm

martin goodall wrote:[The GWR also built their own version of the 5-plank end-tipping ‘clay hood’, which has subsequently become available as a plastic kit.]


J. H. Russell "Freight Wagons and Loads in service on the GWR and BR, WR" shows the following, 1-4 at Fowey, 5/6 at Swindon. None have sheet bars except as stated:
1) A GWR wood underframe 4 plank end tipper with dumb buffers, accompanied by 3 shunting horses and a Barque being loaded, no date
2) A 5 plank ex-PO end tipper P270732 with a zinc lined floor, RCH fittings and oil axleboxes, and a 4 plank ex-PO end tipper P387438 with longitudinal floor planks, RCH fittings and grease axleboxes, no date, but both must be after nationalisation.
3) An interior view of an unidentifiable wagon, probably from O13 as it has Morton brake with the Swindon toothed rack, with cross-planked floor.
4) General views showing ECLP/English Clays Lovering and Pochin liveried wagons on the quayside, dated circa 1925, but presumably later to account for ECLP name with two livery variations. One picture also shows the tipping end of GW 92641 of O13.
5) W94071 of O13 in 1952, equipped with Morton brake, a fixed sheet bar and a sheet similar to a standard sheet of the era. However, this is secured by straps, not ties, so is, I assume, dedicated to use on wagons so converted.
6) W94004 of O13 circa 1950, with Morton brake but no sheet bar.

GWR china clay wagons were built 1910 [O12] and 1913-14 [O13], all with DC II brake with the handles both at the non-tipping end, converted to Morton brake 1939 onwards. BR 1/051 were built 1954 onwards, and had vacuum brakes, unlike the GWR and PO wagons, and no sheet bar. From the mid-1960s, some at least of these were given fixed sheet bars and hoods of blue plastic sheet; these are the only ones actually called 'clay hoods'.

Just from these examples it is clear that there was a wide variety of specialist vehicles produced for china clay traffic, but Bodmin is probably not a likely location to have seen most of them in the 1930s.
Regards
Noel

bordercollie
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Re: Bodmin

Postby bordercollie » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:50 am

I have been collecting material on Cornish POs – if I live long enough it may find its way into print!


Richard Kelham


Hurry up with your book. You have one purchaser already. I would be interested to know how you accumulated the information as it seems information is scarce.

bordercollie
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Re: Bodmin

Postby bordercollie » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:34 am

I have had a look at my copy of GWRJ cornish special.

There are a few private owner wagons both clay and presumably coal, in the various photos which is useful.

I see one of the photos shows some relatively close-up shots of EEC wagons. I can not make out if they have the (zinc?) lining as in the GWR china clay wagons.

Also if the EEC wagons could also be used for coal cartage would these need to cleaned before being used for clay or would certain wagons be set aside for each type of load. Maybe coal and casks of clay could be hauled by designated wagons and loads of loose clay could be carried by other wagons.

Were the China Clay POWs and GWR wagons pooled so that, whenever a wagon was required, they used whatever wagon that was available either, GW or POW, or did the owners operate their wagons in a specfic way.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:31 am

May be way off base and so not relevant... but might there be some of the research done for Trerice which might be helpful? I assume Mr Rice will have done exhaustive research into the subject?
Tim Lee

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steve howe
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Re: Bodmin

Postby steve howe » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:48 am

You might find contacting the china clay museum at Wheal Martyn worthwhile. They hold an extensive archive from ECC and others, and, for what its worth, I recently deposited with them a pack of track plans, notes, scale drawings of typical Dries, and photos taken in the early 1970s when much of the rail system was still intact. This was from a research project I did years ago as prep. for an article which never appeared.

https://www.wheal-martyn.com/

I found the staff there very helpful.

Steve

bordercollie
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Re: Bodmin

Postby bordercollie » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:23 pm

Thanks Steve. I have e-mailed Wheal Martyn today. I was going to contact ECLP until I found out that they no longer exist. When I contacted them several years ago for permission to visit there sites in the China Clay area I found them very helpful. I understand that Imreys donated the archives that they didn't need to the museum. So maybe there will be some good information to be gleaned from them.

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Noel
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Noel » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:51 pm

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/written-answers/1920/nov/15/china-clay-loading-facilities-fowey indicates the facilities which would have been available at Fowey, which was the major exporting port for china clay, by 1929. As Cornwall was virtually a monopoly supplier, about 75% of production was exported.

bordercollie wrote:Also if the EEC wagons could also be used for coal cartage would these need to cleaned before being used for clay or would certain wagons be set aside for each type of load. Maybe coal and casks of clay could be hauled by designated wagons and loads of loose clay could be carried by other wagons.


Bulk coal and clay were carried in different wagons. Trying to clean a wooden coal wagon of all residue is not an economically rational activity [nor very practical], nor is trying to clean china clay wagons. Both, therefore, require dedicated wagons, to avoid contamination of and by any other loads. Clay in casks can travel in any ordinary traffic wagon as it is not likely to contaminate or be contaminated; there is no reason to use coal wagons.

Clay tipper wagons also had side doors, implying the ability to transport clay in bulk to small ports without tipping facilities or inland customers. BR certainly used Clayfits [i.e. those not converted to clayhoods] for long distance traffic, although by the early 1960s, if not before, they were also using pre-nationalisation wooden Highfits for this traffic. Both types were marked as being for china clay traffic only.

bordercollie wrote:Were the China Clay POWs and GWR wagons pooled so that, whenever a wagon was required, they used whatever wagon that was available either, GW or POW, or did the owners operate their wagons in a specfic way.


In general, railway and PO wagons were not pooled before WW2; railway owned clay opens would not have been common user. PO wagons from different owners were never pooled, except under wartime conditions, unless there was a specific contract in existence to that end. If one company took over another, then it would probably be several years before wagons were repainted, so the old liveries would remain meanwhile, but stock might become mixed. Owners of PO wagons made their own operating decisions, which is one reason why they had their own wagons. Any railway owned wagons used for clay traffic out of Wenfordbridge dries should be SR, not GWR, as the traffic originated on the SR system, and, unless going to Fowey, would travel via the SR line through Halwill Junction.
Regards
Noel

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steve howe
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Re: Bodmin

Postby steve howe » Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:35 pm

Graham,
You may also find the Cornwall Railway Society website useful, there are a lot of galleries covering the clay country, and some fascinating nooks and crannies with sidings. All now gone sadly.

http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/cornwall-galleries.html

Steve

martin goodall
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Re: Bodmin

Postby martin goodall » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:25 am

Just a couple of points for clarification.

First, I inadvertently referred to the end-tipping clay wagons as "clay hoods". As Noel has pointed out, these wagons did not have sheet supporters (it was the BR version that had this fitting). Tarpaulins were nevertheless used to cover over the loaded wagons to keep the rain off the expensively dried clay.

Coal and clay were carried in different wagons. As I mentioned, ECC had their own 7-plank coal wagons for carrying coal to the clay dries. The clay was carried only in the 5-plank opens. Carriage of clay in barrels was an earlier practice; if the wagon was working to one of the clay ports (such as Port of Par or Fowey) it would be carried in bulk in a zinc-lined clay wagon, and would be loaded into the ship by end-tipping.

I was under the impression that English Clays Lovering Pochin (ECLP) was, or became, a subsidiary of ECC. I would suggest trying to contact ECC. My research for the NLG's Bodmin layout was carried out some 45 years ago (!), so things may have changed since then, but still worth a try, I suggest.

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Dave K
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Dave K » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:15 am

Noel wrote:Most china clay workings were south and west of Bodmin, where there was a network of GWR branches. The significant exception was clay from Bodmin Moor which went to the Wenfordbridge dries, on the SR's goods only branch, which were operated by ECC from 1919 https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1391566. Traffic for Fowey from there would have been worked by the SR to Boscarne Junction, and from there by the GWR. So far as I know, this was the only china clay traffic worked via Bodmin.

Noel,

There was another clay drier about 1 mile east of Bodmin on the down side of the West of England main line - the Newbridge Dries of the Onslow China Clay Ltd - and associates sidings and sign box - Onslow Sidings, the clay came via a pipe from Bodmin Moor. The works and its associated siding operated from the 1930's till 1968 when the site closed, although there had been previous sidings on he site which date from the 1870's

Dave

bordercollie
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Re: Bodmin

Postby bordercollie » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:42 am

I did not notice that the coal wagons where 7-plank and that the clay wagons were 5-plank. So that is good to know.

In a photo of a line up of EEC wagons in the GWRJ Cornish edition my eyesight couldn't discern if they where zinc lined but obviously they must have been as the photo shows them in a siding next to a linhay

It seems that Imreys have made the archives of the former company available to the Wheal Martyn Museum. I did find ECLP, as they were in late 80's or early 90', were very helpful but, as was said, that was a long time ago.

I believe onslow siding was used by Pochins.

My layout will be located south of Bodmin Moor with the supposition that the china clay deposits were much larger and extensive than they actually where on Bodmin Moor. My branch line would service linhays which, I will imagine, were owned by EEC and other companies such as John Lovering and Pochins before their amalgamation with EEC. Also this will allow me to use GWR clay wagons as they won't be becoming from the EEC site on the north of Bodmin Moor

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Noel
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Noel » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:14 pm

Dave K wrote:There was another clay drier about 1 mile east of Bodmin on the down side of the West of England main line - the Newbridge Dries of the Onslow China Clay Ltd - and associates sidings and sign box - Onslow Sidings, the clay came via a pipe from Bodmin Moor. The works and its associated siding operated from the 1930's till 1968 when the site closed, although there had been previous sidings on he site which date from the 1870's


Thank you, Dave. There was also one at Bodmin Road itself, I believe; there may have been others in the area that I am not aware of as well. The point I was making is that, so far as I know, there was only the one set of dries whose traffic was actually worked via Bodmin station, limiting the options for the original enquirer, although he has now indicated that he is going for a fictional scenario, so this is no longer particularly relevant.
Regards
Noel

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steve howe
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Re: Bodmin

Postby steve howe » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:30 pm

It would be interesting to know how much, if any, clay was worked away by the Southern over the old Withered Arm, given that there were china clay pits in Devon as well. I suspect not a lot. Boscarne Junction was the frontier post between the GWR and the SR with exchange sidings. My guess is the clay that came down the Wenford Bridge branch was collected at Boscarne and taken away via Bodmin.

Steve

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Noel
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Noel » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:29 pm

The Devon output was of ball clay, very similar to, but not identical to, china clay. One location was near Heathfield in south Devon, the other near Meeth in north Devon; the former was served by the GWR, the latter by the SR. There was a third location near Wareham in Dorset, also served by the SR.

So far as clay traffic off the Wenford Bridge branch is concerned, it went via Bodmin and the GWR because it was going to Fowey for tipping into ships. I don't know how much, if any, went by rail to inland destinations, but it would have been moved by the SR either to the customer, if the customer was on the SR system, or to one of the closest points to the final destination recognised by the RCH as a transfer point to the receiving company. It would not have gone via Bodmin unless Boscarne Junction was the closest transfer point to the final destination.

Where traffic had to be transferred from one company to another each company shared the income according to the mileage travelled over its system; unsurprisingly, the company on whose system the traffic originated would tend to maximise the distance on their own system before transferring it. Where it is possible to identify in detail how traffic got from A to B, the routes used can be quite surprising, and far from being the shortest or quickest overall, for this reason. [It was also necessary to avoid using lines which were already overloaded in some cases.] The customer commonly got little say in the matter.
Regards
Noel

kelham
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Re: Bodmin

Postby kelham » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:59 pm

bordercollie wrote:
I have been collecting material on Cornish POs – if I live long enough it may find its way into print!
Richard Kelham

Hurry up with your book. You have one purchaser already. I would be interested to know how you accumulated the information as it seems information is scarce.


Thanks. Good to know I'd have one customer at least! Material was collected as a by-product from researches on Somerset (published 2014) and Wiltshire (published 2020-1 hopefully) in various archives up and down the country and of course the NRM. I also try to summarise the history of the various owners – which in the case of china clay producers looks almost Byzantine in its complexity. It would be useful to get hold of all those photos Martin extracted from ECC – did they go to Wheal Martyn Martin?

Regarding wartime pooling, china clay wagons would presumably have been Non-Pool – like tased loadstone wagons and tankers. The stone wagons weren't taken into BR stock until c1951.


Richard

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Noel
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Re: Bodmin

Postby Noel » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:39 am

kelham wrote:Regarding wartime pooling, china clay wagons would presumably have been Non-Pool – like tased loadstone wagons and tankers.


I would have thought the same, but the two photographs in J. H. Russell "Freight Wagons and Loads in service on the GWR and BR, WR" referred to under 3) in mine of 5/1/2020 both show vehicles with "P" numbers, which presumably means that they were requisitioned during WW2 and pooled to nationalisation [only such requisitioned wagons were nationalised under the 1947 Transport act, so far as I know]. Post-nationalisation acquisitions by BR were by direct purchase, and were given blank numbers in an ex-LMS range from M360004 upwards. Similarly, the circa 1961 purchases from the MoD were given numbers in an unused ex-GWR range from W161001 upwards.
Regards
Noel

kelham
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Re: Bodmin

Postby kelham » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:14 pm

Noel wrote:
kelham wrote:Regarding wartime pooling, china clay wagons would presumably have been Non-Pool – like tased loadstone wagons and tankers.


I would have thought the same, but the two photographs in J. H. Russell "Freight Wagons and Loads in service on the GWR and BR, WR" referred to under 3) in mine of 5/1/2020 both show vehicles with "P" numbers, which presumably means that they were requisitioned during WW2 and pooled to nationalisation [only such requisitioned wagons were nationalised under the 1947 Transport act, so far as I know]. Post-nationalisation acquisitions by BR were by direct purchase, and were given blank numbers in an ex-LMS range from M360004 upwards. Similarly, the circa 1961 purchases from the MoD were given numbers in an unused ex-GWR range from W161001 upwards.



Thanks Noel. You are quite right and I sit corrected.


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