Lower Rose Goods

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steve howe
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Lower Rose Goods

Postby steve howe » Fri May 18, 2018 4:31 pm

Now that the pictures have appeared in the current (June) edition of Hornby Magazine, I can post the finished shots here.

I won't go over all the gory detail of getting there as its covered in my thread on RMWeb http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/95206-lower-rose-goods/ So here's the 'Day in the Life of Nowhere' which didn't make it to print and a few pictures.
All photos by Trevor Jones courtesy of Hornby Magazine

A Day in the Life of Nowhere

It’s been a while since we wandered down the lane and gazed over the bridge at the great nonentity that is Lower Rose Goods sidings, and modelling progress has slowed considerably due to other seasonal pursuits. Recently re-reading Paul Karau and Chris Turner’s inspirational 2 volume history on the Watlington Branch, made me realise how life on these rural branch lines went on unchanged for years, following a simple routine dictated by the seasons with a predictable reliability one could be forgiven for thinking would last for ever.

I thought it would be interesting to try and picture how the daily routine for Lower Rose might appear to an observer visiting in the early 1930’s. So here is a glimpse of a typical day in early summer; the short burst of activity heralded by the arrival of the daily freight train followed by long hours of torpor interrupted only by the buzz of bees, the warbling of skylarks and the occasional customer arriving to collect or drop off their goods.

The real Treamble Branch on which the model is based, was timetabled to ‘run as required’ since traffic was always thin at the best of times. However had the line been extended as proposed, it would have certainly attracted more revenue earning traffic including milk, and as such would have warranted at least one regular freight service a day. The usual working was scheduled as part of the 08.05 ex. Newquay to Truro goods train which is where we start our typical day.

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George Worrall was the goods clerk at Lower Rose in the late 1920s – early 30s and he lived at Zelah a few miles east of Goonhavern. George would cycle to Shepherds station arriving in time to catch the goods train and help with shunting. Wagons for Treamble and Lower Rose were sorted and the remainder of the train left in the yard. Typically there would be a couple of covered vans containing small goods for local traders; one or two loads of coal for Trevails the local merchants; empty mineral wagons for working onwards to Wheal Hope along with a wagon of steam coal for the pump there. Occasionally loads of aggregate or building materials would be sent down to Trevails siding, and about once a month a tank of kerosene for their oil business. In Springtime, empty cattle wagons, ventilated vans and even old milk vans would be pressed into service for the seasonal broccoli and cut flowers.

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George would stow his bike in the brake van and travel with the Guard for the short trip down the branch. It must have been a pleasant interlude on this warm summer’s morning; the quiet clicking of a freewheeling 45xx running downhill through the woods at Rejerrah, blue haze from the chimney drifting back over the train, dappled sunlight catching the nearby stream and illuminating the haze of bluebells beneath the trees. The two men would take the air on the open verandah observing activity in the fields and discussing the progress of runner beans or early potatoes. Arriving at Treamble loop, any wagons for the sidings there would be dropped off for shunting on the way back, and the train continued to Lower Rose.

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On arrival, the train would come to a stand at the end of the loop and the locomotive was uncoupled. While the Guard worked the points to allow the engine to run round its train, George would walk forwards to unlock the yard office and get the all-important ‘brew’ going. Any small goods left outside the lock-up sheds would be checked in and the paperwork for the departing wagons collected ready for clipping to the solebars. A ‘siphon’ milk van would have been left empty from the previous days working, and since early morning a steady stream of farmers in carts and vans bearing churns from the surrounding district would have been arriving to off load. George would check the churns and record the sender before making sure they were safely secured in the van.

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A pip on the whistle announced the return of 4554 propelling the brake van to pause at the yard entrance while the crew consulted with George as to the order of shunt. The usual procedure was to place the brake van at the end of the middle siding and assemble the departing wagons to it, occasionally a few open mineral wagons loaded with broken rock or an empty coal wagon from Wheal Hope would already have been left in the middle siding which would need to be moved and reattached. The last van to be coupled, nearest the engine, was the siphon with its load of milk.

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Presumably the Bulldog was on a running-in turn

The departing wagons would then either be left in the middle siding, whilst the locomotive returned to the end of the arriving train, or, if that siding was needed, drawn into the up loop. The locomotive then propelled the arriving wagons to their appropriate positions beginning with an empty siphon for tomorrow’s milk, coal for Trevail’s yard and covered vans for the loading bank. By this time the kettle in the yard office would have boiled and the obligatory ‘brew’ would be taken before the train departed leaving the yard to slumber in the sun.

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The arrival of an unusual locomotive has attracted the local Spotter

George would check the waybills on the incoming wagons and enter them in the receipt book, he would then unlock the vans and store the contents in the lock-up sheds that constituted the goods facilities, record the items, make out the postcard notices to the recipients and calculate any charges due. Any large or heavy items that George could not manage alone would be left until the recipient arrived to help with their unloading. During the morning the local carrier would arrive with his van to collect any small items for outlying customers and this would be another opportunity for George to brew tea and set the world to rights. The occasional customer might arrive either to collect or dispatch items; local farmers would come to collect corn or other feedstuffs delivered in one and a quarter hundredweight sacks; or, more rarely a consignment of livestock would be dealt with. Temporary hurdles were kept at the end of the loading bank to make pens for these animals, and it was George’s job to see that they were adequately supplied with water and feed during their stay.

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Unloading goods, completing the paperwork and dealing with customers usually kept George occupied until lunchtime when he stopped for a pasty. It was not unknown, in busy periods, for a second train to be required, and this would usually arrive just after 2.30pm mainly to collect perishable goods like seasonal vegetables and flowers. The empty vehicles for this traffic having been left by the morning train. On a normal day, the afternoon could drag and George would often pass the time clearing weeds around the lock-up sheds or refilling the oil in the yard lamps. Occasional relief would appear in the form of the platelaying gang who had a hut at Lower Rose and this would be an opportunity for an exchange of news and gossip, but the afternoons, in the winter months especially, could be deadly.

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The yard office was officially open to the Public between 8.00am and 4.30pm, but goods would often be brought in outside those hours. In the winter George’s last job before he went home was to light the yard lamps, this task was especially important for dark mornings when milk was being loaded from 4.30am onwards.

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Duties done, George would lock up the office, post the notices of receipt to customers in the box at the yard gate and cycle home.

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Re: Lower Rose Goods

Postby Re6/6 » Fri May 18, 2018 8:09 pm

Some lovely work there Steve.

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Re: Lower Rose Goods

Postby RobM » Sat May 19, 2018 5:57 am

Steve, excellent modelling.....as always.... :thumb
Updated December 2016

Terry Bendall
Posts: 1578
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:46 am

Re: Lower Rose Goods

Postby Terry Bendall » Sat May 19, 2018 7:43 am

Re6/6 wrote:Some lovely work there Steve

It certainly is and Steve's layout will be one of those on show at Scaleforum on September 22nd.23rd this year.

Terry Bendall

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Lower Rose Goods

Postby Mike Garwood » Sat May 19, 2018 8:16 pm

Looking forward to seeing that!


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Guy Rixon
Posts: 567
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Re: Lower Rose Goods

Postby Guy Rixon » Sun May 20, 2018 9:23 am

The scenic work is beautiful, particularly the foliage above the rock wall and the large tree (an oak?) beyond the buffer stops. It has a peaceful feel to it, rather like the some of the nicer canals I know.

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Captain Kernow
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Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:08 pm

Re: Lower Rose Goods

Postby Captain Kernow » Mon May 21, 2018 3:10 pm

What a beautiful piece of work, exquisite detail and atmosphere.
Tim M
Member of the Devon Riviera Area Group.

David Knight
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:02 pm

Re: Lower Rose Goods

Postby David Knight » Mon May 21, 2018 4:53 pm

The word “inspiring” comes to mind :thumb . Lovely work and exquisite detail.



Phil O
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 5:23 pm

Re: Lower Rose Goods

Postby Phil O » Sun May 27, 2018 9:07 pm

I saw the layout at the Helston show, back in April, I have to say that It's a stunning piece of work and full of atmosphere. It certainly catches the ambience of a rural back water, definitely a case of less is more.


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