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Mid-Cornwall Lines - 1950s Western Region in 00

BR Western Region 1950s 00 Cornwall Cornish Newquay branch China clay




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#1 St Enodoc

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 11:01

At last my new railway room is complete and in use, the existing St Enodoc layout has been set up and I am ready to start building the new Mid-Cornwall Lines, but before doing so I thought I would tell you a little bit of history to put the project in context and, I hope, explain why a little slice of Cornwall is taking shape in suburban Sydney, Australia.

 

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

 

My life with model railways goes back to when I was about three or four. Not, as was often the case, with Hornby Dublo but Tri-ang 00. My Dad built a very simple but enjoyable layout consisting of a single-track oval, an up-and-over loop and couple of sidings. On one track ran a Princess Elizabeth (with smoke!) and on the other a Transcontinental electric, later joined by a BR 2-6-2 tank.

 

I’ve no photos of this layout but after a house move Dad bought a job lot of stuff from a local enthusiast who was giving up the hobby, which was set up in the spare bedroom.

 

263 General view of layout 6605 small.JPG

 

There was double track on two levels, plus two loops giving the option of running as a dumbbell or two ovals, and although I rebuilt it later as a single level line that was probably more realistic, the first layout was a lot more fun.

 

I built a separate, very small, layout called Cwm-Don for a school open day at which it was connected by a long single track around the physics benches to another small terminus called Llangogin, built by my classmate Steve Berry.

 

20 Freight leaving Cwm-Don for Llangogin 6808.jpg

 

At about this time, in the late 1960s, we started to go to Cornwall for our annual family holidays, and I found myself captivated by the beaches, the scenery, the weather, the china-clay industry and the railways. Dad then had a small win on the pools, which allowed me to start a new layout that pretty well filled the spare room. It was to be a double track terminus to fiddle yard, with a low level continuous single loop. In my mind’s eye the terminus was Newquay (although the track plan was derived from Cheltenham St James) and the passing station on the loop became Goonhavern Halt.

 

The continuous loop was all that got built before Dad changed jobs and we all relocated to Edinburgh. That was the end of Cornish holidays for a while, but one good thing was that the house had twin garages. As we only had one car I was allowed to claim one garage as a railway room, and next time I’ll describe what I did with it.


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#2 nest

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 12:47

Great to see this all starting John. Looking forward to progress!

 

Nestor


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#3 acg5324

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 15:31

50 years on and Superquick still make those buildings. Don't think much of the flock powder in the last photo, not very realistic!
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#4 Barry O

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 16:28

I suppose this means I better start to build my new layout!!


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#5 brianusa

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 19:58

Where and when?  Cornwall has been pretty well covered in OO to the point of if you could join them all up, you'd have the complete Cornwall railways.  Perhaps a bit better as most are pre rationalisation!

Interesting project though, as always.

 

Brian.



#6 Gwiwer

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 00:51

Where and when?  Cornwall has been pretty well covered in OO to the point of if you could join them all up,

Brian.

 

 

While there's truth in that I have yet to see some areas represented at all.  Who, for example, has brought us a model of the Gerrans and Portscatho Joint?  The beautiful Roseland area is so often overlooked in real life and in model format.



#7 St Enodoc

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 01:40

50 years on and Superquick still make those buildings. Don't think much of the flock powder in the last photo, not very realistic!

Thanks Andy. It was good old-fashioned dyed sawdust. Not really state of the art even in 1968.


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#8 St Enodoc

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 01:42

Where and when?  Cornwall has been pretty well covered in OO to the point of if you could join them all up, you'd have the complete Cornwall railways.  Perhaps a bit better as most are pre rationalisation!

Interesting project though, as always.

 

Brian.

All will be revealed Brian, but essentially it will be the Newquay branch plus a bit of the main line. Watch this space!



#9 Gwiwer

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 01:47

Newquay gives plenty of scope.

 

In my own little world the main line ran from St. Austell out to Newquay then Truro rather than through the middle of nowhere much.  Pre-Beeching I also have a timetable which includes through trains from the SR North Cornwall lines via Padstow and the model of the fictitious station at St. Mawgan.

 

Great hobby this - we can be as accurate and precise as we want or as creative and inventive as we can.  



#10 St Enodoc

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 01:50

While there's truth in that I have yet to see some areas represented at all.  Who, for example, has brought us a model of the Gerrans and Portscatho Joint?  The beautiful Roseland area is so often overlooked in real life and in model format.

In the July 1969 Railway Modeller Julian James described timetable operation on his fictitious 00 St Mawes branch. You are right about Roseland. Two of our favourite beaches were Portholland and Pendower, and we had some good walks around St Anthony Head.


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#11 acg5324

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 08:31

Thanks Andy. It was good old-fashioned dyed sawdust. Not really state of the art even in 1968.


I meant the real grass and bushes in the bottom photo. LOL.
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#12 St Enodoc

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 08:46

I meant the real grass and bushes in the bottom photo. LOL.

Ah, I thought you might have meant that after I posted my reply. It's not quite what most people mean by a ground-level garden railway.


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#13 St Enodoc

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 09:13

The only rule with the garage was that I had to leave access through the up-and-over door and from the adjacent garage, so I built another double track terminus to fiddle yard layout. It was U-shaped with the terminus along the long wall and a removable fiddle yard across the entrance from the other garage (I now realise how impracticable a removable fiddle yard was, which was one of many lessons learned along the way). The terminus looked nothing like Newquay, so I gave it the name Pentowan which was the first in the line of  what I call “might-have-been” names for places on my layouts. They need to sound plausible (to my ears anyway) and have at least some connection, however tenuous, with the real locations they purport to represent. In this case, the real Newquay sits under Towan Head, and Pen is Cornish for headland. Still Peco track, and still mostly Tri-ang stock, but operationally becoming a good bit more advanced with full signalling (only hand operated though) and a timetable that included some SR trains running over a fictitious link from Grogley Junction to somewhere in the St Columb Road area. The period was beginning to settle at around the mid-1950s, which at that time (unlike today) was quite an unusual choice.

 

256 2268 arriving at Pentowan 7606.jpg

 

260 Pentowan station 7606 small.jpg

 

When I went off to University I joined the Leeds Model Railway Society and quickly became converted to what used to be called finescale 00. One of the things I learned how to do was to build points, and as a result for about the last 35 years I have never bought a ready-made point for any of my layouts. I had ideas of building a new layout, this time an actual model of Newquay, in the same U-shaped space in the garage but the realities of the removable fiddle yard led me instead to build a small branch terminus to fiddle yard layout with a china-clay works (linhay) hiding the fiddle yard. This layout was the first to bear the name St Enodoc, and purported to be a passenger version of the Carbean branch. St Enodoc was in reality a Cornish saint whose church lies half-buried by sand dunes opposite Padstow on the Camel estuary, and which is the resting place of the late Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman.

 

The colour picture below shows how the layout could be stacked for storage and transportation, while the black-and-white photos that follow were taken by Terry Onslow of Swindon in about 1984.

 

549 St Enodoc ready to move 8110 small.jpg

 

27bw 4206 shunting clay dries - Terry Onslow.jpg

 

31bw 7715 at St Enodoc - Terry Onslow.jpg

 

33bw 9716 shunting St Enodoc - Terry Onslow.jpg

 

St Enodoc was exhibited a few times and appeared in the Railway Modeller in December 1987, although by then it had been sold to a friend.

 

My next layout was to be a loft layout, about 16 ft x 8 ft in size. The plan was for a double track main line with a junction based on Par and named Porthmellyn Junction. Portmellon is just South of Mevagissey and in old references was sometimes spelled Porthmellin, while there is another Porthmellin on the Roseland Peninsula. The branch was intended to finish in the fiddle yard so Pentowan was off-stage this time. This layout didn’t actually get started due to a house move and it wasn’t until after a further move that I had the chance to begin again.


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#14 nerron

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 09:35

Great to see this thread underway John.It may be the incentive I need to start mine.Looking forward to seeing progress in the flesh as well.


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#15 Gwiwer

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 09:49

I reckon with these projects in Sydney which need a little inspiration all of us from "Mexico" should hop on the next flight up and take a sabbatical ;)


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#16 Mikkel

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 13:04

Hello John, a very nice read so far and some very nice layouts. These little "life stories" in modelling are always fascinating because they show the development over "the long stretch", I think. That said, Cwm-Don looks really good for an early layout, I really like the compact no-nonsense look of it.


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#17 nerron

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 21:24

I reckon with these projects in Sydney which need a little inspiration all of us from "Mexico" should hop on the next flight up and take a sabbatical ;)

I don't think it is a question of lack of inspiration,RMweb alone provides that in buckets, it is more in my case  the delay caused by house moves and the preparation of the layout's accommodation.Nonetheless you would be most welcome to visit if you can get through border control! BTW Rick ,tho' not my area of interest I find your layout very motivating.


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#18 Barry O

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Posted 04 January 2015 - 23:35

now then John.... Kirk china clays... probably my first ever weathering "commission".....

 

Baz


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#19 St Enodoc

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 10:01

now then John.... Kirk china clays... probably my first ever weathering "commission".....

 

Baz

That's right, and they're all still in service, plus a few Parkside ones now too. You also did the signals for me, fitting Colin Waite arms to the Ratio posts.

 

Plenty more weathering jobs to be done in return for free board and lodging next time you and Mrs BarryO venture South of the Equator. :)


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#20 Barry O

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 10:25

I'll get the ink!!..... plan for more expeditions being discussed but may be a while.....

 

Baz



#21 brianusa

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Posted 05 January 2015 - 20:08

Love all these Cornish models miles away!  Presumably most have memories of the area and the trains and so keep them alive on the layouts.  It appears to be quite common with ex pats although I would find it difficult with my tinplate layout!  Always get a lot of pleasure from looking at others on this group though.

 

How about a connection to the Redruth and Chasewater down to Devoran; there's a stretch, or the Liskeard and Caradon up to Cheesewring in GW times!

 

Brian.


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#22 St Enodoc

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 08:47

Nice story :)

 

I remember St Enodoc in the Modeller a few  28 years ago :o

Yes - scary isn't it?


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#23 St Enodoc

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 09:01

Love all these Cornish models miles away!  Presumably most have memories of the area and the trains and so keep them alive on the layouts.  It appears to be quite common with ex pats although I would find it difficult with my tinplate layout!  Always get a lot of pleasure from looking at others on this group though.

 

How about a connection to the Redruth and Chasewater down to Devoran; there's a stretch, or the Liskeard and Caradon up to Cheesewring in GW times!

 

Brian.

Wait until I get to the ficititous history ot the new layout. There are a couple of might-have-beens and one almost-was in there.

 

Edited to include missing word in second sentence. It might make sense now.


Edited by St Enodoc, 06 January 2015 - 11:57 .


#24 St Enodoc

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 11:28

The next house move offered the prospect of some stability and indeed so it proved, as it was home for over seven years although the last two of those were spent working away on a weekly commute.

 

The loft in this house was of modern style with trusses, but of a steeper pitch than some. This meant that I could stand up without difficulty in the middle part. I worked out that if I could put up with the visual intrusion of the trusses I could get just over 16 ft x 12 ft of usable space, with the layout fixed to the trusses themselves. For the first time in many years this layout had multiple levels and gradients, of about 1 in 50. There were two single-track reverse loops (Paddington and Penzance) at the bottom level, which climbed to meet the twelve storage loops (+ 2 inches), six Up and six Down. The storage loops and junction (St Enodoc again) were in a conventional oval configuration but with the junction at the next higher level (+ 4 inches) so that the reverse loops passed under it. Finally the terminus at Pentowan would be located slightly in front of and above the storage loops (+ 6 inches). The idea was that the terminus could be lifted away in sections in emergency, but that normally trains in the storage loops would not be remarshalled other than for loco changes. Trains running round either reverse loop would present the opposite side to operators and viewers so I could increase the apparent number of trains by having them different colours on each side, for example chocolate and cream or maroon for Mark 1s, or blood and custard and maroon for older stock. At one time I had a Mainline Warship that was D816 Eclipse on one side and D823 Hermes on the other, but this didn’t work for steam locos not only because it was impracticable to have different colours on each side, but also because you couldn’t have different smokebox numbers on the same loco.

 

The reverse loops and storage loops were all laid and the baseboards for St Enodoc built before the next change of job and the resulting weekly commuting left no time for any further progress. Looking back, this was a good thing because the “hands-off” storage loops really wouldn’t have worked and I would have got frustrated and annoyed with the whole set-up.

 

199304 001 Paddington loop.jpg

This shows the low-level Penzance loop with 5058 Earl of Clancarty just starting its climb back to the Up storage loops.

 

199308 001 main control panel.jpg

The main control panel showing the storage loops and reverse loops. The space at the top was for the St Enodoc station controls.

 

199308 002 storage loops Down end.jpg

The Down end of the storage loops with the space for the higher-level Pentowan terminus in the left foreground.

 

199308 003 D816 and 4206 in Down storage loops.jpg

D816 Eclipse and 4206 in the Down storage loops.

 

199505 001 St Enodoc baseboards and main control panel.jpg

The baseboards for the unfinished St Enodoc station with the Penzance loop in the background and the Paddington loop in the foreground.

 

199505 002 St Enodoc baseboards.jpg

St Enodoc station marked out for tracklaying. More boards filling in the gap to the trusses would have carried the goods yard.

 

As it turned out, I didn’t have another layout of my own for nearly ten years, largely due to moving job and home first to South-East Asia and then, because I didn’t fancy going back to the cold and wet of the UK (and that was just the summers), to Australia. However, this time was not wasted as I took the opportunity to build quite a few kits that had sat on the shelf for a good while and also to start acquiring some of the higher quality ready-to-run stock that was now on the market.

 

I also started to spend a lot more time thinking about what I wanted to see in my ideal layout, the fruits of which are now starting to emerge.

 

Edited to amend caption to first photo.


Edited by St Enodoc, 07 January 2015 - 11:55 .

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#25 Oldddudders

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 11:44

St Enodoc, on 07 Jan 2015 - 12:28, said:

 

As it turned out, I didn’t have another layout of my own for nearly ten years, largely due to moving job and home first to South-East Asia and then, because I didn’t fancy going back to the cold and wet of the UK (and that was just the summers), to Australia.

"The Hong-Kong mafia" comes to mind? Didn't Carolyn Griffiths have time there, and maybe Martin Brown, AM at Brighton?


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