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bgman

The Devon and Somerset Railway

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I am pleased to say that Volume 2 of my book covering a description of the line (3 chapters) plus signalling will be available from Lightmoor www.lightmoor.co.uk tomorrow Thursday 7th December. I will be doing a book signing at Minehead Station on 29th December and Bishops Lydeard on 30th December. Martin is right, there will be a volume 3. i am sorry to disappoint all those interested in the operating aspects and recollections, accidents etc but there is so much material and only another volume would do it justice.

 

Enjoy Volume 2 and Happy Christmas to all. Regards Freddie

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Kerching! 

 

Funnily enough I finally got round to properly reading volume 1 last week. 

 

If reading volume 2 prompts thoughts/questions will there be time in the publishing timetable to pass them on for consideration? 

 

 

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Kerching! 

 

Funnily enough I finally got round to properly reading volume 1 last week. 

 

If reading volume 2 prompts thoughts/questions will there be time in the publishing timetable to pass them on for consideration? 

 

Yes there will. Whilst V3 is written i am looking to source more photos and can add additional comments. The plan is to fit into the Lightmoor publishing timetable when it can. It may not make the end of 2018 but early 2019. this is yet to be determined but i will provide updates when known Freddie

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First impressions? Another excellent book, both in terms of production and content. Whilst inevitably some of the photographs are recognisable from previous publications or well known collections there are many others that provide (to me) hitherto unseen perspectives or focus on points of detail. (And I write as someone who has been interested in this line for 40 years). Throughout the reproduction of the photographs is excellent. I look forward to a proper read! 

 

Gaps? Did no-one photograph the curiously sited station building at Venn Cross in more detail? Or perhaps more significantly, the goods yards at South Molton and at Barnstaple Victoria? There must be one or more photo albums somewhere which include local people at work at the later two locations? It is likely that such photographs would lack the professional quality of those used in the first two volumes, but they might help complete the picture.

 

So, whether this line is new to you, or an old friend, this book is highly recommended. (And for the avoidance of doubt I have no connection with anyone involved in its production or sale.)

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My copy ordered at the Warley show has arrived today - now to pass to 'Santa' for wrapping (and reimbursement of my £25 ;) ).

...Hopefully not before a 'sneak peek' ?   ;-)

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...Hopefully not before a 'sneak peek' ?   ;-)

 

I have done a very quick ' make sure it looks as if it is clearly printed and printed on every page' check although I hardly expect such problems from Lightmoor who always aim for a quality product.

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I've just been called by Cath at my 'railway bookseller of choice' - BookLaw -  to say she has received copies of the book today ... and she is now posting my one on to me.

 

If ever you're stuck for a good railway bookseller, try BookLaw ... online and at a selection of exhibitions ... including my club's Portsmouth Show every November.

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My copy arrived this morning. First impressions are very favourable. It is very well illustrated & many of the photos I've not seen before - & I've been collecting D&SRly photos for 30+ years.

But most signicantly it includes one of my Holy Grail photos - a roadside view of Milverton on p259 by John Alsop. It shews a completely blank wall behind the waiting area section; this is unexpected & it looks very odd. However, Morebath also had a blank wall behind the waiting area (p294, Alsop again) but the effect isn't quite so odd-looking, probably because the elevation is broken up by the cross-wise gabled section & a chimney stack halfway along the waiting area section. So, 1 HG photo down, only 8 to go!

 

Martin

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Gaps? Did no-one photograph the curiously sited station building at Venn Cross in more detail? Or perhaps more significantly, the goods yards at South Molton and at Barnstaple Victoria? There must be one or more photo albums somewhere which include local people at work at the later two locations? It is likely that such photographs would lack the professional quality of those used in the first two volumes, but they might help complete the picture.

 

 

Not sure whether this is just a reviewer's comment or an expression of need. If it's the latter then I commend Great Western Railway Journal No. 42 Spring 2002 to you. It contains a 25-page article on Barnstaple Victoria with some superb photographs of the goods yard and details of passenger and freight operations.

 

Adrian 

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Yes there will. Whilst V3 is written i am looking to source more photos and can add additional comments. The plan is to fit into the Lightmoor publishing timetable when it can. It may not make the end of 2018 but early 2019. this is yet to be determined but i will provide updates when known Freddie

I understand from Lightmoor that Volume 3 is now due late next year (2019). 

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Late in 2019? That's truely terrible. Especially as this is the particular volume I most wanted to see (because of the content). I have, of course, already bought the other two.

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Late in 2019? That's truely terrible. Especially as this is the particular volume I most wanted to see (because of the content). I have, of course, already bought the other two.

 

Not surprising in some respects as they've quite a lot of new titles coming out now or in the coming month so V3 could well be in a queue for production work.

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12 hours ago, 863Warrior said:

Good news!  Volume 3 due to be published 11th April..... 

 

http://lightmoor.co.uk/view-book.php?ref=L8733&section=CatNew

Thanks - good news indeed. Something to read when self-isolating perhaps! That photo of hounds leaving the Hounds Van at Dulverton c1912 on Lightmoor's site is wonderful - where on earth did they discover that!

 

Martin

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My copy arrived this morning, a couple of days earlier than expected. Looks like the decision to complete the story with a third volume was well justified. Obviously only just flicked through so far, but there is a good proportion of pre war (and earlier) photos, as well as coverage of routine aspects of the operation of the line that typical 'photo + caption' highlights books never get into. Looking forward to reading properly.

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For the record there is one obvious error in the book, 'imported' from a photograph on the Cornwall Railway Society website. http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/taunton-to-barnstaple.html#

 

On page 598 there is a picture of a camping coach, supposed to have been taken at South Molton in April 1961. The photograph caption speculates on why a camping coach, recorded as being in use at Congesbury from April 1953, should have been in use at South Molton in 1961, describing it as 'something of a mystery'.

 

The only mystery is why anyone should think the location is South Molton. Considering the photograph then: there is no gabled roof at the relevant end of the station buildings at South Molton; there was a gated access to the platform between the main buildings and the end of the goods shed dock at South Molton; above the camping coach roof at the left hand end you can just make out a chimney and three spinals from a signal box roof, but there was no signal box in that position at South Molton; the rail entrance to the good shed is a brick arch, but like others on the line South Molton goods shed had its original broad gauge brick arches replaced by horizontal girders; and the good shed in the picture has a round wooden slated vent/window in the peak of the brickwork, but South Molton does not.

 

So where is it? Perhaps not surprisingly it is at Congesbury - which has all the relevant features shown in the photo: a gabled roof in the relevant position, a signal box on the other side of the station, more or less opposite the goods shed, and a goods shed with the right characteristics. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Another slight oddity is the photo on page 562. This is described as the 1.17pm from Barnstaple Junction to Taunton on 30/8/61, crossing the Tone viaduct.

 

1961 is a suspect date because the visible coaches are BR Mk1s, which did not appear regularly on local services on this line until 1963. But happily the picture has been published at least twice before: in Railway Magazine 1965 (p60) and In MJ Fox's Railways In and Around Taunton (p69) (although there it is printed back to front).

 

According to the Railway Magazine it is in fact 5336 on the 3.50pm from Barnstaple, on Saturday 5th September 1964. (Fox - the photographer - gives the same date in his book but does not specify a time.) At the front of the train are 3 milk tanks, and milk tanks could also be sent to Taunton on the corresponding weekday service - the 4.10pm - for example, see page 326 of Volume 2 and page 563 of Volume 3.

 

Prior to use on the 4.10/3.50pm the WR coaching stock for this service was used for an early afternoon service between Barnstaple Junction and Torrington, so this would have been a convenient way to transfer milk tanks on to Taunton when, for whatever reason, this was required.

 

(In fact the 2.47pm Torrington to Barnstaple Jct was the first leg of the majority of milk traffic from Torrington to London. Up to eight loaded tankers and a van would be attached to the 2.47pm  (arr BJct approx 3.30pm) for transfer to the 3.00pm Ilfracombe-Exeter passenger train (dep 3.45pm BJct). Reformed into milk trains at Crediton (with milk from other destinations) they then worked to Exeter, where the tankers were split into milk trains for WR and SR route destinations in London.)

 

 

Edited by Pteremy
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Recently obtained my copy from Alton Model Centra and first got into last night - more excellent work on this interesting line.  There is however a caption error on Page 584 -  a picture of Venn Cross with an arriving freight - which refers to ' parcels van' standing behind the platform.  I don't know how good the original print is but even in the book illustration it can be fairly clearly seen to be a Civil Engineer's vehicle, not 'a parcels van'

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Yes. The captions in all 3 books are a weakness in the sense that I do not think that the photographic evidence, much of it new and excellent, is always evaluated as critically as it might have been. Things are missed, misinterpreted or the subject of spurious speculation.

 

To give another example, on page 679 of Volume 3 there is a photo of a Class 120 DMU in the Exe Valley platform at Dulverton, on the last day of the Exe Valley service (5/10/63). The caption includes speculation that this was '..possibly the first time a DMU had been used on the service?' And yet it is recorded elsewhere that in Summer 1963 the 12.50pm Exeter to Dulverton service (arr Dulverton 2.07pm, dep 3.15pm) was provided by a 3 car DMU set, with photographic evidence of both Class 120 and Class 116 being used. For example, on 23 June 1963 Laira Class 120 Set LA503 was used - see p51 of John Owen's master work on the Exe Valley, p163 of Modern Railways 1963, or Whitehouse's Branch Line Album. B&W photos from eBay (possibly still available) show a Class 116 unit in use on 6th July 1963.

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