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This is going to be difficult, without asking a question, which is apparently banned ......

 

I'm cogitating on "the project after next", and am thinking of something finescale and scenic, probably in 0, as a counterpoint to what I'm doing now, and one candidate might be Turn chapel.

 

I've done the "cheap research", googling, looking at NLS Maps, but would welcome further information, and suggestions on not-easy-to-find-by-googling sources.

 

The weather isn't exactly conducive to a very long day trip to the seaside at the moment, so a proper look to get the feel of the topography will have wait a while!

 

Kevin

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Kev, having travelled the branch a few times in post war years and kept a lookout in diesel years, I may be able fill in things but no pictures sadly as I didn't even have a camera in those days!

 

Brian.

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A quick look at my bookshelves came up with the following:

 

“Branch Lines Around Plymouth” by Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith; Pub. Middleton Press, 1997, which shows track plans and photos on the Turnchapel branch.

 

“Plymouth Steam 1954-1963” by Ian H. Lane; Pub: Ian Allan, 1984. Mostly a pictorial record, but gives closure dates (Sept. ‘51 to passenger, Sept ’61 to freight).

 

“An Illustrated History of Plymouth’s Railways” by Martin Smith; Pub: Irwell Press, 1995.  Track Plans, photos and some historical notes.

 

“LSWR West Country Lines Then and Now” by Mac Hawkins; Pub: Grange books, 1993.  Some photos, track plan, and a few notes.

 

“Steam around Plymouth” by Bernard Mills; Pub Tempus 2003.  A few photos.  Bernard has written a number of books on the subject of railways around Plymouth.

 

“The Turnchapel and Yealmpton Branch Lines” by Colin Henry Bastin; Pub. C.H. Bastin Publishing, 1989. This booklet looks to be a home-made affair of about 30 pages, There are some historical notes, and a 1932 time table, which boasts of up to 28 trains on weekdays.

 

John

Edited by AncientMariner

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A quick look at my bookshelves came up with the following:

 

“Branch Lines Around Plymouth” by Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith; Pub. Middleton Press, 1997, which shows track plans and photos on the Turnchapel branch.

 

“Plymouth Steam 1954-1963” by Ian H. Lane; Pub: Ian Allan, 1984. Mostly a pictorial record, but gives closure dates (Sept. ‘51 to passenger, Sept ’61 to freight).

 

“An Illustrated History of Plymouth’s Railways” by Martin Smith; Pub: Irwell Press, 1995.  Track Plans, photos and some historical notes.

 

“LSWR West Country Lines Then and Now” by Mac Hawkins; Pub: Grange books, 1993.  Some photos, track plan, and a few notes.

 

“Steam around Plymouth” by Bernard Mills; Pub Tempus 2003.  A few photos.  Bernard has written a number of books on the subject of railways around Plymouth.

 

“The Turnchapel and Yealmpton Branch Lines” by Colin Henry Bastin; Pub. C.H. Bastin Publishing, 1989. This booklet looks to be a home-made affair of about 30 pages, There are some historical notes, and a 1932 time table, which boasts of up to 28 trains on weekdays.

 

John

 

And to add to that list:  The Branch Lines of Devon: Plymouth, West & North Devon by Colin Maggs, Pub: Amberley  2012

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Some of the trackbed is now a public foot path in the Pomphlett area, so easily accessible, not sure about further towards Turnchapel as I have not frequented the watering holes there for a few years now.

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Thank you, Gents.

 

Definitely one for a visit, come decent weather, because hard as I might study photos and maps, I can't get my head around the levels that apply on the Turnchapel "lump". ...... did the line slope down through the tunnel from Turnchapel station to the wharves; how did people access the station ..... that sort of stuff.

 

Book-wise, I'm out of my area, because my standard-gauge collection is heavily focused on Sussex, and light railways, so I've got barely anything about Devon.

 

Of the books mentioned, which ones look most useful from a modelling viewpoint, because I surely can't afford all of them?

 

And, Brian, in the diesel era, presumably after closure to passengers, was there still traffic to the admiralty wharves at Turnchapel?

 

Thanks again, Kevin

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Another book - probably out of print (mine dates from 1986) - is 'The Turnchapel Branch', Anthony R Kingdom, published by OPC in 1982. ISBN 86093 181 1. 

 

If you look for it, it is an A5-sized paperback with a principally green (surprise!) cover. Full of information on the line, operations, rolling stock, timetables and more. Maps, too - some with contours.

 

Mike

 

 

 

(Edit to add maps)

Edited by olivegreen

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Kevin,

 

If you are thinking of visiting this would be a sensible way of seeing what might or might not be there to look at.  Go to this site - and if the link is stable you will have side-by-side maps.  If the link isn't stable when I test it after posting I'll explain how to use it if you're not familiar with it.

 

http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/sidebyside.cfm#zoom=16&lat=50.3604&lon=-4.1123&layers=171&right=BingHyb 

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Mike

 

I'm a near-addictive user of that facility ....... one of my favourite minor diversions on the way to meetings in the relevant areas is to ride the DLR, or the NLR, and use it to give a rolling "now and then" view of what can be seen from the train. If you haven't tried it, I recommend it as the nearest to time-travelling we will probably ever get.

 

Kevin

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What a great site - just discovered one of our Control rooms is located on the site of a former workhouse !! :laugh:

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There is a good set of photos of the terminal state of the station site here http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/1965-to-68-steam-railtours-in-cornwall--devon.html

 

Loco classes "spotted" so far, in the various bits I've been able to find:

 

- Beattie well tank

- T1

- O2

- B4 (they worked the Branch goods, which is a classic railway modeller's way of using them, but rarely prototypical!)

- M7 (possibly only on specials)

-08 diesel

-03 diesel (maybe???)

Edited by Nearholmer
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{There is a good set of photos of the terminal state of the station site here http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/1965-to-68-steam-railtours-in-cornwall--devon.html}

 

 

 

Thanks for that reference - I didn't know the website existed!

 

 

(Edit because I did something weird…)

Edited by olivegreen
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The station (such as it was) and signalbox were burned in WW2, as a result of a bombing raid on the adjacent admiralty oil-storage and bunkering facility.

 

Remarkably, I found these pictures on the web, showing the fire that continued for several days.

 

The station was at the left hand end of the swing bridge.

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post-26817-0-56341800-1484331077.jpg

Edited by Nearholmer
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Hello Kevin,

 

Of the books I mentioned, "Branch Lines Around Plymouth" is probably the one I would go for.  The maps reproduced in the book are no better than that on the link provided by The Stationmaster.

 

Good luck with your research

 

John

Edited by AncientMariner

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Thank you, Gents.

 

Definitely one for a visit, come decent weather, because hard as I might study photos and maps, I can't get my head around the levels that apply on the Turnchapel "lump". ...... did the line slope down through the tunnel from Turnchapel station to the wharves; how did people access the station ..... that sort of stuff.

 

Book-wise, I'm out of my area, because my standard-gauge collection is heavily focused on Sussex, and light railways, so I've got barely anything about Devon.

 

Of the books mentioned, which ones look most useful from a modelling viewpoint, because I surely can't afford all of them?

 

And, Brian, in the diesel era, presumably after closure to passengers, was there still traffic to the admiralty wharves at Turnchapel?

 

Thanks again, Kevin

Kev, the station was accessed by steep steps to reach track level from the road that ran around the lake from Hooe village.  We used to catch the train from Friary, complete with 'birdcage' carriages to Turnchapel to go the beach at Jennycliff which was nearby.  I left the area in 1963 but by then the Admiralty wharves were disused and I believe, the tunnel blocked off.  Never did see any traffic there nor any pictures neither.  Bayly's wharf was the main source of revenue as they made sleepers  amongst other woody things.  B4s were the motive power until the small diesels arrived.

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Dear Kevin

 

The Hooe Quarries, where the Turnchapel station was located, have recently been developed into a housing estate by Barratt. A complete site survey was made by the developers and submitted to Plymouth City Council for approval. This is available through the following route...

 

[1] Go to the Plymouth planning website: https://planning.plymouth.gov.uk/online-applications

 

[2] Click on the advanced search tab

 

[3] Enter the following reference in the application reference box and press search: 11/01250/FUL

 

[4] Go to the documents tab (there are 268 documents files there)

 

[5] Select the document entitled 'Site Survey with Field Observations'

 

A direct link to it is here:

https://planning.plymouth.gov.uk/online-applications/files/FDB3B496801E021D4FA0E62036BFB70D/pdf/11_01250_FUL-Site_Survey_with_Field_Observations-160528.pdf

 

The document above will provide you with a detailed surveyors' plan, including spot heights. The gradient fell 1-in-80 down from the station to the tunnel that led through to the Admiralty Wharves. You can probably trace the route on the above survey.

 

There have been two separate phases of housing development on what used to be the Bayly's site on the other side of The Cut. The planning documents for the more recent of these is under application reference, 12/01180/FUL. You'll find an engineering survey amongst the documents under that application at:

https://planning.plymouth.gov.uk/online-applications/files/656BB66E9E3832BAE470616F97AD5C63/pdf/12_01180_FUL-Amended_engineering_layout_151_100_P104-13749.pdf

 

The above document will give you partial information for the eastern bank of The Cut into Hooe Lake.

 

I have quite a bit of other information about the oil tanks, WW2 bombing, swing bridge etc that could be posted (if there's interest). Also have some dimensions for the post-war trestle piers that were installed to support the outer spans of the swing bridge as well as for the dolphins in The Cut itself.

 

I've only ever found one picture that includes a glimpse of the steps that led up to the station, and this is in Kingdom's Turnchapel Branch book. Probably looked something like the model shown attached.

 

I know of a couple of photographs in books that show (though not in great detail) the original signal box that was destroyed in the bombing on November 27th, 1940. The track through the station site was modified a little in 1939 to install Air Ministry Railway sidings in a compound on the southern side of the passing loop. There is a very good photo in the NRM Sellick collection of these sidings, though at the moment I can't find a direct online link to point you at it alas.

 

Cheers, Dave

post-31631-0-80655100-1491314693_thumb.jpg

Edited by Dave_Hooe
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That is a fantastic stash of info; many thanks.

 

Are you building a model of the station? Scale?

 

Kevin

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Many thanks, Dave_Hooe, for the information.  

 

Just one point for those who would wish to follow Dave's information - none of the links works… from outside the UK, at least.

Mike

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That is a fantastic stash of info; many thanks.

 

Are you building a model of the station? Scale?

 

Kevin

 

 

My interest has been mainly local history and 'paper-based' to be honest, Kevin.

 

I grew up in the area, and (although no longer living there) I still have roots in Plymouth and visit from time to time.

 

My attention was first grabbed by an iconic wartime picture taken by Plymouth photographer, Stanley Green, that captures the aftermath of the bombing noted in your post of 13-Jan-2017. 

 

You may be able to see a low resolution copy of it at the following location (if the link works):

http://www.devonheritage.org/Places/Plympton%20St%20Mary/CasualtiesofbombinglistedbyPlymptonRDC.htm

 

The photograph captures two school boys looking across a bomb site –– the remains of Fanshawe Cottage on Lake Road in Hooe –– towards a plume of smoke rising from the fire that destroyed the naval fuel oil depot and station at Turnchapel. This is the same plume of smoke that you can see in the photos that you have posted above.

 

Fanshawe Cottage was shared by two families, the Burgoynes and Charles. Mrs Burgoyne (34) and her two children, Betty (14) and Derek (7), were killed. Mrs Charles (36) and all four of her children –– Pauline (5), Louise (4), Patricia and Susan (twins, 2) –– were also killed. Only the two fathers survived –– Mr Burgoyne (local to the area) and Corporal Charles (who may have been stationed with the military). Another couple, Mr and Mrs Farrall, were killed that night just up the road. The fire at Turnchapel, just across Hooe Lake, burned for five days and two AFS firemen, John Callicott and Robert Widger, died there when the oil tanks eventually exploded.

 

In looking into the history of this I managed to accumulate a fair amount of information relating to the Turnchapel branch line and station site etc. I've been wondering about trying my hand at a 2mm scale modelling project of Turnchapel –– hence the exploratory foray into 3D printing of the bridge parapet in my previous post. I've also had a go at printing one of the six original 6000 ton capacity fuel oil tanks from the naval fuel storage site next to the station (attached picture), though I'm struggling learn how to handle the brasswork (especially the ladder). Finally I've had a go at a pump house from the Air Ministry sidings compound that was located on the south side of the station (pictures also attached).

 

I'll try to share some of the relevant information about the station site and bridge etc on this discussion thread.  Please bear with me, however, as work commitments leave me with very little free time alas. So it will probably have to be a (very) slow and intermittent drip of stuff over several weeks.

 

Cheers, Dave

 

turnchapel_fuel_oil_tanks.tiff

 

Turnchapel_Air_Ministry_Pumphouse_1.tiff

 

Turnchapel_Air_Ministry_Pumphouse_2.tiff

Edited by Dave_Hooe

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To facilitate discussion I've prepared and attached a site location plan (Figure 1).

 

Sorry about the problems with the links to the planning documents mentioned in my previous post, Mike. Probably can't provide stable links for quick access to specific site survey files then. For reference, I've highlighted with green and red marker in Figure 1 the approximate areas that are covered in the two planning applications mentioned previously:

  • 11/01250/FUL (green area inc. former Turnchapel Station site)
  • 12/01180/FUL (red area inc. part of former Bayly's site)

 

To access the planning documents, visit the Plymouth planning site (planning.plymouth.gov.uk), enter the planning reference numbers (above) in the search box and then navigate to the 'Documents' tab under each application. There are many documents, so it will be a question of working through them to find the relevant information. Much potentially useful stuff in there ... from site surveys to archeological reports and rock face surveys (if you're interested in the local terrain). It may be an idea to look through some of the appendices in relevant documents (which contain photos etc).

 

With regards to the area within the green marker boundary on Figure 1, the full site survey information spanning the former station site, oil tanks and track bed to the tunnel leading to Turnchapel Wharves may have been in more than one document ('Rock Slope Stability' and '102-10-1B Site Survey'). Bear in mind that the bund on the naval oil fuel compound right next to the station site was cut through when the compound was given over to commercial petrochemical storage after full closure of the branch line. So there is something of a 'break' in the bund wall evident in the site as featured in the planning surveys. Nevertheless there's a wealth of useful information...

  • Barton Road immediately in front of the station parapet was at ca. 3.2 m above datum;
  • the station site, floor of the oil fuel compound and much of the Air Ministry siding site were all around 8.0 m;
  • top of the concrete bund was typically around 13.5 m (thus defining bank height next to the station);
  • track bed fell to ca 5.2 m at the entrance to the tunnel under Boringdon Road leading to Turnchapel Wharves;
  • typical cliff height is ca. 35-36 m;
  • position of pump house in Air Ministry siding site is well defined;
  • the original pump house immediately to the west of the bund isn't in the site survey (destroyed in a second bombing incident in 1941);
  • but another former pump house next to the track and slightly further to the west is covered.

A very useful detailed map dating to ca. 1912 is available in the National Archives (ADM 140/1484). We could come back to that in a later post. The station steps (marked in Figure 1) are a little more clearly laid out in that. It includes useful information such as the location of the original 7-ft spear fencing around the oil fuel cmpd and station and the original track layout in Turnchapel Wharves. 

 

In Kevin's Jan-13 posting there was an image taken after the Nov-1940 bombing that shows the swing bridge across Hooe Lake in profile with the oil compound on fire. At the bottom of Figure 1 there's a black arrow that marks the rough position on the hill in Hooe from which that photograph was taken. The original tank configuration is marked in Figure 1. If I have time in a later post, I'll add some information about the size and structure of these tanks. Some of the features present in the bund and visible from the station platform were to do with operation of these tanks.

 

There was a direct hit on either tank 'E' or tank 'F' with a 500 lb HE bomb in the evening of 27-Nov-1940, the other tank being pierced by shrapnel. That's where the conflagration started. A second bomb fell in the area around the steps and station parapet. The signalman on duty was dug out from an air raid shelter but the original signal box (marked on Figure 1) was destroyed. I have found a little SR wartime log information on the incident. More bombs hit the site in March 1941, one falling just inside the bund next to the remains of tank 'C', another destroying the pump house just to the left (which was connected to the compound via a culvert, marked in Figure 1), another hitting the bank immediately above tunnel entrance leading to Turnchapel Wharves.

 

I have some photos showing the compound interior that I'll try to share in a later post. It's possible to see the marks of the original tank circles on the floor of the compound; the repair in the bund wall next to where tank 'C' stood can be made out etc. Will also post other useful images from around the site in due course.

 

A very useful photograph, but not widely known, is in the Sellick collection of National Rail Museum: reference 1997-7219_RJS_BW_1. This was taken after the station closed to the public, but it gives an excellent elevated view across the station and Air Ministry sidings (including gantries) with Bayly's in the background. A black arrow on the left in Figure 1 marks the position from which this photo was taken. The link to the photo online no longer works; I've sent a request in to the NRM to see whether I can share the photo or at least find a link to it. Will update when there's a response.

 

Next post -- perhaps in a week or two -- will share some information about the bridge ... dimensions and some useful photographic reference sources etc. I managed to locate original engineering drawings for the dolphins in their final incarnation and have myself surveyed the parapet and concrete trestle bases.

 

Dave

post-31631-0-26773800-1491674630_thumb.jpg

Edited by Dave_Hooe
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Attached here, to be going on with, is a photograph (Figure 2) of the site taken from the cliff top (not far from the location of the Sellick photo mentioned in my last post).

 

The Figure 2 photo was taken in Dec-2012 with redevelopment now in full swing but with the bunded compound of the oil fuel depot still largely intact.

 

In the far corner of the compound you should be able to make out the mark left by tank 'E' (refer to Figure 1 in last post).

 

Notice that there is a clear oil tide mark left on the sloping concrete walls from the flooding of the compound during attempts to put out the fire in WW2.

 

The steps on the northern wall of the bund mark the position of the original steps down into the compound, but they were remodelled when the compound was switched to commercial use after closure of the branch line. So the oil tide mark isn't seen on these steps. A single large tank was constructed in the compound for commercial use. This was located on a concrete plinth which partially covers the position of tank circles A-D.

 

The former Bayly's site is visible in the background across the other side of The Cut (refer to Figure 1 in last post). Most of the Bayly's site buildings have gone -- that bit of the site was used as a boat yard in recent times (Boston's) and has since been developed into housing (red highlighted area in Figure 1).

 

Dave

 

post-31631-0-39168200-1491682036_thumb.jpg

Edited by Dave_Hooe

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Another photo (Figure 3) from Dec-2012.

 

This shows a closer view of the bund wall inside the oil fuel compound.

 

The part circle just visible on the bund floor is from where tank 'F' stood (refer to Figure 1).

 

Dave

post-31631-0-56957400-1491682920_thumb.jpg

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One last photo for now (Figure 4), again showing the interior of the oil fuel compound and taken in Dec-2012 (not long before demolition of the cmpd for the housing development referred to in previous posts).

 

The steps visible here are on the western wall of the bund. These were added during the remodelling of the site for commercial petrochemical use after closure of the branch line. (They weren't there in the original construction of the site as featured in the configuration shown in Figure 1).

 

You may be able to make out a repair patch in the bund wall to the left of the steps.  This marks a bomb site from a strike in March 1941 next to tank 'C' -- see early posting. The oil tide mark left after the Nov-1940 bombing is, of course, not present on the repair patch.

 

That's all for now.

 

Next post -- perhaps in a week or two -- will share some information about the bridge ... dimensions and some useful photographic reference sources etc. I managed to locate original engineering drawings for the dolphins in their final incarnation and have myself surveyed the parapet and concrete trestle bases.

 

Dave

 

 

post-31631-0-53834300-1491683148_thumb.jpg

Edited by Dave_Hooe

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You've been busy Dave; all interesting stuff though, thanks.

 

Brian.

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Kevin,

 

I seem to recall a 7mm scale model of a portion of the Turnchapel branch in LSWR days. It featured the bridge and the area to the east of it. I am fairly certain that it was featured in BRM but can't recall the date, probably post-2000. If I turn out my copies I may find it.

 

David

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