Jump to content

Recommended Posts

There were  13 sailing vessels in the last "Grain race" in 1939, of which 10 were owned by Gustav Erikson (2 others were German and I am not sure about the last one).  Profits were pretty low, but pay for the mainly Finnish seamen was even less.  Fleet was badly battered by WWII,  and the economics by 1945 were even worse.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I read this thread with interest - lots of great info. So far I have pit-prop loads (4mm) from;

 1. garden prunings - issue of consistency and a lot of twigs to get enough good ones to make a single wagon load but they look right, 

 2. cocktail sticks/tooth picks - these need staining/painting and weathering to represent the bark but look too thin when cut to a 8' scale length

 3. bamboo skewers - these look to be the right proportions when cut down but also need the painting/staining treatment for pit props.

 

However, yesterday I came across this image

 

 

http://www.hhtandn.org/relatedimages/5682/unloading-pit-props-into-rolling-stock

 

 

This Hartlepool Docks in the 1950s with pit props being unloaded from Baltic ships into wagons for onward transport, presumably to pits in NE England.

 

Three things stand out;

1. Individual wagons are loaded with a mix of pit props in a longitudinal orientation, in a lateral orientation (both contained by vertical props allowing loading above the height of the wagon sides) and vertically stacked pit props. In general one end of the wagon is filled with longitudinally arranged props hard against the wagon end, and the space at the other end is filled with either vertically placed or laterally stacked props. Other images show no consistency with respect to any end doors on the wagon.

2. The second wagon is a 'hopper' - it too is getting loaded with props. I had not thought of using a hooper, but will now for variety.

3. - And this was the main point of this post, counting the props loaded vertically across the wagon shows 19-20. Measuring a 4mm scale Oxford Rail open I have to hand gives me an internal width of 19.5mm, so to pack (rounding for ease) 20 model props into 30mm gives a true diameter of 1.5mm. This is the size of the cocktail sticks from my local supermarket, which previously looked too small.

 

So I am not going to scrap my other loads but I will now be concentrating on some more, and diverse, arrangements of painted cocktail sticks.

 

All the best

 

Chris

 

edited for typos

Edited by 7TunnelShunter
Link to post
Share on other sites

There were  13 sailing vessels in the last "Grain race" in 1939, of which 10 were owned by Gustav Erikson (2 others were German and I am not sure about the last one).  Profits were pretty low, but pay for the mainly Finnish seamen was even less.  Fleet was badly battered by WWII,  and the economics by 1945 were even worse.

When I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s there still seemed to be UK registered trading schooners in the Pacific but I suspect they were fairly small and a bit of a lifestyle business for their skipper-owners. Sailing Dhows still make commercial voyages across the the Indian ocean and I believe that some of the Thames sailing barges, the largest sailing vessels that could be operated by a crew of two,  were still working under sail into the 1960s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was told that there are pit props, with their bark, and pit wood, which has been debarked.

For our club layout I used toothpicks stuck on end on a base so they whole load can be removed easily. But I was assuming pitwood. In retrospect they were perhaps a little small.

However, it was labour intensive and the four wagon loads took several hundred pieces.

Regarding the Norwegian influence there were Norwegian churches in both Cardiff and Barry docks. The Cardiff one is still in existence though it has been moved from its original site. The Barry one was adjacent to the Barry Railway HQ.

There are plenty of views of the Dardiff one on the net but the only view I have found of the Barry one is an aerial view of the docks on the Peoples Collection Wales site.

Jonathan

 

Swansea also had one; they served as centres for the Norwegian communities of these ports, and I assume the East Coast ports had them as well.  Norwegian seamen worked on vessels of all nationalities and in all trades of course.  The children's author Roald Dahl (Willie Wonka and all that) was a member of the Cardiff one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Swansea also had one; they served as centres for the Norwegian communities of these ports, and I assume the East Coast ports had them as well.  Norwegian seamen worked on vessels of all nationalities and in all trades of course.  The children's author Roald Dahl (Willie Wonka and all that) was a member of the Cardiff one.

As was Jack Petersen, the boxer

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cardiff one, which was easily moved to it's present very prominent location as these were prefabricated wooden framed buildings, always painted white, is now an arts centre and performance space.  Does good food and has a licensed bar, and it is well used; I imagine it has a secure future.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was Norwegian sailing ship the Pax still calling at Kirkcaldy harbour in the 1950s with a cargo of timber. Probably pit props.  The Skipper (and perhaps other crew members) had their wives and families with them. I remember the washing hung out- on the ship- and the children playing about the harbourside. This seemed odd as the harbour was supposedly out of bounds to children (but we went anyway to see the railway workings and the steam cranes).

 

best wishes,

 

Ian

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cardiff one, which was easily moved to it's present very prominent location as these were prefabricated wooden framed buildings, always painted white, is now an arts centre and performance space. Does good food and has a licensed bar, and it is well used; I imagine it has a secure future.

.

And Roald Dahl's house is not far from me, it's in Fairwater Road, about 150yds from Fairwater Station. You can't miss it, it's got a blue plaque by the gate ! ! ! (NO it hasn't got a glass elevator !)

Edited by br2975
Link to post
Share on other sites

............... and he was involved in a car accident when he was young on Penhill, Llandaff. His nose was nearly sliced off. The scar was evident in certain photos of him as an adult.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

(Don't think he was into model railways tho' ........... ;) )

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

I wondered how this project ended up?  I have been using privet pruning that were cut for HO pulp racks. That project failed so they are getting re-visited. I found it was best to cut when the new growth was just starting to harden off. It’s moist  enough to cut neatly with secateurs. It needs to be seasoned as it has quite a bit of shrinkage. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

I only recently found this topic and have been experimenting with wooden skewers/cocktail sticks.

Following guesstimates from pictures in various books here’s my take on the smaller size pit props as loaded in a 7plank.

 

6F2DA59C-7A7B-4D9A-8048-87A8E4119419.jpeg.0b09682cba8283d3f0676ca0cb4db12b.jpeg

 

And the construction method. Once painted the two stacks will be attached to the base to make a load. The uprights seem to have been roped to lower sided wagons but not 6-7 plank ones. Oh each stack took about one hour to make while watching TV.

 

93B433B8-089A-4A02-B1E1-BA0137F18160.jpeg.3fa2aae29d37fd5c681b169496a0208a.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cocktail sticks are really too regular for pit props. They required so many of them that the cost of planing them true and consistent would have been too high, so any piece of reasonably straight timber was used.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Il Grifone said:

Cocktail sticks are really too regular for pit props. They required so many of them that the cost of planing them true and consistent would have been too high, so any piece of reasonably straight timber was used.

True but I cannot find a suitable supply of anything else with a small enough diameter.

The props shown in the GWR wagon loads images are remarkably straight and uniform.  Possibly from pine forest.

I think the appearance of the models is close enough from layout viewing distance.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold
39 minutes ago, Darwinian said:

True but I cannot find a suitable supply of anything else with a small enough diameter.

The props shown in the GWR wagon loads images are remarkably straight and uniform.  Possibly from pine forest.

I think the appearance of the models is close enough from layout viewing distance.

 

 

Just as smooth and straight as cocktail sticks, I have a supply of 1 metre long 2mm timber rod from a "bamboo" window blind.

Edited by Joseph_Pestell
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

How are props loaded in this way secured; it doesn’t look safe to me.  The least snatch or bump, normal in the running of a loose coupled train, will have the top layers off and all over the place.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/09/2018 at 14:17, Martin S-C said:

I thought I'd posted this picture in the thread already but it seems not. Sometime during WWII loading pit props. Diameter of the timber seems to range from around 5 ins to 9 ins.

 

post-34294-0-94211100-1538140559_thumb.jpg

post-34294-0-94211100-1538140559_thumb.jpg

There may be a little more to the historical context. I am sure that I have seen elsewhere that in the immediate period after the war a shortage of wagons was seriously holding up fuel supplies and members of the public were encouraged to volunteer to empty wagons in order to reduce turn around times. The photo I was thinking of had a cricket team somewhere in the home counties shovelling coal!

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, doilum said:

There may be a little more to the historical context. I am sure that I have seen elsewhere that in the immediate period after the war a shortage of wagons was seriously holding up fuel supplies and members of the public were encouraged to volunteer to empty wagons in order to reduce turn around times. The photo I was thinking of had a cricket team somewhere in the home counties shovelling coal!

This lot look like they came straight from the school debating society. There seems to be one of the party buried up to his neck, just off the centre of the photo.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold
1 hour ago, 21C1 said:

This may help Re pit props about 1/3rd  way down http://www.igg.org.uk/rail/9-loads/9-timber.htm 

That link suggests that timber pit props were used in all UK mines 

Wooden pit props are still used in all British coal mines, although only for temporary support. It would be usual to see several wagon loads in a train, the props were generally imported and a mine would have a block load delivered from the docks.

 

What would they have been carried in in 1983 if I want some inbound traffic to the mine on Ravensclyffe?

 

Andi

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, The Johnster said:

How are props loaded in this way secured; it doesn’t look safe to me.  The least snatch or bump, normal in the running of a loose coupled train, will have the top layers off and all over the place.  

I had that thought too Johnster. On the GWR low sided wagons there are obvious ropes holding the uprights at least. Maybe there was a rope across the top too but I’ve not spotted one.

The rough surfaces would provide plenty of friction lower down but not at he top as you say.

Lower image page 33 of “The Rhymney Railway Vol1 The main line from Cardiff” John Hutton. Shows NCB planked wagons loaded this way, being shunted with no apparent ropes. Llanbradach colliery sidings 27April 1957 B J Miller collection.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dagworth said:

That link suggests that timber pit props were used in all UK mines 

 

 

 

What would they have been carried in in 1983 if I want some inbound traffic to the mine on Ravensclyffe?

 

Andi

A lorry.

By this time most would be sourced from the UK as the Forestry commission began to clear the trees planted in the 1920s in Keilder, Dalby, Sweet Lamb, Grisedale ( guess my other hobby of the 80s). I am not saying it didn't happen, but I cannot recall seeing any timber trains despite having a dozen collieries on my door step. By the 1970s most of the roof support was done in steel but much use was made of wooden "chocks" which were able to "talk" and give audible warning of changes in the roof above. Stacks of very short props / chocks were a feature of mines right to the end.

Edited by doilum
Additional information
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.