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Nearholmer

SR Milk Tanks Horam to Mottingham

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Posted (edited)

Folks,

 

I'm aware of the thread about road/rail tankers and wagons in general, but am wondering whether anyone can point me towards more info about the SR vehicles used in East Sussex during the 1930s.

 

There was an Express Dairies depot at Horam, which evidence seems to suggest was used to load road tankers to rail, and there are accounts of both London and Eastbourne direction passenger trains being used to convey two or three at a time onwards; and, the Bluebell Railway website suggests that the SR had both four and six wheeled variants of the carrying wagons, but only in small quantities.

 

Mayfield is also said in some accounts to have had a milk depot which despatched tanks by rail, although if it did I can't work out where it was. Other accounts talk of milk from Mayfield going out by rail in vans, so churn traffic, until the late 1930s.

 

Are they, for instance, described in the relevant volume of the OPC books on SR wagons? I only have the LBSCR volume.

 

Thanks in advance, Kevin

Edited by Nearholmer

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Hello Kevin

 

I contacted fellow 00 Wishlist Poll Team member and 'milk researcher', Glen Woods. His reply is below.

 

Regards

 

Brian

 

Express Dairy loaded 6-Wheel milk tankers for Mottingham from Horam in the 1930s the workings were:

 

Loaded.

 

7 31 p.m.  Eastbourne to Tonbridge two tanks, plus van or vans churns if required, attached to the rear at Horam, detached at Groombridge.

 

Attached at Groombridge to the 9 .0 p.m. Tunbridge Wells West to Victoria.

1 30 a.m. Victoria to Strood, tanks detached at Mottingham.

 

Empties

 

SX

 

6 37 p.m. Mottingham to Victoria.

Attached to 9 10 p.m. Victoria to East Grinstead, detached at East Croydon.

 

Attached to the 10 40 p.m.  London Bridge to Brighton and Eastbourne, detached at Haywards Heath for the:

 

12 20 a.m. Haywards Heath to Eastbourne.

5 43 a.m. Eastbourne to Waldron.

 

SO

 

6 20 p.m. Mottingham to Victoria.

Attached to 8 2 p.m. Victoria to Uckfield (if vans passing these to be in front of the tanks). Eridge to detach and transfer to the:

 

9 30 p.m. Tunbridge Wells West to Eastbourne and detached at Waldron.

 

Source documentation:

Working Timetable supplements held by the Bluebell Railway Museum Archive

 

I have not come across any workings or details of tank loading facilities at Mayfield. It was likely that Mayfield, like nearly every other rural station, did load milk in churns.

 

Glen Woods

 

 

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Brian

 

that really is most excellent information; please pass huge thanks on to Glen.

 

If he is able to tell, and if it isn’t too much trouble, i’d Be interested to understand whether the “6-wheel tanks” were road tanks loaded on carrying wagons, or the more typical tank wagon like the one preserved at Horsted Keynes.

 

many thanks, Kevin

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Details of the vehicles are in Mike King's Passenger Coaches bible and Gould's Passenger Vans book - not in the wagon books as they weren't ! .......... technically - pedant hat on - the SR had four wheeled then six wheeled variants as the former were found inappropriate for milk traffic ( converting the liquid into butter ) so the tanks were re-mounted on six-wheel chassis. 

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Hello Kevin

 

More from Glen below.

 

Brian

 

The milk was transported in 6-wheeled milk tankers. Express Dairies did not have any milk tank trucks for carrying Dyson Trailers (United Dairies and Co-operative Wholesale Society operated these on the SR). The original SR 4-wheeled milk tankers were operated by United Dairies and were rebuilt in 1937/8. Between 1932 and 1938 the SR operated both 4-wheeled and 6-wheeled milk tankers.

 

Glen Woods

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Marvellous stuff - many thanks again to you both.

 

My layout is not of the high-fidelity kind, but it feels much better to be running traffic that is at least plausible.

 

All the best, Kevin

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Posted (edited)

I will add this snippet from the biography of a local man, which I found on line. 

 

Not sure of the date, 1940s possibly, but it suggests an evening ‘up’ service of loaded tankers, which might have matched the morning one, to give a 12 hourly milking cycle if there was no cooled storage at Horam.

 

It’s surprising how heavily-engineered The Cuckoo Line was, with some high embankments and deep cuttings, but still pretty steep, and particularly around Mayfield and Rotherfield, very tight curves.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Nearholmer
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The location of the loading point at Horam is pretty clear: long siding to milk depot, curving away from S end of station to the east.

 

But, what form did the unloading point at Mottingham take?

 

From maps, the only possibility that I can identify is a large building at the London end of the station, on the Up side, served by a siding trailing from the Up line, but that has no road access, and I suspect that it might be the rotary convertor substation that existed from c1925-1958. Mottingham Express Dairies depot was quite a long way from the station, in the town/village, so I'm stumped!

 

Are there any Old Mottinghamians here present?

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Not wishing to intrude on the milk theme, Kevin, but I was wondering; did the Merrydown cider premises at Horam utilise rail haulage to any degree?

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Posted (edited)

Isn’t the cider place fairly new, by which one mean post 1960s? I vaguely remember my father and his brothers getting excited when it opened, or maybe it was when they discovered its special qualities!

 

Edit: having checked, it started earlier than I thought. Maybe it was the “factory” that opened c1970, production having been at the Manor up until then.Answer to your question: I’ve no real idea, but I rather doubt it, because I don’t think the brand really got going until after small goods on the railways had dwindled to virtually nothing.

Edited by Nearholmer
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