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Cholsey & Moulsford (Change for Wallingford)


Nick Gough
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4 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

A lot of light was needed in goods sheds - hence the walls being whitewashed or painted in pale colours.  The staff needed to be able to read labels on consignments and the  Checkers had to write the delivery sheets out somewhere on the deck.   So when electricity arrved in woukld in soem respects be more necessary ina goods shed than elsewhere on a station.

 

The busy places for paperwork were the Stationmaster's office (especially at smaller stations where there wasn't a general duty clerk); the booking office; the parcels office and the goods shed and its office.  The amount of paperwork was staggering by today's standards as all transactions had to be recorded and then accounted for, balances had at one time to be prepared at the end of every shift although later just once every day (and ultimately some of it became weekly), daily balances had to 'proved' weekly by adding up the whole lot once again and checking that debits and credits balanced for the entire week (then there was also the four weekly account as well); outwards goods and parcels traffic had to be invoiced and some of that even continued into the late 1960s (I can show my age by recalling the Ledger Label 6 - LL6 - (cut flowers) parcels still had to be invoiced as late as 1966).  So there were literally mountains of apper having to be stored as well - ready to be accessed in case of any queries.   So good light was an essential - far more so than in the Ladies Room ;)

Thanks for that - no wonder they needed a book loft above the office!

 

At a smaller wayside station, like Cholsey, would there have been staff working in the goods shed all the time the station was open or just at certain times of day?

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20 hours ago, Nick Gough said:

Thanks for that - no wonder they needed a book loft above the office!

 

At a smaller wayside station, like Cholsey, would there have been staff working in the goods shed all the time the station was open or just at certain times of day?

Cholsey was I suppose more of a smaller-medium' size station - definitely not in the 'small' category as it had a goods yard, branch line and a quite large signal box (75 levers).  Mitchaell & Smith say 10 staff were employred there between the wars but that suggests to me a late 1930s figure after the number had been reduced due to a decline in freight traffic.  I would think as an absolute minimum there would the Stationmaster and two clerks (one booking/parcels and one goods) although three clerks would have been more likely - that possibly changed as both parcels traffic grew and freight traffic declined considerably between 1923 and 1933.

 

According to the GWR 'Towns & Villages' book Cjholsey village was within the free cartage distance so there would have been a road delivery vehicle of some sort so if we look at the Goods Dept alone I reckon a minimum of one clerk (possibly part of a second clerk who also did other work), at least two Goods Porters, more likely three, who would be on a middle/day turn possibly with some overlapping of their times, a Motor Driver and maybe a Van Boy as well.  That brings the Goods staff alone up to six and that's without adding in three Signalmen plus porterage cover on the station and maybe even two Shunters to deal with the branch train and shunting of freight traffic.   So going back to Mitchell & Smith's 10 staff I reckon that could only have been the station and probably included the Signalmen.  

 

So a Goods staff of at least six and two or three working roughly 07.00 - 17.00/18.00 on the shed deck plus various jobs in the goods yard although that might be affected by the timing of the freight trips.  the hours of opening of the Goods Dept would have been different from that of the passenger station.

 

 

Now I might be an under estimate because I know that at Henley-On-Thames there were two Goods Clerks right up to the end of freight traffic in the 1960s although it was quite a lot busier than Cholsey.  And the paybill at Henley, including the small stations on the branch was c.70 at 1960/62 but that also included PerWay staff and traincrew.   So I think the 10 for cholsey between the wars sounds on the low side and there was definitely enough goods work t keep 2/3 men busy although it did decline into the 1930s.

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in terms of station staff, there would have also been at least one ticket clerk, and of course a station master.

 

Mention of a van/ horse drawn wagon is intriguing. I have mentioned before that there is a bricked-up arch  (on the left as you look at the station from outside). Could it have been used to store such a vehicle?

 

 

Of course, Cholsey back in the day would have been a much smaller settlement than the current village - most of the housing near the station is quite recent. 

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2 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

Cholsey was I suppose more of a smaller-medium' size station - definitely not in the 'small' category as it had a goods yard, branch line and a quite large signal box (75 levers).  Mitchaell & Smith say 10 staff were employred there between the wars but that suggests to me a late 1930s figure after the number had been reduced due to a decline in freight traffic.  I would think as an absolute minimum there would the Stationmaster and two clerks (one booking/parcels and one goods) although three clerks would have been more likely - that possibly changed as both parcels traffic grew and freight traffic declined considerably between 1923 and 1933.

 

According to the GWR 'Towns & Villages' book Cjholsey village was within the free cartage distance so there would have been a road delivery vehicle of some sort so if we look at the Goods Dept alone I reckon a minimum of one clerk (possibly part of a second clerk who also did other work), at least two Goods Porters, more likely three, who would be on a middle/day turn possibly with some overlapping of their times, a Motor Driver and maybe a Van Boy as well.  That brings the Goods staff alone up to six and that's without adding in three Signalmen plus porterage cover on the station and maybe even two Shunters to deal with the branch train and shunting of freight traffic.   So going back to Mitchell & Smith's 10 staff I reckon that could only have been the station and probably included the Signalmen.  

 

So a Goods staff of at least six and two or three working roughly 07.00 - 17.00/18.00 on the shed deck plus various jobs in the goods yard although that might be affected by the timing of the freight trips.  the hours of opening of the Goods Dept would have been different from that of the passenger station.

 

 

Now I might be an under estimate because I know that at Henley-On-Thames there were two Goods Clerks right up to the end of freight traffic in the 1960s although it was quite a lot busier than Cholsey.  And the paybill at Henley, including the small stations on the branch was c.70 at 1960/62 but that also included PerWay staff and traincrew.   So I think the 10 for cholsey between the wars sounds on the low side and there was definitely enough goods work t keep 2/3 men busy although it did decline into the 1930s.

Many thanks Mike - that's a very interesting assessment.

 

I wasn't sure how best to describe Cholsey sizewise. Clearly it was of some importance, no doubt helped by the junction, though it only directly served a village.

 

The Wallingford Branch book doesn't give any information on the staffing at Cholsey.

It does have a posed 1918 photo of six people, described as 'the station staff', on the platform.

These are described as - Station Master, Clerk (female), Checker?, and three porters.

Maybe these were the only ones on duty and free for the photo at the time?

Edited by Nick Gough
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3 hours ago, MrWolf said:

I like the lighting, along with the very convincing model making, it reminds me of visiting Tetbury and Culkerton on a very overcast and thundery Saturday, twenty years ago now.

Thanks.

Having just looked at all your buildings I feel I have some catching up to do!

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I've found a particularly interesting snippet in this video, from Pendon, on YouTube:

 

This has a short (5 second) section shot from the real 'Cheltenham Flyer' passing through Cholsey and Moulsford in 1931.

 

It starts, 12 seconds in, with the train on the Up Main line, having just passed the station itself. You can see the bracket carrying the Down Main inner home and Down Main to Down Relief signals, as well as those for the down refuge sidings and the Down Relief inner home. There is, what appears to be, an empties coal train occupying the Down Relief refuge siding, alongside the express.

 

As the train continues it passes the goods shed, yard crane and Up Main advanced starter as it enters the cutting leading to Silly bridge, before cutting to the next location.

 

This segment was taken from a British Movietone News story:

 

Another interesting piece of film, with 5000 Launceston Castle, although it does keep jumping from double track locations to quadruple track then back again.

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The last week I have done a few minor bits and pieces.

 

Painted and fixed the lock-up on the cart deck:

P1300172.JPG.1b7c1108dfbe37d46a4d906c66e1c5cb.JPGP1300171.JPG.38294482db6d9fe8904b9e2b33c9a2bf.JPG

 

I wasn't sure what colour this should be but have  gone for GWR light stone.

 

There are a couple of photos of the lock-up at Princetown goods shed about a third of the way down this webpage https://oldprincetown.weebly.com/princetown-railway.html - shewing a light colour which I have used as my guide.

 

As I plan to have the door to the goods office in the open position I have fabricated a separate door frame from 20 thou plasticard strips:

P1300167.JPG.312a627aab11ac2ebf329de9ae7d7d3b.JPG

 

With a coat of dark stone paint:

P1300175.JPG.2d20202b3b3b26aeaa7fea53551ae36e.JPG

 

Trimmed to size and glued in place:

P1300191.JPG.4f7ae56eb23b9c0436061b368dbe492a.JPG

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The goods office ceiling:

P1300278.JPG.9783449e9166ceab533ec5d53cdcc172.JPG

 

The other side is the floor for the book loft.

Bearing in mind earlier discussions about accessibility, for viewing the interior of the goods office, this is removable but, of course, it is difficult to remove a close fitting piece of MDF from inside the structure so:

P1300279.JPG.9fcb6916805221f2d32038910647c6c5.JPG 

I have glued on some bits of rocket stick and coffee stirrer to provide a handle.P1300280.JPG.36f83bbe32db4e23950b0e3ae92752e7.JPG

 

These also vaguely represent the shelving in the book loft. However, since there is only one small window, for the book loft:

P1300281.JPG.3f8421ed178f88802a8c41a4b4356b99.JPG

 

Not much is likely to be visible once the roof is on.

 

Talking of the roof:

P1300282.JPG.730a00865a34c6e2b8d45dbbc2ed0a62.JPGP1300283.JPG.d05cf70b844ce26344f1b20e7e93728f.JPGP1300285.JPG.1493c3416930441aaea5ac09fa37a1d3.JPG

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On Sunday I visited the Great Electric Train Show at Milton Keynes.

Only 27 miles drive from home so I didn't have to worry over using too much fuel!

 

It was well attended but I never felt too crowded whilst I was there. About a third of people wore face masks.

I'm in good health, reasonably fit and double jabbed so I had no concerns for my safety but, to be fair to others, I decided to wear a mask.

 

It was good to be back at a model show, and I was there for six hours, but I can appreciate why some people are reluctant to go at the moment.

 

There were three GWR/BR(WR) layouts on show.

 

Old Elm Park was at the last GETS, in 2019, and is based on the interior of a GWR roundhouse shed in O gauge:

P1300276.jpg.22aa0c1dc0498ad8abace43398708f58.jpg

 

Unfortunately, it's rather gloomy inside so difficult to get the camera to focus well:P1300210.jpg.71c8aca721224b4964a25a87a372ac5e.jpg

 

P1300207.jpg.3ab658ac60e892f24b3b6827a3725c47.jpg

 

But very atmospheric.

Since I last saw it, the layout has been extended to include the yard outside the shed building:

P1300211.jpg.8403a60f54448b018deb119021cb2a41.jpgP1300212.jpg.af7e4ba63526a795560d717d163d4ba0.jpg

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Little Burford is another O gauge layout. This is a branch line end to end layout set in my favoured time period:

P1300216.jpg.69ed619a82753caae8dbf9a64eb8f190.jpgP1300217.jpg.66feb7c5734974e6cd1d178d11ef34c8.jpgP1300220.jpg.a42f95b505dffa169644f6f6471d6841.jpg

 

These O gauge models really have 'presence' and, if I was starting again, perhaps...?

 

New Kensal Green is another Locomotive shed based layout, but this time in OO:P1300250.jpg.eb44937036983c7a3d545a82919ea298.jpg

 

Its premise is that the shed was built, between Paddington and Old Oak Common, in the 1930s, due to overcrowding at OOC.

 

The two lines to the right represent the relief lines to the terminus so there is a regular stream of local trains, ECS and goods services, as well as movement in and around the shed:

P1300246.jpg.c419fc2dabca5f11da361d7b233c2e60.jpgP1300247.jpg.85561d2e423eca68f0c4b4d55f2ad0f4.jpg

 

A perfect use for that Airfix/Hornby Castle that's stopped working:

P1300256.jpg.67c10c2f9792923621d5892e1027d5cb.jpg

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Nick Gough said:

Little Burford is another O gauge layout. This is a branch line end to end layout set in my favoured time period:

P1300216.jpg.69ed619a82753caae8dbf9a64eb8f190.jpgP1300217.jpg.66feb7c5734974e6cd1d178d11ef34c8.jpgP1300220.jpg.a42f95b505dffa169644f6f6471d6841.jpg

 

These O gauge models really have 'presence' and, if I was starting again, perhaps...

 

 

I thought you'd like it Nick.;)

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47 minutes ago, Nick Gough said:

On Sunday I visited the Great Electric Train Show at Milton Keynes.

Only 27 miles drive from home so I didn't have to worry over using too much fuel!

 

It was well attended but I never felt too crowded whilst I was there. About a third of people wore face masks.

I'm in good health, reasonably fit and double jabbed so I had no concerns for my safety but, to be fair to others, I decided to wear a mask.

 

It was good to be back at a model show, and I was there for six hours, but I can appreciate why some people are reluctant to go at the moment.

 

There were three GWR/BR(WR) layouts on show.

 

Old Elm Park was at the last GETS, in 2019, and is based on the interior of a GWR roundhouse shed in O gauge:

P1300276.jpg.22aa0c1dc0498ad8abace43398708f58.jpg

 

Unfortunately, it's rather gloomy inside so difficult to get the camera to focus well:P1300210.jpg.71c8aca721224b4964a25a87a372ac5e.jpg

 

P1300207.jpg.3ab658ac60e892f24b3b6827a3725c47.jpg

 

But very atmospheric.

Since I last saw it, the layout has been extended to include the yard outside the shed building:

P1300211.jpg.8403a60f54448b018deb119021cb2a41.jpgP1300212.jpg.af7e4ba63526a795560d717d163d4ba0.jpg

Well done, Nick, your observations are encouraging for the prospect of attending future shows.

 

I would have gone on Saturday (mainly because the buses are rubbish from LB on Sundays!), but a week earlier I chickened out on getting an advance ticket as the Covid rates were on the up, and other events were cancelling!

As it turned out, with last week being such a difficult one for us, going out all day on Saturday would have made this week really difficult.

Great work on the Goods Shed, think I will be building mine in the house over the winter.

Best regards

Paul

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1 hour ago, Nick Gough said:

Little Burford is another O gauge layout. This is a branch line end to end layout set in my favoured time period:

P1300216.jpg.69ed619a82753caae8dbf9a64eb8f190.jpgP1300217.jpg.66feb7c5734974e6cd1d178d11ef34c8.jpgP1300220.jpg.a42f95b505dffa169644f6f6471d6841.jpg

 

These O gauge models really have 'presence' and, if I was starting again, perhaps...?

 

New Kensal Green is another Locomotive shed based layout, but this time in OO:P1300250.jpg.eb44937036983c7a3d545a82919ea298.jpg

 

Its premise is that the shed was built, between Paddington and Old Oak Common, in the 1930s, due to overcrowding at OOC.

 

The two lines to the right represent the relief lines to the terminus so there is a regular stream of local trains, ECS and goods services, as well as movement in and around the shed:

P1300246.jpg.c419fc2dabca5f11da361d7b233c2e60.jpgP1300247.jpg.85561d2e423eca68f0c4b4d55f2ad0f4.jpg

 

A perfect use for that Airfix/Hornby Castle that's stopped working:

P1300256.jpg.67c10c2f9792923621d5892e1027d5cb.jpg

 

 

New Kensal Green was by far my favourite layout there, the Castle scene is just a wonderful cameo and the layout oozes atmosphere.

 

I'm glad that Sunday was reasonable levels of attendance and mask wearing. The lure of bargains seemed to cause chaos for the first few hours of Saturday, but the afternoon was rather pleasant.

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12 hours ago, Tallpaul69 said:

Well done, Nick, your observations are encouraging for the prospect of attending future shows.

 

I would have gone on Saturday (mainly because the buses are rubbish from LB on Sundays!), but a week earlier I chickened out on getting an advance ticket as the Covid rates were on the up, and other events were cancelling!

As it turned out, with last week being such a difficult one for us, going out all day on Saturday would have made this week really difficult.

Great work on the Goods Shed, think I will be building mine in the house over the winter.

Best regards

Paul

 

Sorry you weren't able to get there Paul. Hopefully by the next time these decisions won't have to be health dependent.

 

I look forward to seeing your goods shed progress - are you still planning to base it on High Wycombe's? 

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11 hours ago, DRoe96 said:

New Kensal Green was by far my favourite layout there, the Castle scene is just a wonderful cameo and the layout oozes atmosphere.

 

I'm glad that Sunday was reasonable levels of attendance and mask wearing. The lure of bargains seemed to cause chaos for the first few hours of Saturday, but the afternoon was rather pleasant.

That was probably my favourite too. I liked the mix of shed activity and the relief line traffic, and the various cameos.

I've seen it at least once before, but it kept me occupied for at least twenty minutes.

 

I took advantage of the early entry for the advanced ticket and headed for the balconies as it started to get busy. After that the main hall had eased off.

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