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Bought some of these in my recent online retail therapy session, GW ones from Dart Castings, and was of course perfectly happy that I knew what they were and where to put them.  I'm not perfectly happy that I know  what they are and where to put them in the present tense, though.  They have a flat face which looks as if some information should be contained on it; does this inform one that one is entering the GW's property or leaving it.  How far apart should they be?  I think I know which way up they go, but even this is a balance of probabilities rather than objective knowledge.  They are intended to delineate the GW's property where there are no formalities such as walls or fences, but what exact circumstances were they used in?

 

Who is to blame?  Won't somebody think of the children?  We demand answers! And so on...

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There is/ was a couple in the pavements on Albert Road, that I assume mark the GW boundary when they dug the tunnel from Devonport Station towards Dockyard and Keyham. I have also seen the odd one or two South of Lydford Station, between the GW line and the LSWR,where there's no fencing between the two railways.  I've not seen any others,  so  I can't give any further pointers.

 

 

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Thanks for responding Siberian.  I've found some pictures by googling 'GWR Boundary Marker'.  I'm assuming that the groove in the side of the top of the 'mushroom' bit, which holds the company name and the date, is to hold a stretched line that would, if needed, show the actual linear boundary.  So, it would make sense to me that a marker is needed every time the boundary changes direction on plain ground where there is no other marker.  I'll try my best to install mine in a reasonable fashion with this in mind; they'll only worry me that I have got the concept wrong otherwise.  

 

Your example of marking a boundary between railways at Lydford is interesting, as my situation is to demarcate railway land from NCB.  Painted them this evening so I'll be drilling holes and installing them on the layout tomorrow.

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There are (or at least were) some on some of the user worked crossings on the Settle - Carlisle. If you picture the ramp made by the approaches to an accommodation (field to field) crossing where the railway is on a low embankment, they were in the fields marking  the bottom of the smaller embankment forming the ramp. Cast iron with MR cast into them, one at each corner. 

 

The other location I know they were used was to mark the railway company's land in private sidings. The gate was not necessarily the ownership boundary. 

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I have a photo of one (there might be more) beside Devils Bridge at Bleadon just west of Uphill Junction.

I think it is on the west side of the line beside the road high above the railway.

 

 IMG_0560.JPG.a4d19a44a760a0b4b85bd258d03e368b.JPG

The marker on 8/4/2015

 

To put it in geographical context the boundary marker is off to the left hand side of this view.

IMG_0559.JPG.bb1f5caa93a67f93a9a4a067abaf4830.JPG

The view from Devils Bridge looking towards Uphill Junction. 8/4/2015

 

Edit - and in this context the history of the bridge might give a clue as to the reason for the marker(s) being present.

As I understand it Brunel's preferred route for the Bristol and Exeter railway was to pass through Weston-super-Mare, just inland from the sea, and then through Uphill.

The citizens of Weston did not want the line spoiling the sea front so the current main line route was adopted running inland of the town, which meant this cutting had to be dug out. The bridge apparently got it's name as Brunel found the landowner to be a devil to deal with.

 

cheers

 

Edited by Rivercider
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Tx again, gentlemen; I'm starting to build a clearer picture of just how these things were used and how they were positioned..  The comment that the gate did not necessarily mark the boundary is germane to the rail entrance to my colliery exchange siding.

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Johnster, I can't remember the reference for this, but have a strong impression that the railway's lineside fencing didn't mark the boundary of its property, but was set back from the boundary (the figure of a yard and a half comes to mind), so that the railway had access to the outside of the fence for maintenance without having to enter anyone else's property.

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19 hours ago, Bishop of Welchester said:

Johnster, I can't remember the reference for this, but have a strong impression that the railway's lineside fencing didn't mark the boundary of its property, but was set back from the boundary (the figure of a yard and a half comes to mind), so that the railway had access to the outside of the fence for maintenance without having to enter anyone else's property.

That makes sense from simple observation - I back onto the Waterloo- Kingston - Waterloo loop line, and all the gardens have their own fences, with a gap to the railway fence. The gap isn't really big enough to be useful for maintenance, but the gardens have been here since 1880s and have no doubt gradually encroached on the gap. Digging at the end of my garden reveals a ditch parallel to the line and filled with rubbish (broken bottles etc). I suspect this was the original boundary and there would then have been useful space between the two.

 

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On 18/10/2020 at 18:55, Bishop of Welchester said:

Johnster, I can't remember the reference for this, but have a strong impression that the railway's lineside fencing didn't mark the boundary of its property, but was set back from the boundary (the figure of a yard and a half comes to mind), so that the railway had access to the outside of the fence for maintenance without having to enter anyone else's property.

That makes more or less complete sense, and I'm sure you are right.  Not long before I started on the railway in 1970, there was a coal train derailment just the Newport side of Caerleon on the N,A,& H main line, which decanted several hundred tons of coal into a farmer's field.  Thinking he was on to a good thing, said farmer refused the breakdown crew permission to go on to his land to recover the wagons and clear up the coal; the North to West route was completely blocked by this incident.  Derailed wagons were blocking the 'outside the fence' railway access as well. 

 

The breakdown foreman, arguing the case with an angry farmer with a loaded shotgun claiming he had every right to refuse access to his field (which may well have been the case), pointed out that the route was used by the Cardiff-York TPO and that he was thus 'wilfully and unlawfully delaying Her Majesty's mails', an offence he reckoned counted as high treason and still on the capital punishment list (which may well not have been the case).  He got away with it, too, shotgun farmer backed down and was informed that the tonnage of coal on the train was known, and that should it be found to be short when the coal was recovered, he'd be getting a visit from the BTP!

 

In about '73 I had a row with MFH Badminton Hunt after the train I was guard on had run over several of his dogs near the entrance to Sodbury Tunnel.  While the local vet was putting down the injured survivors, and he was telling me that his employer was the Duke of Beaufort whose land the railway had been built on (true) and that he'd be suing the railway for damages, and generally behaving towards me like the peasant I undoubtedly am, I decided I was specically a Welsh peasant and the last person I'd have taken that treatment from had been killed by the English in 1282, so I put my cottage burner head on and brought out my best accent and told him that the land had been owned outright by the railway for a decade since Beeching (admittedly only a Lord and not a Duke) had closed his employer's station and that I'd be inspecting the boundary fence for any damage by his dogs or huntsmen, and that he was trespassing and endangering life on railway property.  Not sure of my facts re whose land it was, but his eyes gave away that he wasn't going to risk it, showing that I could blag it with the best of 'em those days, and he departed up the bank muttering, probably about seditious Welsh railwaymen.  My driver was highly amused, and the best part... Renard got clean away, we'd seen him crossing the line as the dogs came over the fence at the top of the bank.

 

I suppose if it had come to it I could have claimed to be a subject of the Prince of Wales, who outranks Dukes, but it'd have been a bit ingenuous with my cottage burner head on, and I was in his country, not mine...

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To quote J.N Slinn " Boundary markers with the company's name and date were either set flush  with the ground or 2'6" high. Both types painted black tar oil".

I seem to remember a footpath along side the line at Criceth, Wales that had a fence next to the line and the marker about a paths width away from the fence on the seaward side. 

I tried to buy the Boundary post that sat near Didcot station. I used to sit on it as a child and watch trains with my mother. It was lost when the old building was taken down for a taxi rank and drop off zone. 

I have a couple from the Gloucester area in the garden. They are on Bridge Rail uprights with a riveted angle cross piece at the bottom. I suspect to stop them being pulled out.

 

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17 hours ago, eastglosmog said:

It is not just railway fences, I have encountered a number of farms where the actual boundary is 3 to 5 feet beyond the fence line.

it's common for old properties to own half the road outside the house, as I do.. absolutely no good to me due to rights of way..

But councils have been caught out thinking they'd divert a right of way / road and then plan to use the unused bit for something else, only to find it didn't belong to them...

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Righty ho then, thanks to your kind replies I've now got a pretty good idea of what they looked like and how to 'deploy' them on the layout.  Black painted post with cast lettering and date on white mushroom top, mine have the raised circle on the top and an impression of the date cast in, but no impression of the outer writing.  They were by and large put in the ground and forgotten about and rust is the main 'livery' by the 1950s.  This evening's job will be to paint, weather, 'distress' and plant them, another box ticked.  Maybe it'll be drain covers next...

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