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PGH

PGH's photographs of British Railways from c1960

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Lovely set of evocative photos PG, of an area I'm not familar with.

Many thanks for sharing.

Dave.T

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A cracking set of pics sir; it seems as though some modellers just cannot sit a building straight on a layout.

 

 

post-14569-0-16100600-1386167675.jpg

 

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Great pictures Philip, of a line I never knew and am really sorry I didn't find it before it closed. I recall Clem Jones who I used to work with telling me he grew up in Ellesmere station where his dad was Stationmaster.

I look forward to more, please.

Merf.

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The images of Bangor on Dee spurred me to visit GooglEarth, it appears the goods shed survives.

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Philip, any one of those pictures could be used as a basis for a layout. They ooze nostalgia so thank goodness for the photographers who saw more to everyday railway scene than dynamic front three-quarter views.

 

Overton-on-Dee from the overbridge intrigues me with that siding going through the good shed and the coal siding apparently branching off in reverse. Presumably engines passed through the shed in order to place or collect coal wagons. Then in addition to the 'mainline' bridge there is a second smaller bridge to te left. Did the spur from the yard sidings pass through this?

 

 

No Larry, there was no other bridge under the road.  The track layout in 1962 is shown below:

 

 

post-14569-0-19676300-1386192888_thumb.jpg

 

Excuse the rather crude sketch done at the time and it's opposite way round to the photos, i.e. to Ellesmere - top, to Wrexham - bottom.  Also I think the loop points at the Ellesmere end of the station should actually be under the overbridge marked 'track'.

 

Just off the photo to the left there was a brick and tile works served by a siding, but both the works and siding had gone by 1962.  The short siding to the rear of the signal box served an end loading dock and originally a cattle dock (also gone by 1962).  The CWS factory seems to have been built after 1930 (not shown on 6" OS of that edition).  According to the Oakwood Press history of the line (The Wrexham & Ellesmere Railway by S.C.Jenkins & J.M.Strange 2004) 'Milk traffic was conveyed from a CWS milk depot at Overton in glass-lined milk tank wagons', so presumably they were loaded on the headshunt or perhaps a siding alongside.  Additional sidings must have been provided there during World War II, when (quoting the above book again) 'an army storage and distribution depot was set up alongside the goods yard in a former factory'.  I noted that the factory was derelict in 1962.  It was later used as a brickworks and is now a timber yard.

 

The shunting of the yard must have been quite complicated because of its layout when all these facilities were in operation.

Edited by PGH
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Super set of shots in my old stamping ground.  I forever kick myself that I didn't go on that last train.  Some of my mates did - do you have any shots of the platform etc. before the train departed?  They may be on them.

 

I used the line's wooden station building design as a basis for the station building on my original 'Preesgwyn' layout - and I still have it 40+ years later.  I based it on drawings in the Model Railway Constructor by Mike Lloyd, Harry Leadbetter etc.  I also have a model of the goods shed which was made for a projected layout of a twig off the branch which (as yet?) never got built.

 

Love to see the rest of your photos!

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I like that pannier shot at the bottom of the first post. The slope side mineral behind the loco looks in remarkably clean condition.

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Great shots again.  I've never seen the gas works line even though our twice weekly cycle training sessions were around the estate, even going over the bridge in the background.  This was around '63-65 and I remember virtually the whole line around the estate being full of old wagons with gaps only where there were level crossings.  The line through Broxton was exactly the same.  Who knows what gems were there waiting to be photographed in their dying days.

 

Keep 'em coming! :good:

 

BTW - thanks for all the 'likes' on my models.  I didn't want to hi-jack the thread but as someone mentioned the line's potential for modelling I thought I would show that it is possible.

Edited by 5050

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Great set of photos that I have really enjoyed, despite not having any specific interest in the area!

 

Like Larry, I'm fascinated by the goods shed - after years of being told that locos NEVER went through goods shes, obviously they did there as there was no other way to shunt the yard!

 

Please keep posting, I'm hooked....

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If someone posted their dreamed-up plan for a goods yard like the one at Overton-On-Dee, it would be regarded as unworkable I'm sure. Should the goods shed have vans in it being unloaded, then incoming coal wagons would have to be left in the goods loop, so blocking it. No doubt a light engine would be needed to push the goods vans further down the siding spur before going around te goods loop to haul coal wagons through the shed and propell them into the coal siding. Then the goods vans could be picked up and brought back through the good shed.

Would the yard only be shunted by either Up or Down trains?  I suppose there is a choice but is one direction more appropriate than the other?

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Would the yard only be shunted by either Up or Down trains?  I suppose there is a choice but is one direction more appropriate than the other?

That was a very common arrangement for many routes, wagons being taken in the "wrong" direction before coming past again in the right one!

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I've only just found this thread and wow what great photos of such rarley photographed places. The fact you approached it as a modeller means you have a far more important historical record of these sites. I will look forward to seeing what other amazing photos appear

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Super set of shots in my old stamping ground.  I forever kick myself that I didn't go on that last train.  Some of my mates did - do you have any shots of the platform etc. before the train departed?  They may be on them.

 

 

Do I have any photos of the last train at Wrexham ? - No, well not quite, I shall explain. 

I've been working out what I did on that last day, I didn't take any notes at that time apart from track layouts, and its over 50 years ago (I must have been very young at the time !) so I certainly can't remember, but from the sequence I took the photos this is apparently what I did.  First I rode the train from Wrexham to Bangor-on-Dee and photographed it leaving; then I walked on to the Dee Bridge and photographed the makers plate; leaving the bridge at the Bangor end I photographed the bridge with the train heading for Wrexham; I must have then walked back to Wrexham calling at Pickhill Halt, Sesswick Halt, Marchwiel - photographed Ellesmere train and 3789; Hightown Halt - photographed Wrexham train (poor); Kingsmill Viaduct - photographed Ellesmere train (cock-up); then back at Wrexham (more photos) caught the next Ellesmere train, the next photos being taken in Ellesmere.  At Ellesmere I 'laid over' between trains and the photos taken there get successively under exposed - I was using a camera limited with a fixed shutter speed of 1/60 sec - so I would guess it would be late afternoon and the light was fading, so I think the train I returned to Wrexham on would probably have been the last Ellesmere to Wrexham train.  The next negative is so underexposed that it's difficult to make out any detail, just the skyline at Wrexham Central, vague outline of a loco and station lights - obviously a vain attempt to photograph the last train to Ellesmere virtually in the dark.  Apparently the last train was strengthened to 4 coaches but I didn't ride it, as that would have involved a very circuitous route home.

 

With regard to shunting the goods yard at Overton-on-Dee, there is a low wall behind the fence that marks the left hand (in the photo) boundary of the goods yard, which extends to the CWS factory alongside the headshunt.  Just off the photo to the left is a ramp down (its on the negative which I cropped down slightly).  I think this would have been a loading platform alongside the brickworks siding provided for the use of the factory site as a supply depot during World War II and thus, apart from the lifted brickworks siding, no other additional sidings were required.  With all this traffic the yard must have been shunted by a loco which had to pass through the goods shed awning, and, according to the Oakwood Press book on the line, one driver recalled that during the War there were usually about 20 vans there and the yard was shunted by a 81XX class large prairie tank.  I don't know how these things were arranged, but if the yard was shunted daily would it take longer to receive a van at the shed and have it empty/loaded as required ready for dispatch the following day ?  If it wasn't it wouldn't be much trouble to place it out of the way in the siding behind the signal box while the yard was shunted.  As to whether the yard was shunted by up or down trains, with two loop lines available it wouldn't make much difference as it would be possible to run round the train and then individual wagons as required.

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The CEGB (formerly Midlands Electricity Board, I believe) opens lasted on traffic from pits around Stoke to Meaford power station (near Stone) until the beginning of the 1980s. I recollect a series of articles about the railways around Buildwas in Model Railway Constructor in the late 1960s; I suspect Dibber 25 might have been responsible for them. Lovely photos, BTW.

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Would the yard only be shunted by either Up or Down trains?  I suppose there is a choice but is one direction more appropriate than the other?

 

Logically the yard would be shunted by a train heading towards Ellesmere but in reality the working was slightly more complex than that in post-war years and would be the sort of thing many modellers dream about for activity at a small station.  The early post war period clearly reflected traffic at its height and saw a reamarkable number of freight trains at Overton-On-Dee, as indicated by the 1947 freight timetable.

 

The day started with the 04.45 Oswestry - Wrexham calling between 05.45 and 06.05 and logically I would assume that it simply detached traffic although it might at least have positioned goods shed traffic and urgently required empties for places beyond the goods shed.  However the day then became somewhat 'freelance' in freight working terms as the Ellesmere No.1 (07.50 - 12.15) and No.2 (13.55 -20.15) Pilots were listed to work trips as required to/from Overton-On-Dee.

 

In addition three trains heading towards Ellesmere called with sufficient time to do some work.  It is not clear if the 10.00 from Wrexham (12.05 - 12X42) was booked to work but it possibly did; similarly it is not clear if the 14.30 ex Hightown Sidings (16.25 - 16X53) was booked to work although it might have done and was probably booked to pick up traffic.  However the 18.45 ex Wrexham (20.25 - 20.40) was booked to work.  So potentially lots of freight and shunting activity.

 

I suspect the pre-war situation was rather quieter and I will try to have a look at it when I have a chance.

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As I expected the pre-war situation was much simpler.  The 05.45 freight from Ellesmere called 'as required' at Overton-On-Dee while the11.42 was booked to be there for 20 minutes although this did include being overtaken by an auto train which would have constrained any shunting quite considerably.

 

In the opposite direction the 10.00 from Wrexham to Ellesmere was booked at Overton-On-Dee from 12.38 to 13.12 (SX) and only until 12.52 on Saturdays suggesting taht on the latter there was little in the way of freight activity at the place.  The 14.15 MSX from Wrexham was only allowed 6 minutes (as was the equivalent MO train) which suggests that it did no more - if that that - than attach any outwards traffic.

 

The Ellesmere Pilot consisted of only one turn (13.45 - 17.45 SX, 15.15 -15.45 SO) and was not shown to undertake any trip working at all.

 

So overall the usual story typical of so many places with a lot of post-war timetabled freight activity probably indicative of the level of wartime traffic and not yet adjusted to peacetime 

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Phil this is fantastic ...... some real gems, the Wrexham area has interested me for years . Having been born in Shrewsbury and lived in Wrexham for the first two years of my life and the rest of my childhood spent in Chester with a spell as a boarder at Ellesmere College you can understand my interest. 

I'm hoping that you collection will include some pictures towards the Chester Northgate and will follow with interest

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