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jools1959

Warships in Hants, Surrey and Sussex.

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I'm planning to do a Southern Region layout based on the Hants, Surrey and Sussex area and apart from the Waterloo - Exeter workings, what other workings were Warships regularly used on.  I seem to remember seeing pictures on stone workings from Westbury in the Guildford area, but did they work through to Redhill?

 

Julian Sprott

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Yes regular Warships on M25 stone trains.

 

My paper round took me across the level crossing at Chilworth & Albury station and one morning a Warship powered stone train was failed on the level crossing, the signalman ushered me on my paper bike across the tracks right under the nose of the loco, it was still there on my return trip 1/2 an hour later.

 

Yes there were several Warship powered stone trains a day from Westbury via Woking in the early 70s, also Hymek and class 31 parcels trains and the occasional Western usually returning light towards the Western Region.

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Nice, shame can't see what engine it is but a great combination of Warship and Crompton.

 

Julian Sprott

I reckon it's either 805, 807, 808 or 810. Central digit looks closer to a 1 than a zero, so maybe 810?

 

Pix

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I think 812 had the central lamp bracket which the one hear doesn't appear to carry. Could be 811 as well thinking about it.

 

Pix

 

EDUT - seems our posts crossed each other.

Edited by Pixie
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I actually saw 812 on one of these trains pass through Redhill station as we were parked in the station car park whilst driving en-route to holiday in Weymouth (Father taking one of his legendary PNB's in the station toilet). No M25 in those days (obviously) - a 4 hour slog from Kent along "A" roads. This would have been the last week of June 1972 by which time there were only 4 - 6 left in traffic. Only Warship I ever saw in service.............

Edited by Southernman46
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Yes, Warships via Redhill were a regular feature.

 

Some time about '69/70 there was a ship calling at Newhaven which was collecting "nasties" for proper disposal in some other poor so-and-so's backyard elsewhere on the planet. In the wee small hours a train of just such material was being drawn by a Warship along towards Redhill. The special instructions were copious, having regard to the dire consequences of e.g. film being too close to the train for very long becoming fogged, and one inferred various bits of one's anatomy might drop off, too. And then it sadly failed at Reigate. Some alacrity was exercised in despatching a rescue engine, thus avoiding the citizenry of Reigate suffering catastrophic loss of hair, radio active sprouts and ruined holiday snaps.

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Yes, Warships via Redhill were a regular feature.

 

Some time about '69/70 there was a ship calling at Newhaven which was collecting "nasties" for proper disposal in some other poor so-and-so's backyard elsewhere on the planet. In the wee small hours a train of just such material was being drawn by a Warship along towards Redhill. The special instructions were copious, having regard to the dire consequences of e.g. film being too close to the train for very long becoming fogged, and one inferred various bits of one's anatomy might drop off, too. And then it sadly failed at Reigate. Some alacrity was exercised in despatching a rescue engine, thus avoiding the citizenry of Reigate suffering catastrophic loss of hair, radio active sprouts and ruined holiday snaps.

Yet presumably the loco and train crew weren't changed frequently during the journey. Must have been a popular turn, not!

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I notice that several Warships were seen at Redhill on stone trains from I assume the Westbury area.  Can I ask what the routing would been?  Reading, Wokingham, Guildford then Redhill?

 

Julian Sprott

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I notice that several Warships were seen at Redhill on stone trains from I assume the Westbury area. Can I ask what the routing would been? Reading, Wokingham, Guildford then Redhill?

 

Julian Sprott

Yes. As a nipper I saw them from time to time on that line near Betchworth. They were working stone trains for M25 construction.

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I think that Warships were employed on the M23 Construction - There was a siding put in on the east side of the Brighton Line at Gatwick Airport for this traffic I believe.

 

Cheers, Bob.

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I'm not conversant with the various stages of the M25 construction, but the Merstham site, where the Warships were delivering stone, was related to the M25/M23 intersection. The M23 was also under construction at this time. When I re-opened the Croydon Control on Xmas night 1972, my first call was from the Divisional Movement Manager asking how the bridgeworks at Gatwick were going. Suffice to say the block there was given up right time in the early hours of Boxing Day.

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As Ian says the Merstham site was used to unload stone for the M23/M25 interchange and preparatory works for both roads.  After the withdrawal of the Warships the duty was handed to their larger Western cousins.

 

Warships were not unknown on the Sussex coast.  At the time the daily (SuX) Brighton - Plymouth working, later Brighton - Exeter after the Okehampton route closed, was booked for a 33 Brighton - Exeter and back. When they failed west of Salisbury, which was uncommon, the only available replacement was a Warship.  Salisbury men signed them and so did a few Brighton men.  The Warship usually worked through to Brighton, was later worked up to London and returned to the WR via a Waterloo - Exeter duty another day.

 

812 performed the final such duty almost at the end of Warship days.  A group of us were using Area 8 Runabout Rovers (covering East Worthing - Salisbury) and some opted to ride down to Exeter hoping to evade any ticket inspections in the process.  Gazing towards Wilton at around 4pm those of us who had remained at Salisbury for the day to watch proceedings were utterly stunned to see the bulbous prow of a Warship approaching as the Brighton train was announced.  There was a certain amount of excitement and there was definitely some discussion at the head-end among staff.  The Brighton relief to the Salisbury man must have been one who signed the class as 812 continued to the Sussex resort and I, for my sins, failed to alight at Worthing Central and rode on to Brighton knowing it was likely to be the final appearance of the class there.  And so it proved.

 

And none of us was "busted" either between Salisbury - Exeter or Worthing - Brighton and back.  Do we owe someone some money?   ;)

Edited by Gwiwer
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Yes, the M23 construction would make more sense in 1971/2. I looked at an old map of that era and there is no sign of anything further north, where the M25 is now. However there was a big intersection being built for the Gatwick spur, and the course of new motorway is marked on the map for a couple of miles north of there.

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After the withdrawal of the Warships the duty was handed to their larger Western cousins.

 

Indeed, but can I find any photos of Westerns on these workings taken between Guildford and Redhill? No... I've seen one such train in a book, but taken west of Reading.

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A rare pic taken by my Dad while working the Gatwick stone trains...the exact location and identity of the loco and second man posing for the camera are a mystery to me though.

I wish he'd taken more during these days, but it seems he rarely took his camera to work once steam had finished and early diesel shots don't feature much in his albums.

 

WarStone_zps8yoek3jq.jpg

 

 

 

 

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That's a great photo - Lets hope that someone can identify the location - Pity we cannot read the name on the side of the van, that may help with location - I will take a look at some of my early 1970's aerial shots of Gatwick to see if that helps.

 

Cheers, Bob.

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Are you certain it's a Gatwick run? The trees and other features make me think of Longcross, near Chobham, where there was a terminal during the construction of the M3.

It's certainly a possibility as he got all over the place on the Warships and mentioned the Gatwick stone in past conversations, sadly he isn't around to ask any more and there are no notes for this picture.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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A rare pic taken by my Dad while working the Gatwick stone trains...the exact location and identity of the loco and second man posing for the camera are a mystery to me though.

I wish he'd taken more during these days, but it seems he rarely took his camera to work once steam had finished and early diesel shots don't feature much in his albums.

 

WarStone_zps8yoek3jq.jpg

Some of the wagons appear to be taller than the rest; these may well be some of the 24.5t hoppers (later HUO) that spent some time on these trains until enough 21t hoppers were available.

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