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Boscarne 'Mill' Junction and more.


RichardS

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I've been reading and gathering information about the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway for several years. But tonight while delving deeper into the results of a Google search for Boscarne Mill I have found a reference to "Boscarne 'Mill' Junction."

 

This arises in an entry from an auction of railway ephemera by 'Railwayana' in 2004 which read as follow:

 

"347     LSWR Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway surveyors drawings on parchment, “WADEBRIDGE STATION” 1911 16 feet to 1inch, “BOSCARNE MILL JUNCTION” 1887 North Cornwall Railway deviations 40 feet to 1inch. (2)"

 

I cannot think that I have seen this description before and it may be 'surveyor's license' of course. That the Mill itself was in use in the 19th century is known via Kelly's Directories and the census.

 

Some will know that there was also a Boscarne Mine which produced Haematite in the 19th century although apparently in small quantities and it would appear that extraction ceased before the century's end. One wonders if the 19th century railway carried the minerals.

 

And moving on again, last year I found an eyewitness account of the B&W by Joy Douglas,  a resident of Nanstallon. This was on a website called 'nanstallon.org' which sadly no longer seems to be available. Fortunately, I transcribed Joy's article in which she mentions the use of the B&W for diverted GWR traffic when the main GWR route was closed particularly during the war but also for a two week period apparently in 1960/61. She also recalled specials for the Royal Cornwall Show transporting exhibits and also circus trains.

 

Now to me these sorts of events and information make railways far more interesting than some of the other more usual aspects which written histories tend to focus on. For a modeller looking for inspiration to enliven their layout this sort of 'more unusual' can work wonders.

 

I'd welcome any observations but in the meantime: what's not to like about a circus train on the B&W? :-)

 

Regards

Richard

 

    

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1960/1 diversions may have been in connection with severe flooding in the Exeter area, and many other parts of the South West at that time.

 

Thanks Ian, I haven't reproduced Joy's account in full as obviously it is her copyright but she does mention a landslide at  Shillingham Tunnel and the diversion lasting 2 weeks for all traffic including 20 freight trains on Sundays.

What amazes me is that there do not seem to be any published photos of what, one assumes, would have been of major interest to spotters; not just on the B&W but also for the full length of the NCR. Strange.

Richard

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  • 2 weeks later...

Strange - the last word in my previous post and the first in this - how things turn up. I purchased a s/h book at the Norwich Model Railway Exhibition on Saturday for £2. 'Southern's South Western Memories' by Robert Antell and published by Ian Allan in 1977. A book I had not seen before and it has many pictures which were quite new to me (at least I don't remember them from elsewhere!)

 

Some titbits:

 

Sept 1964 - N 31842 on the Bodmin North Goods with a Shell/BP tanker directly behind the tender - no barrier wagon. (There are similar pictures captioned May 1964 in Steaming Sixtes Vol 4)

 

August 1957 - T9 30712 with Set 66 in Crimson and Cream 'approaching Wadebridge with the 14.20 Bodmin-Padstow train' - I am suspicious of this caption as the T9 has NCR head code discs and I cannot find a 14.20 ex BN although I don't have the 1955 t/t data.

 

September 1954 - In another thread somebody was questioning C&C coaches and here is a picture of 34052 at Crediton with the 08.35 Wat-Ilf with 8 apparently C&C coaches and 1 'other'. The first two appear to be Maunsells, the rest Bulleid or Mk1s.

 

August 1961 - Diverted off the WR. Warship 842 Zenith passes Meldon junction with the CWR ex Pen 10.00 with 10 on the front 5 being Choc & Cream Mk1s. What is of course not clear is whether the train has traversed the line form Plymouth via Tavistock or come over the NCR. At least its a start in my quest for something about the diversions. Such traffic would make quite an interesting model.

 

August 1951 - Ilfracombe - Filthy 34024 Tamar Valley with 'British Railways' on tender which still seems to show yellow bands through the filth. Tender top strewn with coal. A right mess!

 

In another book which I guess is much more familiar to most folk "Steaming Sixties No4 The Withered Arm" I find a picture of 31856 at Padstow on 20/09/1963 paired with a flat sided tender bearing the lion and wheel logo on the tender. In fact the logo has been cleaned to show through the accumulated dirt. I knew sometimes old liveries endured but 1963 seems quite late for a lion and wheel.

 

One thing is apparent if modelling the NCR, Withered Arm etc in the 60's be very free with the dirt and weathering.

 

Hope this is of interest.

Regards

Richard

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  • 4 months later...

I typed up a document regarding coach oddities I had found in a book with the intention of copying and pasting into this thread but I cannot get that function to work. Hence ​I have added a pdf of that text. Apologies for the additional 'red tape' to anybody who reads the item. I think it's quite interesting but then I wrote it!

Any comments would be much appreciated.

 

Oddities.pdf

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"Struggled" with your pdf!  Seriously, no problem and some interesting observations.  As a casual observer of the old North Cornwall lines; very casual as I live a bit too far away but coming  from Plymouth, a Southern and GW fan,  anything in this area is of interest.  I remember it years ago which doesn't mean a thing now so I now learn from the many books on the subject available and sites such as this.  I appreciate your comments.

 

Brian

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"Struggled" with your pdf!  Seriously, no problem and some interesting observations.  As a casual observer of the old North Cornwall lines; very casual as I live a bit too far away but coming  from Plymouth, a Southern and GW fan,  anything in this area is of interest.  I remember it years ago which doesn't mean a thing now so I now learn from the many books on the subject available and sites such as this.  I appreciate your comments.

 

Brian

 

Thanks for the comments Brian. The only way knowledge is advanced is if we share it. Many books tend to show the same 'standard' type of picture if not the very same pictures. Then every so often some images will turn up which challenge the accepted wisdom. And bearing in mind how infrequently photographers took their photos the variations must have been more frequent that we are led to believe. Unless of course there was a 'grapevine' that alerted people to such 'specials.'

 

If you've got any memories at all however hazy I would urge you to share them.

 

Kindest

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Thanks for the comments Brian. The only way knowledge is advanced is if we share it. Many books tend to show the same 'standard' type of picture if not the very same pictures. Then every so often some images will turn up which challenge the accepted wisdom. And bearing in mind how infrequently photographers took their photos the variations must have been more frequent that we are led to believe. Unless of course there was a 'grapevine' that alerted people to such 'specials.'

 

If you've got any memories at all however hazy I would urge you to share them.

 

Kindest

 

Most of those were childhood memories Richard,  so it would be a 'rode the train to Bude with Mum and Dad', sort of thing so while I can recall the experience, I can't provide the details now..  One book that stands out for me is West Country Railway Memories (Oakwood Press)  and more which covers the whole area.  Not your average railway book but a good read if you like Devon and Cornwall.

 

Brian.

 

Brian.

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Most of those were childhood memories Richard,  so it would be a 'rode the train to Bude with Mum and Dad', sort of thing so while I can recall the experience, I can't provide the details now..  One book that stands out for me is West Country Railway Memories (Oakwood Press)  and more which covers the whole area.  Not your average railway book but a good read if you like Devon and Cornwall.

 

Brian.

 

Brian.

 

Ah, those childhood memories if only we paid attention to what was going on and listened to our parents.

Thank you for the tip I'll keep a look out the book.

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  • 5 months later...

Never let a sleeping topic lie - well not too long.

 

Browsing through some Bradford Barton books lent to me by a friend I find some more quite interesting 'consists' (I hate that word.)  I do find it frustrating that those who caption the pictures can provide chapter and verse on the loco but generally ignore what it is pulling. These bits are just as, if not more, interesting to some of us.   

 

1. In 'Southern Steam in the West Country' page 78 there is a photo (copyright M Mensing) of the branch passenger train at Bodmin North in 1959. Some trains were augmented by an additional coach reported usually as a Maunsell third/second open but in this case it appears to be a Bullied Corridor Second.

 

2. in the second volume  'More Southern etc etc.' page 58 presents 141 Sqn on the NCR at Delabole in August 1962 hauling a train comprising a Maunsell corridor 2nd or 3rd and a Maunsell Brake together with various vans. The set number, if indeed it is a set, is not visible. Probably a set R I guess.

 

3. Also in V2 on page 51 can be founda picture of 'N' 31849 at Halwell hauling a mixed train. Behind the loco is a single Maunsell Brake behind which are many vans - possibly including cattle wagons but I cannot be sure. The date is 09/06/1962. Was the coach being taken away for withdrawal or repair. The caption does not state.

 

It wasn't all P sets and ACEs!

 

Hope this is of interest.

 

 

 

 

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3. Also in V2 on page 51 can be founda picture of 'N' 31849 at Halwell hauling a mixed train. Behind the loco is a single Maunsell Brake behind which are many vans - possibly including cattle wagons but I cannot be sure. The date is 09/06/1962. Was the coach being taken away for withdrawal or repair. The caption does not state.

Could this be a Torrington train? Usually only one coach and sometimes mixed.
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Thanks for the comments.

 

 

Just found this thread. Must add s few of my own NCR and B&W observations...

 

Please do Chris, they'd be very welcome. 

 

 

Could this be a Torrington train? Usually only one coach and sometimes mixed.

 

As Chris has observed this would be unlikely - unless perhaps the branch loco had 'come off' to be replaced by the N. The caption does read that it is a train for Okehampton. It is quite long. 

 

 

I've also noticed a typo in my OP (actually it's an error but I'm all for alternative facts now). It wouldn't be a set R, rather a set W.

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