Southwold

Southwold

Postby Pint of Adnams » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:21 pm

Apart from grabbing top spot in the S7 Layouts area, by going public this gives me the incentive to finally get on and start work on the layouts that have been in armchair development for far too long. Intially planned for ON12, then EM, S7 is now most appropriate for me (and my advancing years).

Southwold is a small town on the Suffolk coast, rightly famed for the greatness of its ales and the premium prices paid for its beach huts and other properties. It's featured in quite a few novels and films, and is associated with a goodly number of 'luvvies' and other gentry with more money that most of us. My association with the town goes back to my very early years and particularly to my teens when I used to stay at my grandparents' house during the school holidays. Some of you might know already of the 3' gauge line that ran between the GER station at Halesworth, through the Blyth Valley to Southwold. Opened in 1879 and closed in 1929, I spent many happy times playing in and around Southwold station and exploring the rest of the line and gradually developed a specific interest in its history. Around 1890 the Southwold Railway (SR) was in financial difficulties and approached the GER with a view to being bought out - that never happened but the SR did proceed with widening all the bridges, including replacing the swing bridge over the River Blyth, at great expense. Such was the expense that it eventually, combined with omnibuses being allowed into the town, brought about closure in 1929.

As part of the evaluation of the request by the SR, the GER board requested a valuation of the line (the drawings from this are to be found in Middleton Press' Branch Lines to Southwold) and also alternative costs for constructing a standard gauge branch from either Saxmundham (junction for Aldeburgh) or Leiston. I was fortunate a number of years ago to be offered the plans for this branch, otherwise they would have ended up in the skip.

What this all leads me to are scenarios for two 'what if' layouts:

1. Southwold (LNER) - this assumes that the SR was not omitted from Grouping in 1923 but brought under the auspices of the LNER. The LNER decided to relay to standard gauge and operate it as a light railway. To this end the parallels with the Kelvedon & Tollesbury become clear in that Wisbech & Upwell type carriages were used, to save raising all the platforms, and locomotives like the 'Buckjumpers' hauled mixed trains to and from Halesworth. There was also a Harbour Branch, serving the inshore fishing and so on, and this was worked by one of the Sentinel Y10s transferred from Great Yarmouth. The period will be 1923-1939, and I will use this to develop skills and techniques in baseboard construction a la Rice, in S7 permanent way and other things;

2. Southwold Town - this assumes that the GER did construct the branch from Saxmundham c1900, putting the SR out of business, and will be a bigger project than 1. above once I have acquired the skills & c. The period for this will be 1950-1960, allowing still extant ex-GER stock to appear as well as LNER types, plus the odd DMU or perhaps Class 24 or 31.

Having taking so long, please don't expect rapid progress. I have yet to organise the garage and create space along the wall, and set up a proper workbench for modelling. It is also dependent on finance - with a new house there are always silly things like blinds and fitted wardrobes that are absolutely essential to domestic harmony plus, quite rightly, there is an expectation that this time I really will get the garden done - I promise.

If you agree, I will share thoughts on various matters, such a the likely stock and so on, and let nature takes its course.
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Re: Southwold

Postby John B » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:40 pm

Very definitely interested - it's one of my favourite parts of the UK.
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Re: Southwold

Postby westerner » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:00 pm

I know Southwold reasonably well and I would love to see option 2 built. My understanding is that Southwold was one of the biggest towns in England never to be connected to a mainline by a standard gauge line.

Option 2 would mean that Southwold may have developed into a bigger tourist location and that may have led to the harbour becoming more developed as the fishing industry had a better connection to London.

I'm thinking of a Suffolk version of Happisburgh.

A B12 arriving with the Southwold portion of an East Anglian express would look.
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Re: Southwold

Postby Pint of Adnams » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:01 pm

John B - there may be places with more majestic vistas or stirring scenery, but for me it's home country. There's something about the open Suffolk skies that stir the soul - worked for Constable, and certainly does the same for me.

Westerner - Option 2 will evolve more slowly for reasons stated. You are right in surmising that Southwold would have probably become more of a 'destination', but then almost certainly at the expense of the charm and gentility that remain even today (despite the recent changes). However, given that the harbour was badly planned, poorly executed, and ill-timed - and with the shifting sandbanks constantly creating shallows near the entrance, I think that it had it's shipping heyday nearly 100 years ago. Like all such places now, it's only a combination of small fishing boats, motor cruisers and sailing craft able to use it.

There is already (or was) a Suffolk version of 'Happisburgh'. ;) For obvious reasons one of my favourite layouts (I understand that it will appear at Guildex in 2010), and the station buildings are based on those at Hertford East. However, the same design (by architect Neville Ashbee) was also used at Felixstowe Town and Southend Victoria by engineer John Wilson - even down to the principal arrangement of permanent way and sidings. Felixstowe was originally constructed with just one two-face platform, the second being added some years later. It's quite likely that a similar layout might have been used at Southwold Town - constructed during the very same period - but the anticipated traffic didn't develop to the extent of requiring the second platform. It's a pretty big layout though, and so are the buildings, and I don't have that much space in the garage so an alternative layout could be very similar to that used for Geoff Kent's 'Blakeney', see MRJ 66. Which leads me on to mentioning 'Dunwich' and various Iain Rice expositions as inspiration. The only slight 'downside' when comparing S7 with standard O is that the curves/turnouts need to be that bit gentler - although the garage is 13' wide I cannot reasonably squeeze a 'U' shape into it, unless it's for the Harbour Branch, and then the garage really needs to be the opposite hand. :roll:

B12 would be nice yes, but a 'Claud' would be even better. 8-) I'll move on to discuss motive power and stock in due course...
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Re: Southwold

Postby MartinWales » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:17 pm

This sounds very interesting! Any further thoughts as to trackplans etc?
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Re: Southwold

Postby PhilEakins » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:43 pm

Hi Pint

I collected the series of articles published in the MRC (30 odd?) years ago and actually started to model one of the station buildings - it's still here somewhere.

So, if you are looking to model the original buildings on your 'Suffolk Widened Lines', give me a shout and I'll scan them for you, assuming that I can find them of course!

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Re: Southwold

Postby Pint of Adnams » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:46 pm

MartinWales wrote:This sounds very interesting! Any further thoughts as to trackplans etc?

Hi Martin,

Yes! WRT the former Southwold Railway, there is/was allegedly a plan for the intended standard gauge layout in the Company files. These are currently 'misplaced', but rumoured to be buried in the basement of the Town Hall, one of the former Town Clerks also serving a term as Company Secretary. (It's worth noting by way of explanation that the SR did not cease to exist in the usual fashion of dead companies, so there was still a need for a Company Secretary as late as 1980something). Members of the SR Trust are going to try and locate the files, but in the meantime I understand that the main difference from the NG layout was to be the provision of an Engine Shed on a kick-back off the station throat. It would also seem that the Goods Shed at the end of the headshunt beyond the platform might also have needed to be relocated onto another road.

Southwold Station c1921.jpg

WRT the GER branch line, as I said in an earlier post it would either follow the general basic layout of the 3 other GER terminal stations constructed c1900 (Hertford East, Felixstowe, Southend Victoria) or Geoff Kent's 'Blakeney' (see MRJ 66). The OS extract below shows Felixstowe as built with the one platform, it's obvious were the second platform would go. In this case though, the Engine Shed was some distance from the station, alongside Stratford's estranged carriage painting sheds. It would have been much closer at Southwold, near the Turntable. One of the problems with these GER layouts is the amount of space taken up for the Goods Yard - some compression in width would be necessary.

Felixstowe Station c1926 (one platform).jpg
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Re: Southwold

Postby Pint of Adnams » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:37 am

PhilEakins wrote:Hi Pint

I collected the series of articles published in the MRC (30 odd?) years ago and actually started to model one of the station buildings - it's still here somewhere.

Phil

Hiya Phil,

So did I, and several times over. ;)

Southwold No1 (the second one) MRN 11/1967 (Edit to add date)
SR - 1 Locomotives MRC 1/1979
SR - 2 Coaches MRC 2/1979
SR - 3 Wagons MRC 4/1979
SR - 4 Southwold Station MRC 5/1979
SR - 5 Remaining Stations MRC 6/1979
(David Negus intended that there was to be a 6th article on ancillary buildings, signals, etc. but the MRC Editor decided not to publish)
SR Stock - RM 6/1987

Over the years I have managed to amass most of the published material on the Southwold Railway, together with postcards and photos (including a few taken by my Grandfather). There are a few items that have escaped me, one being the revised second edition of the book by Alan Taylor & Eric Tonks, Ian Allan - the original second edition had a photo of Halesworth reversed and included a postcript on the Snailbeach Railway. :roll: (Note to Admin: legitimate use of rolling eyes). Another is a short item in an older copy of Bylines (I think) - Puds knows which one 'cos he forgot to save it for me. :(

David Negus (who used to live and work in your vicinity) now lives near Southwold and full-size copies of his plans and drawings are being made available through the SR Trust. The Trust website contains, inter alia, a short history and some photos: http://www.southwoldrailway.co.uk/

Perhaps you could dig out your model and show it to me next month...
Last edited by Pint of Adnams on Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Southwold

Postby wagonman » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:50 pm

A fascinating project and I wish you the best of luck. I'm rather fond of Southwold too, and not just the beer.

Geoff Kent's 'Blakeney' used what they call the '1865' style of GER architecture, so called because that's when they started using it. I'm extremely glad it was never built though...
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Re: Southwold

Postby Pint of Adnams » Fri Sep 18, 2009 8:57 pm

Hi Richard,

I don't think that I've come across anyone who doesn't like Southwold.

I'm rather glad that you've discovered this thread, since I've been pondering the matter of PO wagons. The SR made use of a number of 6-wheel Cleminson type wagons for coal, these were constructed by Moy in their Peterborough works and suitably painted with 'M O Y' on the sides. The SR also bought some to use for themselves, for general carriage. I'm presuming that Moy would have replaced theirs with their standard gauge wagons (as per Hudson PO Wagons Vol 1 Plate 68), but do you happen to know if Moy always painted the local depot name on the wagon, as I have only seen the Colchester example?

It also gives me the opportunity to consider whether Adnams might have had their own wagons or vans for supplies (hops, etc) and products...
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Re: Southwold

Postby wagonman » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:32 pm

I'm sure Moy would have substituted ordinary SG wagons for their business in Southwold. Whether any of the other big East Anglian coal merchants and factors like Coote & Warren would have tried to muscle in as well is a moot point. I have alook through my records (bit thin on E Anglia) to see what other Moy wagons I can find.

Why am I glad Geoff Kent's vision of Blakeney never happened? Because it would have changed utterly the character of the place: made it into a major urban area like Harwich. That's vested interest of course as I live just over a mile away! Of course if the Lynn & Fakenham had built their line in the 1880s, just as the port was going into terminal decline, probably nothing very drastic would have happened. As in your first scenario.
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Re: Southwold

Postby wagonman » Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:44 pm

From the handful of photos I have managed to find, all Moy wagons would seem to have been branded Colchester – that was where the company was based. According to Keith Turton (5th Collection) they had depots at Acle, Ardleigh, Beccles, Bentley Green, Birdbrook, Castle Hedingham, Cromer, East Dereham, Elmswell, Felixstowe, Gorleston, Hadleigh, Halstead, Haverhill, Kelveden, Lingwood, Lowestoft, Marks Tey, Melton Constable, Mistley, Norwich, Orwell, Swainsthorpe, Swaffham, Tivetshall, Wheeley [sic], Witham, Great Yarmouth, and the M&GN depot at King's Lynn. It might have been quicker to name the places they didn't have a presence! And the list doesn't even include Southwold...
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Re: Southwold

Postby MartinWales » Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:04 pm

wagonman wrote:A fascinating project and I wish you the best of luck


Same here! And looking forward to regular updates and 'amended histories' too!
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Re: Southwold

Postby Pint of Adnams » Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:01 pm

wagonman wrote:From the handful of photos I have managed to find, all Moy wagons would seem to have been branded Colchester – that was where the company was based. According to Keith Turton (5th Collection) they had depots at Acle, Ardleigh, Beccles, Bentley Green, Birdbrook, Castle Hedingham, Cromer, East Dereham, Elmswell, Felixstowe, Gorleston, Hadleigh, Halstead, Haverhill, Kelveden, Lingwood, Lowestoft, Marks Tey, Melton Constable, Mistley, Norwich, Orwell, Swainsthorpe, Swaffham, Tivetshall, Wheeley [sic], Witham, Great Yarmouth, and the M&GN depot at King's Lynn. It might have been quicker to name the places they didn't have a presence! And the list doesn't even include Southwold...

Richard,

Thanks very much your time and trouble, all useful information. Presumably Southwold was omitted from that book since it wasn't standard gauge, but I'm rather curious about Halesworth being omitted too, since it must have been Moy's wagons that carried the coal to there for transhipment and onward carriage. I have a 1952 BR survey of Halesworth and there are both open coal staithes and a building marked Moy's Stores on the Up side of the (BR) goods yard.
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Re: Southwold

Postby wagonman » Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:52 pm

Pint of Adnams wrote:Presumably Southwold was omitted from that book since it wasn't standard gauge, but I'm rather curious about Halesworth being omitted too, since it must have been Moy's wagons that carried the coal to there for transhipment and onward carriage. I have a 1952 BR survey of Halesworth and there are both open coal staithes and a building marked Moy's Stores on the Up side of the (BR) goods yard.



Yes, I wondered about Halesworth too. Perhaps Keith T got bored transcribing all the depot names and missed it out; or he was taking the list from a piece of Moy company stationery and they'd missed it off for some reason...?
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Re: Southwold

Postby Pint of Adnams » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:07 pm

wagonman wrote:Yes, I wondered about Halesworth too. Perhaps Keith T got bored transcribing all the depot names and missed it out; or he was taking the list from a piece of Moy company stationery and they'd missed it off for some reason...?

Continuing this particular theme, that is if you're so minded, I've come across another useful pair of photos illustrating a former Moy wagon in BR days in The 4mm Coal Wagon, John Hayes, Wild Swan. WRT the Keith Turton series, I've not purchased any because they seemed not to be too relevant to subjects East Anglian. I acquired the 4 Bill Hudson books at a good price a few years ago (5 if you count the smaller Oakwood Press book) but I have had to become much more selective and specific in my acquisitions. Would you perhaps suggest if any of that series are particularly relevant for me, please?
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Re: Southwold

Postby Puds » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:01 pm

Pint of Adnams wrote:Another is a short item in an older copy of Bylines (I think) - Puds knows which one 'cos he forgot to save it for me. :(
:oops: :oops: :oops: I'm sure it's one I passed onto Davej, I'll have to chase him up on that ;)
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Re: Southwold

Postby wagonman » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:35 pm

You're quite right to suggest that Turton's scattergun-gun approach does little for East Anglian modellers. I've had a trawl through my collection and have only found the following:

T1 Colman's of Norwich !

T2 Gardner, Norwich, from about 1927 on

T3 Bessey & Palmer, Great Yarmouth etc. Mainly in Norfolk, from 1870s on
Lowestoft Coaling Co (presumably specialised in ship bunkering coal (are you having any steam trawlers at Southwold?)
Rowland Manthorpe, Ipswich. 1903 on
William Morris, based in Newport but seems to have hired wagons to Pipe & Co of Ipswich. Also possibly had wagons
marked for a depot in Cambridge

T4 is South Wales only

T5 Coote & Warren, Peterborough and London etc (12pp of it) They covered mainly Herts, Essex and Cambs. From 1908 on, Coote alone from c1860, Warren from c1880?
Ipswich Sugar Beet Factory Ltd - molasses tank wagon
Moy, Colchester (only 2pp)

T6 E Foster & Co, London. Wide ranging wagons, the company particularly involved in supplying gas coal: clients included Colchester, Braintree, Leiston and Sheringham
Lamont & Warne, London. Wagon seen in Stoke Ferry goods yard


In addition the series of sketches by A G Thomas has the following:

Book 1 Beaumont & Co Ltd, Coal Merchants, Ipswich no.665
Bessey & Palmer no.3027
Fosdick of Ipswich no.810
Hill & Son, Harwich no.36
Norwich Co-op no.16
Wright's, Colchester no.14

Book 2 Byford, Clare no.88
Cambridge Gas Co no.19
Coote & Warren, Peterborough no.4241
Ely Gas Co
Gardner, Norwich no.303
Moy, Colchester no.1851 (coke)
Rowland Manthorpe & Co Ltd, Ipswich no.47
Tassell, King's Lynn (coal factors) no.107

Book 3 Austin & Co, Cambridge no.602
Halstead Co-op no.11
Hayward, Colchester no.19
Heath, Ipswich no.34
Rix & Broom Ltd, King's Lynn (coal factors) no.21
P Softley, Massingham (M&GN) no.11
J O Vinter & Son Ltd, Cambridge no.42
Wright's, Colchester no.51

Not a lot really, especially in the Turton volumes (though they do have more detail). I don't how widely those wagons travelled; I would imagine Coote & Warren, Moy, Bessey & Palmer, and perhaps Manthorpe were the most commonly encountered, plus presumably a few colliery wagons too. I know Evans & Bevan sold anthracite to East Anglia, presumably much of it sent in their own wagons.
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Re: Southwold

Postby Pint of Adnams » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:39 pm

Hi Richard,

Thanks for all that effort, it's really very much appreciated. I think I'll now have to spend more time looking through the various albums and line histories to try and spot any PO wagons lurking in the background...

Are you able to advise the year of construction of the Moy wagon in T5? I'm now looking for something pre-1930 to complement the other examples, which are post-1930...
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Re: Southwold

Postby wagonman » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:42 pm

Pint of Adnams wrote:Are you able to advise the year of construction of the Moy wagon in T5? I'm now looking for something pre-1930 to complement the other examples, which are post-1930...



There's two: a coal wagon no.9430 which appears to be dated 1938 and is probably the same batch as the one in Hudson's book. The other wagon is much older but is a non-convertible coke wagon (no.1853) which appears to have been built to the RCH 1907 standards, though was photographed in 1930. In both cases the livery was quoted as red oxide with white lettering shaded black. Some of the ironwork was black too. I suppose you are looking for Moy wagons with numbers in the 2xxx range for reasonably modern wagons built before 1930.

One owner that seems to have been missed so far is William H Booth of Ipswich. A wagon of his is in a photo of Trowse (no date) alongside a Moy. Another (no.38) is in the yard at Hadleigh c1911. Both these are in "GE in Town & Country". There are I seem to remember various issues of Bylines etc with period shots of GER branchlines if you've the time to plough through all!
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