Station Name: PADSTOW

[Source: Martin James]

Padstow Gallery 11: c1969 - 1991

A further view of Padstow station building when boarded up and out of use. In this circa 1969 view a different form of transport sits at the remains of Padstow railway station, A Bristol/Eastern Coach Works L type bus is seen alongside the station. The L type was essentially the single deck version of Bristol Commercial Vehicle's well known K type double decker. As the, then, Ministry of Transport relaxed regulations on the length and width of buses and coaches, manufacturers modified their designs accordingly and Bristol's L type became the longer LL type and, later still, the 8ft 2½in wide LWL type. That seen above has an LL type body as evidenced by the extra bay, compared to the L type, and a black steering wheel which denotes the narrower 7ft 6in wide body. Buses with 8ft 2½in wide bodies were given white steering wheels for a time until this width became standard. Conductor operated, although some were converted for one-man-operation the vast majority had a rear entrance fitted with a sliding door. Those who remember these buses may recall the derogatory name 'guillotine door' applied to these sliding doors which, if conductors left them open in warm weather, had a habit of slamming shut if the driver braked sharply for any reason. After withdrawal from front line service CVF 842 was given the Western National fleet name, and converted to a, mobile, staff canteen/restroom in December 1967 and is known to have been used thereafter in this capacity at Padstow, Padstow station being the local bus terminus.
Photo from John Mann collection

Looking north along the platform at Padstow station in August 1972, 5½ years after closure to passengers. Much of the station site has now been given over to car parking while the station forecourt is now an outstation for Western National buses. The bus seen in this view is not a service bus and at this time was being used as a crew room for drivers.
Photo by John Mann

Padstow station building in August 1972. As the station building is still easily accessible by the public is seems common sense to securely board up the windows and doors on the ground floor to prevent vandalism. The crew room bus is recorded as still being with Western National at Truro as late as 1983, but performing what function is unclear. At Padstow in 1972 the bus was devoid of its front numberplate, headlamps (the position for the offside headlamp had been blanked off) and direction indicators but otherwise appears to be in reasonable external condition. The bus had retained the small plate bearing its fleet number (377) and this is just visible below the windscreen. The lack of direction indicators probably means it never had them while in public service, buses so lacking were still quite common into the 1960s. CVF 842 does not appear in a Southern/Western National fleet list for 1966 whereas another ex ECOC pair, CVF 852/4 do, so had presumably been withdrawn from public service by that year.
Photo by John Mann


Judging by the open skylights it must be a warm day in this 1970s view of a Western National vehicle on the forecourt of a forlorn-looking Padstow station. The type of Eastern Coachworks (ECW) bodywork seen here appeared, with minor variations, on both the Bristol LS and MW types. It was coach bodywork, both the LS and MW also came with bus bodywork, and of C39F layout (Coach - 39 seats - Front entrance). Both fleet and registration number are totally unreadable so the vehicle cannot be identified but it would appear to be a Bristol MW type. Western/Southern National did not have an especially large coach fleet as many were part of the associated and very distinctive Royal Blue fleet. The Bristol LS and MW coaches also came in a less common Dual Purpose (DP) form and as operators strove to keep their coach fleets up-to-date many were demoted to stage carriage, i.e. bus, work in OMO form and this was the likely situation here. The vehicle is in National Bus Company livery but it is not clear if an illuminated 'Pay As You Enter' sign has been fitted. These were fitted either on the front or just behind the door or in some instances both. The winged motif on the front was an ECW device of the 1950s and 1960s usually, but not exclusively, applied to single-deck bodywork. It also appeared on the two somewhat over-styled Bristol/ECW diesel railbuses built for BR, SC79958/9, on which it looked quite ridiculous. The vehicle seen at Padstow is screened-up for route 575, Padstow - Wadebridge - Bodmin Road station. Bus routes around Padstow were generally numbered in the 100 series, so the use of a 500 series number might suggest the 575 was the rail replacement service, together with the similar 574. Perhaps a reader conversant in all things Western National will be able to confirm this.
Photo from Malcolm McCarthy collection

Padstow station, barely recognisable as a former railway station, in 1975. On the right is the rear of CVF 842, the Bristol L type bus described elsewhere and in use from December 1967 as a staff restroom for Western National crews. The board on the rear of the bus carries the National Bus Company logo and advises onlookers that they are at Western National Padstow Outstation. Outstations were places were buses and crews were based away from the main depots and were often located on railway, or former railway land. A few had basic garaging facilities but most were simply open patches of land with perhaps a hut or, as at Padstow, an old bus as staff accommodation. Duties were arranged to enable buses to refuel and be changed over for maintenance purposes and for crews to pay in their money and so on at main depots. Outstations still exist but are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, due in no small part to reductions in rural bus services. Vandalism, theft of diesel fuel and other naughty goings-on also became a problem in cases where access by the public was unrestricted. Padstow was an outstation of Newquay depot. CVF 842 had replaced another ancient bus used as staff accommodation at Padstow; a Bedford OWB (the wartime utility version of the famous Bedford OB) Southern National 507, registration number DOD 556. Oxford Die-Cast have produced a model of this bus in Southern National livery and complete with Padstow destination. Ironically, DOD 556 was slightly newer than CVF 842 which replaced it at Padstow, although the latter bus had been rebuilt with a new body circa 1954.
Photo by Dave Burrows from his Flickr photostream

Padstow station seen from approximately where the carriage siding ran in 1975; a boat has now appeared on the platform. The bus, CVF 842 has survived into preservation and has been superbly restored. It is believed to be the only member of the originally large CVF-registered batch to have been preserved although another, still in its pre-war form, is thought to still exist but in very derelict condition. Click here to see what it looked like in 2007.
Photo by Dave Burrows from his Flickr photostream

In 1975 Padstow's platform and station building remained in good condition. Some other buildings also survived at this time. The fish shed was still in use although now served by road; it is seen on the far left. Behind it are the buildings from Pawlyn Brothers herring-curing depot.
Photo by Dave Burrows from his Flickr photostream

Padstow station forecourt in 1975.
Photo by Dave Burrows from his Flickr photostream

Although most of the station signage was removed immediately after closure this sign survived in 1975. Clearly nobody thought it worthy of purloining - they would now!
Photo by Dave Burrows from his Flickr photostream

By April 1977 the south end of the platform had been demolished and although the station building remains intact the windows and doors at ground level have been boarded up. In 1977 the station building was bought by Padstow Town Council to use as the town's council offices. The bus is still there, presumably still in use as a Western National crew room. The L type was built in its thousands in both bus and coach form and for many years was a familiar sight across the country operating for, mainly, Tilling Group companies. The type had bowed out of front line service by 1968, just prior to the formation of the National Bus Company, but many soldiered on a few more years with private operators, contractors and showmen. Others were converted to towing vehicles etc. A large number have survived into preservation. The example at Padstow was a pre-war vehicle which began life with the Eastern Counties Omnibus Co (ECOC) in 1939 as their LL42, registration number CVF 842. It was one of a few which were sold by ECOC to the Lincolnshire Road Car Co and eventually ended up with Southern National and was rebuilt circa 1954 into the post-war LL form seen above, albeit retaining its L type chassis. In its original L5G form it looked nothing like it does above. 'L5G' means Bristol L type with Gardner 5LW engine. Click here to see a picture of CVF 842 when it was still in service.
Photo by Alan Young

A view south at the Padstow station site in June 1991. The station building and most of the platform is largely intact. By this date the building was occupied by Padstow Town Council and most of the station site has been given over to car parking. Some original buildings are still standing. The fish shed on the left is still in use and would not be demolished until 2000. One of Pawlyn's buildings, the old kipper house, is also seen behind the shed. A number of new buildings are seen in the distance. These belong to A&J Marine boat builders and repair yard. They have a slipway at the north end.
Photo by Ben Brooksbank

Click here for Padstow Gallery 12:January 2000 - May 2016

 

 

 

[Source: Martin James]



Last updated: Monday, 22-May-2017 10:42:51 BST
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