Station Name: PADSTOW

[Source: Martin James]

Padstow Gallery 4: c1914 - c1930s

A view of the jetty at Padstow when in its original form. The date is unknown but is probably circa WWI. The jetty has gas lighting, necessary as vessels would arrive at all hours depending upon tides, and a single railway siding terminating, wisely, at buffer stops. The jetty was apparently approached on a very sharp curve at this time. The jetty was later considerably lengthened, given two sidings which divided on the jetty from a single track and provided with a weighbridge. The wagon partly visible on the right is a LSWR 10-ton 5-plank type and probably of what the then yet-to-be-formed Southern Railway designated Diagram 1309. The fishing vessel on the left has not sunk but is sitting on its keel as it is low tide. Vessels so-poised at low tide were and still are a common sight. A keel is located at the very bottom of the hull and is the backbone from which the rest of the hull is built.
Photo from Jim Lake collection

In June 1926 Beattie well tank No.0298 waits at Padstow with the 1pm service to Wadebridge. These little 2-4-0WT locomotives began life in 1863 as the 329 class for London suburban services and as built bore only a vague resemblance to the form seen above, not least owing to having open cabs. As was common practice, when traffic grew and trains became heavier larger locomotives were required. As a result the little Beatties were dispersed to sheds outside London but withdrawal of the 85-strong class, of which all bar three had been built by Beyer Peacock, began in 1886 and by 1899 only three remained, one of which was No.298 with the other pair being Nos.314 and 329. New locomotives required numbering and as a result the three remaining Beatties went on the Duplicate list with their numbers prefixed by a '0'. No.298 became No.0298 in June 1898. Thenceforth the survivors became known as the 0298 class. This, however, was only the beginning of the story. The three survivors were sent to the Bodmin and Wadebridge section where they were very suitable for the sharply curved Wenford Bridge branch, a freight-only branch carrying china clay. Here they remained until 1962, more than six decades after their stablemates had gone to the scrapyard. No.0298 eventually became Southern Railway No.3298 in 1933, ten years after formation of the Southern Railway, then becoming British Railways No.30587 in 1948. She survives today, being one of two to have entered preservation, the other being LSWR No.314, BR No.30585. At the time of writing No.30587 could be found on the nearby Bodmin & Wenford heritage railway. She is owned by the National Railway Museum. Work on the Wenford Bridge branch was taken over by ex-GWR pannier tanks and later by Class 08 diesel shunters. It closed in 1983. Back at Padstow in 1926, at far left can be seen an advertisement for Sunlight Soap. The '£1000' was not the price of a bar but a prize offered to anybody who could prove Sunlight Soap was detrimental to the skin. This would have been no easy task, especially in 1926, and as far as is known the prize was never claimed. It was, of course, a publicity stunt which would have brought in profits for Lever Brothers, the manufacturer, far exceeding the value of the prize. Sunlight Soap was, incidentally, responsible for the origin of the village of Port Sunlight. Behind the running-in board is an advertisement for 'table dainties' but unfortunately the name of the business is obscured.
Copyright photo by HC Casserley

The riparian setting of Padstow station and its environs in July 1930. Aerial views such as this are useful for getting one's bearings when studying various ground-level photographs. At bottom left we can see the, then, turntable road beyond which lies Messrs Pawlyn Brothers fish curing depot and stores with more buildings being added-to alongside the building seen in earlier photos. Also clearly seen is the goods shed and its pre-1933 track layout, together with a van, probably for cattle, at the dock just beyond the shed. The passenger station is clearly seen and needs no elaboration; the signal box is seen at the end of the platform and the small building behind the box is the lamp room. Beyond the far end of the platform and on the low level road is an early motor vehicle. Under magnification it has a very distinctive style of bodywork, telling is it is a charabanc; an early form of motor coach with open sides and a roof which could be folded back in fine weather. Early examples usually, but not always, had seating which was set higher along the length of the vehicle in similar manner to raked theatre seating. Prominent in the centre of the picture is the railway jetty which had been extended over the years and had two railway sidings. To its left the fish shed can be seen and the West Quay with its sidings curving round towards, but not extending onto, South Quay. Two further sidings run along the outer wall of the dock. At the extreme top right part of Padstow Harbour can be seen. As always the Metropole Hotel presides over the scene, the side of the building being its rear.
Click here for a larger version.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Simmons Aerofilms Ltd

A July 1930 aerial view looking north-west across Padstow and with the railway station and fish shed just off the picture to the left. The station's north end platform ramp can be seen extreme left. Prominent is the railway jetty which would soon be modified again with a rounded end. This would have been done for a number of reasons including to lessen damage by tidal currents and from collisions. Rather unusually, at the bufferstops north of the station nothing is stabled, while a number of wagons can be seen on the quayside lines and adjacent to the road. Under magnification one appears to be of GWR ownership while another is lettered 'SR' and another 'LMS'. The wagon at the south end of the rake appears at first glance to have derailed but this is merely an illusion caused by a shadow on its load. The small white building at the north end is a toilet. The Metropole hotel, the postal address of which is Station Road, Padstow, stands left of centre and below it between the sidings and the quay is what looks like a number of grounded cattle wagon bodies. The single storey building to the right of the wagons and facing the river is the, then, Fishermen's Mission while at the far end, on the corner opposite the inner harbour as the road turns westwards, the Custom House stands. Many of the buildings seen in the righthand half of the picture would have in some way been connected with harbour and the fishing industry including residential. Certain other buildings are rather distinctive, for example just beyond the Metropole is what is clearly a garage (the long single stored pitched roof building). Perhaps a reader will be able to inform us about some of the other more distinctive buildings. Click here for a larger version.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Simmons Aerofilms Ltd

An August 1932 aerial view of Padstow station and harbour areas. Towards the bottom the goods shed is seen and the loop siding bypassing it with, above it, the signal box, lamproom and cattle dock. A little further north sits the station building. On the right is the turntable, this being still the 50ft example and at the site to which it was relocated in 1914. The motley collection of buildings beyond the turntable belonged to Messrs Pawlyn and comprise a fish curing depot and stores. The central, larger, building was possibly relocated from a site behind the fish shed but this is by no means confirmed. The taller building with a vented roof would have been their vented smoke house and was known locally as the 'kipper building'. The fish shed, extended from its original length, is the large building in the centre of the scene. Centre right is the railway jetty with its, by now, two sidings and extended length. Access to the jetty was the reason for resiting the turntable. There was also a weighbridge at its southern end. The jetty was destined to be altered again by the widening of its outer end. Left of centre are the sidings on the quayside. The land where the quay turns north-east, i.e. the harbour wall, was reclaimed and hence the patch of lower level; the small building seen there is a toilet. As usual there are a number of wagons and vans scattered around but little sign of activity at the passenger station. To the right of the inner harbour, top left, and in front of the black shed at least two unidentified road motor coaches are parked. Towards top left the Metropole Hotel can be seen and opposite the wagons on the quay and at the point where the sidings curve to the left stands the, then, Fishermen’s Mission. One further observation is the complete lack of road vehicles of any form in the area around the passenger station and goods yard with the only sign of life being one, maybe two, pedestrians towards the top of the station approach road. Click here for a larger version.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Simmons Aerofilms Ltd

An August 1932 aerial view looking north-west across Padstow and with the railway station on the left, below which the fish shed is seen and, bottom left, Messrs Pawlyn's premises. Prominent is the railway jetty which would soon be modified again with a rounded end. This would have been done for a number of reasons including to lessen damage by tidal currents and from collisions. A motor car can be seen driving onto the station forecourt. At the buffer stops north of the station some passenger stock is stabled, while a number of wagons can be seen on the quayside lines. One appears to be an ex-LSWR goods brake. These have been described elsewhere and were a cross between a goods van and a brake van. Among the other wagons on this siding, at least one is private owner and another bears Southern Railway livery; these details are, however, visible only under magnification. The Metropole hotel, the postal address of which is Station Road, Padstow, is at top centre and below it between the sidings and the quay is what look like a number of grounded cattle wagon bodies. Between the south end of the fish shed and the quay stands a grounded carriage body with yet more beyond and sitting parallel to the end of the shed. The small, white pitched roof building between fish shed and quay belonged to Messrs Pawlyn. Moving along, to the lower right of the Metropole and directly behind the wagons on the quay stands the Fishermen’s Mission while at the far end, on the corner opposite the inner harbour, stands the Custom House. This building is today a hotel. A Custom House could be found at any port where ocean-going vessels have access. There is today no dedicated customs presence at Padstow, the function being handled from elsewhere. Click here for a larger version.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Simmons Aerofilms Ltd

One of a series of photographs taken at the same time but on an unknown date prior to 1933. Visible is the motley collection of Pawlyn Brothers sheds on the left, one of which largely obscures the turntable, plus one of the grounded coach bodies. The signal, Padstow's Up Starter, retains its lower quadrant arm and is a typical LSWR design with metal lattice post. To the left of the signal box, a worker is busy on the track. The station is now lit by electricity, hence the overhead cables seen top right. The lamp standard towards the end of the platform was taller than others, presumably to eliminate the possibility of glare interfering with the signalman's view along the platform. Being taller than other lamps on the station might suggest that it was a later modification. The advertisement on the signal box is for Lux Soap Flakes and the wording below the name states 'Won't Shrink Woollens'. This was one of several variations in wording of the same message. Lux, a Lever Brothers (now Unilever) product, began as 'Sunlight Soap Flakes' in 1899 and the Lux name appeared in 1900. Soap flakes are a laundry product. Lux toilet soap did not appear until the 1920s, 1928 in the case of Britain. One other advertisement is readable; that at far right. It is for Jennings Building Co of Bristol and makes specific
mention of garages.
Photo from Malcolm McCarthy collection

Another in the series of photographs taken at the same time but on an unknown date prior to 1933. At centre background the sidings curving round to South Quay can be seen while on the right the lack of vans at the fish shed allows a glimpse of the channel and, far right, the jetty. A jetty differs from a quay by virtue of projecting out into the water. The stacked fish boxes nearest the camera bear the letters SP but it is not known for what they stood. On the carriage siding, which was on a slightly lower level to the platform and run-round roads, stand two full-brake vehicles and what appears to be one of the LSWR 'Ironclad' coaches although this stock is not usually associated with the West Country. The sign at the end of the platform is unreadable but will be a trespass warning. Just beneath the canopy is something which today would cause an evacuation, swarms of police and plenty of blue and white tape: unattended luggage. Perhaps it belongs to the photographer or perhaps it is 'luggage in advance', something which was once quite common and such luggage unaccompanied by the passenger would be labelled and conveyed in the brake of passenger trains. During the early 21st century some train operators proposed reintroducing the practice, apparently using road transport, but received much ridicule and the idea was quietly dropped.
Photo from Malcolm McCarthy collection

Another in series of photographs taken at the same time but on an unknown date prior to 1933. On the left the small goods shed and can be seen, through its canopy, part of the stationmaster's house. Right of centre are the ever-present grounded coach bodies and on this occasion four are visible. Other points not mentioned elsewhere are the coaches at the fish shed and the ground signal in the centre of the picture. Of the coaches, that nearest the camera is of a very distinctive LSWR design, being a 6-wheel brake third. The second coach is unidentified but is also a brake vehicle and probably a composite. The ground signal is, it can be seen under magnification, interlocked with the points leading into the platform road. The mechanism appears to rotate the signal from facing to sideways-on which suggests that it is in fact a points indicator. The loop running round the outside of the goods shed canopy was lifted in 1933.
Photo from Malcolm McCarthy collection

A view of Padstow's locomotive facilities and fish sheds during an apparently lifeless few moments. What we are looking at is the turntable after it was relocated in 1914 but before it was enlarged in 1947. The water tower which stood at the end of the turntable road has not yet been built but would appear sometime in the 1930s. The buildings on the right stand party on the site of the earlier turntable; they are Pawlyn Brothers fish curing depot and stores. The building with the ventilated roof is their smoke house. There is no direct rail connection and the depot is reached by a sleeper crossing from the fish shed which is seen to their left together with the usual grounded carriage bodies. Some passenger stock is berthed at the fish shed platform for reasons unknown although this practice was not uncommon. Two long sidings run to the east of the fish shed along the outer wall of the dock. The track in the foreground is the loop round the goods shed. It is rusty and clearly out of use by this time confirming that the picture was probably taken shortly before the siding was lifted in 1933.
Photo from Malcolm McCarthy collection

One of a series of photographs taken at the same time but on an unknown date prior to 1933. Most photographs of the railway at Padstow, or indeed anywhere, tend to concentrate on the passenger station and locomotive facilities so we are fortunate that the photographer had the foresight to photograph Padstow's goods facilities, such as they were. Right of centre is the goods shed and left foreground the dock with wooden cattle pen. The track bypassing the goods shed road allowed access to the dock whilst eliminating any nuisance caused by wagons at the goods shed. It could also be used as a locomotive release road, but the usual procedure would be to reverse wagons in. In any event the headshunt appears capable of holding only a small tank locomotive but this would not have been a problem at Padstow. The site was cramped due to its location between the rock face and the Camel estuary but on the whole the general layout of the yard was not dissimilar to that found at numerous rural locations. Whether increased space was ever thought necessary is not known but the facilities shown were probably adequate throughout the 68-year life of the railway. Because Padstow was a port, a lot of goods could be brought in by sea with coal and timber, for example, once commonly being transported by this means; certainly this would have been the case prior to the railway reaching Padstow. Coal, however, was normally handled at a site away from the general goods facilities but Padstow is notable in that photographs of the railway show very few coal wagons present at any given time. (The 1974 1:2,500 OS map, not reproduced here, shows a coal merchant operating from the station site after closure.) Rolling stock storage does appear to have been a problem at times and the best use made of what facilities were available. Passenger stock and goods vans can be seen stabled at the fish shed and on the turntable road in several photographs, for example. In the above scene the signal box is partially obscured by the lamproom. The latter, despite the station being lit by electricity by this time, would still have been required for tail lamps and probably some internal lighting and perhaps signal lamps.
Photo from Malcolm McCarthy collection


Some investigation has enabled this idyllic scene to be identified. The train has just departed Padstow and is approaching Dennis Hill. The area off the picture to the left of the underbridge is today Dennis Cove Campsite. The River Camel can be seen on the right, and the train will shortly cross Little Petherick Creek bridge which is some 400yd behind the photographer. Although not visible here, an enlargement of the original photograph shows some of the buildings of Padstow are just discernible in the background right of centre. The photograph dates from Southern Railway days and the locomotive is one of the Beattie well tanks. It is displaying the headcode for Bodmin. The train, partly obscured by steam, appears to comprise a 6-wheel brake, a bogie coach and a goods van, the latter likely carrying fish. Of note here is the well maintained permanent way, cutting and hedge. Perhaps not immediately obvious is that a footpath crosses the line adjacent to the bridge, and a gate is just visible at far left of the picture. With the exception of the Camel Trail having replaced the railway, this scene is still recognisable today.
Photo from Malcolm McCarthy collection

Click here for Padstow Gallery 5: c1930s - Early BR

 

 

 

[Source: Martin James]



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