Station Name: PADSTOW

[Source: Martin James]

Padstow Gallery 7: August 1960 - 1961

A general view of Padstow station in August 1960. Beneath the canopy on this occasion the platform is rather cluttered with barrows, a ladder and other objects. Just visible is the variations in lamp standards which prevailed at this time. That on the near end of the platform is rather higher than that towards the far end of the platform and which has a different style of neck. That directly ahead of the camera and largely invisible due to the light on the sloping roof also appears shorter. On the right
is a stabled Bulleid set.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

An un-rebuilt Bulleid West Country class at Padstow with the up Atlantic Coast Express (ACE). The date is uncertain but the 'Cycling Lion' logo on tender suggests around, but probably not later than, 1960. This logo had been superceded by the 'Ferret & Dartboard' version in 1956 but it lingered a while afterwards until locomotives entered works and were repainted. The locomotive cannot be positively identified. Although the smokebox numberplate begins '3403' the final digit is unclear, even under magnification. The cabside number is likewise unreadable, as is the nameplate. It is not clear if the train is moving or stationary but the lack of any exhaust suggests the latter. Although the Starter signal is 'off', this may indicate the train length necessitated control by the Advance Starter signal which at Padstow was located on the up side of line due to the curve outside the station. The train is at least four carriages long and, from what can be seen, comprises a mix of Maunsell and Bulleid stock. On the right, set 843 is stabled. This was one of a batch of 5-car sets numbered 838 - 849 and allocated to Waterloo - West of England and Waterloo - Weymouth services. Set 843 had probably arrived at Padstow on a down ACE and would depart again the following day, a 'step back' system being operated to allow stock to be cleaned and serviced

Sometime in the early 1960s ex-GWR Churchward 'Small Prairie' No.4574 waits at Padstow with a service most probably to Bodmin Road. 'Prairie' refers to the 2-6-2 wheel arrangement and the GWR had what were known as 'Small' and 'Large' Prairie tanks, with several detail differences within the types. No.4574 was the final member of what was commonly known as the '4500 Class' and dated from 1924, the type being introduced in 1906. The '4575 Class' which followed was a development built under the auspices of Charles Collett from 1927. At this point it is worth reminding readers that the Great Western Railway dated from 1833 and was the only major British railway company to be unaffected by the 1923 Grouping. At Padstow, No.4574 is, if the shadow is to be relied upon, in charge of a single coach train which appears to be in either crimson or maroon livery. This suggests an ex-GWR vehicle and most likely a brake composite. Stabled on the right is a BR Mk1 coach in Southern Region green livery and it appears to be fitted with a roofboard, most probably for the ‘Atlantic Coast Express’. Padstow is best known for having been a Southern outpost and thus it is easy to forget that even prior to the takeover by the Western Region a number of WR trains also served the line owing to the Bodmin Road - Bodmin General section being GWR territory. Following nationalisation, typically the WR services would be Bodmin Road (now Bodmin Parkway) to Wadebridge or through to Padstow entailing a reversal at Bodmin General. It was not unknown for some 'mixed bag' workings to occur, for example stock or locomotives from one region working a service belonging to another. Note, on the platform, the repainted lamp standard. Compare this to the standard at the far end of the platform as seen in the picture showing the Class 122 diesel railcar. The former gas lighting at Padstow had been supplied from St Columb gasworks, located some distance away, its owning company being the St Columb & Padstow Gas Co. The works closed in 1955. Of No.4574, she was shedded at Newton Abbot and then Laira (Plymouth) around the time the photograph was taken, being withdrawn from the latter in March 1963. Unlike three of her sisters, she did not survive into preservation being instead scrapped at Cashmore's, Newport, the following year.

A pair of Drummond T9 locomotives with their distinctive 8-wheel tenders at Padstow circa 1960. Neither can be identified and that on the right is in absolutely filthy condition, including the smokebox numberplate. The locomotive is pausing during shunting work while the driver goes around with his oil can; this task was always the responsibility of the driver. The stock being shunted comprises a couple of Maunsell brake coaches, a parcels van of the PMV type and a 4-wheel van of some description. Further back stands an unidentified Bulleid set. Not obvious in this view but determinable under magnification is that there is another locomotive behind that standing at the station platform. Double-headed trains, if that is what it is, were not uncommon and sometimes occurred for reasons of saving light engine movements and thus paths. On the right, two of the grounded coach bodies can be seen. The device attached to the points frog in the foreground is of interest. It would appear to be some sort of 'Swingnose' device. These are used to control the gap between nose and running rails mainly to reduce noise levels but also, in some applications, to prevent derailments and/or vehicles veering
onto the wrong track.
Photo from Jim Lake collection

This August 1960 view is titled 'Arrival of The Atlantic Coast Express' but in fact it has already arrived and the locomotive is reversing out of the station and will proceed to the turntable, partially visible to the right of the water tower with its mysterious brick structure. Despite the wonders of modern technology, the Bulleid Pacific remains unidentified. The ACE may or may not have appeared at Padstow carrying a headboard and some sources suggest an ACE without a headboard was common on Saturdays as on that day the train was not officially named. While this may sound like poppycock, the answer may lay in the fact that the train was extremely busy on summer Saturdays and could run from/too Waterloo as several totally separate trains. The headcode seen in this view applied to the Exeter (Central) - Padstow section. Between Waterloo and Exeter and vice versa the headcode was top centre and bottom centre; portions of the train west of Exeter would carry the headcode applicable to that section. Disc headcodes applied during daylight hours; lamps were substituted when all or part of a journey was during the hours of darkness and this applied anywhere, not just on the ACE. Some photographs of the ACE at Padstow within these pages show it bearing lamps instead of discs. The signal seen in this view applied to the platform road and the Bulleid will be under the control of shunt signals. At this time the sight of a steam locomotive, or indeed the ACE, was nothing worthy of a second glance, so one wonders what is grabbing the attention of the people on the platform. The most likely answer is the turntable. Watching a locomotive being turned grabbed the attention of people of all ages, especially those who did not live near an engine shed or see regularly this aspect of railway operation.

The Drummond T9 class has been described elsewhere so needs no elaboration here. This view of No.30729 can be dated between May 1960 when she was sent to Exmouth Junction shed and March 1961 when she was withdrawn. She is heading a train for the Halwill route. The train is set 24 which comprised Brake Third - Composite - Brake Third, all being Maunsell corridor types. It is interesting to note that third class had been abolished in 1956 and reclassified second class, yet terms like 'Brake Third' appear to have remained in use within the rail industry for some time afterwards and most probably out of tradition. On the right is a Bulleid corridor coach in green livery with stripe. It is one of the later types with deeper window ventilators and was most likely part of a set.
Photo from John Mann collection

A rainy Padstow in April 1961 and Drummond T9 No.30313. This locomotive has been described with another image elsewhere. Although appearances suggest a single-carriage train, it is a Maunsell 2-car set but the set number is obscured other than the first numeral, 1. There were approximately twenty such sets in the West Country numbered in the 1xx series.
Photo by G Parr

Padstow on 6 July 1961 as Drummond T9 No.30313 attempts unsuccessfully to hide from the camera behind clouds of steam. She will take her train, a 2-car Maunsell set, to Wadebridge and then on towards Launceston. She carries a 72A (Exmouth Junction) shedplate as might be expected and was withdrawn from that shed in July 1961. At the end of the release road stands a single Maunsell coach, with another in the right foreground and beyond which stands a Bulleid set. Behind the railings on the left a Mini van is parked.
Photo by David Pearson

Photographed on the same day as No.30313, 6 July 1961, here is class sister No.30717 having just arrived at Padstow with a Maunsell 2-car set. A few passengers have alighted but there would appear to be no call for the platform barrows. Having finished attempting to produce smoked fish No.30717 will uncouple, draw forward and then reverse along the release road on the left. She will then proceed to the turntable. Padstow turntable, the second installation, was vacuum operated, being connected to a locomotive's vacuum pipe via a connection provided, usually, at each end of the turntable. No.30717 was an Exmouth Junction locomotive. She was withdrawn shortly after this photograph was taken, as was No.30313, after a life of almost 62 years.
Photo by David Pearson

Drummond T9 No.30313, one of the class members with wide splashers, has arrived at Padstow. This locomotive was an Exmouth Junction resident from August 1959 until withdrawal came in July 1961, thus providing a dating window for this photograph. Maunsell coaching stock prevails. No.30313 having arrived with set 27. This set comprised Brake Second (formerly Third) S3775S and Brake Composite S6603S. It was one of those classified as 'P sets' and intended for use as dividing portions for West of England branches from main line trains to and from Waterloo. In practice during BR days they seem to have spent most of their time pottering around the West Country on local services.
Copyright photo from Colour-Rail

Ex-GWR locomotives at Padstow tend to be associated with the post 1963 period when lines in the area, excepting the Bodmin Road - Bodmin General section which always was GWR, came under the control of BR Western Region but this was not the case. Elsewhere the process had begun in 1958 as a result of boundary changes but in November 1959 two ex-GWR pannier tanks were sent to Exmouth Junction, then still a Southern shed. One was No.4666 and the other No.4694, both being members of the GWR 5700 class. In December 1959 both were reallocated to Wadebridge Shed, apparently for trials on the Bodmin North - Padstow section, where they remained until moved back to Exmouth Junction in February 1963 so the photograph of No.4666 at Padstow likely dates from that period. It should, however, be remembered that whilst resident at Exmouth Junction both are likely to have continued to visit Wadebridge if not Padstow. In this view No.4666 waits at Padstow with one of the ex-Southern Maunsell sets on a service to Bodmin, presumably Bodmin North. On the right a Southern Bulleid coach can be seen stabled, perhaps part of an Atlantic Coast Express set. The Southern system of headcode discs used six positions; one in front of the chimney, one either side of the smokebox and three on the bufferbeam and in this respect the operation of ex-GWR locomotives on former Southern metals is something of a mystery. Just visible in this view is an iron to the right of the smokebox door but apparently without the corresponding iron on the opposite side. A photograph has been seen showing No.4666 legging-it from Launceston in the direction of Wadebridge with a disc in position to the right of its smokebox, but it seems the adaption of ex-GWR locomotives to the Southern headcode system was very much a half-hearted affair. The various types of GWR pannier tanks, so named because of the water tank positions either side of the boiler, were prolific and the 5700 class alone totalled 863 examples. Of these, some were sold to the National Coal Board whilst better known is the batch sold to London Transport and the final examples of which continued in service until 1971. Of those which went on to serve at collieries, the final example is believed to have remained in service until 1975. A number of the 5700 class have survived into preservation but Nos.4666 and 4694 are not among them, both being withdrawn in June 1965 and scrapped. A few of the class, officially three but in actuality four, went on to become the final ex-GWR steam locomotives in BR service being withdrawn in October 1966 from Croes Newydd, by that time a London Midland Region shed and located at Wrexham. Other pannier tanks at Wadebridge shed were three members of the 1366 class; outside cylinder types which had been transferred from Weymouth in 1962 to replace the Beatties. Of these, one, No.1369, has survived into preservation. The Wenford branch, duty 637, was operated by Wadebridge shed's No.1 link which also included trips to Padstow, as did No.5 link, the Wadebridge pilot, but to date no evidence has come to light of the 1366 class actually appearing at Padstow. Some anecdotes have survived concerning the reaction of the ex-Southern Wadebridge men to the arrival of the ex-GWR pannier tanks, albeit a little contradictory. The usual disdain towards 'foreign' locomotives applied plus a view that the panniers were rough-riding, lumbering machines fit only for shunting. The latter grumble, however, was probably no more than an attempt to justify the former. On the plus side, it is said the panniers were popular due to their higher, relative to the Beatties, coal and water capacity as this made the crew's job easier and especially on the Wenford branch where, providing Wadebridge was departed with full tanks, the traditional water stop at Penhargard could be omitted. Perhaps this was just as well because the tank at Penhargard was suited to the well tanks of the Beatties but problems were encountered with the much higher water tanks of the panniers

Taken on the same day as the picture above, the locomotive has uncoupled and is reversing along the release road from where she will proceed to the turntable. Some Maunsell stock is stabled on the carriage siding and the roof of the fish shed can be seen in the background.
Photo from Malcolm McCarthy collection

During the World Wars U-boats lurked off the Atlantic coast but here is a U-boat at Padstow station. U-boat was the nickname given to Maunsell's U1 3-cylinder class 2-6-0s which were recognisable by the 'slab' section above the bufferbeam which housed the third cylinder. Some, if not all, began life without smoke deflectors and in this form their appearance was rather peculiar. Some of the U1 class were rebuilds of the unstable and frankly dangerous K, or 'River' class 2-6-4T's which had been involved in a number of derailments, the most serious of which occurred at Sevenoaks in 1927 resulting in 13 deaths and 40 injuries. No.31903 was not one of the River class rebuilds. One, BR No.31806, has survived into preservation. It had begun life as K class No.806 'River Torridge'. Of U1 No.31903 she was allocated to Exmouth Junction, the shedplate for which can just be seen above, only for a short period from May to October 1961 so the photograph will date from that period. The entire class had gone by 1963, No.31903 going in December 1962 by which time she was at Norwood Junction. Her train at Padstow is an unidentified Maunsell set while on the right is stabled some Bulleid stock, that visible being of a later design with deeper window ventilators. It must have been a warm day at Padstow as shorts and/or shirt sleeves predominate.
Photo from John Mann collection

Click here for Padstow Gallery 8: May 1962 - c1964




[Source: Martin James]

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