Acts of Parliament Relating to Railways

A little bit more detail on my latest acquisition.

INTRODUCTION

Those of you who read my post about James and Sons last auction of 2017 will recall that I secured a collection of copies of Acts of Parliament relating to the development of railways. I am now going to provide a little more detail about each item in that collection.

LOT 544 ACT BY ACT

I am going through these documents in the precise order in which I came across them when I photographed them individually on Friday, starting with…

FARNHAM AND ALTON

Farnham and Alton

The section of line this refers to is a branch that diverges from the main line towards Basingstoke and Salisbury at Brookwood, calling at Ash Vale, Aldershot, Farnham, Bentley and Alton. These days there is also a side branch from Aldershot to Ash, Wanborough and Guildford. 

HAMPTON COURT

Hampton Court

This little branch, which is still very much in service today diverges from the main line at Surbiton and has only two further stations, Thames Ditton and Hampton Court. More information about Hampton Court itself can be found here. I cover a potential use for this branch as part of a greater whole in this post.

EGHAM AND CHERTSEY

Egham and Chertsey

This branch, which diverges from the Waterloo-Reading route at Virginia Water has stations at Chertsey, Addlestone and Weybridge, the last named of which offers an jinterchange to the main London-Portsmouth route. This branch, still very much in service, is a part of my envisioned London Orbital Railway.

ARRANGEMENTS WITH OTHER RAILWAY COMPANIES

Arrangements with other railway companies

Rather than dealing with specific infrastructure plans this one seeks to provide the London & South Western with powers to make arrangements with other railway companies. The necessity of bills of this nature, and the fact that on many occasions the companies concerned were at such loggerheads with each other as to be chiefly concerned with doing one another down rather than with providing the best possible service hints at serious weaknesses with having railways in private hands. 

READING, GUILDFORD AND REIGATE

Reading, Guildford & Reigate

This is a substantial line, running in fact from Reading to Redhill, one stop beyond Reigate, and these days having a southern spour from Redhill to Gatwick Airport. There are intermediate stations at Earley, Winnersh Triangle, Winnersh, Wokingham, Crowthorne, Sandhurst, Blackwater, Farnborough North, North Camp, Ash, Guildford, Shalford, Chilworth, Gomshall, Dorking West, Dorking Deepdene and Betchworth. 

LONDON BRIDGE

London Bridge

This was a matter of gaining access to a major London terminus. Today London Bridge remains a very major station, with interchanges to London Underground’s Northern and Jubilee lines.

WHITCHURCH, ANDOVER & SALISBURY

Whitchurch, Andover and Salisbury

This refers to the section of line that heads west from Basingstoke calling at Overton, Whitchurch, Andover, Grateley and Salisbury. 

GUILDFORD, FAREHAM AND PORTSMOUTH

Guildford, Fareham, Portsmouth

This covers half of the line between Portsmouth and Southampton on todays network and the stretch from Portsmouth to Guildford which goes by way of Fratton, Hilsea, Bedhampton, Rowlands Castle, Petersfield, Liss, Liphook, Haslemere, Witley, Milford, Godalming and Farncombe.

RICHMOND TO WINDSOR

Richmond to Windsor

Both the Hounslow loop and the line to Windsor are still very much part of the network. This is one of two lines to Windsor, the other of which runs as a shuttle service between Slough and Windsor. These two branches which currently have terminuses so close together feature in a scheme I have in mind for the District line.

STAINES TO WOKING AND WOKINGHAM

Staines to Wokingham and Woking

These days there is no direct connection from Staines to Woking. The other route, with stations at Egham, Virginia Water, Longcross, Sunningdale, Martins Heron and joining the western end of the Reading and Reigate line referred to earlier at Wokingham. When I attended Richmond Upon Thames I sometimes used trains travellingf this route because they used to go non-stop between Richmond and Clapham Junction. In those distant days the rolling stock had doors that had to be opened and closed by hand – no push buttons on that line, and it needed either considerable care or a willingness to make a very loud bang to be sure that the doors actually were closed.

WIMBLEDON TO CROYDON

Wimbledon to Croydon

This little line is now the northern spur of London Tramlink. For more detail on this line and its possible role in a wider scheme go here.

READING EXTENSION

Reading extension

This can be though of as tying up a loose end, and the arrangements still hold to this day.

HAVANT TO GODALMING

Havant to Godalming

This line comprises the majority of the main line between London and Portsmouth, and still fucntions today pretty much as it did then (save for South West Trains’ continuing problems with reliability and punctuality).

SALISBURY TO YEOVIL

Salisbury to Yeovil

This little section, which from Salisbury calls at Tisbury, Gillingham, Templecombe, Sherborne and Yeovil Junction was conceived as a useful link. Yeovil has two stations, Yeovil Junction and Yeovil Pen Mill which are so close together as to be considered effectively an interchange.

YEOVIL TO EXETER

Yeovil to Exeter

A short western extension, which is still in use today, with stations at Crewkerne, Axminster, Honiton, Feniton, Whimple, Pridhoe, St James Park, Exeter Central and Exeter St Davids. 

BRANCH TO CAMBRIDGE TOWN

Branch to Cambridge Town

No misprints here – what was then known as Cambridge Town, Surrey is now called Camberley, and this branch, which diverges from the line to Reading at Ascot and calls at Bagshot, Camberley and Frimley (well known to those who enjoy darts) before joining the Aldershot line at Ash Vale, is still very much functioning.

SUSSEX AND SURREY

Sussex and Surrey

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway clearing the way for future developments in Sussex and Surrey, many fo which came to fruition and are still in service, and some of which fell beneath the Beeching axe in the 1960s. 

AMALGAMATION

Amalgamation

The London and South Western getting the go-ahead for expansionism. 

BASINGSTOKE TO NEWBURY

Basingstoke to Newbury

There is these days no direct connection between Basingstoke and Newbury. The mentions of Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon are of interest to me as this is the part of the world I grew up in. The station referred to as Lower Merton is nowadays called Haydons Road. All of Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon nowadays have London Underground stations serving them as well – the District reached Wimbledon in 1869, while Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Colliers Wood and South Wimbledon (which between them cover Tooting and Merton) were all opened in 1926 when the Northern line was extended southwards from Clapham Common to Morden. 

DORSET

Dorset

Purely about improving access, and having travelled that way many times over the years I can tell you that the track widening referred to did take place. There are still regular services from Bournemouth and Poole up to the Midlands, as well as between London and Weymouth. 

NORTH CORNWALL

North Cornwall

Something of a ‘portmanteau’ act – covering operations in a vast area and relating to many different sections of railway. Over 2,100 years ago a Roman consul named Titus Didius recognised the undesirability of unrelated matters being tacked together in big unwieldy pieces of legislation and outlawed the practice – an aspect of Roman law that we would have been well advised to incorporate into our own laws.

The Last Auction Of 2017

An account of James and Sons’ final auction of 2017.

INTRODUCTION

James and Sons last auction of 2017 took place at our own premises in central Fakenham on Wednesday, and in this post I tell the story of that sale.

THE PRELIMINARIES – TUESDAY

On Tuesday we moved the stock for auction downstairs, and with that laid out, and the smaller high-value lots in the vault until the morning I then brought down and set up such of the IT equipment as I could (we are a laptop down at present so I would be pressing my own machine into service once again) and carried out a brief test which suggested that all was in order and that there should be no issues. 

THE AUCTION ITSELF

I arrived at work bright and early since not even Stagecoach can contrive to have the first bus of the day run seriously late. For those living in Norfolk and uncertain regarding buses in the holiday period services will stop early on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, there will be no services at all on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and a “Saturday service” will operate from the 27th to 29th of December inclusive (and since that day is actually a Saturday presumably also on the 30th). 

Coffee made, emails checked and a few things gathered up to go downstairs I went back downstairs at 7:45AM. The IT setup went smoothly, and I had the slide show running before any bidders arrived (there were a few room bidders on this occasion). Here are some pictures from this period:

Stock 1Stock 2IT setupBig Screen

BANKNOTES AND COINS

The auction kicked off with some uncirculated banknotes which went for very high prices. Lot 43, a display book showing old and new format New Zealand banknotes, brought the curtain down on that segment, going for £440. 

Lots 44-50 were less valuable banknotes. Then lots 51-56 were very rare coins. Unfortunately the reserves had been set too high to attract bidders, with the exception of lot 51, a 1787 gold guinea which went for £600. 

The remaining lots of coins and banknotes went fairly quietly, although there were a one or two good prices achieved. 

1
Imaging these uncirculated banknotes was a fiddle. They had to be imaged through the plastic covers they were encased in to avoid damage, and the black bakcground was needed for use in the catalogue. Additionally, since both sides were required what you see are two images joined to become one.

44343-a43-d

1-p
Lot 51.

POSTCARDS

Lots 151-300 were postcards, mainly military themed, and while there were no headline grabbers in this section, most of them did find buyers. 

STAMPS

Not quite on a par with the extraordinary happenings of November 29 (see here for more details), but much better than our stamp sections have historically been. 

EPHEMERA

The last 100 lots (501-600) to go under the hammer at James and Sons in 2017 were all ephemera. I expected a fairly quiet end to the auction, and that is what eventuated. Lot 545, with a modest estimate of £20-30 went for £75.

545

Immediately before that an optimistic bid I placed on lot 544 met no opposition. At some stage I will probably do a whole post about this lot. This is the picture that everyone was able to see:

544

Here are some more pictures taken today…

Farnham and AltonHampton CourtEgham and ChertseyArrangements with other railway companiesReading, Guildford & ReigateLondon BridgeWhitchurch, Andover and SalisburyGuildford, Fareham, PortsmouthRichmond to WindsorStaines to Wokingham and WokingWimbledon to CroydonReading extensionHavant to GodalmingSalisbury to YeovilYeovil to ExeterBranch to Cambridge TownSussex and SurreyAmalgamationBasingstoke to NewburyDorsetNorth Cornwall

The Journey To Penzance

An account of the journey to Penzance, setting the scene for my next post, about Penzance itself.

INTRODUCTION

This is continuing my account of my visit to Cornwall. We have reached Saturday, which for me featured a trip to England’s westernmost commercial railway station (note England not Britain – Arisaig on the Glasgow-Mallaig line in Scotland is further west), Penzance. The closest station in time terms to my parent’s new home is St Germans, and that is where my train journey started.

ST GERMANS

St Germans is completely unstaffed, and therefore, since there is no one to maintain it, has no ticket machines either. Tickets are purchased from the conductor once you are on the train. You are only allowed to do this at unstaffed stations – boarding without a ticket at a station where you can purchase one renders you liable to a penalty fare of £20 (I heard another passenger who had done this escaping with a warning not to do it again).

I had a bit of time at St Germans (given that the next train to call at St Germans was two hours later this was indubitably the sensible position to be in. Here are some photographs from the station…

TimetablesRoute mapSGRUGSt Germans MapSt Germans waiting areaView from the footbridgeView from the footbridge 2Holiday accommodationsgrug@btinternet.comHelp Point, St GermansHoliday accommodation IISt GermansDisplay, waiting area, St Germans

GWR

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

The ticket issued by the onboard conductor is much bigger than a standard train ticket. 

Tickets

THE JOURNEY TO PENZANCE

Taking pictures through the windows of a moving train is not especially easy, although I did at least have a window seat for the entire journey, so was never shooting across people. After leaving St Germans the train called at Liskeard (change for the Looe branch line), Bodmin Parkway, Lostwithiel (although the name might suggets otherwise as far as I am aware no elves live here!), Par (trains to Newquay depart from here), St Austell, Truro (Falmouth services diverge here), Redruth, Camborne, Hayle, St Erth (branch line to St Ives from here) and Penzance. Here are the pictures from this journey…

View from the train, just beyond St GermansFrom the trainLiskeard through the windowLiskeard stationThrough the window IIThrough the window IIIWoodland with visitor centrebirds through the windowLostwithielLostwithiel StationDiscover LostwithielLostwithiel signNew build, LostwithielThrough the window IVParbranch line train, ParBodminBodmin IIBodmin IIIEng worksSt AustellSt Austell 2Discover the Tarka LineHouseTruro CathedralTruro Cathedral IIITruro Cathedral IVLeaving TruroTownscapeTruro (1)TruroRedruthWaiuting area, RedruthWaiting area, Redruth IICamborneCamborne IICamborne Townbench, CamborneCamborne platformHayleHayle platformPlatform InfoWHHTownscape IISt Erthapproaching PenzanceApproaching Penzance II

PENZANCE STATION

These pictures were taken both on arrival at Penzance, and towards the end of my time in Penzance.

GWR mapChanges to train times

Tiles, Penzance
This was my first effort at capturing this tile picture…
Tile Picture
…and this, later in the day, was my second and final effort.

Penzance Welcomes YouPenzance StationIncoming traintrain at Penzance stationPoppy displayThrough train to London PaddingtonPenzance Station, looking outWall picturesWay OutNational Rail MapPenzance Station 1Incoming

 

Downham Market

A photographic account of Downham Market, an old market town in Norfolk.

INTRODUCTION

As those of you who read the post I put up earlier today will know I spent part of Saturday in the town of Downham Market. These post showcases everything I saw there other than the Town Hall. 

THE STATION

This was my first visit to Downham Market, as opposed to passing through the station en route to further afield destinations. The pictures here were taken at two distinct periods, in the morning immediately post arrival, and in the afternoon when I had rather more time to kill than I would have wished. The only way across the tracks at Downham Market is by way of a level crossing, and the train from London to King’s Lynn arrives just before the one going the other way. The crossing gates close a couple of minutes before the King’s Lynn train arrives and stay closed until the London train has departed, which means that if you are looking to catch the King’s Lynn train, which departs from the far platform from the town centre and the crossing gates close you have missed it, and such was my fate on Saturday. For those affected this also explains both my later than usual arrival at the venue for Musical Keys and the fact that I was a tad breathless when I got there – I had stepped off a train at 15:20 at King’s Lynn and walked straight out to the Scout Hut in something of a hurry.

London ConnectionsRailway MapGNNGN

signal box
The signal box at Downham Market
Station building
The station building – very impressive, and I was to discover quite typical of 19th century Downham Market buildings in the use of Carr (the brown coloured stone).
Local Map
A handy little map for working out one’s route from the station.
Terrace
I reckon (though I am opne to correction) that this little terrace was built to accommodate railway workers.
Bennett & Son
This building is visible from the station platform.

Date stone

THE REST OF DOWNHAM MARKET

I start with two pictures to set the scene, a huge pictorial map which can be seen in the town centre and the information board about the railway:

Giant MapThe Railway 1

The ‘Downham’ part of Downham Market comes from Anglo-Saxon (afterall, we are in the lands of the North Folk of the East Angles) and literally means ‘homestead on a hill’, and indeed the market town that grew up around that homestead (it has been a market town since Anglo-Saxon times) is slightly elevated from the surrounding countryside, which in Norfolk constitutes being on a hill! These photos are presented in the order in which they were taken.Georgian housePedimentDoorShelley CottageSemi-detachedbirdStone shieldGarden CentreThe Railway 2Garden Centre 2Garden Centre 3sunclock 1sunclock 2The Railway close up 1Railway Close Up 2The Railway close up 37098Sculpture 1Sculpture 2Temple like buildingBlocked windowDate plaque 1Date plaque 2

Info signs
There will be more about Civray in the next section.

InfoGiant MapsignsShopClock 1FountainMP sculptedStone bird82 Bridge Street

CIVRAY

I realised that there could be only one explanation for a signpost in cengtral Downham Market giving the distance to the town of Civray, namely that the two towns are twinned. Civray for the record is pretty much exactly halfway between Poitiers and Angouleme, due east of La Rochelle. I include a map as well as a close up of the sign.

Civray 628Civray

 

Scotland – Homeward Bound: Lochluichart to Inverness

Continuing the account of the homeward journey, taking the story up to Inverness (Inbhir Nis).

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next post in my series about my holiday in Scotland. This post continues the story of the journey home picking up where it’s predecessor left off at Lochluichart.

LOCHLUICHART TO INVERNESS

This part of the journey is not as impressive as its predecessor, but I did still get some good pictures.

14901491149214931496149714981499150115021503150715081509151015121513151415151516151715181519

 

Scotland – Wednesday Part 1: Plockton

The latest post ion my series about my Scottish Holiday, dealing with Plockton.

INTRODUCTION

We have reached the Wednesday in my series of posts about my holiday in Scotland, which astute readers will recall was the day of my birthdayFor previous posts in this series please click here. There will be a number of posts about this day as we saw a lot of fantastic scenery.

PLOCKTON

Our first port of call was Plockton, where were hoping to book a table at the Plockton Inn (it is in the Good Food Guide). There were also a few other things to see in Plockton. Here are some early pictures:

655
This is the approach to Plockton

656

657
The Plockton Inn sign
658
Picture in the Plockton Inn

We were lucky at the Inn – they did have a table, at 6PM, so we knew when we had to be back in Plockton. This sorted, it was time to explore Plockton:

Plockton info board660Castle662Map, Plockton664Map Board - PlocktonHeritage Centre1Heritage Centre2Heritage Centre3Heritage Centre 4Heritage Centre 5Heritage Centre 6Heritage Centre 8Heritage Centre 9

Plockton Hotel
This ‘stone-look’ frontage is a fail as far I as am concerned.

Island, PlocktonCastle, PlocktonRailway History

Black and White Railway Cigarette Cards

A whistle-stop tour of some railway themed cigarette cards.

INTRODUCTION

This post is dedicated to the last of four lots that fell my way at James and Sons’ April auction (all exceedingly cheap – uncontested minimum bids in each case), lot 1186 which was a stout booklet of railway themed cigarette cards. This set dates from 1938.

PAGE BY PAGE THROUGH THE BOOK

DSCN6476
I have organised these images showing pictures first and then the text on the reverse for each page, except for a couple where I forgot to photograph the text.

DSCN6477DSCN6478DSCN6479DSCN6480DSCN6481DSCN6482DSCN6483DSCN6484DSCN6485DSCN6486DSCN6487DSCN6488DSCN6489DSCN6490DSCN6491DSCN6492DSCN6493DSCN6494DSCN6495DSCN6496DSCN6498DSCN6497DSCN6499

SOME CLOSE UPS

I also took some close ups of particular cards that caught my fancy. 

CLOSE UP 1: LONDON UNDERGROUND STOCK

This prototype was not adopted on a large scale – the 1938 stock that came into service just after these cards were produced did not have the frontage that this stock did (I travelled on 1938 stock in my childhood, since the last specimens were only withdrawn from service in 1985, and even after that a few were used to run services on the Isle of Wight Railway). My estimate from the picture is that this particular train was somewhere near Southgate when it was photographed. There is a carriage of 1938 stock on display in the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden.

DSCN6504DSCN6505

CLOSE UP 2: A LONDON UNDERGROUND SIGNAL ROOM

Even in 1938 most signals on London Underground were automatically triggered by trains, but there is human input as well…

DSCN6500DSCN6503

CLOSE UP 3: TWO TRAINS IN ONE

The sheer quirkiness of this appealed to me:

DSCN6501DSCN6502

CLOSE UP 4: THE FFESTINIOG RAILWAY

This relates to my previous post. You will notice that the spelling on the cards is ‘Festiniog’. This is a reflection of anti-Welsh prejudice at the time (the Ff beginning is a Welsh language formation). For the low-down on today’s Ffestiniog Railway please visit their website.

DSCN6517DSCN6518