Turning the TPO's

Robin Summerhill
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:36 am

Re: Turning the TPO's

Post by Robin Summerhill » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:59 pm

A banker was usally sitting in the siding opposite the C&W works on the other side of the bridge and was called upon as required. At the risk of upsetting one former member (who I don't think has emerged again yet on the new forum) the favourite engine for that job was 43924 because it couldn't be trusted to keep enough steam much further then Fishponds...

The bankers would normally go to Fishponds although in those days when bankers were not coupled on and simply gave an uncoupled shove from the rear,it was not unknown for a train to get to Fishponds before its banker!

Trains were not topped and tailed in those days because each locomotive had its own crew rather than the remote operation we have with modern traction. The only place locally where regular topping and tailing took place was between Templecome Upper and Templecombe junction. Although carried out ostensibly on safety grounds, it was not a pleasant experience sitting in a train with an engine at both ends becaus sometimes the front engine pulled too hard, or the rear engine pushed too hard, and one was quoite relieved to get to then end of it. I suspect the couplings and buffers were too...

Finally, the reversal from Mangotsfield North to South would have been done slowly with a lot of lamp waving from the guard. Health & Safety in the 50s and 60s was not what it is today ;)

Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:08 pm

Re: Turning the TPO's

Post by buxton4472 » Fri May 01, 2020 3:04 pm

I admit to having no knowledge whatsoever regarding TPO stock, but I recall regularly seeing 1N59 (the evening Bristol - Newcastle mail) complete with at least two TPO vehicles plus one sleeping car pass through Charfield at around 20:00. I believe it called at Mangotsfield and then ran non-stop to Gloucester Eastgate. I cannot recall any lineside mail pick-up/set-down equipment anywhere on the ex-Midland route at least as far north as B'ham so were there variants of TPO carriages, some of which were fitted with catchers and some which were not, and in which case were the latter type (if they existed) the ones used for 1N59 and 1V22?

Robin Summerhill
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:36 am

Re: Turning the TPO's

Post by Robin Summerhill » Fri May 01, 2020 11:09 pm

the green mile wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:13 am

While on the subject it has always baffled me why Kingswood Junction was so named. Why not Speedwell, Whoitehall or Greenbank Junction?
I gave a brief response to this a couple of days ago, but as the matter intrigued me I looked more closely into how things looked in the area back in the closing years of the 19th century. Here is a map of the area surveyed between 1881 and 1883: https://maps.nls.uk/view/101454603 Zoom in for further details.

The line that goes off to the east is shown on the map. Following it along reveals that it served a number of pits in the area, and also the Atlas Locomotive Works. It is difficult to even recognise the road layout that existed back then, but the line appears to have terminated at Speedwell, slightly to the north of what we now think of as Kingswood.

Turning to the matter of residential development, it will be seen that Bristol effectively ended at Devon’s Road bridge, and beyond that was fields and isolated settlements. It was possible to live in Clay Hill and walk to work as a farm labourer!

It is perhaps interesting to see how things have changed over 140 years, and it perhaps gives a reason as to why Whitehall and Greenbank were not names chosen for a junction in the 19th century. These places simply did not exist at the time.

The name of Speedwell Junction could theoretically have been used, but I seem to remember from Religious Instruction lessons in my youth that John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church, started his preaching career at Hanham Mount, in Hanham of course, and his ”flock” were collectively known as the “Kingswood Miners.” This might explain the origin of the junction’s name.

the green mile
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:00 am

Re: Turning the TPO's

Post by the green mile » Sat May 02, 2020 7:30 pm

Very good bit of research Robin. I certainly had a hunch that the coal mines in the area around St George, Kingswood and Hanham might have something to do with it. If buying a property in that area, a mining survey is definitely to be recommended. I did of course make the mistake of assuming that those districts existed all those years ago.

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