A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

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WCML55.68
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A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

Good evening,

Does anyone know of any information about a triple fatal road accident which happened in 1955? All my research, including D&G Police, hours searching D&G media, and Government records etc have drawn a complete blank. It must have been reported in contemporary press and it was raised in Parliament. Possibility of history and photos if we an find them.

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... ct-glasgow

Also does anyone have anything on the upgrading of the A74 1964/65 ? Theres a couple of odd shots on Flickr and Railscot and a bit on Sabre but there must be some official records somewhere. The name M M Ltd appears on the side of a contractors site office on a John Whiteley piccie. This is now recorded as Murdoch Mackenzie Motherwell accordong to the commemorative marker stone, contact ongoing. And all approaches to Skanska re the bridge replacement 2005 have been ignored. Im sure I read somewhere that an HGV crashed into the bridge which resulted in some shoring up and eventual replacement.

Many thanks once again.
Last edited by WCML55.68 on Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
jimwatt2mm
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by jimwatt2mm »

As far as I was aware, the burn under the viaduct was the county boundary. Depending on which side the accident happened, it may have been dealt with by Lanarkshire Constabulary.

Jim
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

Hi Jim,

Yes I know Harthope was right at limit of D&G boundary. Dumfries library have been extremely helpful and a nice box of Choccies is going to be heading that way next summer, havent been for years. Sadly with all the boundary changes it is now South Lanarkshire and I was told that some of the records were transferred to Hamilton???? library who failed to reply to all my emails. So perhaps a visit one day.

I dont know exactly where the accident occurred but I do know that the road markings heading south were revised and improved, and ribbed kerbstones like rumble strips were installed although this may have predated the accident. In addition the Pre-Worboys Double Bend sign was replaced with a larger sized one, 1½ times the size of a normal 12"x 21" one. This must be one of the earliest examples of the larger size and even more amazingly was fitted with sighting board even larger, no colour shots found but presumably bright yellow. But true to Government dept form, both signs had the standard S symbol which did not represent the actual road layout. Eventually a new symbol was introduced in LH and RH variants to show which way the road bent but neither was used at Harthope. No photos of the road approaching the bend before the viaduct heading north have been found so far..........so I can only surmise that the accident happened in the dark, no street lighting and headlamps like candles, and a car driver failed to realise the road ran in front of the cottages and turned left under the viaduct. So either ended up in the burn, Evan Water, or collided with another vehicle head on. So possibly D&G. Doubt we will ever find out.

TTFN P.
Last edited by WCML55.68 on Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
dumb buffer
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by dumb buffer »

Somewhere about 1964/65 I was driving my parent's car, a Ford Anglia, with vacuum operated wipers. in the dark, in the rain...…… up the A74; at the start of the roadworks we got confused, and drove for about 10 miles on the wrong side of the new dual carriageway. We had no problems and eventually managed to get back across somewhere about Beattock summit. Innocent days!

Allan F
dunalastairv
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by dunalastairv »

I don't know if it's at all of interest but when I visited the site of the cottages a few years ago now, by driving down what had been the A74 but was now a dead-end lay-by, there in the bushes opposite the site of the cottages, was an engraved stone, looking for all the while as though it should have been in a churchyard, but commemorating the completion of the rebuilt road. I imagine it's still there.
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

dumb buffer wrote:Somewhere about 1964/65 I was driving my parent's car, a Ford Anglia, with vacuum operated wipers. in the dark, in the rain...…… up the A74; at the start of the roadworks we got confused, and drove for about 10 miles on the wrong side of the new dual carriageway. We had no problems and eventually managed to get back across somewhere about Beattock summit. Innocent days!

Allan F
Allan, Gosh how lucky were you! someone must have been looking after you that day! Were you on the wrong "live" carriageway or driving along an unfinished section through the roadworks? Vac wipers, drop a gear to get any speed out of them! Our old Vitesse with dynamo couldnt support the wipers and demisters at the same time, heavy rain we had to pull over! The A74 upgrade through Harthope commenced in 1964 and was finished in 1965. Deemed necessary because of the huge upsurge in traffic using it and associated problems, although other parts of the A74 were deemed higher priority.

Completely unrelated to CR, my Dad worked for Ultra Radio and TV in Glasgow. They used Ford Consuls with column changes as travelling Reps cars. One of them went into reverse at about 50mph and the rep was killed, the car somersaulted and ripped apart as Dad described it. Ultra changed to Austins, I remember their A60s. They had a rep called Tom whose driving was of such a standard, if Dad and Tom were out together, Dad insisted on driving. Travelling along the A8, the killer road, during a similar to the A74 upgrade, Tom says "for gawds sake dont hit one of those oildrums. (steel and used as bollards and lane markers etc and painted broad bands red and white - common practise those days) Why not? "because theyre full of concrete" How do you know that? " I hit one!!
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

dunalastairv wrote:I don't know if it's at all of interest but when I visited the site of the cottages a few years ago now, by driving down what had been the A74 but was now a dead-end lay-by, there in the bushes opposite the site of the cottages, was an engraved stone, looking for all the while as though it should have been in a churchyard, but commemorating the completion of the rebuilt road. I imagine it's still there.
Good morning Michael,

Thank you for this, was not aware. Can you remember exactly where it was located?

I have been several times, the remains of the old A74 is now known as Coatsgate Layby. You could see the dropped kerb for the gates into the most northern cottage and the sleeper-built fence marking its northern boundary up the embankment to the line and last visit we took gloves, wellies and loppers to see if we could find the occupation underpass a bit further north but the whole area is now so overgrown and dangerous very little is visible, and I suspect the underpass has been filled in or concrete lined as there are concrete walls supporting the embankment just where we reckoned the underpass had been. Its of no use now, doesnt go anywhere. I think it was for Netherhowecleuch Farm, for a long long time derelict and isolated from the A74 because of the M74. Access is now from the other side.

Dont suppose you photographed it? I can feel another trip coming on,sadly exiled now, breakfast at Tebay services is out of this world!

TTFN P.
dunalastairv
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by dunalastairv »

I very much agree with you about Tebay Services - we always make a point of stopping there because it's so much better than the average. With regard to the 'gravestone', I'm afraid I didn't photograph it and I have to confess that I only came across it due to a call of nature! However, I was parked opposite where the cottages stood and I'm quite sure a poke about in the bushes would reveal it still there, between the current road and the old road now the lay-by - especially if you go when the boscage has died down for the Winter. Good luck!
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

Many thanks, watch this space!!
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.39687 ... 312!8i6656

Link to the old A74, showing kerbstones, these look as they may have had Cats-eyes reflectors in, Im sure there were also some ribbed ones, dig into the photos here. But swivel around 180* to re4veal an electric substation opposite, I fear it the marker may be gone, but investigation needed, good excuse for a day out. :)
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

Have come across this on Sabre. So we need to take wellies, loppers and gloves again......

https://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/vi ... hp?t=32018 mentioning the moving of the stone.

Also this search mentions a memorial, "A plaque commemorating the opening of the northern section of M6, replacing the final southern section of A74" ...........6th photo from left, top row. Left click once to enlarge the photo (doesnt seem to lead anywhere) and then left click once on the second row, second from left group of 8 piccies which appear alongside.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=stone ... FvRDC0BBEM:
dunalastairv
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by dunalastairv »

The Google Earth image is revealing and I must admit I'd forgotten that fenced enclosure. My recollection now is that the marker is in the bushes just to the north of it. It certainly isn't the one shown of 'Flicker' - the one at Harthope was very much out of sight and very much covered in undergrowth. I'm sure you'll post us a picture if you do find it! Incidentally my reason for viewing these locations originally was to try and find a Caledonian house number plate still in situ, but obviously there was nothing to see here at Harthope, and the extant buildings nearer Beattock produced nothing either. Another unsolved mystery...
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

From what I can tell by grossly zooming and enhancing the few shots, the block of 4 cottages certainly had small oval white presumably enamel plates. They had double front doors, hinged at both sides and closure together in the centre. The plates were mounted at the top of the right hand doors very close to the closure point. These cottages dated to between 1859-1897 and were numbered 605, 607, 609 and 611. The block of two cottages dated to between 1899-1906 and are very different in construction to the block 4. But they also had the white oval plates but mounted right in the centre of the door frame above the top of the door but below the fanlight window. Numbered 601 and 603. Now I had always believed that the two storey house at Harthope was shoe-horned into the little remaining space between the block 4 and the viaduct which is why the distinctive pointy V-shaped bay windows did not look straight at the line which would allow views both ways. ALL of the other similar houses Im aware of both Caledonian and Lancaster & Carlisle directly face the line. But Ive fairly recently discovered the Harthope one dated back to at least 1859 so presumably was built at the opening of the line and faced south to observe banked trains. The last remaining similar one on Beattock is confirmed as of similar age by the current owner. There are a couple more in Ecclefechan but the appearance and dimensions differ slightly, different stone, and the L&C ones at Shap summit and Tebay Services!!!, the White House, are nowhere near the quality of the Caley ones although of similar design and believed same builder.

http://www.cooperline.com/wd_details.asp?id=632

These glass negatives were with Eddie Johnson in Stockport who very kindly printed all types of enlargements and details for me but I believe they have moved elsewhere although I imagine prints can still be ordered. Home page, WD Cooper and search Beattock, you will be amazed. And try the ones marked no image too. Theres also an absolutely marvellous similar colour shot to the link above on Colour-rail, cant provide a link, got to search. Image 392942.
Last edited by WCML55.68 on Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
dunalastairv
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by dunalastairv »

I needed to check something before posting this reply and I've done this over the weekend: with regard to house numberplates, I wrote an article about these on page 5 of The True Line, no. 131, but the one I used as an example was cast-iron, not enamel, and is just marked 'C 74'. The fact that you know the number of the individual dwellings at Harthope, and the fact that they had white numbers above the front doors is most interesting. Either it confirms these plates were originally painted white - mine has no paint on it at all - or else the material was changed to enamel at some point, which was probably cheaper as well as needing no paint. A third option is that these numbers were simply sign-wriiten onto a white oval-shaped background. I would really love to see a close up which would give 'chapter and verse' as it were. The fact that the Harthope dwellings were numbered in the 600s also gives rise to a further question: how many houses did the Caley own and was there a formal numbering system? Amazing what strands these arcame subjects produce!

Best wishes, Michael.
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

BEATTOCK COTTAGES GABLE 2 (2).jpg
BEATTOCK COTTAGES GABLE 2 (2).jpg (47.34 KiB) Viewed 12688 times
Hello Michael,

Apologies for delay,

The actual house numbers and street name have come from official BR plans, I assumed that they fitted in with the other houses, not that there were many, on the A74 road which was known as Carlisle Road at this point. As yet Ive not found anything regarding those at Beattock Summit nor Beattock Village, only odd photograpks. But these are interesting, Colour-rail has a brilliant colour shot of Harthope Cottages boarded up in 1966 #392942, search Beattock. loco 44902. If you order a modellers scan high res, it will be watermarked somewhere that does not obstruct your requirements. It clearly shows the white ovals on certainly 5 of the 6 doors. They are so white, that in view of the circumstances and the probable lack of repaint from LMS days, Ive always assumed that they were enamel, perhaps not so, no proof either way. I also have a few background shots of the cottages facing Beattock station, and even less at the Summit, all now demolished. Theres only evidence of one white oval on a B/W shot, but that doesnt necessarily mean there were no others, just the number and angle of photos. It appears to be mounted slightly off centre to the right near the top although this might be down to the perspective of the recessed door. The doorhandle is on the left with a central letterbox, and there is no fanlight above the door, but what appears to be a blanking plate. Pure surmise, but I wonder if the door was original double hinged centre closing with a fanlight as per those at Harthope and has been altered. Ive attached a small section of the Station cottages, I think I own the negative now, but the Colour-rail shot is strictly Copyright. I will ask Paul if he would mind if a small portion is posted with credit, but the photo is a cracker and well worth the money.

One thing is definite, despite the quite high number of these rows of CR cottages, there were many minor variations or mods between them, and photos are scarce, close ups virtually non existent so far.
The model has been built using many segments of the few photos to form a jigsaw, and with a certain amount of educated calculation, guesswork! and is as accurate a model as is possible. Hopefully completed before the end of the year
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

Many thanks to Paul Chancellor of Colour-Rail for allowing this crop of a Copyright photo to be posted on the Forum. The complete scene is available as a Modellers Scan #392942, search UK Steam, Beattock, loco 44902 banked by 76098. A fascinating scene, all sadly demolished, which is totally unrecognisable today. Well worth the money, grab yourself a copy for Christmas!

https://colourrail.co.uk/gallery/steam

Of note are the oval house numbers, centre of doorframe above single doors, offset to right of centre double doors, actually on the R/H door itself.

But the scene has so much more to offer, one of the most visited, photographed, nostalgic and now historic scenes ever, for me a good choice of prototype.
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101A 44902 76098 06-04-1966 COLOUR-RAIL TO (10).jpg
101A 44902 76098 06-04-1966 COLOUR-RAIL TO (10).jpg (48.66 KiB) Viewed 12600 times
WCML55.68
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Re: A74 Harthope Viaduct RTA

Post by WCML55.68 »

Morning,

The A74 commemorative opening stone is still there, amazingly large, its a couple of hundred yards north of the site of the cottages now, presumably moved when the sub-station was built. Sadly the whole area of Coatsgate Layby has become a dumping ground, anything from vanloads of tyres to washing machines at the side of the road to washing machines tipped down the embankment to Evan Water.

The inscription reads -

A74 Harthope Section
Constructed 1963-1964
for
The Secretary of State
For Scotland
Engineer
Babtie Shaw and Morton CCE
Glasgow
Contractor
Murdoch Mackenzie Ltd
Motherwell


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