And yet another mystery photograph

Any aspect related to the structures and equipment on the Caledonian Railway Company.
Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

And yet another mystery photograph

Post by Jim Summers »

Well that last one was fun.
Alan Brotchie has asked for help with this one. It came to him along with some pictures of the Carse of Gowrie, but I hae ma doots.

The prominent bridge may be a clue for some. Other interesting features are the brick tower with a finial, and the adjacent roofs seem to be pantiled, but I am personally defeated. The gates are Stevens, as is the faraway signal. It has the teardrop spectacles, which the Caley used from around 1905 but at that distance they might be the NBR style.

Any suggestions welcome.

JimS
LC where a847 reduced .jpg
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dunalastairv
Posts: 209
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by dunalastairv »

I think those rail chairs are North British. Just a complete guess, is this Newcastleton, looking towards Edinburgh?
John Paton
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

Sorry Jim, I can't offer any suggestions. The footbridge doesn't look Caley, and the brick building doesn't look Scottish (but there are always exceptions). I've looked at some possible NB locations, but their footbridges are not of that design.

John
John Paton
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

I thought about the Carlisle end of Newcastleton (where the level crossing was) but the 1896 OS shows that there was no footbridge then, and the building beyond the level crossing was set well back from the track. The 1916 OS shows a footbridge but an elaborate one with staircases from the station platforms and the level crossing (it survived until closure). Longtown had the junction immediately south of the level crossing. I also thought of stations on the ECML east of Edinburgh, the Cowdenbeath - Kinross section, and the ECML between Kirkcaldy and Cupar; but of the limited number of old station photos I have on these lines none matches.

John
John Paton
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

I've had a more detailed look at OS maps of the Carse of Gowrie stations, but draw a blank.
Invergowrie - no level crossing, topography wrong.
Longforgan - the signal box always stood on the site of the brick building in the photo and the footbridge (when it was built) was not at the level crossing.
Errol and Inchture - stations were not at the level crossing.
Glencarse and Kinfauns - no level crossing.

John
duncan
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by duncan »

Are pantiles just East Lothian & Fife, or also further afield ?
Duncan
John Paton
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

Duncan,
"Buildings of the Scottish Countryside" by Naismith says that pantiles were used in Lothian, Stirlingshire and along the northern coastline of the Forth in Clackmannan and Fife. "Apart from these areas only isolated parts of the countryside especially along the east coast used clay tiles for roofing".

John
duncan
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by duncan »

thanks John
WCML55.68
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by WCML55.68 »

Jim,

The quoinstone bricks around the door certainly hint at NBR or possibly GSWR but my immediate reaction to this shot was Irish.

That footbridge is unlike anything Ive ever seen before. Pouring through all my books, quite a few! has drawn a complete blank.
Of note are the cross slats and the large timbers continuing from under the stairs to top of the bannister rails. Ive only seen this in one other place, LSWR although it may be a standard type.It also appears to have been strengthened on the right.

Theres a similar style at Alton plus these .....

http://www.friendsofaltonstation.org.uk ... e-history/

P
JimG
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by JimG »

I'll put a pointer to this thread on the Western Thunder forum. There are a few members of that forum who seem to be very good at identifying locations.

My own gut feel is that it isn't Scotland since most buildings in the period were stone built.

Jim.
Jim Summers
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by Jim Summers »

Thanks everyone for the thoughts so far.

Anything else which you think of will be welcome.

The original, and four other interesting glass slides have now been kindly donated to the Association archives.

JimS
John Duffy
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Duffy »

The suggestion on Western Thunder that it may be north of Newcastle led me to contact a friend with some knowledge of the area. I got this reply;

It’s an interesting wooden footbridge design, but it’s certainly not the classic North Eastern Railway profile.

The brick building in the background doesn’t show any of the Benjamin Green architectural features of the Newcastle to Berwick line buildings, which were mostly stone – no sign of the big stone ball finials, or decorative hanging wooden finials on the wooden barge boards, and in that location I would expect it to be a railway building, probably the crossing keepers cottage. Interesting decorative surround and stepped capping to a finial at the doorway – looks like it might be an extension on that side.

Doesn’t particularly look like any of the other Northumberland railway architecture either.

Looks like a nice Stephens & Co “invisible lattice” lower quadrant signal, but that hardly pins down the location.

We may not be much closer, but have perhaps eliminated an option.

John
WCML55.68
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by WCML55.68 »

Jim,

A bit more research and further thoughts on this.

My initial feeling was Irish. We all know the LMS had connections with Irish railways. Now the diagonal slats on the bridge is reminiscent of Midland Railway station fencing. That finial is very unusual, a huge finial, sculpted, perhaps cross shaped, or hollow?? over a smallish ball is most distinctive. A search for MR finials has brought this up, the closest yet. Have a look at AB22

https://www.sanddmodels.co.uk/products_ ... sories.htm

Following this a general search for Irish railway finials, very interesting, and has brought up this, the closest finial match so far.

https://irrslondon.com/dsc08827/

Wonder if its worth contacting the Irish lads?

Another similar one here.
http://www.appleby-lincs.co.uk/features ... ignal-box/

P.
dunalastairv
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by dunalastairv »

Sorry chaps, but I think the discussions about the finial on the end of the building are a red herring. The design shown there was a very common pattern - the finials on Bewdley South Box, a G.W.R. structure built by McKenzie & Holland, are exactly the same and many N.E.R. boxes had a similar design. Much better I think to concentrate on the Stevens' signal, with tear-drop spectacles - a design not that common on pre-grouping railways, and the rail chairs with their distinctive rib on the side. Both smack of North British and isn't it more likely the brick building is a shop, with a front window that size, rather than a railway building? The very ornate, cast-iron finial atop the brick structure behind is also irrelevant, as decoration like this could be bought through any large iron founders or building supply company. The design is certainly not anything which could be found on top of a railway signal. Furthermore, with those telegraph poles, the whole picture has a 'Scottish feel to it' and I'd be very surprised if it isn't in that country, or the very upper parts of England. (Dismounts from soap box.)

Michael.
John Paton
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

I can't make up my mind whether the track in the photo is four-foot-eight-and-a-half, or five-foot-three.
WCML55.68
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by WCML55.68 »

dunalastairv wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:40 am
Sorry chaps, but I think the discussions about the finial on the end of the building are a red herring. The design shown there was a very common pattern - the finials on Bewdley South Box, a G.W.R. structure built by McKenzie & Holland, are exactly the same and many N.E.R. boxes had a similar design. Much better I think to concentrate on the Stevens' signal, with tear-drop spectacles - a design not that common on pre-grouping railways, and the rail chairs with their distinctive rib on the side. Both smack of North British and isn't it more likely the brick building is a shop, with a front window that size, rather than a railway building? The very ornate, cast-iron finial atop the brick structure behind is also irrelevant, as decoration like this could be bought through any large iron founders or building supply company. The design is certainly not anything which could be found on top of a railway signal. Furthermore, with those telegraph poles, the whole picture has a 'Scottish feel to it' and I'd be very surprised if it isn't in that country, or the very upper parts of England. (Dismounts from soap box.)

Michael.
Hello Michael,

I'd go along with the building now being a shop, looks like a fine display of hats or fashions although I'm not sure if I agree with the Bewdley South SB finials being identical. The one in unknown picture, the finial itself is at the base much wider than the ball and much squatter, not as tall...much more akin to Sutton SB link. I suspect the cross-section is an X shape. Id wondered about the window, and what looks like a Venetian blind - surely not? and having no contrasting quoinstone and soldier bricks like the door, it may have been altered and there's certainly evidence of re-pointing around the window and above the door but I would also expect contrasting bricks at the left side of the building. That peculiar tower smacks so much to me of Irish ingenuity and make do and mend. However as you say it may be a red herring and not originally railway at all or is railway and sold out of use and much altered. If built as a shop, its extremely close to the tracks although it might explain the finial front only, just for show to the road, same as more expensive bricks on the front of an average 1930s semi..

It will be most interesting to get the answer to this one.

P.
WCML55.68
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by WCML55.68 »

Good morning all,

I put the feelers out for this with a couple of friends, 2 replies so for, one from the holder of the slide and originator of the question , this is the other.

P.

Michael Holland raises some interesting points
It seems to me that there are four ‘clues’ to help locate the place in the photo.
The signal, which gives clues to the most likely Railway Co.
The very distinctive design of level crossing gates, which again give an indication of Railway Co.
The Footbridge, which confirm the location.
And the House/Shop which could be Railway (or not) and will define the location.

The Signal
From what one can see this is a Stevens Type Signal as used on a number of railways, particularly in Scotland. In which case the signal will be the same/similar to the attached picture. The indistinct outline of the finial is of the same shape.
If so, the most prolific user of this design of signal was the North British Railway, so I think the photo is most likely somewhere on the North British Railway.
There is no signal lamp visible, but a number of early signals had the lamp on a moveable platform attached to a chain and winch, enabling the lamp to be wound up and down the post from ground level. This one is most probably one of those, as there is no ladder to get to an elevated lamp. The signal in the attached photo has a fixed lamp and therefore has a ladder.

The Level Crossing Gates
These are very distinctive, and I do not recall seeing this design of gate on any English Railway. However a check of some photos shows that the North British Railway used this sort of gate.

The cottage
One assumes this is railway owned, as it looks to be or have been a crossing keepers cottage, but we cannot be certain.
The contrasting brickwork in the doorway is indeed something one might associate with the M&GN, or the Great Northern. However I have a vague feeling I have seen this sort of detail on some photos of places on the North British.

The Footbridge
This could be a distraction and a confusing factor. Wooden footbridges were fairly common in the ‘old’ days but suffered the obvious problems of timber and by BR days there were not many left. Therefore this one might have been replaced at some time, and meaning the appearance of the crossing could have changed considerably, hence why on-one has recognised the location. The amount of timber in the leg might indicate strengthening work.

Unfortunately no sign of a signal box. Perhaps most likely off the photo on the left on the far side of the crossing.

So I think we need someone who is familiar with the NBR.
John Paton
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

Guys,

Could it be this, with replacement footbridge but the same building beyond the level crossing?

John
John Paton
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

Sorry - forgot the important bit - the photos!
Attachments
Leuchars Old 1956 2.jpg
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Leuchars Old 1956 1.jpg
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WCML55.68
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by WCML55.68 »

John Paton wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:19 pm
Sorry - forgot the important bit - the photos!
Thats looking good John,well done.

Theres another shot here.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Leuchars-Old ... 2115043014

Google maps, the whole area is now a road, but theres pantiles in this streetview and the building on the left is visible behind the signal box.

https://www.google.com/maps/@56.3823524 ... 312!8i6656
Leuchars old station.jpg
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dunalastairv
Posts: 209
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by dunalastairv »

Well done John. I'm sure that's the right location and I thought all along it was North British. Very satisfying when a mystery like this is solved.
WCML55.68
Posts: 163
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by WCML55.68 »

Theres a couple of shots of St Fort station showing a wooden footbridge of the same style framework. Same seller has another shot of Leuchars too.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/St-Fort-Rail ... SwEWJZ3KH5

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/St-Fort-Rail ... Sw~05Z3KGw

Also found these. Not CR but hope they are of interest. One clearly shows the wooden footbridge and the wee shop. The building closer is the pantile roof on on the Streetview link.

According to Fife Today, The station opened on its current site on June 1, 1878, then was rebuilt after burning to the ground in 1913. Wonder if that is when the footbridge was replaced.
LEUCHARS MAIN STREET.jpg
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LEUCHARS LEVEL CROSSING 2.jpg
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LEUCHARS LEVEL CROSSING  .jpg
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LEUCHARS FOOTBRIDGE   .jpg
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Jim Summers
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by Jim Summers »

Thank you everyone, especially John Paton who persisted with Fife.

It is hard to see how some of these things could be solved without an active Forum like this. Long may we all continue to enjoy it.

JimS
John Paton
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by John Paton »

One thing I noticed was that the chimney of the building beside the track appears to be taller in the later photos. Maybe it was found that the smoke obscured the signalman's view or blew into his windows when they were open.

John
dunalastairv
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Re: And yet another mystery photograph

Post by dunalastairv »

Hello John,

I think it's more likely the chimney was raised to improve the draw to give more heat in the grate. I've seen this done in many places, both railway and non-railway, and that was the reason for such extensions.

Mike.
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