Strathyre Station gardens.

Any aspect related to the structures and equipment on the Caledonian Railway Company.
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dunalastairv
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:01 am

Strathyre Station gardens.

Post by dunalastairv »

This post follows on from Graham Tipple's query about barrow crossings, which became rather enlarged by a host of additional observations, and at his suggestion, and also that of David Lochrie, I'd like to open with a few relevant photographs, kindly being processed by John Paton, whose remarkable picture of Strathyre station in C.R. days was a focal point of this discussion.

David Lochrie illustrates a rail-mounted platform lamp at Strathyre, which has clearly seen better days! This is the standard Caley paraffin platform lamp, seen all over the system. I have three examples of these, all slightly different, and the one from Errol is the finest, with a comic little circular finial - doubtless the work of a tinsmith with much skill and a sense of humour. In this case the station name is given by an etched blue glass, though the normal way was simply to have a self-adhesive blue and white printed label, as seen in the Strathyre example. The Errol lamp was made by Bulpitt & Sons in Birmingham, in 1891, and has a small brass maker's plate to say so. Bulpitts made a lot of these lamps for the Caley, but not all. Those made by the firm had "CALEDONIAN" stamped in with 1/8" high letters, whereas examples made at St. Rollox had letters 1/4" high. They all sat on cast-iron brackets like the one illustrated, though again there were detailed differences. Some were marked as in the photograph; some were blank; some had Bulpitt's name as well. The brackets enabled the lamps to be removed when they were not in use - and by collectors when stations closed! However, these are not the lamps in the actual gardens at Strathyre, attached to posts held in pottery urns or something similar.

The third picture does illustrate one of these lamps and notice that it has four side fixing lugs, as it was held permanently on battens and wasn't demountable. These are much bigger than the normal C.R. platform lamp and have the 'double burner' vessel inside, as previously discussed. I was lucky to find this vessel - it was on the signal box bonfire at Craigo when I called in May 1981, and I've never seen another. Its near demise is an illustration of how little regard was given to such things, and why they are now so rare. The lamp case itself was bought at auction but I've also never seen another for sale anywhere else. Both lamp and vessel have 'CALEDONIAN' stamped on with 1/4" letters, meaning they were made at St. Rollox.

Finally for this ramble, here is a picture my newly-acquired and very early Stevens signal finial, which I'll describe fully in a forthcoming copy of The True Line. The detail isn't totally clear in John's photograph but this looks very much like the one planted in the rockery at Strathyre and, if you look on page 42 of Jim Summers' excellent signalling book, it's a fair bet the Strathyre one came off the down starting signal, when its wooden post was replaced by a standard Caley lattice one.

Enough for now. Michael.
John Paton
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: Strathyre Station gardens.

Post by John Paton »

Here are Michael's photos, numbered as follows:
1 - Errol lamp;
2 - bracket for same;
3 - large lamp;
4 - burner for large lamp;
5 - finial

John
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John Paton
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: Strathyre Station gardens.

Post by John Paton »

Here are more Strathyre photos showing the gardens.

John
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jasp
Posts: 483
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:40 pm

Re: Strathyre Station gardens.

Post by jasp »

The “ERROL” on the lamp appears to have been done with flash glass which has a layer of colour fused to the white (clear). The colour is masked and etched off, with hydroflouric acid - very nasty stuff - and, as can be seen, the result can be quite stunning.
I did some work with flash glass as part of my HND but we were not allowed near the acid - that bit was done by the lecturer
Jim P
Dave Lochrie
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Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:38 pm

Re: Strathyre Station gardens.

Post by Dave Lochrie »

Michael beat me to opening a specific Strathyre topic, but I was planning on opening it up to some questions regarding the station following on from Mike Williams' article in TTL No108, but been a bit too busy. I have started this as a draft but as a clever link I offer this close-up of the gardens from one of those promotional slides in regular use in Edwardian times. It offers details of the heron fountain (on), landscaping, planting (I'm not a plant expert but I can spot ferns and acanthus), fencing, advertising and a rare close-up of one of the C&O gradient posts.
Strathyre 31.jpg
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So the question -In Mikes article he quotes the gradients through the station (from Callander, from the right) as 1 in 1431 reducing to 1 in 441 at the end of the loop to pass under the road bridge. But you can see the gradient post is showing 1 in 450, followed by level. Any reason for this?

One of the difficulties with Strathyre, is it's omission from the OS 1 to 2500 series of OS maps, which not infallible, do provide modellers and historians with a great starting point. The above image does provide some dating clues. Mike has seen the NAS 33 foot to an inch plan of the station area speculatively dated at 1910, which are perfect for modellers and is also spot on for the period Mike is setting his model at.
The Heron fountain is the central reference point around which most other structures and buildings vary over time. Although we can't see it I suspect that the original timber station building is still in place just out of shot to the left of the fountain (either that or shortly after the 1893 fire which destroyed it). The station fence follows its original line widening from the narrow up platform slightly to the right of the shot and levels out to parallel with the platform edge just behind the young fir trees (where the Van Houten's Cocoa and Venus Soap enamel signs are). Caledonian station fences were painted either white or ducks foot at various times, and though clearly white in some later photographs, look to be ducks foot at the time of this photo -compare with the whitewashed rocks and also the end elevation of the goods shed just behind the fence. Several contemporary photos show a short commercial pattern bench was also present at the point where the platform widens. There was also what appears to be a cast fountain mounted on the stump of a large tree ay this spot.
Add to that the presence of 4 different patterns of oil lamps, and even a flagpole and a replacement "temporary" station building in corrugated iron that looks more at home in New South Wales and you have a very non-standard Caledonian or even C&O station.

Dave L
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