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Lynton and Barnstaple - Operations and Development

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Old Kent Biker, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    That's the first time I've heard the precise rationale for keeping this particular vehicle 'as is', so many thanks for sharing. By the by (and no expert, me, I mean no criticism of any decisions by those infinitely more qualified to make 'em than me), given some of the amazing restorations now being achieved, I'd be curious to know whether a similar inspection of this carriage today might reach a different conclusion? I'm thinking here of a conflab on another thread a while back, concerning the loss of ex-LBSCR Directors Saloon, 6996, which ended it's days as an ED vehicle, dumped at Ryde, at which time (post-electrification, very early IWSR era) it was considered 'past restoration'.
     
  2. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    The L & B carriage at the NRM certainly looks suitable for restoration but I think it is a good exhibit in "As is" condition and it certainly does tell its own story. It would be good to have an up to date board showing the present L & B story alongside.
    Another story worth telling at the NRM is, of course, the "Barry Scrapyard Saga" .......is there a suitable "Ex Barry condition" locomotive for exhibition, together with a restored (sister?) locomotive? ....worth it's own thread?
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Surely a less atypical 'hen house' could serve such a purpose? To judge by the frequency with which knackered Biilinton era grounded bodies pop up 'down this way' (wish the same could be said of Panter 'balloons'), a better example of something past restoring shouldn't be too difficult to unearth.
     
  4. Michael B

    Michael B New Member

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    As I said the decision not to restore the coach was made after it arrived at York. Before that it was the intention to restore it.
     
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  5. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    It's interesting how a lot of threads discussing exhibits in the NRM always seem to come round to "why won't they release my favourite toy?" (witness the discussion on the Q1 elsewhere).

    To my mind, exhibits can tell multiple stories. In the case of that carriage, there is a story about the domestic uses that redundant rolling stock was put to after being sold by the railway companies. But it is also an example of a narrow gauge vehicle - which is under-represented in the NRM; and not only narrow gauge, but passenger-carrying narrow gauge run by one of the big four, which is far from the usual story that normally comes to mind about narrow gauge. By contrast, "just" another Billinton or similar vehicle from the 1890s could only tell a fraction of that story. So I think the carriage deserves its place in the NRM; the modern-day railway meantime has the scope to become something unique, a modern reconstruction but presented as a complete time capsule in terms of replica locomotives, a mix of restored and replica rolling stock and running through the extant infrastructure.

    Tom
     
  6. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    Ok, Sorry. I was not aware of such a plan before it arrived in York, but once it got there the conservation plan was very quickly established. I had a quick look at it today as I went in to do a bit on 60007 and after nearly 40 years it still tells a good story - just a pity that at present there is no one to tell it to.

    Peter
     
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  7. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    The carriage could certainly tell a much more relevant story if, in the fullness of time, it could be de-accessioned and placed on secure display somewhere at the rebuilt railway. Because within that tattered old carriage lies the spirit of the original railway. The fabric of the seats may be impossibly fragile, the lincrusta may be peeling, but look in through the door and inhale- you can smell the past. With enough imagination, one might be able to percieve the excitement of the better-heeled holidaymakers and their children, scrambling for views in the observation saloon. That is what carriage no.2 is about- connecting with that distant reality.
    Once something as complete as that is restored, the ghosts have gone, replaced by the smell of new paint and varnish, the seats reupholstered, and that space becomes everyday.
    No, leave it just as it is. Just someday, bring it back to Devon, where it truely belongs.
     
  8. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    The logical plan with carriage no 2 is what one might term an 'unsympathetic restoration'- wherein everything is replaced. Given what the L&B have managed to re-create from a very little remaining original material it would be far from impossible. Just measure everything, and replace it all without dismantling and replace the whole lot, and build a new 2
     
  9. Michael B

    Michael B New Member

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    I am familiar with the history of this coach, having first visited it 1964 when the house and the coach was owned by Wilson Mitchel's predecessor Mr Cheriton who was a farmer. Through his forebearance (he let me pitch my tent in one of his fields) I was able to measure it comprehensively, although in order not to outstay my welcome most of the bogies and underframe were measured on the FR during a working fortnight in 1970 when those parts of No 14 were largely original. The statement under the longitudinal cross-section drawing on page 30/31 of 'Measured and Drawn' that it was based on a survey on 8th June 1995 is not correct. It was Mr Cheriton who disposed of the rotten seats in the end saloon (because the sliding windows by that time were not draft-proof) and painted the outside periodically and, unfortunately, the inside, which is why the guards compartment is white and the third class compartment black (although Mr Cheriton's original paint was green). The first class compartment was all but pristine - the seats were comparable with the attractive blue cloth in the replicas of No 5 and 17; only the carpet had gone. There was a guards log, mentioning the coach often, on the luggage rack. But the fact that Mr Cheriton painted the outside (as had happened to a few of the other bodies such as No 1 at Snapper Halt) kept it from a good deal of deterioration until the mid 1970s. Several other bodies lost all their paint in the 30 years since 1935, only saved from completely falling to pieces by being made of teak.

    During a visit in 1976, after it had been there for 40 years, it was clear that the coach was showing a sudden and alarming marked deterioration - it appeared to me that unless it was got under cover and fairly soon there was a danger it would go the same way as the numerous pre-grouping wooden coach bodies sold off by Railway Companies in the 20s and 30s. I mentioned my concerns to a fellow L & B enthusiast - Andrew Dow - and discussed what, if anything, might be done to save it. It was apparent that other people were offering Mr Mitchel to take it off his hands, but did any of them have covered accommodation ? and if it went that way it would go beyond restoration. The Talyllyn had been offered the Snapper coach (now FR 14) and declined. No-one we could think of had the capacity to put it under cover - except the NRM. I suggested to Andrew that we try and interest them. In our favour was the argument that the UK's National Museum of Railways had no exhibits from any of the 20 or so English passenger-carrying narrow gauge railways, and here was an almost complete example of the premier coach from the premier narrow gauge line. The argument that this type of rolling stock had been saved by preserved lines had to be seen in the light of the fact that 10 years previously the Festiniog had effectively destroyed their coaches 22, 23 and 26, replacing them with what amounted to new vehicles (accepted that No 23 has since been restored largely to what it looked like) Andrew used his undoubted charisma and influence with the NRM - including Dr Coiley. It took 5 years to arrange the acquisition, by which time much more rot had set in, but it was still worth saving, and the lorry and a crane came on 20th April 1982. The bogies had not been secured after it had been delivered to the garden in 1936 and they upended when the coach was lifted, held by the limiting chains, but no-one was foolish enough to risk going underneath to undo the bolts with a nine ton coach swinging 4 feet above in the air, so a call was made to the NRM and Mr Mitchel arranged for a neighbouring farmer to come with a gas axe and burn through the chains to release the bogies. They went on another lorry the following day. As to whether it ought to be restored, in my opinion the arguments for doing so are stronger than leaving it as it is. The deteriorated underframe cannot stay if it is to run again - maybe the L & B coach group in Essex with their expertise could be contracted by NRM to restore it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
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  10. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I am reminded of the rotten tare debates on the Ffestiniog in the 1980s. There were many people who had been to the line in the closure/early opening period who wanted to find a way of recreating that atmosphere somewhere on the line - where you could literally wander around an abandoned stretch of the line among rusting slate wagons, rotting carriages and abandoned locos.

    One of the suggestions was to actively recreate this from scratch ie build the objects to populate the scene. I wonder if there is an argument that instead of moving the fragile number 2, a reconstruction of it in either 'cottage' or 'abandoned' form. This would allow people to experience it in the form you want them to in order to get the insight you want them to without compromising the fragile original object.
     
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  11. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    I do wonder if one day we might see no.2 return to the revived LBR on loan. It would be an interesting static exhibit there if under cover accommodation was available.
     
  12. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    For the record, Tom, my favourite from the NRM toybox is currently in the Forest of Dean, well on it's way back to the land of the living. I was most fortunate to see Gladstone in the flesh* (together with the Bluebell's own Stepney) during it's much appreciated trip back to it's old stamping grounds for Brighton 150. In the case of that now utterly unique loco, my own feeling is one of immense gratitude to both the SLS and the NRM (plus it's predecessors) for ensuring Gladtone's safe survival for the past nine decades.

    ..... and just cos (what I'd hazard a guess is) your favourite lingers oop north with a kerry packered crank axle ain't, in any event, about to stifle any and all questions relevant to our treasured trove, the NRM .... like you'd kick off if there was a snowball in hell's of any future de-accessioning of 737 culminating in a move to SP. Tell me I'm wrong! ;)

    All I'd actually asked concerned the current view of a decision, which I was at pains to make clear I'm not remotely qualified to judge, let alone criticise, taken way back when and in the light of what's since been achieved (and still is being), not least by the Bluebell's own superb home C&W team. Fair question, I'd have thought. A couple of posts twixt Tom's and mine appear to confirm the vehicle's condition, which pretty much answers my initial question, so many thanks to those with first hand knowledge who've shared their knowledge.

    Worth noting here, that the the Corris museum contains a vehicle with a similar post-service history, the twin of that rescued in the 1950's and still running on the TR. The decision in that case was a 'cosmetic' restoration of one end, with t'other stabilised in 'as recoveref' condition. It's vanishingly unlikely this one would ever be considered a viable prospect for any return to operation, but like the L&B carriage, is now securely housed undercover and available for viewing.


    *I've a couple of photos taken back then, but given the quality produced by photographers who know what they're doing - unlike me - I honestly never have the nerve to inflict my paltry efforts on anyone else!
     
  13. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I think at Weald and Down there is a house which has been restored half and half to reflect how it looked at different stages in its life.
     
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  14. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Ooh, ta. That's close enough to me for a visit. :)

    There are some great C&W vids from the IWSR (available on YouTube) I happened to be watching just yesterday. One vehicle recovered apparently sported a thatched roof!
     
  15. Llwyngwern

    Llwyngwern Member

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    This is chronic thread drift , and the Corris has its own thread so apologies for crashing in here, but as well as the half and half original carriage there are a couple of waggons in the Museum at Corris. There is a two plank in original condition and what was a trestle waggon. This lost its trestle post 1948 when it was used for taking slate blocks to the cutting sheds at Aberllefenni. These will stay where they are but there is already a two plank waggon in the heritage fleet and construction of a new trestle waggon is on the list for the Maespoeth workforce.

    And as part of restoring the Corris to look as much like it used to be as possible the carriage building should resume soon to bring number 23 into traffic.
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I was trying to think which one - the house from Walderton, I think.

    Whittaker's Cottage has been half furnished, and half left as a bare frame to show the physical construction of the building. (That also has railway connections ...)

    Tom
     
  17. Axe +1

    Axe +1 Member

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    The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway has announced that train operations will recommence from Woody Bay station on Tuesday 13th April.

    See the announcement at >>> https://www.lynton-rail.org.uk/
     
  18. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Good news about the re-opening!
     
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  19. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Thread drift? From the L&B, unarguably ..... Chronic thread drift? No way, that'd be wandering off into cathedrals, unicycling or pot-holing or some such! On the Corris thread itself, even Ospreys won't be chronic thread drift, once the line gets back to Afon Dyfi (hope I'm still around to see that)

    In my own defence, I only dragged the Corris into this lot courtesy of the CR having a roughly comparable artefact to L&B Carriage No.2, in the form of the rescued Met carriage.
    +1 :)
     
  20. Llwyngwern

    Llwyngwern Member

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    Just to clarify it was my contribution that I regarded as chronic drift. As for Woody Bay I plan a visit and spending some money as an early priority.
     
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