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Southwold Railway

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by Bar Side, May 7, 2012.

  1. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    Hi bikermike - something else to see later this year - we are getting on well with excavating the foundations of the Blythburgh station building. About half done now - in difficult conditions, the top foot-or-so having been repeatedly trashed by car park surfacing and drainage works and then creted/tarmacked over. Still - the main (and surprisingly robust) wall bases are there, and we are discovering some quite nice artefacts (which will be displayed in the goods shed after project completion). Until this year it was unclear exactly where the building had been - as the area has changed so much.
    Now working into the area (the booking office and clerk's office) where we hope for lots of Victorian and early 20th century stuff - as the site at this lower level, below the suspended floor, has not been disturbed since WWII. NB - it is open to distant public view, but covered by CCTV!
    With strong support from the owner and much of the local population, we hope to be able to do a lot more at this December 1879 station.
    NB if you let us know (via the website or on F/B) when, we can give you a guided tour of our three sites - Halesworth (loco shed foundations, chain pump and platform, ash and inspection pits, track), Wenhaston (workshop, rolling stock, new test track about to start - not open to the public normally) and Blythburgh (goods shed, station building foundations, track, and maybe more by then....).
     

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  2. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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  3. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Impressive progress!
     
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  4. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Glad to see you are getting it all sorted for my visit in September :)
    By the looks of the way they are going, I reckon you'll have the engine in steam by then...

    Seriously, good progress, glad to see it's going. Is there any tentative plans yet to come out of the steamworks?
     
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  5. Hando

    Hando New Member

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    Could we see a rebuild of the building in the distant future? I'd hope so, but I guess it's the decision of the landowner.
     
  6. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    Hi Mike - we'd love to! Yes, it's the owner's (and the planning authority's) decision, of course. The village would seem to be broadly "for". We are currently taking advice on whether restoring a building exactly as it was, on its original foundations, reduces the need to comply with building regs - and/or helps with planning issues - so we shall see. The station is an ideal place for any such revival work (good access, easy to find, very nice countryside, lots of wildlife, pub opposite). We are still finding artefacts - the latest is the base of the station's Edmondson ticket machine (hoping to find the rest). Meanwhile, the foundations are being restored, using the original bricks and lime mortar.
    In the last few days, our RFS loco has traversed the new track and re-gauged point at Wenhaston for the first time (and yes, the curves are very tight - that's the whole point of a test track!), and the underframe of what will be our first coach left yesterday for specialist welding (being re-gauged from 2'6"), the roller-bearing wheelsets having been done for us by the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway. We had fourteen volunteers on two worksites on a recent workday - not bad for a small and newish organisation.
    Anyone who wishes to see more regular news from HSNGR only has to join (£5.00 per year) and can then opt in to receive a WEEKLY multi-page illustrated newsletter, online or hard copy. I have uploaded a sample copy - it's a pdf, so I hope it's accessible to Nat Pres readers....
    James
     

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  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update - and the Newsletter is very good!
     
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  8. Hicks19862

    Hicks19862 Member

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  9. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    I usually see their Members Newsletter as part of a "magazine swap" I do with someone else, and, from memory, they were hoping to hold their first Public open day for a while (for obvious reasons...) on the weekend of 24th/25th July.
     
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  10. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    Confirmed that they are open again this weekend......
    https://www.southwoldrailway.co.uk/did-july-ke-that/
    Though picking the weekend that the Latitude Festival is on just up the road at Henham with its likely traffic congestion doesn't seem a particularly clever idea........
     
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  11. Hicks19862

    Hicks19862 Member

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    Fantastic news.

    I wondered if it was worth having separate threads for the Southwold and Halesworth groups? I realise they are technically restoring the same railway but they are two separate groups.
     
  12. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Selfishly, which most increases my chances of being able to enjoy a pint or two of Adnams as I trundle from Halesworth to Southwold?

    Given the joys of fragmentation elsewhere, I would vote "no", but as we have seperate threads for the nymr and the gcr even though they were both lner, I can see the logic. Why don't we see what each group says privately to the mods?
     
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  13. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Shedloads of money (and then some) aside, there's nothing inherent to the Cleminson layout preventing beer on tap served twixt Halesworth and Southwold ...... eventually. ;)

    Those piccies from North Bay Engineering really whet the appetite. Blyth's going to look fantastic on that new trackwork. The contrast between the rail weights in Suffolk and those on the IoM is quite remarkable. Somehow, I doubt Mannin or Drumboe will be visiting any time soon!
     
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  14. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    Indeed JM - it'll be the usual traffic chaos! Local residents usually sit at home, with earplugs, and fume....it certainly kept me awake in Southwold last time - 4 miles away....

    However back on this topic - HSNGR have just held the first public Open Day at Blythburgh Station - well attended, and lots of support shown.
    The next one will be on Sunday August 8th, 10 till 4 - free entry, all are welcome. On view is the restored 1879 Goods Shed, and the excavations of the station building of the same date, with many of the best artefacts found so far. The foundations were damaged by car park works but are being repaired. Venue is the public car park just south of the River Blyth bridge in Blythburgh village - turn off the A12 opposite the White Hart - it will be signed.
    James
     

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  15. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    Happy to do that JH
     

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  16. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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  17. James Hewett

    James Hewett New Member

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    I read them as well - nicely crafted.
    If you want the railway news (well, news from Halesworth, Wenhaston and Blythburgh, anyway) really hot and up to date, the HSNGR produce a WEEKLY online illustrated newsletter of between 3 and 6 pages (which AFAIK is unique, at least in frequency - I can say nothing about editorial standards, because I write it....) - but you have to be a member to see it (because we don't offer a great deal to members, except hard work, so they must gain some advantage from joining)
    Still, a fiver a year is not a lot to ask.
    Last week's "Halesworth Headshunt" is attached as a free sample (some of it will of course only mean much to regular volunteers who attend our twice-weekly workdays - but it'll give you an idea) JH
     

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  18. Bikermike

    Bikermike Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they are coming round to the idea, slowly.

    I imagine that as the biggest employer in town they are continually tapped up to pay for stuff, so they are always going to be wary. Then you add on the fact that the railway isn't universally popular yet, and they don't want to be on the wrong end.

    Still, I am glad to hear the Cleminson system does allow for drinking beer, and I hope the engineering teams will thoroughly test this fact as the railway progresses...

    (As a homage to the original 2CV spec, perhaps all PW and suspension specifications to include "must allow for a gricer and his wife and a pint of beer to travel unspilled"?)

    Mike
     
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  19. Johann Marsbar

    Johann Marsbar Well-Known Member

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    1000 bricks seems rather more than is necessary to just "tidy up" the foundations of the building at Blythburgh. Is there a view that you might be able to recreate a replica of the original building at some stage?
    You obviously have the landowners support from what you have achieved so far, but planning permission from the Council may be another matter.....
     
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  20. ross

    ross Member

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    Its only enough for about a 110 square feet of flemish bond, depending on mortar width. Enough for the proverbial brick sh**house, but not much more
     
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