Great Western Coffee Shop

All across the Great Western territory => Introductions and chat => Topic started by: Karl on April 21, 2008, 02:57:46 am



Title: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on April 21, 2008, 02:57:46 am
About Me

Hello

Now that I have a spare few minutes, I have eventually
managed to get around to producing an introductionary
messege.

My name as you have guesed is Karl, I work for a
voluntary group called "The Friends of Penmere".
We are a group who care for Penmere Platform, which
is station on the Falmouth branch in Cornwall.  The
group was formed in July 1993 and started active
work in September 1993.  Originally there were five
of us including myself, but sadly one of our members
Jeff Nichols passed away just leaving the four.  Over
the years we have had three or four others who
have lent a hand, but unfortunately it always seems
to be the four founder members that keep it going.
The group have spent many years of blood, sweat
and tears in sun and snow, clearing away in some
places 20 feet spears called brambles, then landscaping
it and planting to what you see today.  Plants genousily
donated by locals and garden centres/shops have helped us
along the way with odd few that were planted by the last
station master being rescued from chocking by weeds.  The
group has some prize specimens including a Cactus, now
how many railway stations have one?

Over the years the group have steadily tramsformed
it back to what a station should be, a safe, clean,
tidy environment with highly floral spectacular
gardens with friendly helpful voluntary station
masters that are there to help passengers with
their enquiries and deal with chavs!  Also the
group have help of Phil, who is one of FGW's
Environmental Team, which Penmere is on his
patch.

The groups has been entered for many awards,
from local "Britian In Bloom" to Community Rail
Awards run by "ACORP".

This year we will continue to upgrade the station
with some more heavy duty bits, but I will keep them
a surprise for now!

History of Penmere Platform

Penmere Platform was built in 1924 by the GWR for
Silie Cox who owned Famouth Docks, but it didn't
open offically until 1st July 1925.  Looking at old
photos and what remains of the original bits and
bobs, Penmere was built a bit on the cheap, but
served its purpose well to transport dock workers
from their homes to their employ; a job it still
does today.  It only ever had one platform compaired
with other stations along the line, but it did boast a
main wooden station building with toilets, waiting
room and a parcels dept.  There was a regular station
master and wife team, Penmere also had its own bee hive
and we have been told that the station masters wife
sold the honey in the booking office!  As train
crew and our regulars will notice there was once
another track, this was a loop controlled by Penmere East
and West ground frame's (either end of the station).
As you pull out heading towards Falmouth, on the right you
can just make out some old GWR spear top fencing, this was
where four sidings were built in 1940 for the war effort.
Oil was piped up from Swanvale oil depot to the sidings,
then it was taken by rail to its destination mainly the
docks.  This ceased to operate on 16th November 1967.
As mentioned some bits and clues remain of this, the best
being the bridge at the Falmouth end.  When coming down
Penmere Hill its an old traditional stone bridge, but the
other side is very different being cast section added for
the later sidings.  A twist to this tale is when the group
were diging next to where the cycle racks are situated, we
hit something very matilic, after futher digging out came
in one piece the original GWR "Penmere West Ground Frame"
sign, which I'm in the process of restoring.

In the 1960's steam was replaced by DMU's and the pay
train was adopted by BR and c1969 the buildings were
demolised.  Then in 1993 we came along and have gradually
undone what should never of happened.  And the rest is
really history!

Regards

Karl.  


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Conner on April 21, 2008, 08:00:52 am
Penmere is in my area and having travelled or passed there many times, I must say it is a really well kept and well presented station.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Graz on April 21, 2008, 09:34:45 am
Very well done Karl and others down at The Friends of Penmere. I'll go down and take a look sometime on a trip to Falmouth ;) if only there were more people like you around.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Tinminer on April 21, 2008, 01:11:05 pm
At the risk of sounding slightly patronising, you and your Group are a true credit to both the town of Falmouth and the Maritime Line - well done Karl!
The station is by far the best maintained on the line, and probably the best kept (with St. Erth and Calstock?) in Cornwall.
It will become busier next year when the 2tph gets off the ground (Penryn Loop), making the line more 'user friendly'.

Slightly off topic, the history of the Swanpool oil depot is interesting - check out Google Earth and you can still see the circles in the soil. The Depot was bombed by the Nazis, and there was a 'river of fire' stretching down towards the sea after a German bomb got a direct hit.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: gaf71 on April 21, 2008, 06:49:21 pm
[quote author=Tinminer link=topic=2518.msg18986#msg18986 date=1208779865
The station is by far the best maintained on the line, and probably the best kept (with St. Erth and Calstock?) in Cornwall.

[/quote]
Think you mean St Erth and Bere Ferrers?


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Tinminer on April 21, 2008, 07:08:16 pm
[quote author=Tinminer link=topic=2518.msg18986#msg18986 date=1208779865
The station is by far the best maintained on the line, and probably the best kept (with St. Erth and Calstock?) in Cornwall.

Quote
Think you mean St Erth and Bere Ferrers?

Er, no!
Bere Ferrers (or, Bere Ferris as the platform sign would have it) isn't in Cornwall.

Calstock looked fab last Spring (2007) when I was there. Is it not so good now then?

The reason for my question mark was because I was pondering whether it was Calstock or Lostwithiel which appeared more attractive.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: oooooo on April 21, 2008, 09:31:03 pm
I dont find Calstock station very attractive at all!! Penmere is definately the best kept Cornish branch station in my opinion. Beere Ferrers is nice, but in Devon, the signal box sign is actually BEER Ferris....


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on April 22, 2008, 02:02:57 am
Morning

Thanks for the comments so far!  I not sure what
happened to the paragraphing in my original document,
it was tidy when sent.

Yes the Germans did score a direct hit on Swanvale
Old Works and indeed it was well alight.  Funally
enough it was an American soilder, that nicked a
earth mover from a nearby building site and managed
some how, to put earth onto the flames and extinglish
it.  What is it with Americans and oil fields?
I don't think it was quite as dramatic as described
though!  The oil field is indeed very visable and you
maybe able to catch a glimpse of the three mounds, when
crossing the road bridge (by train), at Penmere.  There
are still some road tanker activities today from Swanvale,
so its still hanging on just.

Also of interest a PW coach was blown off its boiges in
another attack and was damaged with the Priarie tank
(I think a 45XX), that was hauling it, but fortunately no
casualties.

I also forgot to add in my messege, about the other stone
bridge that quizes a lot of people at the Truro end of the
platform.  This is an old cattle/occupation bridge and a
footpath also used to run along and down the embankment,
to the site of the old station building which the modern
one sits in the middle of.  It was built to serve farms at
Panance, Penmere, Budock and Penmere Manor all now long gone.
This bridge went out of service in the late 60's we believe,
in fact a few years ago a gentleman stopped and asked me what
had happened to access for it as he got lost.   I told him
that two houses one each side now block the old path, it was
his first visit back to Penmere for a number of years!

Anyway the group does have quite a collection of old and very
rare pictures in its collection.  We got in contact with the
"National Railway Museum" and they only had one of it, in
about c50,000 images!  A very good one also showing the bee
hive mentioned in my previous messege.  Well known photographer
Micheal Mensing has also kindly supplied us a few prints as
well.  The best one was a gentleman who turned up at Penmere one
day when the group were there, blatantly would not give us
any details of who he was and wouldn't take any thanks for the
envolope he gave us.  In it was a dozen pictures of the
arrival of the zoo train at Penmere 1936, showing elephants
and all sorts walking down the main footpath with the cattle
trucks in the background.  Also an early picture taken the
other side of the road bridge from the station, and just
visable is the Penmere Platform sign dated 1929, only four
years old!  Also got some pictures taken inside the oil
discharge sidings as well.  We hope one day that the group
will be able to make a webpage and put up these pictures to
view.

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Tinminer on April 23, 2008, 11:12:41 am
Fascinating stuff about the american putting the fire out with soil.

My only knowledge about the fire was from a BBC Website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/97/a4551897.shtml (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/97/a4551897.shtml)





Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Tinminer on April 23, 2008, 11:15:45 am
I dont find Calstock station very attractive at all!! Penmere is definately the best kept Cornish branch station in my opinion. Beere Ferrers is nice, but in Devon, the signal box sign is actually BEER Ferris....

Yes, I'd forgotten that!

Curious isn't it?

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~owend/interests/rail/stnpages/bereferrers.html (http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~owend/interests/rail/stnpages/bereferrers.html)




Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: oooooo on April 23, 2008, 06:50:02 pm
It is indeed curious.... Also interesting is the signalbox is actually from Pinhoe station I believe...


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on April 24, 2008, 01:49:12 am
Indeed the signal box at Bere Ferrers is
originally from Pinhoe.  Could it be a bit of a
practical joke with the spelling, believe there
is a rail ale trail for the Tarka Line!  Although
in a picture dated 14th August 1969 there is
double track but no signal box, was that
originally behind the bridge?

Looking at the website the one picture that did
get my attention, is the camping coach pic at
the very bottom of the webpage with the black
shunter on front.  First I thought being mainly
LNER coaches there, it was a Thompson sleep
which any Thompson coach not yet discovered now
is as rare as hens teeth.  Then I thought it was
either a BR MRK 1 or a LMS sleep.  Looking
further especially the design of the windows and
a square shaped toilet window just visable, I
think its an LMS one, or a BR built one to an
LMS design which did happen but can't be 100%
sure.  If I could see the underframe would be
able to tell you.  Any of them are quite rare, as
said any Thompson is news, LMS would be rare and
even BR MRK 1 ones are not common.  Some made it
into preservation in the early days as volunter
accomodation, but I believe they suffered with
higher amounts of asbestos, more tham the common
MRK 1's and most were scrapped.

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on April 29, 2008, 01:44:04 am
Morning

Now that things are finalised, I can now reveal
the suprises that were mentioned in my first
messege to the group; plus before I forget my
sign in and login details!

The hardware that should be arriving soon are:

3X "Penmere Platform" totems in chocolate and
cream, (they are the sausage shaped enamel station
signs that are usually seen at preserved
railways).  Penmere never had them originally,
but Falmouth did.

1X "Way Out" sign with arrow, again in chocolate
and cream.

1X Penmere Platform running-in-board Truro end,
as per current one, this also has the slight
detail differences from the other one as per the
original.

Removal of the old Friends notice board and
moving the metal one behind this which is at top
end of the footpath to this position, repaint in
chocloate and "Friends of Penmere Station"
enamel in chocolate and cream attached above
glazed front as per Liskeards.

Also we have a friends meeting which is done in
time old steam tradition 'in the boozer', with a
pint or two!  Hopefully we are going to discuss
a new new train in flowers, which many locals and
a few train crew have spotted as missing.  The
third rebuild of the original got vandalised for a
third time and the frame was deemed beyond repair.
So the new one will be fabricated metal, hopefully
this will last and will be made in a shape of a
57XX Pannier tank, which will keep locals and GWR
fans happy.  We will endevour to try and have some
form of plaant in this being a train in flower,
we have a white pant that we hope to grow out of
the chimney and shape it to form steam effect.
Thats if the chavs and alcies in Falmouth can
keep there hands off it!

Must say thanks to Richard Burningham at "Devon
and Cornwall Rail Partnership Group" and "FGW"
for part funding and allowing the group to addotp
the heritage theme and allow these above signs
to be put up .  Also thanks to "Parc Signs" in
St. Austell (which did Liskeards signs), for
there help and assistance.

Regards

Karl.   


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Conner on April 29, 2008, 07:47:03 am
Wow, that will make the station look even better.
Karl please tell us when everything is set up and I will pop down and have a look.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Graz on April 29, 2008, 09:39:34 am
Karl, when everything's finished could you take some photos and post them here? I'd love to see. Many thanks!


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Tinminer on April 29, 2008, 01:10:13 pm
Great news Karl! :)


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on May 04, 2008, 12:26:19 pm
Hello

Unfortunately I still use standard SLR camera and
slide film, plus I haven't got the double sided
scanner needed to scan the slides.  E-mails are
being sent from an Internet TV, so can't provide
anybody with some pics of Penmere at the moment
I'm afraid.

However when these improvements are finished, if
anybody locally with a digi camera and facilities
to put it on the group could pop down and take a
few, that would be appreciated by the group!

I'll let the forum know when the signs e.t.c are
here and fixed up.

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on May 21, 2008, 09:42:47 pm
Evening

Update, "Penmere Platform" totems and Way Out
signs are now fixed.  Start has been made on
painting the shelter chocolate and cream.

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Conner on May 21, 2008, 10:06:19 pm
Thanks for that Karl, I will likely pop down Falmouth sometime in Half Term with it being a pair of 153's now.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on May 26, 2008, 12:46:13 am
Morning

Another update, chocolate and cream "Friends of
Penmere" sign for the notice board is now fixed
up, but note, board hasn't been moved or painted
yet.  Also there might be a 'slim' possibility
the other "Penmere Platform" running-in-board
being errected this Thursday.  This will be
initially be in primer until muggins has completed
its painting!

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: smokey on May 26, 2008, 01:46:31 pm
[quote author=Tinminer link=topic=2518.msg18986#msg18986 date=1208779865
The station is by far the best maintained on the line, and probably the best kept (with St. Erth and Calstock?) in Cornwall.

Quote
Think you mean St Erth and Bere Ferrers?

Er, no!
Bere Ferrers (or, Bere Ferris as the platform sign would have it) isn't in Cornwall.

Calstock looked fab last Spring (2007) when I was there. Is it not so good now then?

The reason for my question mark was because I was pondering whether it was Calstock or Lostwithiel which appeared more attractive.

A small History note about Bere Ferrers, the Signal Box now at Bere Ferrers was moved from Pinhoe about 1990 and the Spelling on the Signal Box (Beer Ferris) is Historically correct as Beer Ferris was renamed Bere Ferrers in the Early 20th Centuary about WWI time. Beer Alston also renamed Bere Alston at Same? time.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: RichardB on May 26, 2008, 10:25:29 pm
[quote author=Tinminer link=topic=2518.msg18986#msg18986 date=1208779865
The station is by far the best maintained on the line, and probably the best kept (with St. Erth and Calstock?) in Cornwall.

Quote
Think you mean St Erth and Bere Ferrers?

Er, no!
Bere Ferrers (or, Bere Ferris as the platform sign would have it) isn't in Cornwall.

Calstock looked fab last Spring (2007) when I was there. Is it not so good now then?

The reason for my question mark was because I was pondering whether it was Calstock or Lostwithiel which appeared more attractive.

A small History note about Bere Ferrers, the Signal Box now at Bere Ferrers was moved from Pinhoe about 1990 and the Spelling on the Signal Box (Beer Ferris) is Historically correct as Beer Ferris was renamed Bere Ferrers in the Early 20th Centuary about WWI time. Beer Alston also renamed Bere Alston at Same? time.

The box has just been nicely repainted too - in recognition of its past, there is a BR Pinhoe sign in the window where the interlocking would be.

The box has been set up with a computer programme which means you can play (very accurately) at still Pihoe signalman.  It's worth a look - visits can be arranged through the Tamar Belle Heritage Centre http://www.tamarbelle.co.uk/


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: RichardB on May 26, 2008, 10:26:40 pm
PS - great to hear the new signs have gone up at Penmere.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on June 09, 2008, 10:10:51 pm
Evening

Have another update!!

Station shelter at Penmere is now in chocolate
and cream.  This bit of repainting was done by
Phil, "FGW Environmental Team".

Running-in-board, iniment as fitting issues means
it be been painted on site after some jiggering!
 
Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on June 10, 2008, 12:01:56 am
Thanks for that latest update, Karl: you and your team are clearly doing some sterling work at Penmere!

Does 'after some jiggering' mean that someone hit it with a hammer a bit too hard ...  ::)

And, just as an aside, talking of old place name spellings, how about Beare, Liskerd, Bodman, Redreuth or Pesaunce?

See http://www.historystreets.com/image.php?id=198727&idx=2&fromsearch=true and have a browse!

C.  ;D


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on June 10, 2008, 02:09:22 am
Morning

Thanks Chris!  We're all beavering away at the
moment.  Here is a link to some pics of Penmere,
but before it was repainted and new enamel signs
were fitted:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~owend/I/R/stnpages/penmere.html

Believe 'Lee on tour' is due this year to take
some digi photos for the "Coffee Shop"!

Also on historic Cornwall Penwithers I have found
four different spellings, first as above, second
with E instead of I, third with EA and forth with
all three IEA!  'Think' the GWR used the I spelling.
Unfortuanately my InternetTV wouldn't load anymore
than the homepage.

With regards to jiggering the uprights for the
new running-in-board, by request of FGW, are the
stainless round poles which were are having to
fix to it using the track and clip system as
found on most new station fittings, which
involves fitting the clip from the front which
means I have to do some filing once nails or
rivets have been put through the front and
'countersunk' to hold the track in place at the
back.  Then the pole will be disguesed at the
front to make it look like the original rails
long since gone.  The poles are also yet to be
pilled in!

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Andy on June 10, 2008, 12:38:47 pm
One spelling which drives me crazy is the "Gwinnear Road" sign next to the level crossing at the former station - insult added to the injury of the lost branch line and junction.



Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Lee on June 10, 2008, 04:27:15 pm
Believe 'Lee on tour' is due this year to take
some digi photos for the "Coffee Shop"!

Indeed I am - watch this space.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on June 30, 2008, 01:57:23 am
Morning

Another update!!!  Hopefully in two to three weeks
time, the new running-in-board should be in position
at the Truro end of the station in the same place
as per original example.  I have seen the new board
and it is impressive, a carbon copy of the original.
Also there will be some extreme gardening going on
routhly the same time as well, which will transform
the station dramtically!

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on August 01, 2008, 12:37:17 am
Morning

Another Update!!!

The uprights for the running-in-board at the Truro end of
the platform were meant to be installed today, but the bad
weather has thwarted this plan; however they should be done
iminently!

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 01, 2008, 01:00:48 am
Karl,

Again, congratulations to you and your team on your sterling work at Penmere!

I look forward to seeing pictures of the results of your efforts, even if I can't get down there to see them for myself!

Chris  ;) :D ;D



Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on August 07, 2008, 06:40:44 pm
Evening

Uprights are now in position and the sign will
hopefully be fitted in the next couple of weeks.
This will arrive in undercoat which means I will
be busy next week with my paintbrush!  The group
were on site this afternoon to clean off uprights
(which will have more work done on them to make
them look more authentic later), plus some earth
work has been carried out around them to tidy up
the bank.  We hoped by now that the bank would off
been cleared, but we're still waiting for the
contractors to arrive.

Regards

karl. 

quote author=Karl Friends of Penmere link=topic=2518.msg24870#msg24870 date=1217547437]

Morning

Another Update!!!

The uprights for the running-in-board at the Truro
end of the platform were meant to be installed today,
but the bad weather has thwarted this plan; however
they should be done iminently!

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Karl on August 10, 2008, 07:55:35 am
Morning

Last update, the groups plans in the future are to
reinstate the old corrigated lamp hut (which will
be situated near to the present running-in-board),
plus to reinstate old style gas lams obviously with
the new tungsten light fittings.

This will be last ost to this forum as you just
cannot do right for wrong sometimes on here.

Regards

Karl.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: grahame on August 10, 2008, 09:04:25 am
I would be very sorry indeed if that were, indeed, you last post Karl.  But I really appreciate how you feel - on any forum that's grown to the size we have, there will be one or two negative individuals who seem to rub you (and perhaps others too) up the wrong way.

You wouldn't refuse to join a train because there's someone you don't get along with already on board, would you?  So please don't just walk away from here - at least have a chat with the staff [moderators, admins], who may be able to help if you're feeling uncomfortable.  Of course - it could be one of us you're having trouble with ;)


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Graz on August 10, 2008, 11:50:50 am
I'd be very sorry too Karl- your updates on Penmere are always very interesting and it's great to hear news from the Falmouth line and Cornwall in general. The forum certainly wouldn't be the same if you weren't here.


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Phil on August 10, 2008, 04:29:40 pm
Ah, that's a big, big shame - but I can totally understand your decision, Karl mate. Sometimes when I have a big project on - and the Penmere restoration is certainly that, and a very worthy one too - I often have to "switch off" all the various other distractions that call on my time, otherwise it's just too tempting to log in and get involved with discussions when I ought to be getting my hands dirty.

From knowing hardly anything about the place just a few months ago to now, to where I care enough to have made a point of visiting it a while back just to see the place for real and check how things are going along, you've taken me on quite a journey via your regular updates about Penmere!

If you happen to know anyone else, a friend or a local resident, who does have the time to log in here now and again and post an occasional progress report it would be very very much appreciated - the reinstatement of the (modernised) gas lamps is something I'd definitely like to see for myself for instance. And quite frankly it's a heck of a long way for me to go just to check it on the offchance that the works' been completed!


Title: Re: Karl Friends of Penmere Introduction
Post by: Andy on September 19, 2008, 02:39:46 pm
Just read the "last post" and I'd like to add my regrets to those already expressed. I've enjoyed and learned from reading your posts and admire you as someone who is actively doing something to better the railway as well as protect its heritage.

For me Penmere, and the Falmouth branch in general, is the beacon in the renaissance of Cornwall's railways at the moment, showing what can happen when passengers, volunteers, political and rail authorities all combine forces.





This page is printed from the "Coffee Shop" forum at http://gwr.passenger.chat which is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway. Views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that content provided contravenes our posting rules ( see http://railcustomer.info/1761 ). The forum is hosted by Well House Consultants - http://www.wellho.net