Oops! – Collision on Cumberland Road (1950s?)

Following on from last week’s post about Ashton Avenue Bridge, it features in the background of this photo (with thanks to Jonathan and Bob Edwardes for sending the photo).

Details are scant but a pannier tank has clearly come to grief after striking a truck (looks like it may be an ex-military workshop truck) on the old level crossing at the end of Cumberland Road.

Judging by the recovery truck the scene looks to be 1950s although the loco is likely still in GWR livery (no smokebox numberplate).

Also of interest are the layout of sidings in the background. The proposed new station layout is quite close to this setup. The old signal box is still extant, guarding the junction to Canon’s Marsh.

If you have any information about this scene please do let us know!

The End of Ashton Avenue Double Decker Bridge – 1967

This photograph was published on Geograph.co.uk by Martin Tester and is shared here under a Creative Commons Licence.

It is dated around 1966-1967 and shows the upper deck of Ashton Avenue Bridge in the process of being dismantled. At this time the lines across the bridge were still double track, the West line was not removed until some time later.

“At one time this bridge over the New Cut was a really extraordinary structure – it had 2 decks, road above rail, & swung, using power supplied from the City Docks hydraulic system. The control cabin was on an elevated structure spanning the roadway. Built by Bristol Corporation & opened in 1906 it allowed the GWR’s line to Wapping Wharf (from Temple Meads) to be extended to serve more wharves, a new goods shed at Canon’s Marsh, & to connect with the Portishead Branch. A swing bridge was needed because the New Cut was used by river traffic to access Bathurst Basin. It was last swung in 1934 & formally fixed in 1951. The roadway & control cabin were removed in 1965-66 as part of major road changes around Cumberland Basin.”

This photo (source unknown) shows the bridge when both decks were in use. Note the tracks crossing left to right to access to other sidings next to A Bond, where the Create Centre car park now is. The diverging line at the bottom of the photo is the one to Canon’s Marsh.

GWR 1338 at the BHR (2000)

On 8th July 2000, visiting loco No.1338, built by Kitson for the Cardiff Railway and later absorbed into the GWR, was used in a photo charter down the New Cut branch. This locomotive is now based at Didcot on static display.

1338 rounds the corner at Butterfly Junction (image courtesy Pete Doel, with thanks)

Youtube channel ‘Classic Traction’ published a slideshow of the event.

Festival of the Sea 1996

From the 24-27th May 1996, Bristol Harbour was host to the International Festival of the Sea. This was a huge event featuring many guest ships and attractions, and of course the BHR played a part. A shining and fully-lined out ‘Henbury’ and ‘Portbury’ were joined by LB&SCR E1 class 0-6-0T No.B110, then based at the East Somerset Railway (Now being restored to service on the Isle of Wight as No.W2 ‘Yarmouth’). The two locos operated a shuttle service between the station at Ashton Meadows and the Bristol Industrial Museum with 3 loaned coaches.

Thanks to Eric Gates for these photos.

Phil Cass was also there to capture these photos, thanks to Phil for sharing them.

Before the BHR

Before the Bristol Harbour Railway as we know it today was opened, the locomotives ‘Henbury’ and ‘Portbury’ travelled around a bit, spending some time at Radstock before relocating to Bishop’s Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway.

Whilst looking through the Cornwall Railway Society’s website I found these two photos by Ron Kosys showing the motley collection of industrial locos in 1976.

Click the images to go to the website. The photos are the copyright of Ron Kosys.

Poor Portbury looks in a rough state, Henbury had last been in steam at Radstock in 1973, and would not run again until the opening of the BIM’s line in 1978.

BHR in 1991 – Video

Nicholas Tozer published this rather lovely video of a blue ‘Portbury’ operating trains in the early 1990s. It’s amazing to see the differences in the background, like the old sidings, the sleeper wall where the flats near SS GB halt now are. Also note the W.Vincent wagon being used for passengers, these days it is back to being a coal wagon.

1998 – A Pug In The Port

In 1998, ex-Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway 0F ‘Pug’ No.51218, now based at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway but once allocated to Bristol Barrow Road shed, ran on a special photo charter at Bristol Industrial Museum.

Robert Tarling was there to capture the occasion, these are his photos and I am very grateful to Robert for allowing them to be reposted here.
Please click here to see more of Robert’s work

 

Sherman Tank Lift (2006)

In 2006, Bristol Industrial Museum was host to a 1940s event. One of the highlights saw Fairbairn Steam Crane, built in the 1870s, lift up a restored Sherman M4A4 tank and place it on a goods train. The immense strength of the Fairbairn design is evident, and the crane is still in operation to this day as part of M Shed.

The BHR in 1978/1979

As the 40th year of the BHR’s operation enters Autumn, here’s a look back to 1978 and 1979.

These photographs were taken by Tim Venton, to whom I am very grateful for allowing them to be reproduced here.

The first two are from May 1978 and show ‘Henbury’ and the TOAD brake van at rest outside the Bristol Industrial Museum.

The second batch of photographs were taken on 16th September 1979. These are fantastic as historical references as they show the extent of track on the quayside and the difference to the present-day.

 

 

40th Anniversary Celebrations (Video)

On Saturday March 24th 2018, the Bristol Harbour Railway celebrated 40 years of operation on Bristol’s Harbourside, accompanied by the Lydney Town Band and of course a cake to commemorate the occasion! 101-year old ‘Portbury’ did the honours, pushing and pulling the freshly-refurbished passenger train up and down all day. What started as a group of enthusiasts, one locomotive (Henbury) and a brake van has seen dozens of changes on the harbourside, with the disused industrial area changing into a vibrant tourist hotspot. Long may it continue to bring delight to passengers, giving a unique experience in UK preservation.