New Book! 50 YEARS OF RAILWAYS AROUND BRISTOL

Followers of this blog will be interested to know that Paul Stanford, whose photos appear on this website along with those of his father, has published a book all about the railways of Bristol!
Follow this link to purchase the book.

Telling the story of Bristol area railways over the last 50 years, this publication is lavishly illustrated, including many photos taken by rail employees that give a unique insight to railways around Bristol and the surrounding area. Included are well known locations but also railway byways and those serving industrial Avonmouth, now long lost. Also with photographic insights taken at train-care and maintenance depots, industrial plants and within signal boxes in the area; which still exist or have long now disappeared.

The book charts the decline and resurrection of railways around Bristol and its surrounding area, coming right up-to date with latest electrification works, coming from Bristol Area re-signalling in 1970.

Featuring relevant extracts of official rail publications including unique archive material and a unique set of maps over each decade recording the changes to the railways around Bristol to give a unique insight and record of railways around the city and surrounding area where rail was and is key to its success.

About the author: Paul Stanford is a 4th generation railway worker. He started his railway career at Bristol 35 years ago when he was 16. He worked in operations and commercial functions – including working there in the 1980s and 90s. In his formative railway years he worked Avonmouth Area Signal Boxes on his days off; to improve his railway and rule book knowledge. The past 5 years has seen him lead efforts to renew and enhance the railways on the Western Region. He is currently a Programme Director for Network Rail. As a keen cyclist he enjoys the countryside; combining this with an interest in photography; bird-spotting and architecture. He has volunteered in the heritage railway sector since he was 14; notably over 30 years spent on Bristol’s Avon Valley Railway and more recently on the Lincolnshire Coast Light Railway, a narrow gauge railway, home to a Bristol built steam locomotive named Jurassic. He is married to Fiona and their two sons Oliver and Toby are both at University.

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.

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

 

TBT – Southern E1 at the Festival of the Sea

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’ was 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.
The following pictures appear with the kind permission of Geoff Hartland.

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Number 110 was built at Brighton Works in 1877 and named ‘Burgundy’. It was withdrawn in 1927 and sold to a colliery in Rugeley, which resulted in it being the only member of its class to survive scrapping, being sold into preservation in 1963. It was in service on the ESR between 1993 and 1997, when it was withdrawn early due to firebox problems. She is now on display at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s ‘Train Story’ exhibition, and will be restored in due course.

TBT – USA Tank 30075 (Video)

Today’s Throwback Thursday post – back in September 1997, ‘USA’ tank 30075 (Built in 1960 in Yugoslavia to a WW2 design) ran some photo charters.
Ian Silvester took this video, and has given permission for it to be reproduced here.

A Pannier in the Port – 1996

Back in 1996, ex-GWR pannier tank 1369 (Now based at the South Devon Railway) paid a visit to Bristol Harbour.
The Weymouth Docks shunter, last survivor of the 1366 class, was reminiscent of panniers formerly used on the harbour lines.

Here are a collection of photos from the visit. All photographs are copyright of their respective owners, a huge thank you goes out for allowing them to be reproduced here.

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1369 on the shed road while ‘Henbury’ stands by.
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12a_kingmoor_klickr/5809563945/
Copyright Gordon Edgar


Performing a runpast with the goods.
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dorneyphoto/10691844086/in/photostream/
Copyright Ian Silvester ( http://www.dorneyphoto.com/ )


Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8523292@N03/4081645814/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8523292@N03/4081645892/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8523292@N03/11090871735/in/photostream/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8523292@N03/4080884331/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8523292@N03/11090975914/in/photostream/
Above images are all Copyright Geoff Hartland

The charter featured Ashton Avenue Swing Bridge, still available for use at the time. The area behind the loco is the current site of Butterfly Junction Halt. In 1996 there was a run-around loop in place at Ashton Meadows.
The swing bridge’s deteriorating condition meant that it was taken out of use in the late 1990s, and the track on the South side of the New Cut was lifted to make way for new housing (The houses do not occupy the permanent way, but the trackbed was used for site offices and vehicle parking during construction).