Bathurst Basin – Then and Now

The Bristol – Then and Now facebook page is well worth following if you have an interest in Bristol’s history. Many interesting bits and pieces to be found, including quite a bit of info and pictures on the harbour, and the railways of Bristol.

Roger Baynton posted these images and description today:

Bathurst Basin, view of bridge, engine house and Ostrich Pub.
The 1870s saw the opening for freight services of the Bristol Harbour Railway which ran from Temple meads under St Mary Redcliffe Church to emerge at Bathurst Basin by the Ostrich pub (seen here) and then on to Wapping Wharf
The railway crossed Bathurst lock on a steam-powered bascule (lifting) bridge on the site of the present footbridge, before continuing to Princes Wharf.
The Ostrich Pub in Guinea Street predates 1775. Sorry to contradict an attractive Bristol urban myth but the chamber at the back of the entrance passage, whilst hewn out of the sandstone cliff does not connect to the adjacent Redcliff caves. An whilst I’m in bah humbug mode, the Redcliff caves were not used for ‘storing’ slaves and probably not for smuggling their principal function being to provide raw material for Bristol’s once buoyant glass trade. But that is another story…..

 

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Photo credit goes to Roger Baynton.

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Overhauls and Maintenance

There’s plenty going on at M Shed at the moment. Henbury is in the shed being dismantled for overhaul.

If you are visiting M Shed and would like to make a donation to help Henbury steam again, there is a donation box in front of the viewing window. All donations are welcome!

The TOAD brake van, meanwhile, is outside the workshop receiving new boards and a lick of paint on the door.

Much further down the line, Ashton Avenue Bridge is inside its cocoon, being repaired for use by MetroBus.

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End of the Season

Well, that’s the end of the 2015 operating season on the BHR. Plenty of exciting updates to come, with the ongoing metrobus and Whapping Wharf/Sugar Quay developments, and M Shed’s own projects.

Here’s a photo of a scene that won’t be repeated again, the old Butterfly Junction halt with ‘Judy’ on the passenger train.

Photo courtesy Tim Symons

Photo courtesy Tim Symons

 

Butterfly Junction Redevelopment – 2

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The above diagram (available via the MetroBus website) shows the intentional junction for the guided busway with Cumberland Road, and the re-routing of the harbour railway as a result. The large sweeping curve into Butterfly Junction is gone and replaced with a halt alongside the Bond Warehouse, whilst the ‘Barn’ is retained.

This was the view this morning, the platform in the final stages of removal, and the pointwork rails removed.

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The track has been removed as far as the foot crossing to the chocolate path.

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End of the Line

Track lifting is well under way at Butterfly Junction, just the pointwork rails and the sleepers remaining in the station area. These photos also show the vegetation clearance that has taken place.

Ashton Avenue Bridge is now closed for refurbishment, along with the former trackbed. No doubt the rails still on the bridge will be coming out shortly.

A different scene over at SS Great Britain Halt, where the buffer stop has been moved from the end of the line here. I believe that this is to be used as the basis for a small shed, which should come in useful if the branch along the New Cut is closed while MetroBus is under construction.

TBT – GWR 813 at Ashton Meadows

It’s been a while since I’ve done any Throw Back Thursday posts, but with summer just around the corner, there are more to come!

This is a photo from a charter in 2001, during the last days of Ashton Meadows sidings (note the overgrown bushes). The loco is GWR 813, a unique survivor built in 1901 for the Port Talbot Railway in Wales. The 813 fund have given permission for this photo to be reproduced here.

To find out more about GWR 813 or help fund the group’s restoration projects, click here.

(Courtesy GWR 813 Fund)

(Courtesy GWR 813 Fund)

Butterfly Junction Redevelopment – 1

In this first look at the changing face of the Butterfly Junction area, you can see the extensive clearance of foliage that has taken place. Surveyors have been working in the area over the past few weeks.

 

Further down the line, the area around the Cumberland Road Bridge siding has also been cleared. The spare wagon wheelsets have been moved out of the way. The plans for the bridge indicate that the path here will be raised up to platform height in order to meet the new bridge.