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Features: Lower Rose Goods, GWR, 1920s-1930s

Published 25 September 2018, 16:27

The model is intended to represent a rural goods depot during the inter-war years, since this is the period most of my rolling stock represents.

The Chacewater to Newquay line was the ‘poor relation’ of the two railways that went to Newquay. The line had its origins back in 1849 when Joseph Treffry (1782-1850) built a horse operated tramway to convey minerals from the important mines of East Wheal Rose near St Newlyn East to the coast at Newquay, then little more than a huddle of cottages perched above the stormy North Cornish coast.

The Cornwall Minerals Railway rebuilt the tramways to make them suitable for locomotive traction and an extension to Treamble and the iron mine at Gravel Hill was opened on June 1 1874. The Treamble Branch closed in 1917 but due to an upturn in the mineral market, the line was reopened by the GWR in 1926. The Treamble Branch was officially closed on January 1 1952 although there had been no traffic over it since August 8 1949. The track was not removed until 1956.

I have a certain interest in the Treamble Branch as the site of its terminus lies a mile or so down the valley from where I live and I have spent some time exploring its heavily overgrown remains. About a mile and a half south of Treamble and higher up the valley, lie the remains of Wheal Hope, a speculative copper and lead mine begun before 1820 and worked intermittently during the first half of the 19th century. With no commercial success, operations ceased sometime in the 1870s.

In my scheme of things I imagined that Wheal Hope had lived up to its name and become a somewhat more prosperous concern than was actually the case. So much so that the Cornwall Minerals Railway extended its Treamble Branch up the valley to service the mine’s needs. The Treamble Branch slumbered on quietly until after the Second World War when it fell into total disuse and was finally dismantled in 1956.

The purpose of the layout was to develop a ‘shunting plank’ into something a bit more challenging and where I could try out Alex Jackson couplings. The jigs for the latter, now available through the Scalefour Society have simplified the making and fitting of these devices.

Lower Rose Goods featured in HM132.

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