Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Any aspect related to the structures and equipment on the Caledonian Railway Company.
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

I should have added that this photograph was taken by John Robin on 29 March 1964
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Image 3

The photograph was taken just just down from Swinehill Junction where the Stonehouse railway branch crosses over the A74 at Birkenshaw, Larkhall

I am trying to attach two map extracts but having trouble because of their size.

One is from the NLS O.S. Maps revised 1962 published 1963. The other is NLS O.S. Maps revised 1940 published 1946.

The 1963 extract shows
1. The long narrow Gospel Hall seen in the photo
2. A small block of terrace houses. These are not in the photo, presumably having been demolished some short time previously. The photo shows the
Glasgow buses parked up on their footprint.
3. An earth embankment. This is seen in front of the buses in the photo.
4. A large works behind the railway embankment but no name. The photo shows part of that works - the separate building (presumably the offices) fronting the road.

The 1946 extract names the Works as the AVON SANITARY ENGINEERING WORKS.

‘CaleyJim’ is probably right with his suggestion of a bus-breaker’s yard. The buses are awaiting their final fate to be broken up for scrap in the work’s foundry. It would be good to show the photograph to the Glasgow Vehicle Trust for their archives. They might hold the GCT bus disposal records to confirm the Work’s name - we already know the date.

Aside: There is probably somebody right now sitting in a bath, of which part was previously a Glasgow bus.

I will keep trying to attach the map extracts - it’s becoming very frustrating
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Image 3

Hopefully the two map extracts are attached
Attachments
1963 map extract
1963 map extract
93EA9C8F-FAB4-406D-9AF4-CC7846605ED5.png (427.32 KiB) Viewed 1949 times
1946 map extract
1946 map extract
F666B85F-2731-48A0-B86A-C479433A4E5B.jpeg (102.89 KiB) Viewed 1949 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Ignore the dates under the map extracts. I have annotated the dates on a white sticker on each photo
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Item 4

This is the same area.

This photograph has been taken further back up the track towards and looking forward in the Swinehill Junction direction.
The works can be seen on the left side and the train is moving forward towards the bridge over the A47
See attached map extract on which I have drawn the field of view lines.

On the Canmore site you will find pictures of the works and the rail embankment with the tracks lifted - very interesting.

Looking at Google Earth as to what we see today, you will never believe that all shown in the photographs and maps ever existed.
Attachments
Item 4, NLS Map extract 1963
Item 4, NLS Map extract 1963
E7A7D932-77A6-40D9-ABE5-E1C7613BBF63.jpeg (104.89 KiB) Viewed 1949 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

THE VIADUCT PHOTOS

I assume that the photos have been taken on the same tour.

I refer you back to the previous picture of the engine being moved onto the bridge which has the number 8 painted on it. One of the viaducts needing identification as to its location has number 7 painted on it. This is presumably the next viaduct/bridge either up/down (whatever) the line. We need to follow the train tour along its whole route - referring to old/new maps, making notes, looking at Google Earth to see if they are still standing etc etc

The other picture is taken from the side or window of the train. The bridge probably carries a mineral line as we can see slag heaps in the background. This line will at some stage meet the track which the train is on.

As I say, just follow the train route to come up with answers.
WCML55.68
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by WCML55.68 »

There is a none too clever shot of the same tour crossing Harthope viaduct.
328 CRAB 42737 29.03.64.jpg
328 CRAB 42737 29.03.64.jpg (85.19 KiB) Viewed 1947 times
Re photo 3, I dont think the buses are in service, as it appears that at least the route numbers are wound to blank white, unless on a private hire which doesnt seem to fit the area, and I dont think there is room for the front buses to swing round so doubtful this is a turnround. There also is a blue bonneted single decker, Bedford OB? across the front of the trio of Corporation buses.
Liveries, the one at the rear is in pre 1958 colours, cadmium orange, cream, tram green and cream upper deck. After 1958 many vehicles received half repaints where the cadmium and lower cream would be repainted in the paler orange as an economy hybrid whilst others received the full 1958 livery. So it would be at least 6 years in these colours which is a long time between repaints for a bus. The two in front are in 1958 onwards colours, introduced to simplify the livery for spray painting. Note that the cadmium orange was not suitable for spraying and the orange became more yellowish and the green changed very slightly too. All three have undamaged and unfaded adverts which would suggest not long out of GCT service.
Feeling is that they are sold on by the Corporation either to an independent operator or are at or on the way to a scrap yard. Two long established companies spring to mind, Dunsmores of Larkhall scrap dealers and Allanders of Milngavie, both still going, who took many Corporation vehicles for further service but there were many others. Dunsmores seems right. I dont know if they still occupy the same premises but some scrapyards have holding yards where excess stock is held until needed.

That bridge is extremely distinctive as is the building and its perimeter. Looks like a commercial building to me, tried to enhance the writing unsuccessfully, but possibly Steel or Social Services??
This is the view today on the B7078, old A74, look at that fence.

https://www.google.com/maps/@55.7198467 ... 384!8i8192

Hope this helps..Paul.
Orraman
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by Orraman »

I had come to the same conclusion as DFORSYTH as to the location.

I got thrown a bit because sometimes the reference is to Swinehill and others say Swinhill.

Other points:-

Could the buses be there for none of the previously mentioned suggestions but are actually old buses used to transport workers to the factory from the surrounding areas. I know there was a practice until at least 1972 for "dirty" factories to have their own transport to take employees to and from work.

Why was the engine detached from it's coaches? Could this be part of a runaround? Having taken the train to this point it required to go to the other end for the return journey?
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Hi Paul,

Very impressed with your knowledge of Glasgow buses. You have fired my appetite and I must go and visit the Glasgow Vehicle Trust on one of their ‘Open Days. I’ve never been there before. Not so easy to pop round there as I live 350 plus miles from Glasgow - so have to plan ahead.

I note you have added Google Street View link to the posts but if you had gone a bit further up the road you might be pleased to see that part of the bridge abutment is still there.
Attachments
Remaining rail bridge abutment over the A4
Remaining rail bridge abutment over the A4
E770AEAC-6AA7-4F9F-88C3-2784289048EF.jpeg (138.75 KiB) Viewed 1921 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Hi Orraman,

I have no idea why the engine was detached from the coaches. It does makes a superb picture as the engine, on its own, fits perfectly lengthwise on the bridge. The coaches attached would have spoiled the symmetry. Perhaps the lads on the tour asked the engine driver nicely or slipped him a few bob to have a drink when his shift ended.

At this moment we don’t know who owned the works alongside the bridge - as nobody can make out the signage.

Originally it was Jackson & Elphick Bathfounders, Avon Sanitary Engineering Company. They became a limited company in 1905 with the name Jackson Elphick & Co Ltd. They with similar foundry manufacturers in Scotland and England amalgamated in 1935, becoming Federated Foundries Ltd. Their Mr John M Jackson became a member of the Board of Directors.

Jackson Elphick & Co Ltd’s records are held in the University of Glasgow Business Archives - as does the CRASSOC archives

Ref: UGD116. 1899-1939 Minutes, Agenda, Books, Letters & misc, papers

Perhaps somebody living locally might wish to pop in there and see what happened in 1939 with the works.
jimwatt2mm
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by jimwatt2mm »

DFORSYTH wrote: Mon Apr 17, 2023 5:36 pm At this moment we don’t know who owned the works alongside the bridge - as nobody can make out the signage.

Originally it was Jackson & Elphick Bathfounders, Avon Sanitary Engineering Company. .......
Which would appear to confirm what I said in my post on Thursday 13th, that the first part of the large lettering was 'JACKS....'.

Jim W
Graham R
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by Graham R »

Thanks very much for the fascinating detective work Dforsyth, Orraman and Paul. I think your jigsaw identification and map evidence is pretty conclusive for Swinehill. I had considered Larkhall East for the other shot but rejected the idea as the photos seemed to show a more curved platform than the 1:2500 map. Appearances can be deceptive!

I'll update the catalogue descriptions in due course.

Here is another interesting series of shots from the same set of slides. I think these may be the remains of the small pit above Glenbuck village on the Caley's never-opened Mid Lanark - Muirkirk line ... see the 1:2500 map which has a likely-looking viaduct over the Stottencleugh burn. What do you think?
20230309-073.jpg
20230309-073.jpg (109.77 KiB) Viewed 1913 times
20230309-052.jpg
20230309-052.jpg (72.94 KiB) Viewed 1913 times
20230309-065.jpg
20230309-065.jpg (78.19 KiB) Viewed 1913 times
20230309-067.jpg
20230309-067.jpg (70.9 KiB) Viewed 1913 times
20230309-069.jpg
20230309-069.jpg (74.38 KiB) Viewed 1913 times
Graham R
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by Graham R »

And here is the 1909 OS map:
glenbuck-1908.jpg
glenbuck-1908.jpg (53.88 KiB) Viewed 1912 times
Jim Summers
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by Jim Summers »

Thanks for persisting with getting these map extracts on to the Forum, David.

This has been a fascinating exchange, and my congratulations to all of you for the enlightenment, instruction, and sheer entertainment.

Jim S
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Thank you Jim for your kind words.

Graham R
I will now put your latest slides in the order they were taken by the photographer.

The first photo was taken from a point in the village - Note:-
1. The block of council houses in the foreground. There is washing hanging out.
2. The sharp LH bend in the road
3. The isolated white walled farm and outbuildings in the middle distance
4. The remains of the CR rail viaduct over the Stottencleugh Burn in the distance.

I am attaching a 1960s map extract where I have labelled these points to identify them clearly

I am also attaching a present day Goggle Earth view.
The only thing that’s left to see nowadays is the remains of the viaduct (by the S in the words Stottencleugh Burn) and the road leading up to the isolated farm buildings which have no roofs - EVERYTHING ELSE HAS GONE

!xxxx The is too big to load. I wii have to reduce and attach in my next post

EVERYBODY MUST LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING BY GOING ON THE INTERNET

1. Glenbuck & Requiem for a village by Sam Purdie
It’s a YouTube video and includes shots overflying the viaduct - the video has a beautiful musical score with it

2. Type in ‘Sam Purdie the lost villages’ where there are video clips with Sam Purdie talking about Glenbuck and its demises

Watching and listening to these two items really brings our Association’s photograph ‘alive’
Attachments
1960s map of Glenbuck area with certain points labelled
1960s map of Glenbuck area with certain points labelled
820DE9B9-E050-4369-8306-3DB23A4812D7.jpeg (120.58 KiB) Viewed 1862 times
Slide 1 view roughly looking NW from a point in the village
Slide 1 view roughly looking NW from a point in the village
56929BD4-BC88-4C69-9DAA-596E81E08CCD.jpeg (113.2 KiB) Viewed 1862 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Hopefully, I have now attached the present day Google Earth view of Glenbuck.
Attachments
Present day Google Earth view Glenbuck area
Present day Google Earth view Glenbuck area
571E2EEC-6827-4A9A-99EA-63D8DFE5A2AC.jpeg (117.38 KiB) Viewed 1861 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

We have now walked up with the photographer to the spot where the next photograph was taken - at the CR rail viaduct over the Stottencleugh Burn, located a short distance (roughly) North West of Glenbuck.

The view is (roughly) looking North East across the 3 piers of the former viaduct - the ironwork super structure and rail track now long gone.
The Stottencleugh Burn is flowing down below (out of site) between the bottom of the 1st and 2nd piers. Beyond the 3rd pier can see a greyish patch, this is a glimpse of a footpath track which runs alongside the burn on the other slope.

Having 1 pier on this side of the burn and 2 on the other side indicates that the slope where we are standing is much steeper than the opposite one. Thus more piers are needed over there to support the rail track over a wider distance.

Enjoying the view? But it is time to move on. Let’s turn around to face (roughly) South West and leave this viaduct behind. We are going for a nice walk over the moors.
Attachments
Remains of CR Rail Viaduct over Stottencleugh Burn, Glenbuck
Remains of CR Rail Viaduct over Stottencleugh Burn, Glenbuck
2DEA436F-7B08-44C1-90EE-E7E9F9E89874.jpeg (110.6 KiB) Viewed 1855 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Been walking steadily for some time now with Glenbuck about a mile or so behind us. Just came around the hillside and the photographer is getting very excited about what we see in front of us. Is it the mining activity further up the slope? - no it’s the line of stone blocks lying on the ground. What can these be?

These are the remnants of the Former CR Rail Viaduct over the Ponesk Burn.
From the NLS OS map 25” 1909 (attached) it would appear that it had been a 1 pier viaduct. When all the ironwork superstructure and rail track were removed, it looks like the pier was toppled in the direction of the burn.

Look closely at the pattern of the 3 stone blocks in and around the burn and note their position.
I attach a view today from Google Earth - note, these stone blocks are still in the same positions today as they were sixty years ago in the 1960s.
Everything else on the slope has GONE with open-cast mining.

I’m being told again that adding the Google Earth is too large to send with this post - I will attach separately.
Attachments
NLS OS 1909 25” map extract shows CR Rail Viaduct over Ponesk Burn
NLS OS 1909 25” map extract shows CR Rail Viaduct over Ponesk Burn
3EA4F562-08A9-4CCB-BBF3-FDA4F8916A24.jpeg (98.1 KiB) Viewed 1853 times
Looking over Ponesk Burn and remnants of CR viaduct stone pier lying on ground
Looking over Ponesk Burn and remnants of CR viaduct stone pier lying on ground
FCE436E1-830C-43A4-86DB-366AA7AD8493.jpeg (165.34 KiB) Viewed 1853 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Incidentally that was PHOTOGRAPH 3

Hopefully I have now attached the Google Earth view
Attachments
Google Earth view former CR Rail Viaduct stone blocks in Ponesk Burn
Google Earth view former CR Rail Viaduct stone blocks in Ponesk Burn
ED36C13C-167D-4A8C-BB38-E93619012B6C.jpeg (39.06 KiB) Viewed 1850 times
WCML55.68
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by WCML55.68 »

Orraman, Works buses, thats one distinct possibility that didnt even cross my mind! Remember the Wimpey buses, bright yellow with black roof, and probably the most famous was the sizeable fleet of former London Transport RTs for Lesney Matchbox workers in London.
In the 60s, these works buses were effectively 64 seat cars (or however many seats), taxed and tested as such and driven, probably by one of the workers, on an ordinary car licence. I think when Tachographs (drivers hours) combined with a limit to the numbers of passengers carried with no PSV license became the order of the day, it killed the works buses off.

One other thing is the clearance under the bridge, the Crab looks huge above. The BR loading gauge is around 13' and it looks like a similar clearance under that bridge. If the stone courses are 12” that seems to fit. So why is there no HEADROOM sign on the girders? Theres a pre-Worboys sign and triangle through the bridge, doubt its for the bend as its on the bend so either a Low Bridge sign or for the Hill behind the camera. Bearing in mind that this is the A74 trunk road Glasgow to Carlisle, a very busy road.
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Photograph 4 (attached)

We are now on the other side of the Ponesk Burn looking back. The stone blocks of the fallen viaduct pier can now be seen lying roughly in a straight line. We can also now see the type of mining operation taking place. As we came around the side of the hill on the other side we could only see the top part of the side of the plant. Now we can see it all, the conveyor belts etc - the coal seams ‘outcrop’ here, thus the coal is close to the surface and easily extractable. This is a small open cast mining operation.

But how did they take the coal away from this bleak lonely spot you might ask? The railway is no longer there.

I attach a map extract 1” to the mile, 7th series Glenbuck area, published 1970
Come off the A70 and take the road to Glenbuck. Before reaching the village, take the road track to the left, across the fields and up to the disused CR rail track bed. Turn left onto the bed which has now been made suitable for lorries. Go on as far as the spot where the viaduct began and then turn right into the open cast site,
That’s how they took the coal away - adapting a former railway line into a roadway suitable for lorries.
Attachments
Looking back across the Ponesk Burn at the fallen CR stone block pier
Looking back across the Ponesk Burn at the fallen CR stone block pier
AE4AF192-AEB4-4171-AAB5-5DC1AB11B384.jpeg (108.38 KiB) Viewed 1845 times
Map extract Glenbuck area, 1” to the mile, published 1970
Map extract Glenbuck area, 1” to the mile, published 1970
4FD2B995-330E-4A05-AEC0-6C08E7F662B2.jpeg (124.91 KiB) Viewed 1845 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

Photograph 5 (attached)

We have now walked on a few more miles and reached the outskirts of Muirkirk on its east side.. You will have gathered by now that we have been walking along a stretch of the old CR Mid Lanark, Spireslack & Muirhead railway line between Glenbuck and Muirhead. This line was never opened for rail traffic. We are at the point where this line met and joined the old CR Douglas & Muirkirk railway line.

The view is looking over to where the Mid Lanark, Spireslack & Muirhead line crossed the River Ayr by means of a viaduct of which very little remains.
Attachments
Remains of CR Mid Lanark, Spireslack & Muirkirk line viaduct over thr River Ayr
Remains of CR Mid Lanark, Spireslack & Muirkirk line viaduct over thr River Ayr
BBDB7F13-2EAC-43D3-A10E-983E6E7425FB.jpeg (119.24 KiB) Viewed 1844 times
NLS map extract OS 6” Muirkirk area published 1949
NLS map extract OS 6” Muirkirk area published 1949
90DC9B2F-43D1-4646-8358-8E0F3073DBC5.jpeg (128.91 KiB) Viewed 1844 times
DFORSYTH
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by DFORSYTH »

I attach a Google Earth snapshot for you to appreciate the length of this former viaduct.

Railscot quotes:This viaduct was known as the Tor Hill Viaduct or Crossflatt Viaduct.

John Thomas wrote in his book Forgotten Railways: Scotland “Demolished by bombing and demolition exercises in both wars. Part of one pier remains”

Our 1960s picture shows that one remaining pier and what’s left of the approach embankment, all the rest of which behind has been totally removed.

The Google views show the scale of destruction to all the stone piers on the other side of the River Ayr

That’s the end of the walk. I hope you all enjoyed it and, along the way, learnt a little bit about a long forgotten stretch of an old Caledonian Railway branch line.
Attachments
Google Earth. View of remains of CR viaduct over the River Ayr east of Muirkirk
Google Earth. View of remains of CR viaduct over the River Ayr east of Muirkirk
5D499221-8F35-4D4F-9170-7486B81BCE12.jpeg (126.88 KiB) Viewed 1844 times
Jim Summers
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by Jim Summers »

Well, I for one have immensely enjoyed it, David.
You have put your researches into an absorbing form, and I hope we see more examples of this.
Thank you.

Jim S
jimwatt2mm
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Re: Mid Lanark Lines in the 1960s

Post by jimwatt2mm »

To continue the jurney a little further (though perhaps too far to walk), further remnants of the line can be seen as you enter Muirkirk on the A70 where one abutment of the bridge carrying the line over that road is still extant.
Muirkirk approach..png
Muirkirk approach..png (454.47 KiB) Viewed 1807 times
Jim W
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