PETER GRAY: Perishable trains with interesting engines
THROUGHOUT the rest of August 1945, after the excitements of the bank holiday weekend, life on the railway went on pretty much as normal, with just the occasional interesting engine turning up.
One of these was 4-6-0 No 6824 Ashley Grange, which was based at CARM (Carmarthen, in west Wales).
On Sunday August 5, 1945, it was heading the 4.45pm Plymouth to Paddington perishables train, arriving into Newton Abbot at 6.13pm.
These perishable trains had a habit of bringing interesting engines up from Plymouth, and were always worth waiting for, before heading for home, either by train, bus or bicycle.
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On weekdays, each evening saw three of them coming up from Plymouth, of which the second, the 2pm Penzance to Crewe perishable was the most interesting, as it swept imperiously through Newton Abbot station using the up through line (now part of the car park) around 7.30pm.
The following day, the bank holiday Monday, saw 4-6-0 No 5913 Rushton hall from NEY (Neyland, also in west Wales) on what we always called the 'first perishables', actually on weekdays the 4.25pm Plymouth Millbay to Paddington parcels, due into Newton at 6pm.
While on that evening, the 'second perishables' was hauled by the much less interesting 4-6-0 No 6865 Hopton grange from PDN (shorthand for old Oak Common).
The 'third perishables', the 3.45pm Penzance to Paddington perishable was not often seen, as it was not due through Newton until 8.50pm. On Saturday August 11, 1945, the 'first perishable' was hauled by 2-6-0 No 6370 from PPRD (Pontypool Rd, north on Newport), assisted to Newton by 2-6-2T No 5153.
Again, only the 'first perishable' was seen on August 15, when it was double-headed by 4-4-0 No 3400 Winnipeg and 2-6-0 No 4971 Stanway Hall from OXY (Oxley Sidings, Wolverhampton).
The evening of Friday, August 24, 1945 was quite interesting.
The 1.30pm from Paddington to Penzance and Kingswear was, with the Second World War now at an end, being run daily as two separate parts.
On this evening the first part for Penzance had arrived behind 4-6-0 No 5041 Tiverton Castle, which would have departed with a 4-4-0 Bulldog as pilot engine — there were three waiting.
But the second part to Kingswear arrived behind 4-6-0 No 6805 Broughton Grange, piloting 0-6-0 No 2268, a Taunton engine.
Usually this train was headed by a King or a Castle, so we must assume that the King or Castle had failed at Taunton, and been replaced by the Grange and 2268, both of which appear to have gone forward to Paignton.
The 'first perishable' was also double-headed that evening by 4-6-0s No 4992 Crosby Hall and Saint class 4-6-0 No 2936 Cefntilla Court. A more interesting evening than most.