The Branch Line Society


Cornish Industrial Visits
Friday 22nd November 2013

With thanks to local member Maurice Dart who produced an itinerary booklet and devised the trip, 20 participants met at St. Austell station for our 09.00 mini-bus tour. First stop was St. Blazey to see the depot and turntable (a listed structure since condemned by DBS), followed by Imerys’ head office for Hi- Visibility vests and hard hats, then to Par station for more participants. Continuing along the private road used to transport China Clay on the former GWR line from Par Harbour through Pinnock Tunnel, Fowey was reached where clay is loaded onto boats for export. Here the party saw the wagon traverser, old jetties, Caffa Mill and Pill incline. Returning through Pinnock Tunnel to Par Harbour, with photographic stops, visits were made to Par Moor Kilns and Rock Dries to see two locos. Then the gated north portal of Goonbarrow Tunnel was reached through a very wet cutting followed by a quick visit to Carbean siding (until 1965 the end of the Carbis Wharf branch), before lunch at the Sawles Arms, Carthew. At Blackpool sidings, a derelict 0-4-0 diesel shunter was next to the loading bay. Drinnick Mill, Treviscoe, Kernick, Parkandillack and Trelavour followed; at the latter the group saw preparatory work for a new waste incinerator. Then Meledor Mill, Melbur and Collins sidings were visited with various stops. Returning to St. Austell, the minibus paused to see a tramway stone building from the 2'-6" Pentewan Railway which carried passengers.

At 16.20 most caught trains from St. Austell, the bus continuing to Par station. Ivor Bowditch, Imerys consultant, provided a very interesting and enjoyable day including access to their sites. In recognition a donation was made to Little Harbour local children’s Hospice charity.