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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:13 am 
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To PatMG07.… I’ll have a think and see what I might have, to aid or inspire your Warrenpoint station model railway project. But it won’t be a small layout, it was quite a long railway yard. Somewhere I have an old, large scale Ordnance Survey map. I’ll try to find it to get an idea of size for you. I also have a hand drawn copy of the track plan and George gave me all the track names and the signal box lever numbers.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:16 am 
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To Dippik…. Thank you for saying you knew my Grandparents. I couldn’t have had better and have a lot to thank them for, in many ways that they probably didn’t realise. I learned to read well at quite an early age, because I discovered a bookcase of “William” books by Richmal Crompton, on the way up to my bedroom. My passion for soda bread, Italian icecream and things that go “chuff”, all link back to Warrenpoint and my Grandparents.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:17 am 
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To Whitestar… Sadly the sixties were not a good time for railways. In England we had Dr Beeching doing unspeakable things to our branch lines and the Irish didn’t want to be left out. It was a time of economics, politics and vested interests. With the clarity of hindsight, the decision makers might have done things differently. My brother and I just treasure the exhilarating experience that Warrenpoint gave us, of rattling our way along a most beautiful valley on a summers day, hanging on for dear life to the footplate of a 1915 vintage steam locomotive. Health & Safety…eat your heart out!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:14 am 
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Great stuff Biggles, as an old `train spotter` who camped almost permanently on the side of the turntable checking numbers ,names and wheel formations I look forward with great anticipation to your collection of black and white photos ......................................your pics have brought back great memories of school holidays,hot summer days and waiting for the `excursion specials` that made their way to the `Point from all parts of Ireland.............................
Once an Anorak always an Anorak .........................................................

Are you related to Derek Rigby ? .........................................


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:22 pm 
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Biggles - I hope the right royal treatment included making tea for u in his 'billie can'. That was a real treat and I still have a love of tea strong enought to support a spoon. As I remember it as a blue can that used to contain baby food. Look forward to the rest of the photos. :--)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Thanks Biggles, I look forward to more discoveries and photographs !


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:07 pm 
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I really can't resist posting this one, I was going to leave it until after the show tomorrow night but the mention of the signalbox and a certain Blue "billie can" was too much to resist :D

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:22 pm 
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Oh Pauline will love that one, Brian :>


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:08 pm 
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excellant pictures :photo:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:16 pm 
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northbrook wrote:
Once an Anorak always an Anorak .........................................................

Are you related to Derek Rigby ? .........................................


Oh, it was much worse than an Anorak! Back in the sixties, as a brainless teenager, I used to wander down the railway wearing an ex-British army khaki cotton jacket (bought at a surplus store), with a photographic tripod slung over my shoulder. From a distance that could have looked quite sinister. I must have been daft, but somehow I survived.

Derek Rigby is my uncle, my late mother’s brother. At a time a little earlier than when I was taking the railway pictures, he was courting Eileen, now his wife. I used to get taken to the old Foy cinema rather a lot....I really liked courting! I suppose the old Foy is long gone?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:52 pm 
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Well you ran the risks and got the pics., and like myself had the good sense to hold on to the negatives...................look at the enjoyment our members are getting, those who have never seen the railway and the rest of us who are wallowing in nostalalgia.................I kept all my negs.since 1956 hoping that some day I would find a place for them,not realising that the transition from Hypo to Megabyte was not too far away, the hallmark of a true `Anorak`............... and many thanks again to Brian for allowing us to indulge ourselves in our hobbies ...................................................................................


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Pauline Reardon wrote:
Brian, Guy with the bucket in photo 6 looks like my Dad. Can anyone confirm. :--)


This evening, I have just come off the phone from my brother, who is also enjoying the fact that others are getting pleasure from our old photographs. I asked him about the identity of his photograph of ‘the man with the bucket’. He laughed and said he had been following the discussions with interest. Sadly, Pauline, it‘s not your dad.
There’s just a possibility it might have been a man who came from time to time to talk with Pat Connolly, at the DowMac crossing gate, but most probably it was one of the scrap team. There were about half a dozen of them. They set up a big old wooden road-repairers living van, from steamroller days, on the Warrenpoint platform under the canopy. That was their home from home.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Brian - what a great picture.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:08 am 
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Indeed, that last picture is most unusual.....in any of the books that I have seen featuring the Warrenpoint line the photographs are always 'outdoors'. Great to see things from 'the other side'.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:22 pm 
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These are without a doubt the best photos I have seen of the 'Point railway! I especially like the ones of the turntable, which was my playground throuhout the 50's & 60's. We used to love unlocking the lever and getting it turning, the faster the better, of course , health & safety was non existent then,---thank goodness! :')


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:58 pm 
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I don’t know what Brian will make of model railways on the full-size railway thread, but here goes…. This is for PatMG07 and his thoughts of a model of the Warrenpoint Station site. I have found my Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map of Warrenpoint, from the 1950 survey. It’s a lovely bit of black on white artistry, that shows every leaf on every tree…I jest, but it does show every house and garden, all the railway tracks, including the complex layout on the dock and much more besides.
In my opinion, to do justice, you would need to include the dock and Dock Street at one end of the layout and go as far as the DowMac crossing at the other end. The station site is in the shape of a backwards letter L, stretched out until it is almost, but not quite straight.
I don’t know what scale you were contemplating, but let’s assume 4mm to one foot. The site at it’s widest is about 400 feet, which would translate to a model a little over 5 feet wide. Now for the length. Are you sitting down…perhaps a tot of something to hand?
From Dock Street house fronts to the DowMac crossing was 2610 feet….or in model terms, about 34 feet. You’d need to allow about another 4 to 6 feet on the model, for hidden sidings beyond the DowMac crossing…
If you are seriously contemplating it, I also have the maps all the way to Goraghwood….now that would be a model, I reckon it would stretch to Narrow Water.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:30 pm 
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What can I say ........ that is totally amazing. Can it get any better?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:59 pm 
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It would be amazing Pauline, but i think someone would need a very large back garden....a guy Joe who worked at the railway here spoke very well at the historical meeting in the library tonight....knew all the trains and could actually tell you how far a train was form the station just by a photograph.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:02 pm 
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I wonder if that would have been Joe Rox - my sister Kathleen says that she sometimes sees him in Warrenpoint. He was a really nice guy and it was such a small 'community' that the railwaymen were all good friends.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:45 pm 
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It was indeed Joe Rocks, who I put in the spotlight rather unexpectedly :D But Joe ever the true professional did his bit and it was a nice little extra to be able to show Barrie & Andrew's photos to the members who were there with a little commentary from Joe who as you know worked there for many years. The rest of the photos as I mentioned earlier will now be added over the next week or so (I was going to do it over a few weeks but I have to bow to public pressure to get them on site :rotfl: )


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:44 pm 
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Brian - looking forward to seeing the photos.
A very interesting topic.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:50 pm 
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Brian, I've been thinking about Dad and the Signal Box. It worked on a two shift system - earlies and lates. Does anyone know who the other signalman was? And was Joe Rocks the relief for rest days etc? I'm still gobsmacked about the 'billie' can photo.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:25 pm 
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biggles.....thanks for all the research...my old brain is a bit tired after a busy day at work but your contribution has made me smile. Looks like if we are to proceed with this model we might have to call round to Jackie McManus and order quite a few sheets of plywood out of Haldane & Shields yard ! :rotfl:

I am by no means any sort of expert at creating models to scale but perhaps we would have to use some 'artistic licence' and reduce some of the 'lengths' involved in an effort to get it all down to a managable size. I am sure there is enough creative talent around the' point to create this model ...it is certaintly too much of a job for just one person !


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:29 pm 
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patMG07 wrote:
biggles.....thanks for all the research...my old brain is a bit tired after a busy day at work but your contribution has made me smile. Looks like if we are to proceed with this model we might have to call round to Jackie McManus and order quite a few sheets of plywood out of Haldane & Shields yard ! :rotfl:

I am by no means any sort of expert at creating models to scale but perhaps we would have to use some 'artistic licence' and reduce some to the 'lengths' involved in an effort to get it all down to a managable size. I am sure there is enough creative talent around the' point to create this model ...it is certaintly too much of a job for just one person !

a 3D model perhaps :idea:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:26 am 
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I'll work on that 3d model idea..... I have a plan :yes sir:

Meanwhile I am going to post up all of Barrie and Andrew's photographs, some have already been seen on site but I find it easier to post them like this so thats what I am doing :D



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an unknown photograph (not from Barrie) does anybody know the identity of this engine or where this is?

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more later.....


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:37 am 
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Superb collection of photos !


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:26 am 
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Brian, thank you for putting up this morning, more scans from our Warrenpoint railway photo collection. I should point out that the 8th photo down the list isn't mine, nor is it from Warrenpoint. It's a narrow gauge loco from some Irish railway. It was scanned in error, so my apologies to its author. Perhaps, Brian, you would be kind enough to remove it, when you have the time. If anyone knows what railway No 12 is from, I would be interested to know.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:32 am 
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Pauline Reardon wrote:
Brian, I've been thinking about Dad and the Signal Box. It worked on a two shift system - earlies and lates. Does anyone know who the other signalman was? And was Joe Rocks the relief for rest days etc? I'm still gobsmacked about the 'billie' can photo.



Pauline, I don’t want to appear to be a know-all, but I do have the benefit of some saved documentary evidence, to try to answer your question. The ’Point signal cabin log books for the late 1940’ies through to the early 1950’ies show George Walker and J. Wilson sharing the load, with very occasional entries by Peter Rogers.
By 1955, it’s George and Joe Rocks, with occasional entries from Mannix Fox. The early part of 1956, George is missing and Joe Rocks and M McNelis (?) have all the entries. At the end of March it’s back to George and Joe, with occasionally Mannix Fox.
They worked long days…a typical summer weekday would be 5.50am to 10.50pm, usually worked split-shifts, but sometimes one man would work the whole day. They would have anything up to 14 trains a day, in and out.
Then there is a big jump in the records I have, to 1964 the last summer of operation. By this stage, George is working almost every day, on his own. They were in the habit of withdrawing the Newry token staff, last thing of an evening. This gave Dublin Bridge control of the line overnight and enabled them to send the 6am goods, without George having to be on duty. The shunter at Warrenpoint, dealt with signals and points.
Mannix Fox came on signal box duty for the first week of September, to give George a break. Thereafter, they were down to just a couple of trains a day. The heart seemed to be going out of Georges record keeping, 28th Sept 1964 was the last time he signed the log. The last entry he made was Friday 1st January… one passenger and one goods train.
The final weekend went unrecorded, the last steam train on the Saturday morning and the final passenger train, the 8.40pm diesel railcar, on the Sunday. A sad end to a proud thirty year record of keeping his passengers safe. I don’t know if George continued on the railway anywhere else, I somehow doubt it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:55 pm 
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Brilliant photos Brian,the best ive seen .they bring back some great memories.
I remember when the track was being taken up ,a teacher from the Abbey in Newry bought a load of sleepers.His name was Jimmy Haffey [buckshot].
He took his jacket off and threw it on the ground,whereupon our dog Ringo peed all over it.Nothing would convince him that I had"nt trained the dog to do it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:28 pm 
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More from the collection


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