Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.

 

Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.

 

Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!

 

Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.

 

Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.

 

Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.

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Thingley Junction, two-and-sixpence from Corsham Station on the Western Line - this view on 10th June 2018. Thingley was the RNSTS's (Copenace, including Hartham, Spring Quarry and Monks Park quarries) siding for the shipment of electronic stores to and from sites around the country (e.g. Deptford, Chatham, Portsmouth etc). The man in charge of Thingley for many years was Mr Gallagher (as I, as a very junior clerk, knew him); his daughter, Wendy, worked in the offices at Copenacre.

This was an early-morning jaunt to catch (photograph) the Cathedrals Express which was running from Paddington to Kingswear (a cathedral at Kingswear?) behind Stanier Black 5 45212. It was due at Thingley at about 9:10 so I set off at 06:45 'across country' from a very misty Rudloe. 'Across country' was a bit of a mistake as my boots and socks got absolutely soaked ploughing through a field at Westrop and big cows in a small field at Thingley looked particularly menacing.

 

In the title photo above, in spite of the heralded £16 billion electrification of the Great Western main line running through to Bristol, we see the last mast/cantilever/catenary on the line here at Thingley (see photo captions for further details). There is now no plan to run the electrification through to Bristol in the foreseeable future. For details of the electrification of Britain's railway infrastructure, see:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090805225151/http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/rail-electrification.pdf

 

And for nerds, the technical issues associated with overhead line electrification may be found here: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/sitedocuments/Planning-and-Building-Control/Planning/nr_a_guide_to_overhead_electrification.pdf

 

In the 1990s, Thingley was used as a yard for steam engine and other railway paraphernalia. For photos of Thingley at this time see 'Thingley in the 90s' (about half-way down the webpage) here: Steam

 

The photographs below catalogue the early-morning walk to Thingley and the return trip, on the road this time, through Westrop.

Early Sunday morning and this mattress has been dumped, overnight, at the junction of Bradford Road and Skynet Drive. Rather dump here, in an easily accessible spot, than in a remote, inaccessible, place perhaps on top of wild flowers.
The Redcliffe, greenfield 'Park Place' development is, thankfully, hidden in the early-morning mist. At least there's no deception here, unlike at the George Ward Gardens development in Melksham, where there are no gardens to be seen.
The Gladman/Redrow, speculative, greenfield development continues to engender local outrage
Seven o'clock on a Sunday morning and all is quiet in the Gladman/Redrow 'development field' at Pickwick. Let's hope that this quietude remains.
All available spaces, green or otherwise, are being filled by developments. Here the former garages in Dickens Avenue have been replaced by a development of seven houses from the GreenSquare organisation.
The south lime avenue at Corsham Court at 7:30 on a Sunday morning
An early-morning pastoral scene in Corsham Park
Another pastoral scene in Corsham Park. The tree planting scheme is coming on apace.
The end (Eid) of Ramadan approaches. Thankfully these sheep are safe from the mass, ritual slaughter associated with this event.
'And the sheep bleated on the misty weald, And from its nest the waking corncrake flew' (hmmm, perhaps not Oscar)
Fabulous sycamore in the Park
Magnificent oak by the lake
Now we skip all the way through to Thingley as the walk through the wet fields was such a pain that I couldn't bring myself to take pictures
Here we can just see the last mast/cantilever on the Great Western main line
And here it is again. I'm guessing that the infrastructure runs to Thingley as there is a damned great electricity substation here which, presumably powers (or will power) the line.
Here we see that big substation which will, presumably, be supplying power to the line
A 3-car type 166 diesel multiple unit on the Westbury-Swindon run at Thingley. The improved services on this line have been enabled by the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership (http://www.twcrp.org.uk/).
Across the field of maize, we see the type 166 joining the main line at Thingley Junction
And look who has arrived to see the Black 5 - Derek and Abbie Mines of Rudloe and Melksham (and Dubai and Angola) fame
Bloody hell (excuse my French) - that's not a Black 5 but a type 37 diesel. Apparently a change of plan had the Black 5 pulling the train from Taunton and also the return leg.
Even though this is not steam, the sight of this class of diesel reminds me of its predecessor, the English Electric Type 4 (numbers D200-D344), which ran on the West Coast main line from the late 50s and which I used to 'spot' at Warrington.
These sad-faced diesels exude power. I recall their throb and high-pitched whine when pulling out of Warrington Bank Quay - see image 19 in the 'archive' steam shots in the Steam section of rudloescene
So we didn't get to see the Black 5 but we did catch it on the following Thursday at Hullavington - see the Steam section of rudloescene (soon)
A lovely horse tethered on the Notton Lane verge. Presumably she belongs to the local gypsy/traveller/itinerant (which, if any, is the PC term these days?) community adjacent to Thingley sidings.
The improvised bucket contains water as, presumably, do the other containers
This is the extent of her range (towards the lane). The entrance to Thingley sidings can be seen in the distance.
After a welcome scratch of her muzzle, she forlornly watched my retreat towards Chequers. As may be seen in the foreground, Notton Lane is awash with litter but, in the world of consumerism, the war cannot be won.
A lone cyclist drifts along Notton Lane towards Thingley. I presume that this lane was widened to cater for the heavy Admiralty (RNSTS) traffic as beyond the Thingley bridges it reverts to a narrow, country lane.
Easton Lane crosses here. This is used as a rat-run between Chippenham and Corsham during rush hours. Corsham Park woodland in the distance.
A close-up of that junction with more evidence of the litter. Thingley lies beyond.
Much apiaceae (umbelliferae) in evidence in Notton Lane; Corsham Park woodland lies beyond the bend
More apiaceae and grasses on the Notton Lane verge; again we see Corsham Park woodland beyond
Verge grasses in Notton Lane with hedgerow trees of Corsham Estate fields beyond
Apiaceae and verge grasses of early summer (and early morning) in Notton Lane
This view with an oak (I think) and lone cyclist in the distance gives an impression of the straightness and width of Notton Lane
We have now turned into the narrow Westrop Lane; again Corsham Park woodland is beyond
In Westrop Lane; the connecting road to Easton Lane (to the left) is at that 'junction' ahead
Farm buildings at Westrop in the lee of some big trees
Some of Westrop's buildings from the lane
A meadow in the 'dip' of the hamlet
Back into Corsham Park now, St Bartholomew's in the distance
A pathway through the Park; coffee at Mother & Wild beckons
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© Paul Turner