Saturday, 24 January 2009
After carefully studying the map and walking the old track, it appears to me that a siding ran off of the tramway just before it reached the marshland and via another embankment, ran right to the edge of Glynde Reach river. I would imagine this was so barges could be loaded with chalk here because they couldn`t get past the bridge where the tramway crossed the Reach. Also by studying the map I do believe there were two passing places on the tramway, one north of the road bridge and one south. Although I can see how the incline worked, north of the road bridge, it is hard to understand how they could continue to operate trucks on a cable around curves and over the flat marshy section.
Friday, 16 January 2009
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Saturday, 10 January 2009
Sunday, 4 January 2009
I became aware of an old tramway arcing away from the east of the station some years ago and walked it with a good friend of mine. There were still sleepers clearly visible and the remains of the bridge crossing Glynde Reach river. We couldn`t get near the old pit then but on Sunday I managed to and took the following photographs.
The clay pit was connected to the sidings at Glynde by means of a Telpherage line opened on Saturday 17 October 1885. This was the first overhead railway of its kind in the world and differs from an aerial ropeway by the individual skips having their own motor and by clever means could not run into each other. Later on, this was replaced with a proper tramway with running rails.
The Glynde telpherage line was built by the Telpherage Company and officially opened on Saturday 17 October 1885. It was said to cost £1200, including the equipment to generate electricity, the trains, and the locomotives. The electricity was generated by a dynamo which was powered by a steam engine. The water for the engine was apparently raised by a windmill at the station end of the line. The line extended for almost a mile. It was a double line of steel rods 66 feet long and with a 0.75 inch diameter. The rods were elevated 18 feet above the ground on posts. The locomotive and skips were suspended from pulleys that ran on the rods. A train of ten skips could carry a ton of clay.
A clay pit was opened in 1885 north of Glynde Reach, to the east of Decoy Wood.
The pit was to supply Gault clay to the new Sussex Portland Cement works at South Heighton.
Both were on land leased from the Glynde Estate for 99 years.
In the event, the clay pit was only worked for around 30 years.
Initially the clay was transported via a telpherage line to Glynde station, latterly (by the late 1890s) via a tramway. Lusted, A.
Remains of the bridge.
View of the trackbed with sleepers
Close up of sleepers, over 110 years old
The trackbed near the clay pit
Remains of an old iron fence at the side of the track
He was a one-off, kind, wise and although "steamboats" most of the time, as he put it, he could not be outwitted even when he was at his most inibriated. I locked myself out more than once and Joe came to the rescue wielding a huge breadknife that hacked-off part of the door jam to get to the latch. He would phone a taxi firm, get the driver to go to the off-licence at the bottom of the road, buy him booze and deliver it to Joe so he didn`t have to leave the flat! He once nearly killed the chap in the garden flat below me who was having a barbecue. From upstairs, Joe got a packet of frozen prawns out of his freezer and threw them down to Frank. I think he actually hit him with them but Frank was so nutty he wouldn`t have felt it.
I remember one new years eve when I was upstairs with him and some old ladies from down the street. As the bells rang out, he appeared with a shotgun and started waving it about and was going to fire out the window as they do in Armagh. We all made a quick exit. He was very careful with his money but would always help a friend out. He made his own slippers out of a blanket and some cardboard once, they looked quite good too. He would knock on my door, stagger in dressed in his best three piece suit and out of his jacket pocket would produce a crystal glass and a bottle of Scotch! Then he would proceed to talk without pausing for a couple of hours until I managed to get him upstairs. His glasses would be halfway down his nose and his gait would be unsteady but that was Joe. At night when he was pickled, he`d ring the White House, the Kremlin or the Pope and torture the poor person on the switchboard for hours! I`ll never forget the sight of him sucking the bones out of two boiled pigs trotters in his front room - ugh!