Thursday 2 September 2021

Branch, Boat, Bus and Beer at Brentford (4)

 Dock Developments

The Great Western and Brentford Railway Company - later absorbed by the GWR - was mainly about carrying freight, or "goods" as the trade was known until our American cousins upgraded the term. (The word is ancient, however, and was originally used solely for the cargo of a ship.)

The dock was developed on a triangular island at the confluence of the Brent river and the Thames.
Road access was by the originally named Dock Road (map above, upper left) ...
... but this was primarily a barge-to-rail facility. We can follow the former tracks from the remains of Brent (GWR) station ...
... across the London Road then across the river, with the eastern abutment still in place.
The line then crossed a road called "The Ham" ...
... continuing on embankment to cross The Ham a second time ...
... before bridging the river for the second time to reach the island that became the docks. The bridge is seen below looking towards the dock sidings.
The rail and road access to the docks can be seen in this slightly over enlarged aerial view.
The rail access is top centre and dock road enters from upper right.

The rail  bridge became the only road access ...
... to the development of the docks undertaken in the 1970s.
The dock closed on 31 December 1964. It was redeveloped as housing and a marina in 1972 by the Greater London Council (GLC), to a design drawn up by architect Sir Roger Walters in 1968.

Construction work for the Brentford Dock housing estate began in 1972 and was the project was completed in 1978.

The construction of Brentford Dock Marina started in 1978 and the official opening was on 7 August 1980. Sir Horace Cutler, then head of the GLC, sailed up river from County Hall on the boat Princess Freda.

So what about that extra station?

There is evidence that GWR build a passenger station withing the boundary of Brentford Dock. No pictures of this platform seem to exist but it was located on the north eastern extremity of the dock.
It was believed to have been accessed through the large warehouse on the dockside, seen here in an enlargement of the above.
These arches are a distinctive feature of the area ...
... and arches still remain under one of today's blocks of maisonetets.
This would mean that this mysterious passenger platform would be behind the frontage pictured above, far right.
We can see the same area courtesy of Google Earth.
The arches are under the building at the waters edge lower centre and left. There is also a clue, if you know where to look, as to what this passenger platform may have been used for.

It never was!

More Model Shock Horror!
A couple of years ago, fbb was in conversation with a chum at the model railway club he was then attending. His chum said, with a pained sigh, that it would not be long before we saw a £50 price tag for a OO gauge coach. 

Meanie fbb, who doesn't like to spend more than about £15 (pre-owned) laughed. "No one will pay that," he opined.

Oh, foolish one!

Bachmann have just announced a series of Mark 2F coach models at a modest £70 each! YIKES! Rails of Sheffield have offered discounts ...
... to ONLY £59.46. Of course you can buy a version with a clever digital control chip which enables you to have internal lighting (not new) but with the ability to switch it on and off from your control panel.

£95 reduced to £80 by Rails. Hurry, buy them up before you have to pay a ton for a coach!

Just in case our readers are unfamiliar with the real BR Mark 2 series, they were developed from the XP64 experimental train ...
... and went through several stages of design improvement.
The Mark 2F was the final version.

A company called Accurascale has just announced some Mark 2B models  (still built with opening windows and no air conditioning) ...
... at a suggested retail price of a mere £60 each.

You CAN buy an old, old Hornby Mark 2B, with shiny "stainless steel" window frames, on EBay for about £10. Which is what fbb paid for his!
In fbb's case the blue colour (the plastic body is blue) is now fading with old age, so it will need a repaint.
But it is still a passable model despite lacking the small detail (which tends to fall off!!) of the newer products; BUT it does not have any interior detail at all. Two extremes of model quality - and price!

You pays your money and makes your choice! As usual!

Some of the full-sized vehicles have found their way on to heritage lines, where the stainless steel frames (or were they unpainted aluminium?) are painted to give the coaches an inaccurate but seemingly authentic look.
Naughty but nice!

 Next Brentford blog : Friday 3rd September 

1 comment:

  1. Hornby's original model is of a first generation Mark 2 (sharing the body shell with a Mark 2a). It is not a Mark 2B - Lima produced cheap models of the latter.