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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Mystery drill hall - help sought, please


Dragon
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I've got an early 1950s Bartholemews map of the Lake District. I'll look for it. I'll also look on the Old Maps site.

Many thanks for the other suggestions, which I'll try to add!

Gwyn

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Going back to the names and searching various dictionaries it seems that spitehall or sometimes spitehull was an old name for an isolation hospital (originally for lepers but later for any contagious and unpleasant disease). Perhaps those barrack like buildings?

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I drilled in a drill hall, many moons ago but I know very little of them. Would I be correct in thinking that the houses we see would not have warranted a drill hall? Are there not many more houses in the area?

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I drilled in a drill hall, many moons ago but I know very little of them. Would I be correct in thinking that the houses we see would not have warranted a drill hall? Are there not many more houses in the area?

Maybe the town or village is behind the photographer.

Ray

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I would say that almost certainly there ought to be a larger settlement nearby.

I've just tried scanning a section on colossal resolution and virtually seized up my PC. I shall borrow a high strength magnifier to clarify some of the queried details.

One thought from Graeme is whether it's a narrow gauge railway.

Many thanks for all your input so far. I really am grateful.

Gwyn

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Going back to the names and searching various dictionaries it seems that spitehall or sometimes spitehull was an old name for an isolation hospital (originally for lepers but later for any contagious and unpleasant disease). Perhaps those barrack like buildings?

TB hospital/sanatorium?

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One thought from Graeme is whether it's a narrow gauge railway.

I doubt it. The carriages are long, which suggests they are carried on bogies. I'm pretty sure that most if not all the narrow-gauge lines used four-wheeled coaches and that passenger trains of this length would never have been run in this era. If there's a canal involved that stops the idea dead in its tracks. Apart from the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway, I don't know of one that runs near a canal and I'm pretty sure that the W&L didn't run close to the canal once it left Welshpool.

Keith

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Narrow gauge railways were also used in the mineral extraction industry and materials transport. That would fit with the hypotheses about industrial premises, quarrying and mining.

I'm going to borrow a very strong magnifier. There are details showing up with my standard magnifying glass which might clarify some of the queried features. Scanning at extremely high resolutions (in the thousands) is risking crashing my system.

Mike - I don't know at this point and I'll look.

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Narrow gauge railways were also used in the mineral extraction industry and materials transport. That would fit with the hypotheses about industrial premises, quarrying and mining.

Perfectly true but that's not a mineral train. A mineral train on both standard- or narrow-gauge railways right up to the 1970s would have been made up of short-wheelbase wagons and a brake van. That's not even the one- or two-coach stopping train you'd expect to see on a branch-line. If, as I believe, there's a bridge over the railway near the station then that suggests the station had two platforms. Even if the majority of the route were single-track - the GWR had a lot of secondary main-lines laid like that - the presence of passing loops at stations implies that there was a fair old service running. Narrow-gauge stations rarely had platforms. Passengers entered the coaches from ground level and the speeds were very low so there would have been no need for a bridge.

Keith

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I'm currently wondering about somewhere on the Leeds & Liverpool or Huddersfield Narrow canals but I don't know anything about either beyond they both pass through this kind of countryside.

Found this site which includes virtual tours; certain areas looks plausible, but, unfortunately, nothing conclusive that I've seen.

http://www.penninewaterways.co.uk/huddersfield/index.htm

regarding whether it's a road or canal: isn't it just a bit too level and straight for a rural road of about a century ago?

NigelS

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Re train - you may be right; I'm trying not to negate suggestions. I think Graeme was looking at the comparative proportions. In some ways the perspective of the photo is odd.

Thanks for the link, Nigel.

I'm annotating another copy, using my mum's specialist magnifiers borrowed from the low vision centre, but magnification at this scale is a strain on my eyes so I have to keep breaking off.

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Re train - you may be right; I'm trying not to negate suggestions. I think Graeme was looking at the comparative proportions. In some ways the perspective of the photo is odd.

And I'm not trying to be dogmatic, Gwyn but the idea isn't realistic. It certainly isn't necessary to have the industrial enterprise close to a railway, even if it's desirable and I can think of two, standard-gauge railways that ran for miles from coal mines to reach an interchange with the main line in the Langley Mill area of Derbyshire when I was a kid. The Corris, Padarn, Talyllyn and Ffestiniog Railways all ran for a significant distance to move slate to railheads or ports but the train in that photo cannot be narrow-gauge in my opinion because it's just physically too big. It doesn't matter if the perspective is peculiar, the shape is all wrong.

Keith (shall I put this hobby-horse away, now? <_< )

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Keep going Rocdoc as this thread has me seriously intrigued! The major clue should be SPITEFULL but try as I may, I can't link it to anything. Are Bletchley Park still available? The train is placed well to be the main object but is too far away compared to myriads of train pics that feature much closer shots. Glad you ruled out the brake van as Rev. Audrey had one called Spiteful! Right back in the original post Dragon thought of an incline and I tried the Settle-Carlisle,including Tebay, and not found anything yet. Having a good look at Anthony's fine maps now.

Phil.

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No, please don't give up! I had to go out this afternoon and I'm doing some work on the photo. I have to keep stopping, though as it hurts my eyes. I've also sent various emails and searched archives myself.

I think the train carriages have dark livery, a paler roof and possibly two light parallel lines down the sides above the footplate. Does that mean anything?

What is Bletchley Park, please?

Anthony - thank you very much for the maps.

Gwyn

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Hi all

Forgot to mention that Edina maps are (I think) only available to subscribing institutions (ie Universities colleges etc): one of the perks of the job, I can spend hours looking at old maps! If you want zoomed out or zoomed in versions let me know. (Is it worth me offering to do look ups on Edina for early UK OS maps? Happy to do so if people think there will be any interest)

Also forgot to mention, maps are of Tebay in Cumbria

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Engine at resolution of.....wait for it....... 30000. If it helps!

3347569802_cc78c8e505_b.jpg

The vertical white line is a signal.

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What is Bletchley Park, please?

Where have you been? It's where the German Enigma codes were broken in WW2 - subject of various books and at least two films (and a very feeble radio comedy).

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THAT Bletchley! Ah! I was thinking about trains. Duh.

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Gwyn,

It was a famous GPO training School I attended during 66/67. A little while later it was revealed as 'Station X' of WW2, and employed brilliant minds on codebreaking. Just like us!

Phil.

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New version:

3350528403_f94e02d4e4_o.jpg

I've trawled the photo half-centimetre by half-centimetre using a very high strength magnifier. Both spouse and I are reasonably sure that the blue line is a single track rail line, partly because we believe we can see the track and partly because it rises in a gentle sweep, which a canal wouldn't.

As the road appears to peter out at the right hand set of cottages (which may be the sort which have long front gardens divided into flower and vegetable plots), it would seem possible that the settlement is to the left of the picture, or behind / 'underneath' the photographer, or both. The drive to the drill hall and the farm doesn't continue beyond the farmyard, so the premises are at the end of a track leading out of the picture.

It's possible to make out a path which may predate the railway(s) which gives the impression that the railway cut through the existing path and a new section developed.

Edit: Image replaced.

Edited by Dragon
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