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  WEB NEWS 60  

In this issue of WHOTT Web News we take a brief at the archives move and ten years ago.

  Grist to the Mill - As eluded to in WN59, WHOTT has now moved its archive from Plymouth to Uffculme. For some time we had been toying with the idea of moving and had looked at several potential sites east of Exeter but all were too expensive, at least half as much more than we were paying at Estover. The situation became more critical in August when we learned that our landlord at Plymouth wished to relocate us so that their largest tenant could absorb our archive room next to their warehouse. We were offered alternative accommodation at Roborough, even further out of Plymouth and hidden away on a small industrial estate with fewer facilities. We were given two months extension to the end of October to vacate the present room. The hunt was now on and recalling a visit made to Coldharbour Mill at Uffculme on one of their steam up days back at Easter time, a single-storey detached building within the complex looked ideal for the sort of accommodation we needed. An enquiry was made but the room was already allocated as a classroom for school visits. Instead, another room, or two to be exact, was becoming available on the second floor of the Grist Mill and the Clock Room reached by an interconnecting bridge. These were let out but the tenant was expected to leave shortly. Two Trustees went along to make an inspection but it was very clear that these two rooms were unsuitable for our requirements, not only because of the two flights of stairs but also that the floor area was too small and the strength of the floor unlikely to withstand the weight of an archive. As our host led us back down the staircase we were able to reject these rooms on the spot but casually mentioned that it was a pity that the single-storey detached building wasn’t available. By the time we reached the bottom ideas were springing to mind. What if the school children used the Grist Mill room instead? A week later we heard that this was now a real possibility and on 28th August all the WHOTT Trustees met with the Coldharbour management to discuss the alternative use of the building. We were now two months away from leaving Plymouth and we could see that the room, which turned out to be three inter-connecting rooms required a lot of sprucing up to meet our requirements. We were assured that work could be put in hand immediately and we agreed to speed the process up by doing some of the work ourselves with the landlord supplying the materials. Having got the legal paperwork signed off all hands were speedily set in motion for what was to become a daunting task.
The floor area of the single room at Estover was 997 sq ft but the combined floor area of the three rooms at Coldharbour was 87 sq ft less. However, ceiling height was greater and the opportunity was given for our four large display cabinets to instead be housed on one of the galleries in the main Mill complex. Unlike Estover, the rooms offered three distinct work areas – a) the largest being the repository, b) the next largest the library and reading research room and c) the reception area for admin, sales and computer workstations. A small entrance vestibule with two interior doors was changed to a single door to create more wall space. Shared toilet facilities existed in the Mill yard. The building itself is probably over 100 years old and was originally stables, since when the floor has been concreted and extra insulation added. All windows have been secondary glazed and most are opaque for security reasons.


  Job done! Nick Craig, David Godley, Allan Bedford and Andy Richings pose in the empty room that has been home to the WHOTT archive since April 2008. The reception room at Coldharbour being decorated by Brom Lindop. Organised chaos as Ken Baker and David Godley dismantle more shelf bays at Estover amidst archive boxes on the floor.  
  Consideration had next to be focussed on the move itself. Whilst it was possible to use our Pickup truck several times to move 36 bays of Dexion shelving, each bay retained in bolted fashion, we also needed to move four plan chests, three 4-drawer cabinets, a muniments cabinet, two large archive tables, four computer work station desks, a drawing board, a photocopying machine, plus many chairs and other storage cabinets. The drawers of the plan chests were removed with contents intact and a large 7.5tonne van hired for three days to move these and over 800 archive boxes and crates filled with library books and uniforms. Of course, we had to leave the van hire to last so that all the shelving could be reassembled in its new home first. Because all our boxes have shelf numbers marked on them, it was a fairly easy task to reunite box to its correct shelf on arrival at Uffculme. We had only one mishap. The glass shelf in the fridge, which is used to store archive film, cracked in transit but can be easily replaced. Our landlord at Estover allowed us to use an alternative route from the archive room, through a door that is normally alarmed, to the loading bay at the rear of the premises. Here both our Transit Pickup and the hired van were able to load at a convenient height, much of it simply being wheeled on using pallet trucks. Those involved in the move were Ken Baker, Philip Platt, Andy Richings, David Godley, Nick Craig, Allan Bedford and Robert Crawley. Colin Laskey acted as security guard on the loading bay and recorded box numbers. Most of these people travelled through to the receiving end to repeat the unloading process and were helped also by Don McCrirrick, Hugh Muir and Geoff Chidzey. Refurbishing of the new facility was carried out by Don McCrirrick, Terry Damerel, Robert Crawley and Brom Lindop, the latter person kindly loaning tower scaffolding and other DIY tools. Each day at Estover we arrived early, loaded, then had lunch in the on-site Al’s Cafe before setting off. We managed to vacate on Wednesday 28th October with three days in hand. Illustrations show different aspects of the move and personnel involved. Many thanks indeed for all the volunteers who worked so hard to achieve this within the allotted time.  
  The clock room and bridge leading to the Grist Mill. This was first offered to WHOTT but quickly rejected in preference to the Old Stables. The tranquil scene of a mill by a leat belies the fact that Coldharbour was a centre of much activity during its productive years. Cloth is still woven here and with a little diversification other crafts and artistic skills will attract visitors. WHOTT looks forward to being part of this development. The boiler being stoked at a recent steam-up day.  
  If you want to read the full story, and see all the pictures, then become a member and  receive the quarterly newsletter.  
  Ten Years Ago -  Fares on Plymouth Citybus services are set to rise from tomorrow. Day Rider tickets, which offer passengers unlimited travel on all Citybus services for 24 hours, will go up by 10p to £2-90. Other fares are to be increased by five per cent on average. An adult return ticket costs one-and-a-half times the single fare. The fares increase results from the company’s annual review in September. [Plymouth Evening Herald 1/10/05]
Exeter’s historic Sheriff’s coach [built by Stanfield & White – Ed] is to be housed in a new building at the Matford Centre, Marsh Barton. The 175 year-old coach was moved from the front of the council’s offices in Paris Street to enable the space to be used instead by the customer service reception. The new purpose-built coach house near the livestock centre, costing £20,000 will replace the present storage facility of £4,000 per year. Four councillors voted in favour of the move and three against it leaving central Exeter. [Express & Echo 6/10/05]

After a wait that has dragged on for several years, people living at Troon finally have a new bus shelter. Over-ruling objections from a group of residents, Camborne Town Council, which paid for the shelter, insisted it must be sited at Troon Moor. Councillors and residents watched on Thursday as contractors erected the new shelter. Local councillor, Stuart Cullimore, who has campaigned for the shelter, said “We are over the moon and quite a lot of people have already congratulated us. It looks lovely and it improves that area of the village. It is being used particularly by the elderly and school children. I am very glad that it has gone up before the worst of the winter weather hits us.” A larger shelter, originally intended for Troon, has now been put up in Camborne, at the junction of Wesley Street and Roskear. [The West Briton 6/10/05] .....where it obscures the road signs directing motorists to Camborne and Redruth. [The West Briton 13/10/05]

Well-known Cornish businessman, Wilf Lidgey, passed peacefully away at Penlee Nursing Home on September 15, after fighting a long illness. He was 85 years old. His name was synonymous with the coach business, Lidgey’s Coaches, which was based at Tregony on the Roseland peninsula. The business was started by his parents, initially with horse and carriage in 1910 and was operated by him, his wife Sylvia and his sister Margaret until it was sold on his retirement in 1984. He started his apprenticeship as a mechanic when he was 17 and other than the war years was at the business throughout his working life. [Western Morning News 13/10/05]

Expanding Portland bus company, Sureline, are spreading into the country. Sureline have taken over two routes from Dorchester to Yeovil, 212 via Maiden Newton and 216 via Cerne Abbas. On one sheet of paper the new timetable shows route 212 on one side and route 216 on the other. Weymouth reader, Terry Putman, joined the bus to Evershot recently and noticed that the sealed board at the Acorn stop showed only the Cerne route and not Evershot. County Council staff had kindly helped by putting up timetables and were sent to Evershot to turn the timetable round. [Dorset Echo 17/10/05]

Wilts & Dorset is to base some of its fleet in Bournemouth as it takes Dorset’s bus wars to the home turf of rival Yellow Buses. The Poole-based operator is believed to be planning a move of some vehicles to a base at the Southcote Road depot operated by Excelsior Coaches. It would be the first time that Wilts & Dorset has had a proper presence in Bournemouth since its bus station there was wrecked by fire in 1976. An industry insider said a notice in the Wilts & Dorset headquarters in Poole has told staff of a substantial further expansion within the Bournemouth area. Wilts & Dorset, owned by the Go Ahead Group, was recently disappointed in its bid to buy Yellow Buses from Bournemouth council. The two companies have been engaged in a battle for passengers, with allegations that the competition had spilled over into road rage incidents. Bournemouth council is awaiting confirmation that it will be allowed to sell the Yellows to preferred bidder Transdev. Ken Robbins, chairman of Excelsior, said his firm had sent out a mail shot to all members of the Confederation of Passenger Transport offering the chance to rent space at its depot. “If Wilts & Dorset wants to take advantage of that, that suits me, but there is no specific arrangement with them”, he said. [Bournemouth Daily Echo 20/10/05]


Glover & Uglow - Known lorries

W G Griffin - Known lorries

Archives - New Accessions

Restoration update

Future Activities



Taking part in the Kingsbridge Running Day on 19th September is former Wilts & Dorset Bristol L6B, EMW284. Owned by WHOTT member, Lionel Tancock, it is seen at Shadycombe Road bus stop in Salcombe, a stone’s throw from the site of the old Western National garage. The 32-seat coach body is by Beadle and was one of six similar vehicles new in 1948/9.


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Web News 59

Web News Index

Web News 61


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