Alongside the platelayers hut next to the main line a group of Permanent Way workers, sometimes also known as platelayers, are taking a taking a tea break, one of whom is sat reading the newspaper and another has a mug of tea in his hand. The gentleman leaning on his ballast fork is, as I have stated on the blog a few times, a representation of my Grandfather* in his role as a Ganger.
The permanent way team would have been made up of a number of Linesmen and look outs under the leadership of a Ganger who in turn would have reported to a local / area Sub-inspector (Permanent way). On Fisherton Sarum the look out flag man is just walking towards the hut to join the rest of the team in taking there tea break.
The classic concrete platelayers huts were seen all over the Southern railway and were a design and product of the Southern Railway’s own concrete works at Exmouth Junction. The distinctive roof shape was so that minus the chimney they could be delivered, within the loading gauge on a well wagon, in one piece to anywhere on the network.
A number of 4mm models of these typical Southern Railway platelayers huts are available in kit or Ready-to-Plonk form from the likes of: Roxey Mouldings in white metal, as per this example along with the typical cast concrete ballast bin located alongside; Ratio in plastic and also in resin within the Hornby Scaledale range.
*My grandfather, Thomas Arthur Muspratt, in reality was a ganger for the Southern Railway, based at Salisbury for most of the period that I model before he gained promotion to Sub Inspector (permanent way) at Andover Junction during 1948.
3 thoughts on “A view from the line # 10 Permanent way workers and huts”
A delightful blog, Graham. You’ve mentioned your grand-dad many times before. You obviously loved him very much and are justly proud of your railway heritage. Like you, I find creating little cameos most rewarding. There’s much more to railway modelling than just running trains.
Many thanks for your comment, I am indeed proud of my family history in connection with the Southern Railway. Unfortunately I never knew my Grandfather as he died of a heart issue, I am told, whilst at work on the lineside. I do have a copy of the Southern Region staff magazine that included a record of his promotion to Sub-Inspector at Andover junction in 1948. I am sure he will be mentioned again on this bog and in print again in the future!