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Burngullow Clay Dryers, Cornwall

Burngullow Clay Dryers, Cornwall

A look inside the former Burngullow Clay Dryers, once home to China Clay processing in cornwall

Visited Aug 2018 Cornwall, UK (Mid demolition phase)

 

Rail lines leading to the loading area of the clay works
Rail lines leading to the loading area of the clay works

Once Burngullow was open, the Cornwall Railway found there was a demand for facilities to transport china clay from the St Stephens district to Par harbour. To satisfy this they opened a station at Burngullow on 1 February 1863. The construction costs were largely met by Mr Robartes, who had interests in the extraction of the china clay.

Conveyor equipment with powdered china clay on floor
Conveyor equipment with powdered china clay on floor

A branch line to Nanpean was opened for goods traffic by the Newquay and Cornwall Junction Railway on 1 July 1869. A small engine shed was built by them on the north side of the station, this closed in 1922.
The station was closed and rebuilt a little further west on 1 August 1901, but closed to passengers on 14 September 1931. The sidings and branch continue to handle heavy china clay traffic.

Loading shed which had bags of powdered china clay other side
Loading shed which had bags of powdered china clay other side

The large dryer and storage sheds alongside the main line are the Blackpool clay works; Burngullow clay works are smaller and situated alongside the branch line a short distance from the junction.
Two railway accidents have happened here, both involving runaway china clay trains. On the first occasion a train had left Burngullow with wagons for Par harbour on 29 October 1872. It was unable to stop for signals at St Austell but the driver of the passenger train coming in the other direction saw the train sliding towards it and reversed his train back to Par.

Bags of materials still piled up in the depot
Bags of materials still piled up in the depot

On 9 June 1952 a similar problem occurred with a train on the branch line approaching Burngullow. This time the train ran into a siding where it collided with a stationary engine. Unfortunately the driver of the runaway train, who had stayed at the controls in an attempt to bring it to a halt, later died from his injuries.

Strangely enough the clay works had a train wash
Strangely enough the clay works had a train wash
One of the silo's that housed the china clay dust
One of the silo’s that housed the china clay dust

Check out full sets of pictures here

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