Pitfall Posts - and other stone and concrete markers

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drmditch
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Pitfall Posts - and other stone and concrete markers

Post by drmditch » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:26 pm

Meant to post this earlier in the year. This post is on the Deerness valley line (now one of County Durham's excellent foot and cycle paths) just west of Flass Hall.
Does anyone know -
Is it a railway feature?
Is it BR or LNER?
What is it for?

At this point the river Deerness is at least twelve foot below the trackbed.
16052012089.jpg
16052012091.jpg
Last edited by drmditch on Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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R. pike
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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by R. pike » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:21 pm

Wow! Super picture! I never thought i'd see one!

Edit to add..

download/file.php?id=6967&mode=view

Bryan
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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by Bryan » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:09 pm

It is for indicating subsidence in mining areas.
No use on its own though as it works by viewing with others in a series.

drmditch
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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by drmditch » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Thank you. Very interesting. It is about halfway between Ushaw Moor and Esh Winning. I don't think I've seen any others, but I will look out when I get out again when the snow has gone. Did they have to be in line-of-site?

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by Bryan » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:39 pm

Yes.
They would be set fairly close together (20- 30 yds or so)
Then any movement between posts could be easily monitored by passing pw lengthmen or inspectors.
If movement was found then gangs would turn up and jack and pack to maintain the railway alignment.
Not sure if the posts would be reset or use the other markings instead.

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by BlythStationLad » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:49 pm

Similar ones exist on other railway walks in Northumberland and Tyneside, indicating Feet. As they are mainly in cuttings I've always assumed they were to indicate snow depth?

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by R. pike » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:39 pm

That has always been my assumption but equally colliery subsidence is plausible. I'd be interested to know where other exist. I may be up that way walking during the summer..

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by 52D » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:40 pm

R. pike wrote:That has always been my assumption but equally colliery subsidence is plausible. I'd be interested to know where other exist. I may be up that way walking during the summer..

With a shovel and pick :lol:
Hi interested in the area served by 52D. also researching colliery wagonways from same area.

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by R. pike » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:08 am

The drawing states it weighs 1.5 cwt. I think it is fairly safe where it is.

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by drmditch » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:34 pm

The snow has gone!
Got out on bycyle again, despite having to clamber over fallen trees, and found another post hiding behind a tree.
Post_Post_03.jpg
It is 52 of my paces (I checked when I got home and they are just about a yard) to the east of the one I first found.
Post_post_04.jpg
You can just see it in this picture, just to the right of my bycycle.
Would two be enough? Wouldn't you need three to make an effective measurement? Unless a surveyors levelling tool was used?

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by 61070 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:24 pm

I've just discovered a really good, and in places continuous, series of these posts along part of the Derwent Valley Walk/Cycle Path (formerly the NER/LNER/BR Swalwell to Consett branch). They are along a 3/4 mile stretch between Hamsterley Mill and White Byerside Farm. I've cycled that way many a time but today I walked the dog. Going more slowly, and having read this thread, I recognised one of these posts immediately I passed it - and then another, and another...

Some of them have seen better days and are falling to pieces or leaning - one is embedded in a tree which has grown to enclose it at ground level - but several are still very well preserved and upright. They are spaced at very regular intervals - I could predict where the next one would be - if it was still in place - by counting paces. I'll stick my neck out and say that they are 44 yards (2 chains) apart, which to me makes sense as that's how railways were (and I believe in some respects still are) surveyed and measured. That spacing works out at 40 intervals to the mile. I'll take a measuring tape and a camera with me next time and report back.

In terms of detail I noticed near the top the V-groove down the back and the hole, and thought they might have been for mounting for some kind of instrument. R.pike's drawing shows that this feature is for the addition of an extension.

They are mostly on embanked or ground-level stretches of the formation. The need for them was evident at one point, along the highest embankment, where there are two or three posts which are almost fully immersed in the ground. Clearly they've had to build up the embankment by several feet there over the years. If there had been further settlement one of the extensions could have been bolted on. Maybe the challenge now is to find a post with an extension added!
Last edited by 61070 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by R. pike » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:07 pm

61070 wrote: Maybe the challenge now is to find a post with an extension added!
My thoughts exactly. I'm glad to hear they are not totally rare. Now to find one that can be recovered legally... I've been trying to get permission to recover a GN somersault signal for years. Bedfordshire CC don't even reply..

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by meldrum » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:49 pm

R. pike wrote:
61070 wrote: Maybe the challenge now is to find a post with an extension added!
My thoughts exactly. I'm glad to hear they are not totally rare. Now to find one that can be recovered legally... I've been trying to get permission to recover a GN somersault signal for years. Bedfordshire CC don't even reply..
I bet they would soon show an interest if you tried to take it!

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by 61070 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:49 pm

61070 wrote: I'll take a measuring tape and a camera with me next time and report back.
I've been back, not with a measuring tape but with a ball of string which was run between two of the posts, knotted and brought home for measuring. The spacing here does turn out to be exactly 44 yards (2 chains).

I counted 22 posts along the stretch. One of them was lying flat on the ground, though covered with undergrowth and leaves. There was a gap in the sequence of posts and a rather unnatural-looking mossy bump turned out, when cleaned off, to be the post's square base sticking up. It complied exactly with the drawing, having an angled haunch or fillet between post and base. Photos below.
Attachments
IMG_2505-MR.jpg
One of the better preserved posts.
IMG_2502-MR.jpg
Lots of subsidence at this spot.
IMG_2516-MR.jpg
Grafted!
IMG_2510-MR.jpg
The Lost Post. Leah helps out with the excavation. The drugs must be down there somewhere.

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Re: Concrete marker post. BR or LNER?

Post by R. pike » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:02 am

Super work there 61070. I never thought i'd see one let alone a small colony. I guess it has been a task to train the dog to find the fallen ones..

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