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Author Topic: The Pett Level Tramway  (Read 1932 times)
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Islesy
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« on: June 30, 2011, 19:30:22 PM »

The Pett Level Tramway was built by the quaintly named Rother & Jury's Gut Catchment Board in 1934 to a gauge of 2ft. and extended for 5 miles eventually linking up with a gravel pit line.

Starting immediately north of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Rye Harbour and then negotiating a large 'S' bend to reach the beach close to 'The Nook' at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, it then followed the coast in a south westerly direction to the "Colonel Body Memorial Lakes' on the seaward edge of Pett Level.

It's purpose was for use transporting materials used in the construction of sea defences along Winchelsea Beach, this work was completed in 1946 and the line was then abandoned although track was still present into the early 1950s. Nowadays, footpaths follow the route and near the old lifeboat house there is a rather large rusting metal box that looks as though it may have some tramway related purpose.
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Ron Stilwell
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 20:26:18 PM »

The old Pett Level Tramway

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pomme homme
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 15:56:32 PM »

Prior to the Pett Level Tramway, there was a 2' gauge tramway built by Simpson (Rye Harbour) Ltd. to serve its stone works on the western bank of the Rother at Rye Harbour. Apparently it was constructed largely on the site of the former SR standard gauge exchange sidings. It was used to access beach shingle and gravel from their pits, to convey that to their two works and, probably, to carry their finished concrete products (pipes, kerbs, slabs, bricks, tiles, etc.) to the standard gauge line. The 1929 25"/mile O.S. map also appears to show that tramway serving the Nerus Brick & Tile Works at Rye Harbour. The Pett Level Tramway was constructed to connect with Simpson's system. By 1937, the O.S. map shows no sign of the Nerus Works and only the easterly of the two Simpson's stone works. The Simpson's system was by then much reduced and the 'main line' had been moved further east, so that it intersected the graveyard and school, rather than passing to the west of the former. Beyond the graveyard the Pett Level Tramway left Simpson's main line, the former heading off along the coast, in the direction of Pett Level, and the latter headed south, before reversing to the stone works. Motive power on the Pett Level Tramway comprised two Simplex (Motor Rail) internal combustion locomotives, the first (works no. 7025) purchased in 1935 and the second shortly thereafter, and an assortment of skip trucks.
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pomme homme
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 16:44:24 PM »

Two photographs, originating from Hastings Library, which appear in Sussex Narrow Gauge, Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith (Middleton Press, 2001). The first shows a Simplex operating on the tramway. The second shows the impact of the sea on the permanent way - and which may go some way to explain why the tramway was abandoned when it was barely ten years old. The cost of maintaining the permanent way in such a location was probably disproportionate to its benefit - as well as the funds that the Rother & Jury's Gut Catchment Board had at its disposal.

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