Author: E.A. Wade
Published: 2004, 2nd revised edition
Format: Paperback, 80 pages
The Redlake Tramway and China Clay Works by E. Wade. The china clay deposits of Dartmoor brought wealth for some and failure for others. Despite long and hard attempts the Redlake deposits eventually fell in the latter category but should be remembered for the boldness of the attempt to introduce industry into the heart of Dartmoor.
This is the tale of these attempts, not just from the business perspective, but with real contributions from the workers themselves, for their voices were often the only archive. With accounts of day to day life at the hostel deep in the moor, this is a very human story.
It was the tramway that was built to make the work possible that first attracted the author and he gives a good account of all aspects of the railway. Richard Hansford Worth engineered the six mile long, three foot gauge line which lasted the same period as the industry it served, twenty years from 1911 to 1931. An account is also given of the much earlier Zeal Tor Tramway. Both railway routes now form popular footpaths into the moor.