To view the pictures referred to below, click to the right of the last word in the description.
The aerial view of the eastern outcrop of the Bovey Basin is looking south from Chudleigh Knighton towards Newton Abbot, with Teignmouth and the Teign Estuary in the top left. (link)
The 1901 picture of an open pit in the Bovey Basin is from the Watts Album. It shows a pit at the northern end of Great Plantation (later to become WBB Preston Manor Works). In this area, the highbacks were the typical method of tranport from the pit and lasted as the principle method until the 1950s. (link)
The Stover Canal (1 mile 7 furlongs) was built from the Teign Estuary to Ventiford by James Templer II in 1790-92. It continued in operation until 1936. The barges relied upon the tides and square "Viking" sails, but latterly were towed in the estuary by the steam tug "Kestrel" and finally by the paraffin engine "Heron".
The Hackney Canal was built for Lord Clifford from Hackney Quay into Kingsteignton in1843.
Clay Cellars were built on both Canals.
In the mid 1840s, the Earl of Devon's "DevonWharf" (now the "Town Quay") in Newton Abbot, started to be used to load barges with clay from his newly opened Decoy Pits (later to become "Devon & Courtenay Clay Co").
The construction of the Moretonhampstead branch in 1867, with sidings at Teignbridge and East Golds, enabled the railway to be used increasingly to supply domestic customers, However, the introduction of lorries, enabling clay to be carried far more economically than by horse and cart and barge, led to the use of the canals ceasing in the 1930's and of the railways in the 1980's.
The photo of the train entering Newton is very interesting. It is pulled by Duke and Camel class locos (4-4-0s), probably coming from Plymouth. Above the tender of the Duke, can be seen what looks like a crown on the smoke box front of the Camel, which suggests a possible Royal Train. However, the coaches are a Dean clerestory rake and not the Royal Train coaches that were in use in 1902. Also of interest is the "baulk road" siding to the right of the train. The baulk road system went out of use after the conversion of the broad gauge in 1892.
Charles Davey Blake was one of three founder members of WBB. He was born 1n 1838 and was with WBB from 1860 until his death in 1925. He was probably the most influential person in the development of the Ball Clay industry, in his work in the field of clay sales and his interests in many of the other clay companies as well as WBB. This picture is thought to have been taken in the 1880s.
There were major events in 1901/2 - hence the banners.
1) Queen Victoria died on 22nd January 1901.
2) The Boer War ended on 31st May 1902.
3) Passmore Edwards laid the Foundation Stone of the Library in June 1902.
4) The Coronation was scheduled for 26th June, but an operation on the King for appendicitis took place on the 24th. King Edward VII was crowned on 9th August 1902.