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Former stationmaster to unveil Midford station info. panel
Posted on 17th July 2017

On Saturday 29th July at 12.30pm, an information panel will be unveiled at Midford station by Keith Cooper, the former stationmaster. All are welcome!

The Landslide Ukulele Band will be playing a variety of railway themed songs and pub refreshments will be available from the adjacent Hope & Anchor. The Mayor of Bath and the BaNES Council Chair have been invited to the ceremony.

The information panel is the result of a joint effort by the Two Tunnels Group and the S&D Footplate Association and will be followed by other panels in the Bath area.

***PLEASE NOTE***: There is NO CAR PARKING at Midford, other than the pub car park. The organisers request that you come on FOOT, by BICYCLE, BUS, TAXI or a LIFT.

The organisers regret that it is 51 years too late to catch a train to Midford.

[Photo by John Woods/S&DRT Woods collection]

53808 & 53809 side-by-side at Minehead... an unusual sight!
Posted on 10th July 2017

Nowadays, the ex-S&D 7Fs 53808 (owned & restored by the S&DRT) and 53809 are often pictured working together... but it's less usual to see them on the opposite faces of an island platform - and both facing the same way!

However, this was the scene at Minehead on Saturday afternoon, 8th July, with 53808 on the return working of the Trust's annual Special Train and 53809 on the Dunster Castle Express.

[Photo by Fred Worth]

The Trust's annual Special Train on Saturday 8th July
Posted on 2nd July 2017

Join us on Saturday 8th July for the Trust's annual Special Train running from Bishop's Lydeard to Minehead and back. There are plenty of unreserved seats available, no booking is required and the adult fare is just £12 - pay on board the train.

Hauled by the Trust's restored S&D 7F, 53808, the service will depart from Bishop's Lydeard at 11.45am and return from Minehead at 5.15pm, stopping at Washford and Dunster. There will be a buffet/bar on the train serving hot and cold snacks.

The Special Train is provided to the Trust without charge by the West Somerset Railway as part of the hire agreement for 53808 and therefore all fares collected on this service directly benefit the Trust, supporting our conservation and restoration work.

Information boards about the S&D line have been springing up in various places recently
Posted on 16th June 2017

Information panels about the S&D line have been springing up in various locations recently... with a little help from the S&DRT.

In March, two panels were installed in Blandford as part of the Trust's S&D50 project, one of which is at the start of the North Dorset Trailway leading to Stourpaine, Shillingstone and Sturminster Newton.

A panel in Burnham-on-Sea was installed in the same month; John Strickland was the main driving force behind this panel, another product of S&D50.

The last S&D50 project panel appeared at Charlton Marshall in early June.

Meanwhile, the Shoscombe Local History Group arranged for information boards at Shoscombe and Foxcote which were unveiled in May by Councillor Neil Butters. The Trust provided some initial advice for these.

Further to this, the Two Tunnels Group and the S&D Footplate Association will be installing several boards in the Bath area soon, including at the Devonshire and Combe Down Tunnels. Of special note, a board will be unveiled at Midford on 29th July by the former stationmaster - watch out for a further announcement on this!

Photo credits:
Blandford - David Cash
Burnham - John Strickland
Charlton Marshall - Courtesy of Arien Signs Ltd.
Shoscombe/Foxcote - Rina Richards for Shoscombe Local History Group
Devonshire Tunnel - Matt Skidmore

Dorchester Area Group July Meeting
Posted on 8th June 2017

The next meeting of the Dorchester Area Group takes place on Friday 28th July at 19.30 in the Colliton Club, Dorchester, opposite the County Hall.

The speaker will be Colin Stone.

A talk on the politics of the S&D closure by Colin Divall
Posted on 8th June 2017

Professor Colin Divall will be giving a talk entitled The Puffing Billy of the hedgerows: the politics of the Somerset & Dorset railway closure, ca 1955-66 on Tuesday 13th June.

The Somerset & Dorset’s closure in March 1966 was one of the most bitterly fought of the Beeching cuts in the South West.

Accusations of fiddled figures, poor marketing and deliberately missed connections painted a picture of a valuable north-south link sabotaged by short-sighted railway managers and uncaring Whitehall mandarins

More than 50 years on we can now see that the line was in deep trouble by the early 1950s. Modernisation was never going to be enough to save a heavily loss-making route that by the early 1960s had the misfortune to run through solidly Conservative constituencies.

The meeting will be held in the library at St Marks School, Baytree Road, Larkhall, Bath BA1 6ND, starting at 6.30pm. All welcome, venue fee £3 including refreshments.

Summer edition of Pines Express magazine is a great read!
Posted on 8th June 2017

Our latest magazine has some great reading and photographic material - why not join us for your quarterly copy; just click on 'Membership' above.


Reflections on the S&D - by the S&DRT Northern Area Group: several members offer their memories, each coming from a different angle on the subject.

The Great Standard 5 Mystery: after Roger Newport's article about a day trip to Burnham-on-Sea which appeared in the last issue, a debate has been running on email about the identity of some of the engines referred to in the text. Here are the conclusions!

Locomotive Headcodes on the S&D: Tony Davies contrasts Southern and S&D and finds some oddities along the way!

Evercreech New photo feature: looking around the station with photos from 1960.

S&D stations - Chilcompton: Part 9 of David Grimwood's series.

Plus other articles, Trust news, Feedback and information requests, etc.

Washford Museum & shop Opening Dates
Posted on 22nd May 2017

We aim to open the Museum & Shop on as many days as possible the WSR is running timetabled services. If travelling by train please check that the Washford board has been put out at Bishop Lydeard.

Planned opening dates for July are every day except 6th, 11th, 12th, 18th & 25th