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S&DRT Dorchester Group programme published
Posted on 9th September 2019

The S&DRT's Dorchester Group - run by Peter & Heather Foster for over 30 years - has published the programme for the new season.

All are welcome - with a £2 fee to cover costs - at the Colliton Club (adjacent to County Hall), Dorchester DT1 1XZ. Parking is available adjacent to the venue for a fee, although is free elsewhere. Alternatively, the venue is about 15 minutes walk from Dorchester South station.

Please arrive from 7 pm for a 7.30 pm start. Contact the Fosters on 01305 262121 for any further information.

Date Presenter Subject
Friday September 27th 2019 Simon Foote An evening of British steam nostalgia
Friday October 25th 2019 John Chappell John's Travels in 2019
Friday November 29th 2019 Paul Atterbury Title to be advised
Friday January 31st 2020 Brian Jackson Jackson Goes West: God's Wonderful Railway– Yeovil to Penzance
Friday February 28th 2020 David Coombs Green and maroon diesels with a touch of steam
Friday March 27th 2020 Colin Stone Poole to Poole via John O' Groats to Land's End
Friday April 24th 2020 Bob Bunyar Swindon to Swindon via Southampton Central
Plenty to see at Washford during the WSR 40s weekend, 14/15 September
Posted on 9th September 2019

Make sure you drop in to Washford during the West Somerset Railway's 40s weekend! Attractions include:

- Detachment of the Home Guard.
- 1940 Paris Jazz Singers (from 2-4 pm on both days).
- Model Radio-controlled Tanks.
- Women's Royal Voluntary Service Food tent.
- Armoured car.
- Road-mending crew and demonstration.
- A good place to see the military train go through.

Plus, our museum will be open with S&DJR Coach 4 available to view and there will be a wide range of S&D-related products to browse in our shop.
You might even see the King or Winston Churchill!

Contrasts in the appearance of 8F No. 48706
Posted on 3rd September 2019

48706 at the head of a line of empty wagons at Norton Hill Colliery in October 1965.

3 September 2019.

The enduring memory of 8F No. 48706 is at the head of the SLS railtour on the very last day of the S&D, 6 March 1966... cleaned up, and with bright red buffer beam and clearly picked-out number.

However, a few months earlier - October '65 - 48706 was photographed at work with a train of empty wagons at Norton Hill Colliery in a thoroughly grimy state, not uncommon on the S&D at that time.

This picture is one of the latest to be added to the photo collection in our online shop.

The colliery connected to the S&D main line just outside Midsomer Norton South station. The colliery closed in 1966, along with the line that served it.

43924's travels on the S&D
Posted on 30th August 2019

One of our members caught up with No. 43924 (originally LMS No. 3924) on a dining service from Keighley on 24 August, pictured here.

In 1962, 43924 spent a short time allocated to Templecombe depot, but - keeping a comprehensive timeline on 43924's travels - the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway were interested to know how far down the S&D their loco had been.

In a 2017 edition of their magazine, they had included a photo of unknown origin and date of 43924 at Blandford.... however, when we published the same in our magazine 'Pines Express', with the help of our members, all the information fell into place as can be seen in the magazine pages included here (click on the images).


Along with further information from S&DRT members Ted Goater and Tim Chapman, the KWVR's extensive timeline gained extra detail and more photos!

[43924 photo by Vic Whittaker]

Our Autumn Sales List is now available
Posted on 30th August 2019

Our latest sales list has three pages of S&D interest - the first page is illustrated here. Why not have a browse?

It's in pdf format and the product illustrations click straight through to ordering if the item is in stock. Click here or on the image.

If you prefer to order the traditional way - by post with a cheque - just print the order form on the fourth page.











Join us now for membership lasting until the end of 2020
Posted on 22nd August 2019

Membership promotion. New memberships - from £14 - will last until the end of 2020.








Interested in the S&D? Join us now from £14 and your membership will last until the end of 2020.

Members receive a quarterly 40-page magazine plus a travel discount on the West Somerset Railway, and other benefits.

Subscriptions help the Trust fund its restoration and conservation work. Click the link above to find out more!

New S&D photo books, plus re-printed Peter Smith book, available from the Trust
Posted on 21st August 2019

21 August 2019.

Newly available from the Trust's online sales are two new books of photos.

Volume 2 of the R C Riley archive covers Dick Riley's work on the S&D from 1955 to 1965. He usually visited during the summer months so there are a wide variety of views from the Pines Express to banking workings.

The Last Years of Steam across Somerset and Dorset by Michael Clemens contains previously unpublished photographs from the late '50s and the '60s. The S&D is covered in detail.

The Somerset & Dorset from the Footplate is a re-print - after 30 years out of print - of the amalgam of Peter Smith's two books, Mendips Engineman and Footplate over the Mendips. The book has the complete original text plus a new set of black and white images illustrating the remains of this much loved cross-country railway.

Percy Parsons
Posted on 19th August 2019

19 August 2019.

The Trust regrets to record the passing of Percy Parsons, who died on Friday 16 August aged 96.

Percy started his railway career at Edington on the S&D's Highbridge branch in 1937 and in retirement lived in the village of Chilton Polden, just down the road from Edington.

A regular attendee at the Trust's AGMs and on the Annual Special Train, Percy had authored one of the Trust's Blue Books many years ago - this one called Lines on an S&D Branch - and had provided a large amount of material from his memories which have been, and will continue to be, published in the Trust's quarterly magazine, Pines Express.

Percy was interviewed in the pub at Edington by presenter Rob Bell for the S&D part of the Channel 5 series Walking Britain's Lost Railways which was first broadcast in September 2018.

In addition, Percy had also provided his memories for a new book which will be published shortly, and which contains extraordinary detail and a very interesting insight into the workings of the S&D. At the AGM, a draft copy was available to view but Percy was unsure of whether he would see it published. Indeed he did not, but the detailed account in the book will be a lasting legacy of his time on the S&D.

[Photo by Dave Bown]