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.