Mary Tavy Halt
Michael L Roach
MARY TAVY & BLACKDOWN
On Saturday 1 December 1962 I drove out from Plymouth to do a short day's rail photography on the Tavistock and Launceston Branch which was due to close at the end of the same month. I started and finished at Yelverton Station and also visited Grenofen Tunnel, Mary Tavy Station and Whitchurch Down Platform. The first photo was taken at 11.12am and the last at 3.39pm. It was a dull day as befitted the time of year, just three weeks before the shortest day.
Mary Tavy was one of the original stations of the broad gauge Launceston and South Devon Railway and opened in 1865. For a number of years the station had a crossing loop and a signal box which would have been very necessary while the LSWR trains came this way between 1874 and 1890. The village of Mary Tavy is three and a half miles north of Tavistock and there were once a number of tin and copper mines in the area, so the station was provided with a single siding to load the ore . The loop and signal box were taken out of use in 1892 and the siding in 1941.
The village of Mary Tavy lies on a ridge with the railway station down in a valley to the west some distance away and the bus would have been more convenient if travelling the short hop to Tavistock (3½ miles away). In the other direction along the main road was Okehampton (12½ miles away). Rail passengers from Mary Tavy to Okehampton would have had to change trains at Lydford as there was no station on the Southern route. A mile to the south-east from Mary Tavy was Peter Tavy. I wonder who Peter and Mary Tavy were ?
MLR / 26 November 2022
When the track was recovered between Tavistock South and Lydford (using Laira loco D2197 which was outbased at Lydford in late 1967/ early 1968 to work the dismantling train and returned to Laira on Sat 20/1/68 ) the many chaired concrete sleepers of circa 1949-52 vintage, of which some can be seen in this photo, were taken by rail and reused on the Lostwithiel to Fowey branch.
Over at Taunton Station today for the 2U14 Penzance to Cardiff Castle set, t/t by 43170, and recently returned to service 43188 Newport Castle. This had been out of action for some 16 months.
Also present was 66518 working from Fairwater yd to St Philips Marsh HST Depot.
Please see photos, Best wishes, Bill Elston