Bradford on Avon and Coryton Cove.
The Titfield Thunderbolt Railway Bookshop
- An unidentified Hymek arrives at Bradford on Avon as a family waits to board for a day out in the summer of 1968. The approaching loco and no doubt the noise from its Maybach engine appear to have attracted the little girl's attention. The goods shed on the right is in the first stages of demolition.
- An up freight passing Coryton Cove, Dawlish on a hot day in June 1969, the crew in their warm cab no doubt viewing the scene on the beach with envy.
Chard to Illminster
Andrew and Diane Jones
If Network Rail went to the lengths that General Sir Edmund Ironside, Commander in Chief, Home Forces did during the second world war, perhaps a physical barrier preventing the lorries making contact with the bridge in the first place would be more appropriate.
The Chard to Ilminster route has been covered by the society before. I have attached some photographs and updates with a little background to the massive defences put in place to prevent an invasion from the west.
The cycle route is quite short but follows much of the original track bed between the two towns with just one or two road deviations.
Initially from Chard the formation is in a cutting with some embankments, where open vulnerable stretches are protected by concrete posts set at approx 45 degrees and originally joined by steel horizontally to reduce the ability of enemy tanks to access the railway. Many pill boxes can be spotted along the route, heavily disguised as gypsy caravans or hen houses during the war.
One pill box is situated at Knowle St Giles with gun foundation still in place covering a considerable length of track and incredibly formidable.
Large concrete blocks with slots to insert steel rail blocking the railway are evident.
One problem the army had to deal with was the fact the route was originally designed for double track but never converted so the track bed is quite wide.
Apart from overbridges and some telephone brackets the only other major survivor is Donyatt Halt which has been lovingly rebuilt, however the photograph in the Taunton to Chard section of the website is now out of date because something the enemy failed to do, it became the target some local bored people who set it alight and it had to be rebuilt again this time in brick!
Strangely the re installed caution signal, (I am sure not the original, now includes a security camera a sad reflection on the times!) (1)
A really enjoyable day.
Best wishes Andrew and Diane
Regards. Chris Osment West Country Railway Archives