Petrockstow to Bideford
Today (22nd June2021) I revisited the Meeth to Bideford railway. The last time I was there was on one of the last specials run in the early eighties. I parked at the site of Petrockstowe Station, (known as Petrockstow without the ‘e’ during its railway history).
My previous trip was viewed from the carriage of a BR Mk 1, so the gradient didn’t really influence the comfort of the experience. However my latest visit involved cycling the 27 mile round trip to Bideford.
From Petrockstowe to Yarde Halt I passed the Peters Marland clay works which once contained a busy internal rail system, long gone with little to remind you of its presence. The gradient on this section was slightly up hill and generally follows a plateau. From East Yarde however the gradient steepens downhill until reaching the lengthy Iron Girder viaduct a few yards before entering Torrington station.
Here I stopped for a little light refreshment at the Puffing Billy Trading Co which has taken over the old station buildings.
The Tarka Valley railway group are busy trying to establish a base at Torrington and have laid a short length of track’ including an expensive set of points, laid in new materials, looking hopefully towards Bideford with the aim of re establishing a rail link between Torrington and Bideford. I continued through Landcross Tunnel and decided just short of Bideford that I should turn around and tackle the return journey which now included a stiff uphill climb from Torrington to East Yarde.
Realising that I am not 21 again, culminated in a hot bath and early to bed with my favourite author LTC Rolt!.
Best wishes Andrew and Diane - (Diane stayed at home)