I have for the first time today been looking at the great set of pictures of the S&D on your site and I was delighted to see one that shows the Bailey Gate running in board. I have been looking for one like this for years as we (the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust at Midsomer Norton) have owned the letters off this sign for many years and we have wanted to ensure that when we mount them again on a suitable wooden board that they look identical to what they did in S&D days. I don't know if Barry Lucas is still alive (HE IS WE ARE DELIGHTED TO SAY) but if he is can you pass on my thanks to him that he ever took this picture! It will now enable us to recreate the running in board over the next few months and then put it on display. It is likely that we will place it into a viewing area within a new shed we are hoping to create sometime in the next 12 months. I have copied Barry's picture and if he doesn't mind when we do restore the running in board we would like to refer to his picture in one of our Telegraph magazines.
Quite happy for you to augment the website with these details. How did we obtain these artefacts? Well, when Bailey Gate shut, the sign was taken down by one of the last members of staff and it languished in his back garden for over 30 years we understand. Gradually the wooden surround went rotten. On of our members heard about this and approached the now elderly gentleman to see whether he could purchase the board and its letters. The owner agreed to this but the board was so rotten that it partially disintegrated when lifted. It was probably now a decade ago that we purchased all the letters which are a considerable weight as you can imagine. Now we can recreate the running in board and ensure that the letters are in their exact position.
Best wishes, John Baxter S&DRHT
Yes, I am quite happy for the photo to be used. It is very good to see the good old S&D remembered in this way. I never thought that there would be so much interest in it 50 years on. I wish the Midsummer Norton chaps all the best and may even get up there to see them one day.
I am enjoying my retirement and try to keep busy but I have enough to do now. Did I ever have time to go to work?
Also included 1A81 HST passing the old mine working at Hallenbeagle in glorious sunshine.
Cheers Craig, Many thanks to you Craig
Long Rock Depot extension
Interestingly, unlike my visit to the Bridport branch on the same Railrover, EVERY service had at least one other revenue passenger as well as myself (poor English but you know what I mean...).
On this day, revenue recorders were travelling on every train, recording in detail with a Dictaphone the stations between which each passenger was travelling, along with the type of ticket they were using/holding or purchasing from the guard on the train.
I spent time at each of the stations that was due to close with the withdrawal of the Okehampton service.
Had I known a Hymek would be passing through with a train of loaded ballast from Meldon Quarry I would NOT have remained on that platform I can assure you!!
Regards Ron, Many thanks Ron