At his wish, former railway staff member at Truro Mr. G. Salmon was taken by train, being carried in the rear power car of the 14.25 'The Cornish Riviera', from Truro to Camborne. At Camborne his coffin, draped with a Great Western flag, was loaded into a hearse for the final section of his journey to the crematorium at Treswithian yesterday.
We offer every sympathy to his widow Mrs. Salmon.
Geoff had been poorly for a few years, and defied the Doctors by battling on in courageous style. His career started in the mid 70s. He was on the P Way - then moved on to station work, some of it on the relief (where I first met him). He ended his career on the Environmental Cleaning Gang. He & colleague Phil Mankee took care of the stations in Cornwall. He will probably be best remembered for his time at Newquay station in the Summer months. What should have been a single season resulted in 13 Summers at Newquay. It was a pleasure and privilege to work and know Geoff. Always a kind word, a laugh, a bit of gossip and a railwayman through and through. Devoted to dear Tessa, and a true friend to all who knew him.
from Sidmouth Junction
50 years ago
Sidmouth station opened on 6 July 1874. It was at the end of an eight mile 78 chain branch from Sidmouth Junction. It was built and operated by the Sidmouth Railway Company to satisfy the needs of visitors to the resort. The railway station was located about three quarters of a mile up hill from the sea front and town centre.
There were two platforms: one could hold five coaches, and the other seven. Occasionally longer trains would arrive, and be split between the platforms.
The goods yard was located directly next to the passenger station; goods traffic was always light and consisted mainly of agricultural goods and coal for the nearby gasworks.
The branch from Sidmouth Junction was initially just to Sidmouth, however in 1897 a new line was opened from a junction at Tipton St John’s to a terminus at Budleigh Salterton. From Budleigh Salterton the line was further extended to Exmouth in 1903.
How it closed
Initially there were seven trains per day, and this was increased to 24 in the 1930s. Passenger numbers remained viable well into the 1950s, however in the 1960s services were significantly reduced. The consequent reduction in passenger numbers led inevitably to closure of the branch line and with effect from the 6th March 1967 nineteen miles and forty six chains of track in east Devon were closed to passengers and, as there was no passenger service on the Sunday of the proceeding weekend the last day of passenger service to or from the following stations was fifty years ago today - Saturday 4th March 1967. Closed were Sidmouth Junction, Ottery St Mary, Tipton St Johns and the branch to Sidmouth. Also closed were Newton Poppleford, East Budleigh, Budleigh Salterton and Littleham. Strangely Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth remained open to goods for two more months until the 8th May 1967. Sidmouth Junction closed for goods on the 6th September 1965. All other stations lost their goods traffic w.e.f 27th January 1964.
Freight services continued up to the line closure on 8th May 1967. The railway track was lifted shortly after this.
Through trains between Exeter Central and Sidmouth
The first was the 06.00 from Central which on reaching Sidmouth Junction would pull forward to the east crossover near the signal box. Here it would reverse into the down platform and thence off to Sidmouth.
Likewise the 07.34 from Central also ran through to Sidmouth.
Sidmouth also had two through trains to Exeter the 10.20 and oddly the 22.20. The latter was to get stock back to Exeter for the first up service in the morning.
Sidmouth/Exmouth also had through coaches to Waterloo. The single coach from Exmouth would join up with a Sidmouth service at Tipton St Johns and thence to Sidmouth Junction.
Many thanks to David Tozer for the reminder of this anniversary and his assistance.