Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Spetisbury in summer 2009 - well overgrown!
Spetisbury 27th and 28th December 2009, beginning to emerge ...
(All photos © Paul Beard)
The very first physical signs of the New S&D are starting to appear at Spetisbury where we have an agreement to start clearance works. All of this work has so far been done by Paul Beard and he's revealed that the back wall of the station building is still in surprisingly good condition. It also appears that many of the bricks from the building are still on site, so we will be recovering these for both historical and economic reasons! The building itself is around 45 feet long by 10 feet deep so will provide a good base for the southern end of the line once it is restored.
Spetisbury is on the southern end of the line south of Blandford. This is the key section of the route and we expect to be concentrating most of our resources on it in 2010, though of course we will also be keeping an eye out for opportunities on the northern section of the route! We will be doing a more general launch of the New S&D between Blandford and Poole this year, aiming at the residents who seem desperate to have their trains back. It is ludicrous that a town the size of Blandford is STILL not rail connected in the 21st century.
Paul was spoken to by many passers-by who were fascinated by the work he was doing. Locals are 100% behind the railway, and can now seriously look forward to getting trains back - Spetisbury was cruelly deprived of modern transport as long ago as 1956, ten years before the line closed! We have already had one couple volunteer to help the restoration, and an invitation to give a talk in a nearby village in September.
We are not ignoring Midford, merely awaiting paperwork from the current owner before agreeing a price and terms to taking on the site. We already have agreement in principle from Sustrans to run the 7¼" gauge railway on the cycleway between the south end of the station and the south end of Long Arch Bridge, probably in May. Andy Lunness, who owns the loco and portable line will also be talking to the landlord at the Hope and Anchor to arrange car parking facilities and, hopefully, joint ticketing (train trip and a meal).