Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'
Saturday, September 25, 2010
midford restoration 90s style!
The first picture was taken in 1984, probably early in the year and I think was the first one I took there. It shows the platform swathed in foliage and the trackbed thickly layered with green turf all over the ballast. Nobody had yet chopped or dug at anything since 1960's.
The second picture was taken in June 1985 and shows my Honda CG125 parked up where the lamp hut used to be (probably what you refer to as "oil store"). This had only just been cleared, was invisible in jungle.
The third picture was taken in June 1990 from the same viewpoint and shows a derelict incomplete hut where the original lamp hut used to be. The people are Henry Allen and his son David visiting from Basingstoke. Five years before Henry hauled many tons of materials onto site here, and a few tons away, driving hired lorries.
The fourth picture was taken in September 1990 and shows the platform with foundations for station building scraped clear. A total of twelve visitors were in this picture taking as great an interest then as you describe your effort attracting now.
Above 4 pictures + text are © Brian Clarke - all rights reserved.
The third picture is the most emotive for me as I'm currently spending one afternoon a week trying to get Midford back to this position! I was aware of an earlier preservation attempt at Midford, and hopefully most of you that were involved in it back then will come up and get it restarted. Of course the idea back then was to simply restore the line from Midford to Tuckingmill with a DMU shuttling back and forth. We have a direct link with this scheme as it was Laurence Skinnerton who personally purchased the site in 1997 and has now sold it on to us. The earlier attempt has also persevered in a way as Midford is now nowhere near as overgrown as it was in some of these shots!
Midford restoration part 1 was probably years ahead of its time, and also suffered from the lack of vision - a working modern freight and passenger railway - that of course the New S&D offers. This meant, sadly, that the locals didn't support it 100%.
We will be putting in for planning permission for the whole site very soon, with restoration of the infrastructure and a commitment to relaying the track as soon as we can. I've already noticed quite an increase in memberships and donations over the last few weeks since restoration started!
Do try to come along and help restore/rebuild this most iconic location! Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info, or just keep checking this blog for the latest news. Members can of course go up at any time and do some clearance work but please email me first, or phone on 0117 3738973 to let me know that you're going and also to let me give you an idea of what needs to be done!