West Country Railway Memories: Rose Tinted Reflections of Some Rural Railways Past and Present
This book is not really so much about the trains themselves, but rather more about the stations, signal boxes, railway staff and places by which, and through which, the lines passed. The lines covered include some Great Western lines in Devon and Cornwall and much of the Southern’s ‘Withered Arm’. The last days of the Bridport branch in Dorset are also included, and there is a quick scamper into Wiltshire for the Salisbury-Exeter line. It is now 50 years since the Beeching report brought about such huge changes to Britain’s once vast railway system and Robert Prance captures on paper his memories of those changing years. It is hoped that there will be some reminiscences which will strike a chord or two and bring back memories both for rural railway enthusiasts and together with those who simply appreciated those small stations from which they travelled or stood waiting for loved ones to alight, in those familiar musty and often empty waiting rooms, or on a seat alongside a lovingly tended piece of station garden.
The purpose of this publication therefore is first an attempt to recapture memories of just a few of those West Country railways which will never be seen again. Secondly, it is to remind readers that there are still in fact some wonderful places where it is still possible to linger and savour the joys of the rural railway.
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Updated: 1 June 2020