work party 30th October

Our task today was clearing the embankment behind the ‘up’ platform, from the end of the station building to the steps. We also took the opportunity for a spot of ‘Time Team’ archeological investigation work! Adjacent to the station building on this platform once stood an old discĀ and crossbar signal, used to inform engine crews whether or not they had to stop at Spetisbury. This signal was removed on 16th April 1901, when new signaling was introduced for double track operation. Although the signal post itself would have been timber, we thought maybe the base might have been made of iron, and traces of it might still remain buried in the embankment. In true ‘Time Team’ fashion, working out its location proved harder than expected! By comparing old photographs, it appears the signal was moved slightly during work to widen the trackbed around 1899 for a second set of rails. We worked out its approximate later position in relation to the end wall of the station building, but despite some digging we have yet to find any trace of it. We did though uncover a few more bits of demolition rubble, mainly roof slate and window glass. But we won’t give up, and will have a more thorough look another time.

Just as we were about to leave the station site during the afternoon, the sun came out and we all remarked on how beautiful the autumn foliage looked alongside the trackbed and down into the Stour Valley.