work party 5th February

Despite the chilly weather it was a good day up at the station today. As reported in an earlier blog, we have been trying to locate any remains of the station’s disc and crossbar signal, which was used to indicate whether a train needed to stop to pick up passengers. We think this signal may have been moved during track widening, but it was definitely removed altogether on 16th April 1901 when new signalling was introduced. It was one of the last disc and crossbar signals on the entire Somerset & Dorset line. Having dug around on the bank where this signal was located, we have found pieces of concrete that just might have been used to secure the signal in place – here being shown off by Dean the Project Manager.


Other work included clearing the bank along the ‘up’ platform for one of the projects planned for this year. We want to spell out SPETISBURY in white stones on the bank, as seen on the left of the photo below. Other work planned for this year is the provision of two large running-in boards, one for each platform, which will be replicas of the original Spetisbury station name boards. The funding of these will mostly come from a generous donation from Spetisbury Parish Council.

Spetisbury 1936

Quite a few visitors stopped by for a chat and a cup of tea, and we were pleased to welcome these two pairs of horse riders to the station during the day on their trek along the North Dorset Trailway. Which reminded us that we also want to provide hitching posts for horses at the station in the near future.

And finally, we were delighted to have been given this photograph by a villager showing a broken down 2-6-2 tank engine just south of Spetisbury station in 1958, waiting for another locomotive to come and rescue the train. The caption on the back states that this was taken above 4 New Buildings in the village, and we reckon the train is standing on bridge 215 Mackerel’s Bridge. It’s great to come across interesting pieces of history like this from time to time.

a broken down train south of Spetisbury in 1958