As March draws to a close, there is more progress to report from the station. The Dorset County Council rangers have cut down the large tree by the station bridge as it was becoming a danger to neighbouring properties. This has opened up improved views from the Trailway across the village and Stour Valley. We are pleased that several local ladies have adopted flower beds at the station, and have already started to plant shrubs. These really enhance the site and will look great once they have become fully established. If you are interested in becoming a station flower lady (or flower gentleman), please call Moira on 0776 1383563. You will be enrolled free of charge into the Spetisbury Station Project Group and you will really make a difference to this community space.
The main job today was finishing off the concrete base for a wooden bench on the ‘up’ platform, to replace one of the benches damaged last year. When fully set, the bench will be firmly fixed in position. The Spetisbury Station Project has paid for or donated the materials for this job, and it will be a welcome addition to the seating already provided on site. In response to more horses and their riders passing along the North Dorset Trailway at Spetisbury station, we have now provided a hitching point on the wooden steps leading up to the ‘up’ platform.
One member of the team has just made a really nice model of the old Spetisbury station building, which doubles as a cash donations jar. This member has also provided a new community notice board which has been placed at the site of the old signal box. The team did excavate the foundations of this signal box previously, but it was then fenced it off due to its proximity to the road bridge parapet. However, we now have permission from Dorset County Council to clear vegetation from the foundations again and in time we will provide an information board explaining what the signal box looked like and how it worked.
We were pleased to sign-up more supporters of the Project at the station today. If you are interested in joining us, either as a full member of just a supporter, please click here for more details. A couple of local ladies also popped up and agreed to adopt a flower bed, which is a big help. We are always on the look out for people to help with the many flower beds around the station site, so if you would like to help, please get in touch. Also, thank you to the owners of a house adjacent to the station who have donated a few old wooden railway sleepers. Although they are not in the best condition, we hope to display these on site as they provide a nice link to Spetisbury’s railway past.
Meanwhile, in a back garden in Poole, work is progressing on painting the two replica station running in boards. These are big, at over 7ft long, but are still probably a bit smaller than the real things. They will be placed one on each platform, in the same position as the originals. These have been mostly funded by a donation from Spetisbury Parish Council.
The squally, wintry showers didn’t keep us away from the station today! And the frequent sunny spells did provide some spectacular lighting too. Springtime is definitely just around the corner, with a nice display of daffodils now growing on the bank behind the ‘up’ platform. In fact everything is starting to grow again – grass and weeds included! So today we strimmed some of the grass on the platforms, and cleared some overgrowth from around the site of the old signal box. The foundations of the signal box remain fenced off, as its location adjacent to the road bridge parapet present health & safety concerns. It was also a good opportunity to inspect the recent work carried out to the North Dorset Trailway access ramp at Spetisbury station, done under Dorset County Council supervision for improvement works scheduled to begin soon. It didn’t escape us that it was on this very weekend, 51 years ago, that the Somerset & Dorset railway closed to regular passenger services. We are doing our bit to ensure the legacy of this once important railway survives.