A special work party was held on Monday 14th August when members of the team installed two replica running in boards on site. Until the station closed in 1956, large timber boards such as these would have been located one on each platform, clearly visible to passengers as the train ran in to the station. Thanks to a grant from Spetisbury Parish Council, we have been able to construct and paint these boards and provide concrete to secure them firmly into place in the approximate position as the originals. Firstly the ‘up’ platform (trains for Blandford and north to Bath) sign was located, then the ‘down’ platform (trains for Poole and Bournemouth) sign. For the latter, we made use of an old and still very firm railway concrete fence post to secure one of the wooden sign posts to. All they need now is a final coat of paint to finish them off. They really help make the station come alive again, and we hope to provide other authentic looking station signage in the future.
We have just taken delivery, hot off the press, of a stock of this reprinted booklet all about the Somerset & Dorset railway – known to its admirers as the Swift & Delightful (and its critics as the Slow & Dirty). This informative publication provides an introduction to the once important S&D, a brief history, a descriptive trip along the line and the work of the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust, as well as colour and black & white photographs. A bargain at £2.50, we shall be selling copies at our station work parties and other events.
Earlier in the year we hosted two community work parties to clear vegetation from the access ramp onto the North Dorset Trailway at Spetisbury station. You might be wondering what has happened since. Well, here’s the story.
Spetisbury station is situated in an elevated position and access is only possible up a long flight of steps, or up a steep inclined footpath. The Spetisbury Station Project has been campaigning landowner Dorset County Council to improve the angle of the ramp, making it more suitable for all users of the Trailway including wheelchairs, prams and horses. Before the council could obtain quotes from contractors to undertake this work, vegetation had to be cleared from the sides of the ramp. We hosted two work parties at the beginning of the year when local volunteers turned out to clear this vegetation. The council then brought in a contractor to quote for the groundwork, but unfortunately the quote was double the budget for this work set aside by the council. No further progress was made, and the vegetation has started to take hold once again. We appreciate that council budgets are being cut back, but we feel that improved access onto the Trailway will encourage more people to use it. With the support of the local community, we therefore plan to petition Dorset County Council to look at ways of completing this work in the near future.