After the heatwave and sunshine of last weekend, today was decidedly chilly and grey but the team cracked on with the jobs at the station. One member mowed the grass on the ‘up’ platform whilst the others continued clearing the embankment of overgrowth behind this platform. The vegetation along the top of the bank will just be trimmed and in time this will form an attractive hedge, providing some shelter to the station site. In the process we uncovered the tensioner for the railway telegraph pole which used to stand on this embankment. One of the aims of the station project is to encourage wildlife, and several habitats have been created, including one for slow worms. Several new signs have recently been provided to welcome visitors to the station, and more signage is planned for this year. Finally, a selection of second-hand railway DVDs has been generously donated to the station project, and these are available to purchase on work parties or special event days.
Our friend Mike Lees has just sent us a link to his completed rail simulation video of the Somerset & Dorset railway between Spetisbury and Charlton Marshall, including archive footage and commentary. You will almost think you have stepped back in time! More of Mike’s superb rail simulations can also be viewed on YouTube.
For once the south of Dorset didn’t escape the wintry condition that brought a lot of snow to the UK during March! One of our members took this great photo of Spetisbury station covered in snow on 18th March. It’s a reminder of the harsh winter of 1962/63 when the Somerset & Dorset railway was overwhelmed by heavy snow and blizzards from the end of December until the end of February. The northern half of the line, especially over the Mendip Hills, was affected worse of all with parts of the line completely blocked for several days.