Today we resumed organised work parties now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased a bit. However, members observed social-distancing guidelines and we made sure hand cleansing facilities were made available. Some members had been working on site individually over the past few weeks including repainting of the platform furniture and grass cutting. At the site of the old signal box, levelling of the ground has now been completed and a start made on landscaping. An attractive railway-style fence is also being placed around the foundations. In time this area will be further tidied-up and an information board provided. A small new waiting shelter has also been provided on the ‘up’ platform. The area on the ‘down’ platform where we hope to provide a future cafe has also been cleared and sown with grass seed, and a picnic bench placed there. Work we intend to tackle next as a matter of priority is renovation of the station signage, which has suffered from the elements over the past winter.
Today the steps up from the lane were cleared of weeds and a start was also made on cutting back the ivy which has began to cover the station building remains again. Other members attended to the flower beds and the log train and worked on the signal box fence. The nice weather brought lots of visitors to the station and it was good to see them making use of the seats and picnic benches. It is just a shame that we are unable to offer refreshments at the moment.
We have not yet started official work parties again, but we hope to soon! At the moment it is difficult to hold work parties whilst maintaining social distancing, and we wouldn’t be able to offer refreshments. Keep checking our events diary for the latest updates. However, a couple of members have been up to the station on occasions to keep everything looking neat and tidy so do please stop by and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Don’t forget, the station site is always open for visitors and entrance is free!
So a good time maybe to delve into the archives again. All railway bridges are allocated identification numbers, and often names to. For instance, the bridge over the lane at Spetisbury station was, according to the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway, bridge number 213 ‘Spetisbury Station Bridge’. Bridges along the line had a cast metal number plate fixed to them, although all items of scrap value were removed during demolition (if not already taken by collectors of course)! Luckily, plate 213 survives in private ownership and was displayed along with other railway items at a local exhition a few years ago. We aim to make a wooden replica of this plate to fix to the bridge in due course.
Two members of the team, Moira and Mick, have just built this great new addition to the station. This little platform is modelled on the one from the Harry Potter films but, instead of The Hogwarts Express, we have The Pines Express (which used to run through Spetisbury on its way to the south coast, and named after the many pine trees around Bournemouth). A great photo opportunity for the little ones and grown ups too!
Before you get too excited about the prospect of seeing this world famous steam locomotive, a Flying Scotsman train flask has recently been found at the station. If it’s yours, fill in the contact form and we’ll be happy to reunite you with it.
Recently there has been a spate of vandalism at the station site, believed to have been caused by a particular group of youngsters who have also been the cause of various damage and other anti-social behaviour incidents in Spetisbury village, Charlton Marshall and Blandford.
The Blandford Neighbourhood Watch team would like to know if this group are seen in the village by emailing email@example.com – this will help the team know when and where to patrol and will help them gather information on the youths. Dorset Police are also patrolling the area.
Any incident should also be reported to the police non-emergency 101 number.
If reporting an incident either by email or telephone please quote reference number 55200067544 as there is a running log of this anti-social behaviour.
We know who these youngsters are, so please help stop their actions by reporting any sightings of them.
Regretfully we have to report two recent cases of vandalism at the station site. On 8th May part of a bird bath was found in the wildlife pond. Then on 9th May the wooden train that provides many visitors both young and not-so-young with a bit of fun was ripped apart and the pieces thrown around the platform.
We are grateful to the local residents who reported the later incident to the police and those who also set about repairing the train. It almost defies belief that some people get pleasure out of detroying items provided for the benefit of the local community.
If you do happen to spot any criminal activity at the station site, please report it using the police non-emergency 101 number. You can also report any damage to us directly using the contact form. Thank you.
Although work parties are suspended to follow government social distancing guidelines, one of our team, Moira, lives very close to the station and is still able to go up there from time to time. She has just constructed this little shelter on the ‘up’ platform covering the bench originally provided by our good friend Roy, who sadly recently passed away. Two small side tables are provided for teas and coffees and a water butt has been fitted at the rear. The water butt was kindly donated by Moira’s neighbour and the rest is made from recycled timber and hardware so the only expense was the paint. A nice place to relax and enjoy the views in this gorgeous weather!
Our friends in Spetisbury Village have shared the following information with us. Please remember the social distancing rules when out and about and stay at least 2m apart from others.
A helpful villager has pointed out that as we are all in lockdown, people are out walking more than normal, and understandably, the Trailway can become quite busy. If you are not normally a walker, or have only recently moved to the area, you may find the walks page on our website useful
There are five different local walks, starting from The Woodpecker pub, each about 3 to 4 miles, and they can be linked together or added onto to take one outside the parish boundaries. The walks do need a little updating but are basically still as they were. Although the pub is closed, you can start each walk from a point to suit you.
Here is the link to the website, and while you’re there, have a little look at what we normally get up to in our unusually quiet village!
To comply with government coronavirus restrictions, all work parties and other events at the station have been suspended until further notice. When these restrictions have been lifted we shall update our blog and events diary pages.
However the station site remains open so, if you are able, why not pay a visit and enjoy this peaceful location overlooking the Stour Valley. Weather permitting, there are picnic tables, benches and grassed areas for visitors to enjoy. Please though respect the social distancing guidelines and other restrictions currently imposed upon all of us.
We hope to see you again during happier times when life has returned to normal.