At the latest Community Rail Conference, members from South West Trains Community Rail Partnerships up and down the West of England line received a warm welcome from members of Friends of Templecombe Station and Friends of Gillingham Station.
The first stop was Templecombe where Richard Kempton, Community Rail Liaison Manager for South West Trains, gave an introduction to the day followed by a tour of the station given by Peter Hillman and other group members from Templecombe.This involved walking across the iconic footbridge to the ‘hallowed ground’ as member Paul Blowfield introduced it, of disused Platform 2.
Here everyone could shake hands with ‘tempus fugit’ whilst viewing the station’s gardens, flower beds and wildlife initiatives, before enjoying a peep at the old signal box. Evocative posters promoting the age of stream travel coupled with many references to the wonderful railway heritage of the Somerset and Dorset line, make it difficult not to soak up the ambience of days gone by.
Back on the train where the next stop is Gillingham. Delegates received another huge ‘Blackmore Vale’ style welcome from members of Friends of Gillingham station. Gillingham is north Dorset’s only station and a gateway station the Blackmore Vale.
A tour of the station took in the delights of an original planting scheme.
An Innovative use of milk churns resonates with a literary appeal reminiscent of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Vale of little diaries.’
Off to South Street Kitchen for a business and community rail update by Richard Kempton.Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership hosts SW Trains Community Rail Conference.pdf (318 downloads)