Today was a day for the Chairman's day out! Not really on duty inasmuch as I didn't have any meetings to go to, but on duty in the sense of having a great day out and the chance to talk to people on the ground.
First stop was at Crowcombe to chat to Geoff about the Best Kept Station competition that is being held in just two weeks time. All is looking good at Crowcombe and I waited long enough to photo the down DMU as it paused at the station. Although steam trains are lovely, my train spotting days were 1970s diesels and this multiple unit brings it all back to me. I collected the best kept stations trophy and that is now safely at Castle Coleby ready for presentation soon!
Next we headed to Stogumber to view the work that Bob and Russel are doing on restoring the old cattle dock. Its good progress. A large skip was filled with rubble and Bob had exposed the original bridge rail posts. The current intention is to cap these with new wooden posts with metal rails. This is a pragmatic solution that will enable bridge rail to be substituted in the future if needed.
Lunch at the White Horse in the village.....
Then on to Watchet. It always seems a bustling station, particularly after the quite of Stogumber and Crowcombe. What did I notice? First rate floral displays despite the inexplicable theft of some plants directly out of the planters around the station. Incredible!
Here are some pictures of the floral displays at the station:
And here a view of the heritage display in the pagoda shelter where we sheltered from the rain...
Next a walk along Blue Anchor beach. I had no idea that this crossing was called Dingles Crossing - see the small nameboard. Has anyone got any idea why this crossing is so named?
On the way home we dropped into Doniford Halt. Incredibly, after 35 years of volunteering on the railway, this is the first time I had stepped foot on the platform here. Well that's put right then. The halt looks great, really well maintained. Despite its diminutive size, its an impressive place. Great foresight from those who rescued the platform from Montacute all those years ago.