Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wet Wet Wet

Turned out nice again...

On the wettest day of the year so far, our commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the final train to Kingsbridge turned out to be a very British affair.

Unperturbed, 80 intrepid explorers turned out to recreate the journey as a bus route. Some had thought we'd actually be driving along the trackbed itself... (I know). Although in parts it might have been easier for the driver to have done that, given the complexity of the route and the steamy windows through which it had to be negotiated.

Highlights included: an encounter with the world's laziest Policeman, who'd rather see us out in the rain directing traffic than move an inch to do it himself - or, mercifully, to arrest us for blocking up the village; accidental deforestation of the road to Gara Bridge; and 270 KTA's crossing of Gara Bridge itself, which attracted more attention than the tour of the old station which was going on at the same time. My gould, it's tight...

We had a lovely time, and paid tribute to our ancestors in a way that befitted their own 'last train' celebrations fifty years ago. It was anything but dry.

We'll be doing Gara Bridge again on Saturday, by the way, at the Kingsbridge Vintage Bus Running Day. You're welcome to come along and watch.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Rail Replacement

50 years ago this weekend, the final train ran to Kingsbridge - home of 270 KTA, both then and now.

It was a sad but not entirely sombre occasion. Locals 'borrowed' the restaurant car from The Cornishman and had it marshalled into the branch line train for the occasion. The bar was dry of whiskey by Avonwick - first stop from the main-line junction at Brent - and the merry passengers had to move along the top shelf for alternative refreshment during the long, twelve mile journey to Kingsbridge.

This weekend TV&GWOT will be marking the anniversary with a bus trip from Kingsbridge to Brent, passing as much of the trackbed as we can, and stopping at all the former stations along the route for a look around. (With the exception of the two termini, they're all still there and restored as private houses.)

We'll be using 270 KTA, along with Colin Billington's Bristol H - a fellow South Hams vehicle - and the more off-route 'Taunton Shuttle' Ford Transit, which is suited to some of the tougher terrain.

I would invite you to join us, but a small feature in the local paper has returned an enormous response from locals and all three buses will be full. But you'll get some photographs here.

Instead raise a glass, or a whole restaurant car, on Sunday...