Jump to content

The Devon and Somerset Railway


Recommended Posts

Whilst waiting for my train home this afternoon at Exeter Central a couple sat beside me and the gentleman opened a railway book which he'd been reading during his journey.

 

The station announcer gave forth advising the next delayed service at which point I turned to the gentleman sitting next to me and in a joking manner suggested is a pity it's not a Broad Gauge loco as i'd be happy to accept the announcement !

 

He replied regarding the Devon and Somerset line would have probably been similar in days gone by and then produced the following flyer for me......

 

post-20303-0-39864100-1472577173_thumb.jpeg

 

It turns out he was Freddie Huxtable, the author of said publication and was mearly passing through Exeter today.

 

So, the reason for posting this is purely for a heads-up for anyone who may be interested in the 2 part volume, the first of which I'm advised will probably be on sale towards the end of October 2016.

I must add I've no prior knowledge of any of his works and have no connection other than a chance meeting today.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

The book is indeed on its way. Thank you to the gentleman i met at Exeter Central for posting this.  Volume 1 has gone to the printers and should be available just before and at Warley. It had to be two volumes because one volume would not do justice to the researched material and the line's trials and tribulations in building it. Just think positively... double the photos (some not published before) and time to save to buy Volume 2!! It is already written so just needs to go through the final processes.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooh, I'll have to look out for those. My great grandfather worked on the line in broad gauge days. He was once disciplined as a young goods fireman for not checking they had the correct single line token, only found out at the next station. I've often wondered what the loco was, but I'll never know.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a nice story-probably fairly typical of a young employee! Do you have any more stories or information? The book talks about early locos (with photos) and unveils the name of the driver of the first train. V2 will cover locos in more detail along with memories of those who worked the line and an accident (no major injuries) in 1878-i hope you grandfather was not involved in that.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a nice story-probably fairly typical of a young employee! Do you have any more stories or information? The book talks about early locos (with photos) and unveils the name of the driver of the first train. V2 will cover locos in more detail along with memories of those who worked the line and an accident (no major injuries) in 1878-i hope you grandfather was not involved in that.

(It was my great grandfather.) It occurred 13th December 1879, Morbath to Wiveliscombe. He was only nineteen at the time with his home shed being Yeovil, and still a temporary fireman, being made a 3rd class fireman (ie. goods) in February 1880.

Now, elsewhere and much later in his career (3rd April 1911), he was driving a passenger train to High Wycombe out of Paddington on the down main which when it was passing Subway Junction a ballast train was shunted into it from the Crystal Palace loop, ripping into several coach sides and parting the train. One fatality resulted (Frederick John Palmer). The ballast train crew were at fault, and the junction was subsequently remodelled with catch points and extra signals provided. Sadly, the report while it lists the damaged stock, it does not mention the engine at all (probably because it was undamaged), but I guess it could have been something like a County tank.

Edited by Coppercap
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

(It was my great grandfather.) It occurred 13th December 1879, Morbath to Wiveliscombe. He was only nineteen at the time with his home shed being Yeovil, and still a temporary fireman, being made a 3rd class fireman (ie. goods) in February 1880.

Now, elsewhere and much later in his career (3rd April 1911), he was driving a passenger train to High Wycombe out of Paddington on the down main which when it was passing Subway Junction a ballast train was shunted into it from the Crystal Palace loop, ripping into several coach sides and parting the train. One fatality resulted (Frederick John Palmer). The ballast train crew were at fault, and the junction was subsequently remodelled with catch points and extra signals provided. Sadly, the report while it lists the damaged stock, it does not mention the engine at all (probably because it was undamaged), but I guess it could have been something like a County tank.

 

thank you for the extra detail-the token story would make a good sound bite in V2. your other story/report shows what a dangerous job railway work was all those years ago and how accidents encouraged/forced changes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Just put in my order with the publishers for volume 1 - I've been waiting for this book for a long time, and hope it will have some new pictures of Dulverton I've not seen before.

 

Up to now the only books specifically about the Devon and Somerset are Middleton Press's "Taunton to Barnstaple: Country Railway Routes" by Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith, and Colin Maggs's book "The Taunton to Barnstaple Line", Locomotion Papers 126 from Oakwood Press (long out of print).

 

The book's website says that it is now published, but I think what it means is that Part 1 is published. I couldn't see any indication of when Part 2 is due.

Edited by Douglas G
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just put in my order with the publishers for volume 1 - I've been waiting for this book for a long time, and hope it will have some new pictures of Dulverton I've not seen before.

 

Up to now the only books specifically about the Devon and Somerset are Middleton Press's "Taunton to Barnstaple: Country Railway Routes" by Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith, and Colin Maggs's book "The Taunton to Barnstaple Line", Locomotion Papers 126 from Oakwood Press (long out of print).

 

The book's website says that it is now published, but I think what it means is that Part 1 is published. I couldn't see any indication of when Part 2 is due.

One of the good folks on the Lightmoor stand at the NEC today said that Volume 2 is due about this time next year......looking forward to getting stuck into Vol 1....

Link to post
Share on other sites

... It had to be two volumes because one volume would not do justice to the researched material and the line's trials and tribulations in building it. Just think positively... double the photos (some not published before) and time to save to buy Volume 2!! It is already written so just needs to go through the final processes.

 

I have long regarded Ian Coleby's 'The Minehead Branch' 2nd edition also from Lightmoor to be the best line history I've read. The comprehensive drawings, plans and photographs are just what a modeller needs. If your volumes are up to the same standard, I'll certainly be buying them.

 

Adrian

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

Picked up a copy (BTW its very heavy) at Warley yesterday and had it signed by Freddie Huxtable. I don't think its possible to have a quick flick through, it requires serious reading! Very impressed and though the line is not on my primary interest list I will be spending some very happy hours reading it. I'm pretty sure that its going to become a classic. I will say no more less Captain Kernow accuses me of being Bill Brysonesque for a second time in two weeks!

 

all the best and thanks Freddie!

 

Godfrey

Link to post
Share on other sites

Picked up a copy (BTW its very heavy) at Warley yesterday and had it signed by Freddie Huxtable. I don't think its possible to have a quick flick through, it requires serious reading! Very impressed and though the line is not on my primary interest list I will be spending some very happy hours reading it. I'm pretty sure that its going to become a classic. I will say no more less Captain Kernow accuses me of being Bill Brysonesque for a second time in two weeks!

 

all the best and thanks Freddie!

 

Godfrey

 

Thank you Godfrey, it was good to meet you! i hope it is well received although i think the Booker Prize may be out of reach! :-) It will be good (i hope) with a warm fire and drink over Xmas. i can indeed confirm that we (Lightmoor and I) hope/plan to get Volume 2 out for autumn 2017. It is written and i am editing/topping -tailing in the next couple of months and sourcing a few more photos. Its also nice to hear from Douglas G-i hope the book re-ignites the modelling spirit and should have some photos you have not seen!  

The book is now definitely available. Freddie will indeed be signing copies on the Lightmoor stand at the NEC on Sunday.

 

Martin

thank you for the "plug" Martin!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have long regarded Ian Coleby's 'The Minehead Branch' 2nd edition also from Lightmoor to be the best line history I've read. The comprehensive drawings, plans and photographs are just what a modeller needs. If your volumes are up to the same standard, I'll certainly be buying them.

 

Adrian

Adrian to be on a par with ian's book would be quite acolade. Ian is kindly doing my station track diagrams etc for Volume 2, so those should not disappoint! Happy reading. Freddie

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the good folks on the Lightmoor stand at the NEC today said that Volume 2 is due about this time next year......looking forward to getting stuck into Vol 1....

It is indeed planned to be out in Autumn 2017. Enjoy volume 1. ps Westerns were the best locos ever built (don't tell the Churchward Moguls but they were special too!)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is indeed planned to be out in Autumn 2017. Enjoy volume 1. ps Westerns were the best locos ever built (don't tell the Churchward Moguls but they were special too!)

Looking forward to getting stuck into Volume 1 very soon Freddie. As a newly arrived resident in Cotford St Luke, I have plenty to learn about the Devon & Somerset. Westerns? - agreed.....;-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my copy of this book yesterday and I am really impressed by the amount of research that has gone into it. It is also really well written. Congratulations, Freddie!

 

There are lots of useful photos of Dulverton that I have not seen before and the two aerial photos of the station from the Aerofilms collection are a godsend for me - they save me having to pay for some more scans from the National Collection of Aerial Photography (the saving has more than paid for the book in fact).

 

I am also pleased to have played a small part in terms of some of the photos of Dulverton after closure. A box of prints and negatives turned up years ago on a stand at Scaleforum, and I and another Dulverton modeller clubbed together to buy them and get prints made. We then donated the negatives to the Dulverton Heritage Centre. It is nice to see them published and made more widely available. I think the photos must have been taken for a modeller, as they include all the features of the station, many in plan view. They include the only photo I know of showing the back of the signal box.

 

Roll on part 2.

Edited by Douglas G
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I heard a rumour about a new book covering the Taunton to Barnstaple line the best part of two years ago ... but then no one I spoke to knew anything about it, and I began to think is was just a rumour. I'm delighted it has now appeared (well, Volume One anyway). My copy is on it's way to me.

 

Like Godfrey Glyn, this line isn't my primary interest - which is the Southern's North Devon Line and Barnstaple Junction in particular. However, the connection and services between the GWR and Southern have never been adequately covered in any other book on either line ... so I hope these two volumes will rectify that.

 

Now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the postman.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 9 months later...

Freddie tells me that he has so much material to go into the planned Vol 2 that there will have to be a Vol 3! Marvellous isn't it - we wait 50 years for a comprehensive book on the Barnstaple line & then 3 volumes appear!

 

Details of the contents of these 2 volumes can be found in the book's website: https://www.devonandsomersetrailway.co.uk/ & go to the Books tab, Vol 2 is due out late November, Vol 3 is written & should be out during 2018

 

Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is rather disappointing news ... I'm most interested in the oprational aspects of the line (stock, services etc.). I'd been expecting this in Vol. 2 as previously advised -  now I will have to wait another year ... and for various personal reasons, that may be too late.

 

I spoke to the publishers earlier this week, and they said Vol.2 has gone to the printers ... so November availability is likely.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Freddie tells me that he has so much material to go into the planned Vol 2 that there will have to be a Vol 3! Marvellous isn't it - we wait 50 years for a comprehensive book on the Barnstaple line & then 3 volumes appear!

 

Details of the contents of these 2 volumes can be found in the book's website: https://www.devonandsomersetrailway.co.uk/ & go to the Books tab, Vol 2 is due out late November, Vol 3 is written & should be out during 2018

 

Martin

 

Lightmoor's website has a date of December 7th for Vol 2 - for details of the book: http://lightmoor.co.uk/view-book.php?ref=L8313

 

Martin

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

Lightmoor's website has a date of December 7th for Vol 2 - for details of the book: http://lightmoor.co.uk/view-book.php?ref=L8313

 

Martin

 

They were saying at Warley that any orders placed there would hopefully be delivered before Christmas if all went according to plan.  So I duly paid my 25 quid and await the Postie delivering it in time for 'Santa' to wrap it and deposit it under the Christmas Tree for 25 December.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.