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Image restoration from pre-May 2021 continues and may take an indefinite period of time.

Two go mad in Dorset


Captain Kernow

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  • RMweb Gold

Having dropped CTMK off at a writers workshop in Bournemouth this morning, I found myself in Dorset with some time to spare....

 

First port of call (having previously established that the Blandford museum with the excellent model of the station wasn't open), was Shillingstone station.

 

I had visited the place back in 1985, when all was dereliction and decay, and one of the photos I took back then masqueraded a few years later as 'Engine Wood' station in a magazine article and on display material I take with the layout to shows....

 

Anyway, I had read about the preservation work going on there, of course, but this was the first time I had been back since 1985.

 

I was really impressed with the quality of restoration and rebuilding work being done there. Although there's not much track laid yet, they have just acquired another 1/2 mile of track to start reinstating the passing loop etc. in the near future. The little Ruston 88DS (in S&DJR blue :) ) was chuntering away in the platform, there were lots of volunteers working hard and the tea room was open for business!

 

I was particularly impressed by the new build signalbox, which is a copy of the original, standing on the original foundations. Apparently the structural woodwork for the frame was obtained free from Sainsburys and was about to be burnt on a bonfire, after a superstore in the area had been rebuilt....

 

But what impressed me most of all was the warm and very friendly welcome to a total stranger. I was given a guided tour of the new signalbox and allowed to take lots of photos of the 88DS, including in the cab, and even had a ride on it!

 

Here are a selection of views of the site, which is well worth your support:

 

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The gift shop had these tea towels on sale, so always looking to enhance the washing up experience, I felt I just had to have one!

 

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After leaving Shillingstone, I managed to find the pub in Charlton Marshall where my friends and I had had lunch back in 1985! (the food was still very good), and then had a walk down the old trackbed from Charlton Marshall Halt.

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  • RMweb Gold

I was aware that the old platforms at Charlton Marshall were intact, but I wasn't quite sure which of the lanes leading off the main road was the right one to take to find it, but fortunately I took the correct turning first time, and parked up on the bridge over the railway and the old halt. The trackbed either side had been converted to a cycleway and bridle path, which extends for some miles in each direction. I walked down to Speitisbury, about a mile and a half to the south of Charlton Marshall and back again, a very nice place to walk one's lunch off!

 

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These days, different kinds of motive power can be found on this part of the Somerset & Dorset:

 

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On my way back to Bournemouth to pick up CTMK after her workshop, I called by at Bailey Gate (now called Bailie Gate for some reason), and the industrial estate area, where I took this view, which I believe to be from the site of the old overbridge over the railway immediately to the north of the station area (the bridge was demolished some years ago). I think that this view, therefore, is of the station area, looking south. Having checked in Part 2 of the Hugh Ballantype book on the S&D, I don't think that there is a single original building in the modern day shot...

 

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  • RMweb Gold

Nice to see you enjoyed yerself in my part of the world, how was lunch at the Charlton Inn, I've not been there since they changed the landlord ( forcibly, as is Hall & Woodhouses way if the incumbant doesn't come up to scratch).

The lunch was most satisfactory, thank you, as was the Guiness, and indeed the walk to exercise it all off afterwards!

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Nice shots Tim! Does ahnyone know what's happened to the 9F that used to be at Shillingstone? My uncle and I dropped in there about 5/6 years back completely unaware that the station was being restored, let alone a Barry hulk being sat there!

 

Pix

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Nice shots Tim! Does ahnyone know what's happened to the 9F that used to be at Shillingstone? My uncle and I dropped in there about 5/6 years back completely unaware that the station was being restored, let alone a Barry hulk being sat there!

 

Pix

 

It's still there, currently out in the open a bit further down towards the main road (past the new signal box). Progress is obviously very slow, what with them trying to rebuild the station as well! If i'm not mistaken they've got a fair old collection of new/refurbished/good quality parts in store for when they finally get round to it proper.

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  • RMweb Gold

Nice shots Tim! Does ahnyone know what's happened to the 9F that used to be at Shillingstone? My uncle and I dropped in there about 5/6 years back completely unaware that the station was being restored, let alone a Barry hulk being sat there!

 

Pix

Yes, the chassis was there, just to the north of the main part of the site. The boiler is away getting some restoration, I was told.

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Yes, the chassis was there, just to the north of the main part of the site. The boiler is away getting some restoration, I was told.

 

Yes the boiler's gone oop north for restoration. I think it's gone to LNWR Crewe but i'd have to check! It caused quite a fuss when it turned up at the STEAM museum in Swindon as no one expected it there! I know the nephew of the owner so hope to tap him up for a bit more inside info when we get the live steam toys back out again. Clearly he's hoping to move on the restoration pretty quickly if he's already having the boiler looked at.

 

Shillingstone have done a cracking job of the signal box there, it's all really coming together and looking good! All very positive!

 

Thanks for the pic's Tim!

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  • RMweb Gold

I'm assuming the 9F would be running elsewhere if/when finished?!

Given the way loco restoration is sometimes done, it may well go off site for other jobs, too. It would make sense to hire it out until they have a long enough run, but then again, if it's their engine, they may wish to run it on their railway...

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It's owned by one individual who I believe has quite a bit of influence at Shillingston. Likewise I believe the idea is for restoration to take place at Shillingstone and then for the 9f to go on tour. Last I heard there was a bid (lottery?) for funding so that they can set up a 2 road restoration shed on site.

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