Wednesday 19 October 2022

Bridge Infill

By 1969, Polbrook Gurney Colliery had closed and been razed to the ground.  For those unfamiliar with the location, the colliery used to tower above the corrugated waiting shelter on the left. The halt is now disused, the only action being the occasional fertiliser trains to and from Avonmouth and demolition trains from the now closed Somerset & Dorset line. 

The Pedant & Armchair pub is hanging in there, but with the closure of the colliery, the only customers are the occasional railway enthusiast, though they are few and far after the end of steam. Also groups of rambling ramblers meet up from time to time to ramble on about farmers blocking public rights of way. But the landlord and his wife want to retire, and despite trying to find a buyer, there has been zero interest, so it’s likely to go the way of the colliery eventually, for the building is in a bad state and needs a lot of investment. 

Winding the clock forward to the present day, with the railway now long gone, the remains of the platform can just about be made out in the undergrowth, but with most the more prime pieces of limestone that make it up pinched. The bridge above our photographer also survives, but Highways England controversially want to infill it in with concrete at great expense to the tax payer. This of course will block a rural thoroughfare for wildlife, and of course those rambling ramblers. There is nothing really wrong with the bridge, apart from a little repointing being required. However the local rambling group and more eminent locals are on the case which has been dragging on for well, over a year. Fingers crossed. 

Where the pub was, now stands 3 retirement bungalows, the former landlord and landlady having lived in one of them until the early 80s. But sadly they are no longer with us. The site of the former colliery is now a bland housing estate of mid 1970s near identical low grade badly maintained homes built from beige reconstituted stone. 

So for any keen railway archaeologists reading this, there isn’t a huge amount to see, but if you do go, be sure to send in a few photos for me to share. 

Help me keep the nonsense flowing

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