Sunday, 29 January 2023


Today’s post is from an old Agfachrome CT18 slide taken in September 1967, 18 months after closure of the railway to Combwich. I recall the photographer saying that he used an 85mm short telephoto lens on his trusty Nikkormatt, a good solid no nonsense camera, I still use mine from time to time. 

Anyway, back to the subject, and we can see that work has started on  dismantling the railway, with the removal of anything that can be recycled or possibly used elsewhere. Few recorded the railways being dismantled, with enthusiasts too busy chasing what little was left of steam at this time. Others simply put their cameras away and took up stamp collecting or started to build a model railway to remind them of the halcyon days of steam. 

Class 22 diesel hydraulic locomotives were regulars on the demolition trains over many of the recently West Country closed lines, of which there were many of course. Third party demolition contractors also cleared lines, occasional with their own locomotive or simply tractors, old lorries and brute force. 

The engine shed, which supposedly Airfix based their well known kit on, makes a sad sight with its doors open and general detritus dumped in front of it. Somebody would love to have had that old parcels trolly, but it most likely was just added to a huge bonfire along with anything else that would burn. Alas, by December the rails were all gone and the engine shed flattened.

And finally, the crossing keeper’s cottage in the far distance is still there to this day, but heavily extended over the former trackbed. The building is difficult to recognise as ‘railway’, but the owners do have a semaphore signal in the garden, albeit with a GWR signal arm mounted on the post upside down painted in rainbow colours with ‘Thank you NHS’ applied rather badly from sticky backed plastic letters.


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