Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Scrumpy & Western

Another demolition train arrives at Combwich in September 1967 a year and a half after closure, and as we can see track is starting to look rather overgrown, the last weed killing train running well over two years before. It doesn’t take long for nature to take over, as any not-so-keen gardeners like me will know all too well.  

In recent weeks, a private contractor has taken over much the the demolition work. Working back to the mainline, the rails are broken up in to short sections and loaded in to the old wagons, which in turn will also be scrapped. 

After the station was fully cleared by the following spring, the land lay vacant until the mid 1970s when a rather unimaginative council owned semi prefabricated pebbledash housing estate was built on the site. Allegedly in recent years, residents have been complaining of water ingress and resulting mould, but supposedly the local council, who still own some of the properties are slow at doing anything about it, but of course this is only local gossip. But we do all know all too well this is a nationwide issue in Little Britain, especially with regional media outlets on ‘quiet news days’ when they need to fill airtime or column space with stock library news written by ‘media studies’ students on work experience. 

But on a positive note, the ‘Planet’ diesel mechanical locomotive here lives on in preservation at the nearby highly regarded Avalon Railway and Cider Farm. The popular tourist attraction was set up a few years ago by a wealthy former member of ‘The Scumpyheads’ the well known 1970’s West Country ‘scrumpy and western’ folk rock band bought to fame by cider swilling drinking hits like ‘There’s a Dead Rat in my Cider’, ‘I’ve Got and Brand New Cider Press’ and the minor keyed traditional folk ballad ‘Wassail My Old Dear’. 

By the way, do check the farm out, the railway takes a picturesque 2 mile circular route around the apple orchards, and of course there is a cider bar and stage for regular live music events. Google for more details, but beware that when I checked their website earlier it appeared to be down for some reason.  

And finally, Ratio based their well known plastic kit on the yard crane seen to the right. Also, Roxey Mouldings do a cracking little white metal kit very similar to the locomotive here. 


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