President David Shepherd CBE FRSA FGRA
Holiday Experience - Branch Line to Seaton
My last caravan break was in October 2000, the site being a CL (certified location) in Shute West of Axminster in Devon, the facilities were fairly basic but did include electric points, one of the reasons for having chosen this CL especially as the nights can get a little colder and a small heater will do wonders in the confined space of a caravan. The electrical supply had been temporarily extended to higher ground, due to the some what damp conditions generally around that area. So it was that within minutes of arriving on site, between heavy showers, I found myself quietly cursing at the rather rocky sub soil which made the job of pegging the awning down, difficult.
I did eventually succeed, noting that there appeared to be a defined line within which no resistance was encountered and was able to complete the pegging operation before being completely soaked through by the next downpour.
Now most club members will know that my knowledge of railways is limited, my interests you might say as being in other fields, this did not deter me from walking the local footpaths which lead to the disused railway station of Seaton Junction. It was here that my interest was aroused at the rather long footbridge that spanned not only the track, but beyond, into the adjacent meadow in which we were staying, further inspection revealed what could have been a siding, heading off towards Colyton.
A glimpse of the farmhouse and yard buildings nestling in the valley removed any further interest of Seaton Junction from my mind as I began to envisage some of these buildings, in model form enhancing my own railway layout.
The more railway knowledgeable members will no doubt by now have reached the conclusion, that it was not a siding, but the branch line to Seaton via Colyton, the section between Colyton and Seaton still very much in use by the Seaton trams today.
Yes, you guessed it! the rocky sub soil was actually the remains of the trackbed of the line from Seaton Junction, had it not been for the soggy conditions prevailing at the time I would have been none the wiser and at least fifteen awning pegs straighter.
You to can visit this delightful spot and have a ride on the Tramway. More details www.tram.co.uk