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Chelfham Station Report Summer 2016

Work in Progress - Chelfham Station Summer 2016.
Report by Nigel Thompson

The small band of volunteers continue with the restoration of the L&BR’s second station at Chelfham:

1. New volunteer Lynda Swallow from Exeter gloss paints the new white posts protecting the lawn by the station approach drive.

2. Among the visitors to Chelfham Station in July were members of the 1st Hilperton, Trowbridge Scout Group. Nigel Thompson gave a short talk and tour to the Scouts and their leaders as part of the L&BR Trust's mandate to inform and educate the public with regards to the past, present and future of the railway.

3. An ongoing project this summer is the replacement underground water supply from the newly sunk borehole. Local volunteer Graham Lee digs out the trench on the up platform, near the bore hole.

4. Graham also helped to dig out around the existing pipes behind the station building.

5. Almost everything has been taken out of the extension over the platform (added after closure) in preparation for its eventual removal. In the meantime, the space provides a useful sales area. Taking time off from his usual variety of jobs, Frank Daff checks out the second-hand books currently for sale. The donations and monies from sales received at Chelfham this year have all helped to fund the restoration progress, both outside and inside.

6. The most visible progress this year has been the re-creation of the down platform with its wooden fence. Dave Evans constructed and installed the fence last Spring. Heritage advertising signs for ‘Jennings’ complete the scene.

7. A view looking South, showing the ‘Petter’ sign.

8. & 9. A few months later, Dave fabricated Southern Railway style wooden poster boards. Now erected in their original positions along the fence and with heritage posters advertising ‘Guernsey’ and ‘Bexhill-on-Sea’ as holiday destinations.

10. The original waiting room restoration was completed in Spring, after delivery of the bench seats. These were made by the EAST Group in Essex, from converted church pews.

11. The restored wooden partition, ticket office window and visitors book etc. on the table inside the waiting room.

12. Finally, more interior decoration as Lynda Swallow paints the porch area toilet room, (also assisted by husband, David), September 2016.

13. Back in July, the down platform siding needed adjustment and ballasting. Ian James from Hampshire (right) assisted Nigel with this work.

14. A fine view from the Barnstaple (viaduct) end, looking North and showing the restored brick platform edges. These were also completed this year by John Mack-Smith.

15. The arrival in August of new, larger, South African wagons at Woody Bay Station provided an opportunity to transport a surplus ex RNAD Hudson bogie open wagon to Chelfham.

16. A HIAB lifts the wagon onto the down siding.

17. Having non-standard couplings and lacking a train braking system, the Hudson bogie open wagon was unlikely to see future use at Woody Bay. The vehicle currently awaits a clean-up and repaint at its new home at Chelfham.

Chelfham Station will be open both Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September for the Autumn Gala weekend, from 10:00am


As there is very limited parking at the station, please park on the lane under the viaduct.

Refreshments available for donations.

Chelfham Station is open every Sunday throughout the year and visitors are welcome to view the latest restoration work as well as walk a section of the original railway trackbed towards Bratton Fleming.

Work parties take place most Wednesdays, and every Sunday, from 10am.

Contact Nigel Thompson for further details.

Photos 10 and 11 by John Edmonds. Text and all other photos by Nigel Thompson.

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