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Thames Valley Support Group – End of Season Update

We gathered in the hall of Newbury Baptist Church on Saturday 17 October. Most were L&BR Trust members although some were not. However, they all shared a common interest, the resurgent Lynton and Barnstaple Railway!

Everyone was eager for news and that news was provided by our two guest speakers. Firstly Mike Buse Chairman of Exmoor Associates (EA) told us of the two new sections of L&B trackbed which EA recently acquired in readiness of the future extension by the L&B Trust. Mike explained that the sole purpose of EA is to buy and improve these parcels of land. EA are not intending to lay any track themselves and this is clearly stated on the EA website.

Members much appreciated that Mike had driven down from Colchester to be with us. During the interval a collection was held and the sum of £92 collected. This money will be used by EA to purchase building materials and other essentials used in the restoration of trackbed at their various sites.

After the interval Peter Miles L&BR Trust and Company Chairman - who had also had a bit of a drive to get to the meeting - brought us up-to-date with the exciting planning news from North Devon. Peter told us that the several planning applications had been submitted but that the planning departments of Exmoor National Park and North Devon Council must necessarily take a while to check that all documents are ‘present and correct’ before they can begin to consider the application itself. We must continue to be patient!

Peter then referred to the proposed purchase of Blackmoor Station. More details will be found here .

Please note that this report can only give brief highlights of what Peter and Mike had to say as the L&BR Trust Members present asked many questions and both speakers provided comprehensive answers.

It was great to have so many enthusiastic L&BR supporters gathered together. At the end of the meeting it was particularly heartening when one of the two non-members declared he was most definitely going to join us!

TVG exhibition stand at Mid-Hants Railway

From Friday 23 to Sunday 25 October the TVG exhibition stand had its last outing of the year at the Autumn Gala of the Mid Hants Railway.

Located in the viewing gallery of the carriage workshop at Ropley.

Being fortunate enough to be given a very large floor space, in addition to our usual 12’ stand we also had two more 6’ display panels. One set was devoted to LYN and the 762 Club. Half of the other set contained details of the four Heritage Carriages (very appropriate given our location!), while the remainder of the space carried information about Rowley Moor House, the imminent share offer for Blackmoor Station and the plans for the extension.

This was a new venue for us and we did wonder what to expect. We need not have worried! We had hundreds of visitors who had followed the signs and come out of their way to find us and to learn all about the L&B. We now hope that as a result of our conversations and the leaflets we distributed many more folk will be making their way to Woody Bay next year. We are optimistic that some will join the L&BR Trust, buy E762 LYN shares or sponsor parts, or perhaps invest money in Blackmoor Station.

The views outside.

Thanks are due to Roger Beazer, John Jones, Chris King-Smith, Doug Mills and Alan Pearce for their help at various times during the weekend.

We may be putting our feet up for a few months but we are conscious that down in North Devon work continues apace. This includes not only the Winter Working Weekend (27 – 29 November) and the Santa Specials but also the many other tasks which are carried out day after day.

Without all that physical labour there would be no point in us talking about the railway, so thanks from TVG to all those who ‘do the real work’!

Mike Pearce
Leader Thames Valley Group

Corporate Supporters - Where to Stay

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