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WSR News from November 2004
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• Smiles all round...
Silk Mill © Rosie Darch

A young Taunton schoolboy, Andrew Dumbleton, has won first prize for his charming picture of WSR volunteers, Trevor Barnett and Ian Aldridge. The photo bagged the top spot in the under twelve section of the South West Children in Need photographic competition. Andrew, aged seven, who loves travelling on the WSR, was due to his prize, a digital camera, in London, during a tour of the BBC studios, including a chance to watch the Children in Need rehearsals. For more on this story, see this weeks Somerset County Gazette. Well done, Andrew!

21 November 2004 
Details from local correspondent and Somerset County Gazette
• Chimney comeback for Minehead...
Chimney
The Friends of Minehead Station report the approval of the planning application for the reinstatement of the five missing chimneys at the seafront station. The one surviving rooftop chimney will be dismantled and the stones used as patterns by stonemasons for the new chimneys. With the refurbishment of the canopy in full swing, final reinstatement of the chimneys will commence in the spring of 2005. Meanwhile, FOMS are holding their Christmas Fayre at Minehead Methodist Church Hall on 13 December from 10am to 3pm.

11 November 2004 
Details from FOMS
• Christmas cards...
Chrismas Cards
The Buffer Stop Shop at Minehead Station still have West Somerset Railway 2005 calendars available but these are selling quickly. Also in stock are Christmas Card packs in two designs and each pack contains five of the same cards - see Latest Pictures page. Calendars are 3.95, Christmas Card packs are 2.39 and UK postage and packing is 1 per item. The usual 10% discount is available to WSRA members provided membership number is quoted. The Shop will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30am until 3pm while no trains are running and the direct mail order telephone number is 01643 700387. (please have your credit/debit card handy) Orders by post to Buffer Stop Shop, The Railway Station, Minehead, TA24 5BG (cheques payable to 'Buffer Stop Shop').

10 November 2004 
Details from FOMS
• Progress on GWR 2-6-2T no 4160...
No 4160
Reports suggest the overhaul is progressing well. At Buckfastleigh the engine has now been rewheeled with pony and radial trucks overhauled, axleboxes remetalled and driving wheels turned. Cylinders have been bored and new valve assemblies made, along with a new vacuum cylinder, and other valve gear components refurbished. At LNWR Crewe, the boiler has a new front tubeplate, along with new firebox corner patches, lap inserts and foundation ring rivetting. New livery will be BR lined green with later style crest. A possible steaming date is pencilled in for late 2005.

9 November 2004 
Details from local correspondent
• Dunster by Candlelight HST cancelled...
Dunster by Candlelight
First Great Western (FGW) have cancelled their special "Dunster by Candlelight" train to Dunster and Minehead on Saturday 4 December. The reason is given to problems with the computer that deals with the ticketing arrangements. The cancellation is a great shame for those planning to travel by train to the Candlelight event. The local "Candlelight" trains are fully-booked and at least the Past-Time Rail through special train on Friday 3 December is scheduled to bring hundreds of visitors to West Somerset....

30 November 2004 
Details from WSR plc
• Quiz Night for Taunton Group...
WSRA
A quiz is lined up for the next WSRA Taunton Group on Monday 6 December, starting at 7.45pm in the GWRSA "snug" bar near Taunton Station. There will be prizes for those showing the best knowledge of the various topics, presented as slides once again by courtesy of Martin Southwood. Everyone welcome. A provisional programme for 2005 has been drawn up and will be publised very soon.

28 November 2004 
Details from WSRA
• From Bristol for Candlelight...
Dunster by Candlelight
First Great Western (FGW) are running of a Special Inter City Train to West Somerset for the Dunster by Candlelight event on 4 December. Leaving Bristol Temple Meads at 3.48pm, the train also calls at Nailsea & Backwell (3.58p,, Yatton (4.04pm) and Weston-super-Mare at 4.16pm), Arrival at Dunster is 6.05pm, where passengers may leave the train at Dunster for the walk to the village, or travel on to Minehead for the shuttle bus service run by First Southern National. Coming back, the HST leaves MInehead at 9.15pm arriving Bristol at 11.32pm. Tickets are available through Weston and Bristol TM booking offices. Reservations will be essential. The cost is 26 per person from the ticket offices at Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare only. More about all Candlelight trains...

23 November 2004 
Details from First Great Western
• WSRA Major Development Fund Draw...
Bishops Lydeard
The 2004 WSRA Major Development Fund Draw was made by the Association President Mr John Pearce at 4 o'clock on 31 October 2004 at Bishops Lydeard Station. The winning ticket carried a prize of 1000 which will no doubt delight a lucky contributor from Croydon, along with a Walthamstow man who takes the runner-up prize of 500. In all, eleven winning tickets were drawn. The draw raised almost 20,000 which will be used towards the Norton Project.

10 November 2004 
Details from WSRA
• Automatic for the people...
No 169
Great Western Railway Autotrailer no 169 has arrived at Bishops Lydeard after a move by road from Wallingford. No 169 has been purchased by Loco 5542 Ltd to accompany their ex-GWR 2-6-2T no 5542 locomotive. Much restoration work needs to be done. Sister coach no 178 has been visiting the line in recent years, proving extremely popular with passengers and has clearly inspired the 5542 team. A dedicated website has been set up for no 169. More...

10 November 2004 
Details from 5542 Ltd and local correspondents
• First Great Western to Dunster by Candlelight...
Dunster by Candlelight
First Great Western (FGW) have confirmed the running of a special train to West Somerset for the Dunster by Candlelight event on 4 December. The provisional timings for the High Speed Train show a departure from Bristol Temple Meads at 3.15pm, calling at Nailsea & Backwell, Yatton and Weston super Mare, then running non-stop with an arrival at Dunster at 6.07pm. Passengers may leave the train at Dunster for the walk to the village, or travel on to Minehead for the shuttle bus service run by First Southern National. Coming back, the HST leaves MInehead at 9.15pm arriving Bristol at 11.30pm. Tickets are available through Weston and Bristol TM booking offices. Reservations will be essential. The cost is 26 per person from the main line stations mentioned above which includes free bus transfer to the village. More...

9 November 2004 
Details from First Great Western
• Mogul gets the Clarkson treatment...
No 9351
In a Jeremy Clarkson-style session, the editorial staff of the monthly glossy "Steam Railway" were recently treated to a special trip on the Railway, with the "new" WSR steam locomotive no 9351 up-front. With eight coaches in tow, the Mogul reportedly did the business, leaving the guests - and many of the WSR folk on board - most impressed. No 9351 was converted, rather controversially, from a 2-6-2T tank engine into a 2-6-0 machine - being based on a Great Western Ralway "Small Mogul" design which failed to leave the drawing board. The WSR version seems to be proving a winner. Full details of the event will appear, we understand, in a forthcoming issue of "Steam Railway".

6 November 2004 
Details from MD's desk

• Life by the Lineside...
Primroses
The wildlife of the Railway featured in the latest showing on BBC1 of Alan Titchmarsh's British Isles: A Natural History. Local naturalist, David Bailey, well-known leader of the WSR Wildlife Specials, helped the film crew from the BBC's Natural History Unit at Bristol, on a visit to the railway in May. The effects on wildlife since the intrusion of the railways in the landscape have proved not always destructive and often complementary - the West Somerset being a perfect home for common and quite a few rare flora and fauna...

6 November 2004 
Details from local correspondents

• Life in the Canopy...
Canopy © Alan Grieve
Contractors have made a good start on the refurbishment of the large platform canopy at Minehead. This historical structure has been in need of a thorough overhaul for some time. Despite the obvious disruption to station life, the Railway are keen to inform visitors and passengers that all scheduled local and through trains will be operating as planned. Pictures of the progress so far can be seen on the Latest Pictures pages...

6 November 2004 
Details from WSR plc

• Lord Nelson to shine WSR metals...
Lord Nelson © Tony Woof
There are no firm plans as yet, but an extended period of running in is expected. A delivery date and consequently running plans are dependent upon completion of the overhaul, and as yet not fixed.

5 November 2004 
Details from MD's desk

• Working wonders at Washford...
Coach no 4 © Peter Cattermole
Really good things are happening, as ever, at Washford, where the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust are restoring various historical items. In addition to outshopping a splended LMS 7-plank mineral wagon, progress on the painstaking restoration of S&DJR First Class six-wheeled coach no 4 is visibly evident with one side virtually complete and being prepared for painting in the famous Prussian blue livery. Also making great strides is the renovation of Hawthorne Leslie 0-6-0ST "Isabel" - tubes are being machined, a new tank has arrived and the Trust suggest a return to steaming in 2005...

2 November 2004 
Details from SDRT

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