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Milk in churns, coal, corn and baked crabs in old biscuit tins went by rail

15:07 06 January 2012

Free car park, Underhill.

Free car park, Underhill.


This week is the second and final article of the railway as told by Robert Perry.

Apart from the war and post-war period, punctuality was good with only the odd tablet failure on the single line causing delay.

The down-goods arrived mid-morning, unloaded on to the platform and did any necessary shunting, the up-goods came mid-afternoon, whilst a non-stop down-goods in the morning and another up-goods in the evening made an awful clatter as they slowed down and accelerated.

Most of the incoming freight consisted of coal, sometimes corn for the mill, the cattle dock was rarely used and the odd horse box shunted off a passenger train.

Outgoing freight goods consisted of milk in churns, shellfish in sacks, baked crabs in old biscuit tins, postal mail, assorted parcels and packages.

Morning and evening newspapers also arrived via rail.

Heavy items were delivered by Walter Webb from the home to and from the station in his lorry.

Where the present garages are on Station Hill were allotments, at one time a Mr Bastin, who also drove a lorry and Mr Maddock who was the landlord of the London Inn worked these allotments.

The Drake family, who owned Nutwell, made conditions when the railway was built, one of these was the telegraph wires were placed underground in front of the house and also a tree was placed to hide the down signal.

Tenants and workmen on the estate always insisted to have the right to walk along the railway to the station (and indeed on old maps of the estuary it shows a lane which ran the route of the railway).

The photo was taken by Miss Ursula Perry in the mid 1980s and shows the train cutting through the village elevated on the embankment.

On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, Lympstone History Society is holding a talk on “Excavating Roman St Loyes, Exeter” where Dr John Salvatore, of Exeter Archaeology, will be explaining the work done during the excavation and the report writing on the Roman and iron age site and finds since.

It starts at 7.30pm at the village hall, Lympstone, admission £3 and open to all.


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