Charities benefit from village railway opening

John Edmonds' light railway

John Edmonds' light railway - Credit: Archant

The owner of a miniature railway on the site of an old train station is looking forward to a fundraiser in September on the back of a successful event at the weekend.

John Edmonds, 69, who lives at The Old Station, in Otterton, has had a miniature railway track running through his property since he moved in 16 years ago.

As part Otterton’s open gardens event in aid of Hospiscare and the village church’s roof, people were able to ride the 10-foot train.

John said the event went very well and he is now looking forward to ‘Steam and Teas’ being held at The Old Station, in September.

He said: “We were very pleased with how it went. We were helped by the fact we had a visit from two locomotives and two miniature traction engines.

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“Lots of people say they used to travel on the train through Otterton and villagers have shared their memories of The Old Station.”

After working for Canadian National Railways in London, he and his wife retired to Otterton in 2000.

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John’s father and grandfather worked with trains in Hull and John had a miniature railway at his previous home in Surrey.

The Old Station has been known as East Budleigh Train Station and the miniature tracks run across the border between the villages.

John started off with tracks which are five inches wide and has since increased this to seven to allow trains which can hold passengers.

His locomotive, a ‘West Midlands peacock blue’ train, is kept at Pecorama, in Seaton, where John drives it.

He brings it to The Old Station for special occasions, the next being the ‘Steam and Teas’ event on September 10.

Villagers will gather for cream teas and trips on the train in aid of Otterton village church’s roof repair.

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