Lympstone of Old with Angela Coles

Thank you to Robert Perry for this week’s photo of Lympstone Station from Avenue Bridge.

The railway line to Lympstone was opened on May 1, 1861. The chosen route ran from Exeter Queen Street (Central), Lions Holt Halt (St James Park), through Blackboy Tunnel, Mount Pleasant Halt, Exmouth Juction with its own staff and engine shed, sidings to the brick and chemical works, Polsloe Bridge Halt, Clyst St Mary and Dibgy Halt (with its own siding to the mental hospital), sidings into the United States and UK Naval Depot, Newcourt Depot, Topsham (with a line down Holman Way to the Quay), sidings into Odam’s Fertiliser Factory, Woodbury Road (Exton), Lympstone Commando, Lympstone (Village), Warren’s Siding into the East Devon Brick and Tile co, Exmouth and, finally, Exmouth Docks. Plans for a railway line had been a long time in coming, as plans in 1845 showed a proposed route out of Exeter towards Exminster, crossing the canal and River Exe arriving in Exmouth over a bridge, missing Lympstone out. The section of track between Lympstone and Exeter was laid on a public lane shown on a map of 1765 and this lead to arguments over public rights of way, whilst walking alongside the line. In 1933, Dr Beauchamp Hall, Mr R Paull, of Exmouth, and Mr Robert Baker of, Fern Cottage, Lympstone, pleaded not guilty to trespassing on the SR near Lympstone. There was a somewhat amusing situation when three members of the Bench confessed to being shareholders of the Southern Railway and the Chairman admitted he had himself used the railway path and that the Railway Constable Pembroke, stopped a further ninety people using the path in three days.

Speaker Richard Giles is giving talks in the surrounding area on the 150 years of the branch line, ring (01395) 263930 for dates and events.