Posts Tagged ‘train’

Lavington Station – a new photo

September 28, 2013

Railways are always popular so it is probably no surprise that there are many photos of Lavington Station. The station was sited close by where the main road between Devizes and Salisbury crosses the railway – technically this is in the parish of West Lavington but the station served all of the Lavingtons including Easterton. A permissive path – the cinder path – was made alongside the embankment so that people from Market Lavington had a mud free walk to the station.

Our new photo shows trains as well as the station and poses a few questions for us. We hope a railway  enthusiast will be able to provide answers.

Lavington Railway Station - busy with trains

Lavington Railway Station – busy with trains

The photographer was standing on the plank construction down platform. We are looking approximately due west.


Gas lamps? Radio mast? Can anyone put us right please?

Let’s break the photo down a bit and pose our questions. We’ll start on the left.

We have a fine lamp but can anybody tell us what fuel it used? If it was gas, then where did the gas come from?

And what was that structure outside the station which looks to be some kind of radio mast. When was it built? When did it vanish? And just what did it do?

Lavington Station building and yard

Lavington Station building and yard

Here we see the main station building. The Lavington sign is too sideways on to read and the only sign we can make out is the one which indicates ‘gentlemen’. There is a bicycle and members of staff. Is that an early railway enthusiast on the far end of the platform? Can anybody make out enough of the train apparently departing? It appears to have passenger carriages, but the end vehicle looks odd. Do tell us about it. And is that a large goods shed visible just under the footbridge?

The train standing at lavington Platform is.... Can you help us?

The train standing at Lavington Platform is…. Can you help us?

The train standing at the up platform appears to have a very mixed rake of carriages. maybe somebody could tell us about them and date the picture for us. It’s a shame we can’t read the route board on the near coach.


Is that a gas tank on the roof?

 These two carriages could have the numbers 3458 and 7098 although they are not clear and so may be mis-read. Does that help anybody to tell us more? And what is that tank on the roof of the leading carriage? Our guess is gas storage for carriage lighting.

So we have a photo which is delightful in itself, but we hope to learn more from it – with your help.

Railway engineering works at Lavington in 1957

April 21, 2011

Some people think that railway line closures on Sundays and replacement bus services is a modern phenomenon. It probably is more prevalent today than it once was because railway closures in the 1960s mean there are fewer alternative routes available for trains.

Back in the autumn of 1957, when engineering works at Lavington meant the railway was closed for three successive Sundays, the effects on what we now call inter=city travel were delays. Journeys were rerouted and took a little longer. One imagines that local traffic, at Lavington, was badly affected.

Market Lavington Museum has recently been given a British Railways notice about the temporary changes caused by engineering works.

Front cover of leaflet about altered train services because of engineering work at Lavington in 1957. The leaflet is at Market Lavington Museum

So just what were the effects? We must look inside the leaflet to see.

An inside page of the British Railways leaflet

Surprisingly, perhaps, the diversionary route used via Swindon and Melksham is still available and of course the route via Bristol is very much a mainline so only the Devizes route has closed.

The 10 30 am (no 24 hour clock back in 1957) from Paddington, diverted via Bristol, was able to get passengers to Torquay a mere 20 minutes late. Passengers for the end of the line at Penzance had to cope with over 8 hours on the train. These days, the same journey takes about 5 hours.

Looking further through the leaflet we can see that other services were affected by the engineering works, in quite far flung places. Liverpool to Plymouth trains don’t normally go near Lavington, but they were rescheduled. So, too, were trains on the branch from Newton Abbot to Kingswear in Devon. Even local services to Liskeard in Cornwall were amended to cope with the situation.

We guess delayed passengers were just as grumpy then as they are today.

Lavington Station in the 1950s

February 24, 2011

Lavington Station was in the parish of West Lavington, but it served a wider area including Market Lavington  and Easterton. We are happy to include railway items, related to Lavington Station at the museum.

Today we feature what is believed to be a rare image showing as it does, a steam train passing the platforms with a station name board in full view.

The Royal Duchy express train races through Lavington in the late 1950s - a photo at Market Lavington Museum

The station itself looks deserted, but then the train is clearly an express, indicated by the lamp over each of the buffers. It wasn’t going to stop at Lavington.

The engine was one of the larger express passenger engines designed by Mr C B Collett for the old Great Western railway. The engine is moving fast and is a bit blurred. Maybe an expert could tell us if the loco is a castle or a King class.

The train loco at speed but is it a Castle or a King?

The train itself was a named train – The Royal Duchy. In 1957, this  name was given to the 1.30pm train from Paddington to Penzance and the 11am in the reverse direction. The name survived into the diesel era.

The Lavington Station name board

Passengers probably hardly noticed Lavington, which still sported a GWR style name board, as the train rushed through.