Ashburton Branch Reunion

A grand reunion for everyone who has worked on the Ashburton Branch, at any point in its history, is being held at Buckfastleigh on Saturday 13 April 2019!

If you have worked as a volunteer or employee of any of the South Devon Railway companies or associated groups, the Dart Valley Railway, British Railways, or even the GWR, and you worked on or in connection with this branch at any time, you are invited to our reunion and we would love to see you there!

The reunion is being held during our golden anniversary steam gala, which promises a lot of steam locomotives, including some ‘old friends’ from the history of the line.

You can catch up with former friends and colleagues and see how the branch has developed and progressed in preservation.

There will be DISPLAYS and artefacts relating to the the Ashburton Branch and its history.

You can then take a special REUNION TRAIN TRIP to Totnes and back to re-acquaint yourself with the line.

There will then be a HOG ROAST and a BAR at Buckfastleigh in the evening, followed by some light entertainment.

The event opens at 1pm, with the special train running at approximately 4pm, returning at approximately 5.30pm, with the hog roast starting at approximately 6pm (exact times TBA with the railway timetable is finalised). The bar will be open all day.

Up to three members of your family or guests are also welcome to accompany you.

There is no fee to attend this reunion event, but donations will be gratefully received at the hog roast. Attendees may ride the special reunion train for free, as a thank you for all your help in the operation of the branch over the years. (If you wish to ride on other trains during the day you will need to purchase a ticket at the prevailing rate.)

Attendees are asked to pre-register in order to enable us to plan appropriate food, trains, etc, by one of the following methods:
emailing us
– by Facebook message
– by telephoning us on 01364 644 370

Please include your telephone number, email address, and how many people you will be brining.

We look forward to seeing you there!

3 Replies to “Ashburton Branch Reunion”

  1. I would love to register to attend the Golden Anniversary reunion celebration on Saturday 13th April please.

    I worked, full time, as the booking clerk during the 1974 season. Apart from Barry of course, I remember in particular, Chris Ashworth, Andy Cooper, Stan Turner and his nephew from Northern Ireland) whose name escapes me and Russel Maitland? I I am trying to remember, also, the chap who taught me the job (Richard ?) and was a member of St David’s Players at Exeter. I still remember watching him in Pirates of Penzance, with the gang and the words they sang to the ‘Police an’s Lot) in the run up to the Heath/Wilson General election!

    Have very fond and happy memories of those wonderful carefree days sinking a few pints either in the Devon Belle observation coach bar at the end of the day, the Sea Trout, Stable Door, or generally anywhere that sold beer!

    My wife (Jo) and possibly our son (Adam) would also like to come.

  2. This is a great way to march the anniversary. My Father, John Willard, was a volunteer on the Dart Valley Railway in the 70s on the engineering side. Unfortunately he passed away in 1977 but would have loved to have been there. I hope you have a great event.

  3. Hello SDR or DVR as it was in my time.
    Have a great anniversary and sorry I can’t be there.
    I was lucky to go to Totnes Grammar School in 62 and started visiting the cattle market, 1420, 6998, 1363 in the mid 60s. My pals and I went to Buckfastleigh and were taken onto the track gang by Ashley Burgess, the Flicker, driving a pump trolley to Ashburton and back and later into the PW gang under some bloke called Cogar ( married or dead by Christmas), included John Brodribb, Martin D, Adrian Wadlow, my pals Mike Eden and Alf Perry (deceased sadly) His dad was the signalman at Rattery box, I remember going there and pulling the signals and watching the Westerns roaring through on the main line.
    I remember going up the line behind 4555 in a couple of red autotrailers. I became DVRA member 87 i think. I remember the arrival of the Hither Green mob, Brian and Dolly, Alun Gosling and of course Colin Harmes with their Southern cap badges! horror, and the wonderful Dave Knowling.
    We did trips to closed WR branch stations acquiring stuff. We laid the first loop at Totnes. We restored the hut at Hood Bridge. we did the Sea Trout and the Globe.( the drunken landlord would shout at closing time ‘ those of you who do not reside in this here hostelry may no longer be served refreshing liquor’) I worked the B’f’leigh old signal box under Russel Maiden, even sending trains to Ashburton. We went to Barry twice i think collecting locomotive parts and preparing for the arrival of 7827, Richard Eliot’s big project if I remember. I was there on the opening day by the famous Dr. – all before I was 20. There is a picture of us on the SDRA web page at the loop at Totnes.
    V happy times, so many happy memories.
    Hope you have a great weekend and may you continue to grow and prosper.
    Good wishes
    Peter Bailey

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