Report - - Peters Marland Railway, Devon, September 1983 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Peters Marland Railway, Devon, September 1983


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
North Devon has always been relatively isolated from the rest of the UK, due to the topography. When clays suitable for making ceramics were discovered in the Torrington/Fremington area, the only way for the clay and finished products to be exported was by sea. Thus the idustry was on a small scale, but in the 1700's, there was a growing demand for a clay that fired white. Inland, near Meeth, there was found a four mile across deposit of this clay (known as ball clay because it was stacked up in squares called balls and weathered for years, to wash silica out of it) which began to be worked, being carried down to the Rolle Canal at Torrington by carts.
With the coming of the railway to Torrington, in 1881 a private mineral line was built to connect to the Marland area. This led to a great increase in production and was a factor in the opening in 1925 of the North Devon & Cornwall Junction Light railway, between Torrington and Halwill Junction, which superceded the mineral line. Closing to passengers in 1965, the section between Meeth and Barnstable remained open for freight, but by the 1980's was moribund.
On a fine September evening, we decided to walk along the line to Peters Marland works.


Map of the area, to make sense of this report!


Petrockstowe level crossing, the start of the walk


Only got to the other side of the crossing when this woman came out and gave us a bo***cking for trespassing on the railway "you could be killed by a train", pity nothing had been along for years!!!


Going back to nature, with a small Ruston Diesel at the shed door


Inside the shed, the Ruston


At the back of the shed was a Fowler diesel, but the light was going fast!


Another Fowler, dumped outside


Rail chair, with LSWR on one side and D&CJLR on the other
Then we got thrown out by a security guard!


Torrington Station in 1983


Halwill Junction in the 1050's


The same in 1980.
These were the two ends of the light railway.
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