50 Years since last train

‘Strawberry Special’ Saturday 7th September

Unique tour by Vintage Coach to three stations on the historic ‘Strawberry Line’ to mark the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Branch Line.

Coach
The Yatton & Cheddar Valley Railway opened in 1869 and operated for almost 100 years before ‘the Beeching Axe’ officially closed the line to passengers on Monday the 9th September 1963.  There being no Sunday service, the last passenger train actually ran on Saturday 7th September.  To commemorate this historic date, we organised three trips by vintage coach from Sandford Station Heritage Centre on the very same date fifty years on.  The coach is a beautiful 1950’s, 27 seater, Bedford OB with Duple coachwork and leather upholstery.  It departed from Sandford at 11am, 1pm and 3pm stopping at Winscombe Old Station Millennium Green and Axbridge stations for a nostalgic look around these attractive sites with archive photo displays and a re-enactment of the 1960’s period. Returning to Sandford for coffee/tea and cake overlooking beautiful countryside from our café tables on the platform – or even in one of the wagons.  There was the opportunity to look round the Heritage Centre with our stewards.

Thankfully, since 1983, the Yatton to Cheddar section of the former Branch Line has enjoyed a popular, new hey-day for recreation and anyone can also enjoy a walk or cycle-ride (provided they have own bike) along the route either before or after their coach trip.

The event was organised in collaboration with W & S Millennium Green Trust and Axbridge Sea Cadets.

ABOUT THE BUS:

Our vintage coach on the ‘Strawberry Special’ outings on the 7th September is a beautifully restored 1950’s Bedford OB with Duple body which was bought new by Crosville Motor Services of Chester.
It operated on the Chester to Llandudno route for many years.
When retired From Crosville it spent some time with an operator in mid Wales before being bought by Vista Coachways in Yatton where it ran for 25 years.
It has 27 seats and is affectionately known as Bosworth as it starred in a BBC film in the 70s entitled ‘A bus to Bosworth’.

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