Burnham railway history project gathers support

2:46pm Friday 18th April 2014

By Kirsty James

A PROJECT to celebrate Burnham’s railway history is gathering support, with the town’s MP making a donation towards it.

A group of historians set up the Buffer Stop Memorial Project, which aims to install a set of old railway buffers at the junction of Pier Street and the Esplanade where the town’s old railway line ended.

Leader John Strickland said: “There is nothing left in the form of a lasting memorial to part of the town’s railway heritage, but hopefully this is about to change.

“In April 2011 an old Buffer Stop was lifted from its location at the former Royal Ordnance Factory Site at Puriton and moved to a temporary storage area.

“We have applied for planning permission to install a set of old railway buffers, close to where it was from 1930 until the line was taken up in the 1960s - an ideal site for the Buffer Stop Memorial.”

Over the past four years the group has met with representatives of Local Government and other organisations, including members of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust.

It has now gained further support from Tessa Munt MP, who visited the group on Monday.

She said: “My father was a railway enthusiast. The railway was an important part of Burnham’s history and the idea of introducing a tourism attraction here is fantastic.”

But the project needs residents’ help to ensure the buffer is in place to form the start of the upcoming Heritage Trail around Burnham, due to be launched on August 23.

To support it, write to Burnham Town Clerk, Denise Emery, Council Offices, The Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road, TA8 1LE or make a donation at collection tins in the S&D Pub, Weatherspoon’s, The Royal Clarence Hotel, Hurley’s Paper Shop, The Railway Hotel.

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