The Bath and Wilts Chronicle and Herald
Monday 2nd November 1959

‘Laurels’ For Last Train

Fireworks and fusillades of detonators accompanied the progress of the 9:25 p.m. train from Frome to Bristol on Saturday Night – the last passenger train on the North Somerset branch of the old G.W.R. which closed to all but goods trains.

Even at the smallest halts on the line, one or two people stood to see the last train through, and there were many places, like Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Clutton where a fiery torch held aloft greeted the train.

At Pensford the engine No. 41203, driven by Mr R. Tonkin and fired by Mr E. Rogers, received a wreath, which was duly hung on the front for the last few miles into Bristol.

Many railway enthusiasts have patronised the line since the announcement of closure, and, on Saturday, the Bristol branch of the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society alone had a party of 110 members on the afternoon train to Frome.

At Frome while waiting to go back to Bristol, a group of the members swarmed all over the engine and gave it a thorough clean and polish. This same engine, No 5532 shedded at Frome, took the party back to Bristol, and at 7:45 p.m., became the last train to run to Frome.

Many people took the opportunity to make the last round trip from Bristol, and there were about 250 people aboard, including members of the R.C.T.S., Downside School Railway Club, and Bath Railway Society.

The train, with Driver F. Herring and Fireman R. Edwards in charge, was welcomed all along the route. At Frome, off came No. 5532, to be replaced by a Bristol engine, No. 41203, and the last train was ready.

Back to Top

To return to the History Page - Simply close this window