Thursday, May 03, 2018

Barnstaple Town station in 1982

For a while I was not certain where this photograph was taken. I thought it might be Barnstaple, but I was not convinced I had been there as early as 1982.

Now I have managed to dredge up a few memories of the trip and found similar photos on the Derelict Places site and on Disused Stations too.

But this is not the Barnstaple station you travel to from Exeter today. This is Barnstaple Town, which was more centrally placed and closed in 1970 with the line to Ilfracombe. Until then the current Barnstaple station was known as Barnstaple Junction.

Barnstaple Town was also the terminus of the narrow-gauge Lynton & Barnstaple line, which is being restored after closure as long ago as 1935.

I returned to the town in 1988 when I was walking the South West Way, which uses some of the trackbed of the Ilfracombe line.

When I arrived I arrived in Ilfracombe I found a resort that had never recovered from the loss of its railway. Every guest house advertised the price of bed and breakfast in its window, trying to undercut the establishment next door.

It was great for the impecunious walker, but the overall effect was depressing.

Back at Barnstaple Town, the station buildings have been converted to house a school.

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