Friday, February 22, 2019

The Stevington & Turvey Light Railway and The Arches Theatre

There are a couple of points passed over lightly by the Rediscovering the Bedford to Northampton line video I posted on Monday that are worth more investigation.

At 3:43 we are told that this section of the line used to be occupied by the Stevington & Turvey Light Railway.

A 2014 post on National Presevation tells its story:
Many of you will have heard of the private Stevington and Turvey Light Railway, hidden away in deepest Bedfordshire. The railway has been operating since the 1980s, but last Sunday was the final operating day for the railway. 
The stock and track are being moved to a new site nearby in Woburn where they will have full engineering facilities and security. Sadly the railway has been attacked several times by metal thieves in the last few years.
Wikipedia adds:
The Stevington and Turvey Light Railway was a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge light railway on the outskirts of the village of Turvey in Bedfordshire, England. It was about 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km) long. The railway was formed in the early 1980s by former members of The Surrey Light Railway which was based in Hersham, Surrey. 
The railway was established on the former track bed of the Bedford to Northampton Line. The main signal box on the line was named Needham, and contains a 31 lever Westinghouse 'L' frame which originally came from Battersea Park Signal box.
And at 6:30 the caption says a project is underway to turn an old bridge into an open-air theatre.

Remarkably, the project is complete and the theatre is open. It is The Arches Theatre at Clifton Reynes near Olney:
t takes its name from the four beautiful railway arches, built in 1872, that are used to stage exciting outdoor performances.
Situated in parkland next to the River Great Ouse in the picturesque and peaceful Buckinghamshire countryside, The Arches Theatre will be the stage to a number of fantastic theatre productions over the summer months.

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