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Author Topic: Where were Finn and I today, 23rd May 2018?  (Read 344 times)
bignosemac
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« on: May 23, 2018, 11:09:55 pm »

In the distance is a railway bridge.

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johnneyw
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2018, 09:45:03 am »

From the picture the bridge looks a little to flimsy for heavy rail but then it is in the distance. Still in use?
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2018, 10:21:34 am »

River Kwai?
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bradshaw
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2018, 10:33:23 am »

The late Cricket St Thomas railway. Managed to take the elder grandchild there before Warner Took over

http://youtu.be/0dWj7Py98A8

The house was the setting for ‘To the Manor Born’ and one episode featured Maiden Newton station
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bignosemac
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2018, 12:40:07 pm »

Yes, Cricket St Thomas, near Chard, Somerset. Right on my doorstep, but until yesterday I was unaware that the grounds and gardens are now free to enter for day visitors (and their dogs!)

The 15" gauge railway was laid in 1985 when the grounds were a wildlife park. The wildlife park was purchased by Warner Leisure Hotels in 1999 and slowly run down as Warner changed focus, concentrating on the hotel business. The wildlife park finally closed in 2009. Some animals remained after closure, but they were gradually moved to other zoos and parks. By 2014 all the non-native wildlife had gone. Now the hotel group tends the garden and landscaped grounds for the benefit of hotel users and visitors.

After the wildlife park closed the railway remained in use on selected days, free to hotel guests. Day visitors had to pay to access the grounds and railway. The railway last ran in October 2014 and was lifted soon after. The permanent way was sold to a private railway in Wales.

The grounds of Cricket St Thomas are now open to non-residents free of charge.

Some detail of the fate of the railway:
http://www.rail.co.uk/rail-news/2014/new-hope-for-teifi/

Video of the railway in action:


One other thing. Hidden in the woods at Cricket St Thomas, slowly being reclaimed by nature, are the remains of 'Blobbyland'. A godawful addition to the wildlife park based on the Noel Edmonds created abomination, Mr Blobby. The last remnants of the crass fibreglass buildings are being removed. I wonder whether, in centuries to come, a Time Team style archaeological dig will uncover Blobbyland. It'd be interesting to know how the Tony Robinson of the 28th century interprets the finds!

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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2018, 12:44:32 pm »

Great write up thx BNM. I remember going there in my childhood and had no idea that most of what was there then no longer exists.

I absolutely loved To The Manor Born and have it on DVD.
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bradshaw
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2018, 12:45:38 pm »

Thank you for that, I did not realise that you could still wander around. We usually go to Forde Abbey if we are in the area, within sight and sound of SWR land!
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bignosemac
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2018, 01:00:35 pm »

And another thing.

My Mum and Stepdad were extras in the 25th Anniversary episode of 'To The Manor Born', filmed at Cricket St Thomas in 2007. Carriage driving features in the episode, and the folks are seen in the background as carriage driving stewards (something they did in real life). Mum was called upon to do some 'back-stepping' (the person who hangs onto the back of the carriage) but she was only used during camera setup and rehearsal. Her friend got to film the actual action scenes.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 01:15:03 pm by bignosemac » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2018, 01:17:25 pm »

The house was the setting for ‘To the Manor Born’...

Ah! I remember that. Didn't it feature Western-super-Mayor and lover of public transport Peter Bowles?
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bignosemac
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2018, 03:42:55 pm »

A few more images from Cricket St Thomas





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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2018, 04:00:33 pm »

Hope Finn had plenty of exercise at Cricket St Thomas. After all we wouldn't want him to become a blobby doggy would we ? Huh
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2018, 04:31:09 pm »

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YJVfDScIS-o
May prove to be of interest.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2018, 02:52:26 am »

Yes, Cricket St Thomas, near Chard, Somerset.
Video of the railway in action:
[snip]

Yes, I won't quote that particular clip again, purely in the interests of brevity here, but I can say that I enjoyed an absolutely brilliant family day out at Cricket St Thomas, some fifteen or more years ago. We all rode on that railway, when there was still wildlife running around on each side of the track.  The young children loved it!  Grin

Quote
One other thing. Hidden in the woods at Cricket St Thomas, slowly being reclaimed by nature, are the remains of 'Blobbyland'.

Hopefully, those remains will become forever forgotten.  Machu Picchu is worth preserving: Blobbyland is most certainly notShocked
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bignosemac
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2018, 06:00:08 pm »

Back again for another walk round the grounds with Finn. This time I was able to get a little closer to the former railway formation. Thanks to a couple of grounds staff who gave me permission to stray from the marked walks. That permission didn't extend to finding 'Dunblobbin' - Mr Blobby's house - though.

The bridge, formation, and one of the station sites:




And for the TTMB fans, a picture of the church which featured in numerous episodes. Audrey fforbes-Hamilton proposed to Bedrich Polouvicek (aka Richard DeVere) in front of that large marble statue.



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bobm
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2018, 06:54:37 pm »

Church also featured in the opening episode when she buried her first husband!
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