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Author Topic: Petitioning for continuation of train services - 1884 style.  (Read 577 times)
grahame
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« on: November 21, 2021, 01:23:32 pm »

Petitioning, from the Devizes Gazette of 6th November 1884

Quote
TO THE DIRECTORS OF THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY

The Memorial of the undersigned inhabitants of Devizes and the neighbourhood sheweth:

* That your Memorialists are greatly dissatisfied with the late train alterations, which are producing of great inconvenience.

* That the meeting of the deputation from Devizes and your Board, in April last year, resulted in the understanding that additional trains would be put on the line at once, and that at no distant period a second line of rails would be laid down between Hungerford and Holt; and that Devizes would be place on an alternative main line between London and Bath and Bristol

* That two additional trains (one up and one down) were put on, and were found to buy great convenience, but these trains have now been withdrawn, and other changed badly which result (as a whole) not only in depriving travellers of any increased accommodation, but in placing them in a worse position than they were previously.

The effect of the change is that (except by a train leaving at 8 a.m.) London cannot be reached until after business hours, and that passengers cannot depend upon catching the 5 o'clock train from London for the North or East of England, nor can Devizes be reached from London after 1:35 in the day until 6:45, a period of upwards of five hours.

* That (except by a train which leaves at 6:45 a.m.) no one can get to Bristol until 12:25 in the day nominally, but really the train seldom arrives until 12:45, too late to transact business and return by any train previous to the 6 40 p.m, nearly ten hours being occupied in the journey, though the distance is little more than thirty miles.

* That the existing arrangements are almost prohibitory of going by rail to Calne, Melksham, Chippenham, Malmesbury, Marlborough, Swindon and Salisbury, from the few opportunities there are of going by rail to those places, and the long delays (especially at Trowbridge) on the way; and that, as a consequence, people who have horses and carriages use them frequently in travelling to those places, and those who do not will find it advantageous to hire rather than lose the time occupied in travelling by rail.

* That the practical result is that the rail loses a great deal of traffic that would otherwise be found upon it, and that Devizes (in or near which are most of the principal county establishments) is greatly injured in its position as a county town, and in its trade, by the want of facility of communication with other places and the effect is largely felt in the prevention of persons settling is a neighbourhood which has such inferior railway accommodation

Your memorialists therefore pray that you will reconsider the existing arrangements in the spirit of the understanding come to last year, and revise the train service so as to give additional and more direct communication with London, Bath and Bristol, and with the neighbouring towns of the county. The memorial lies for signature at the Wilts and Dorset and Capital and Counties Banks, and at the Town Clerk's Office. It is, we believe, intended to ask Mr. Bouverie (who is one of the Directors of the Great Western Company) to present it to the Board.

Learning from history - there are close parallels with the Department for Transport's plan to cull direct London trains from Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon to London which - just as they did in 1884, do we find ...
* Changes made by the train operator without, it seems, community consultation
* Withdrawal of a useful and used service
* Concerns at late running trains
* Rail timetables being so discouraging that people travel by private road transport instead
* Issues with connections
* Need for outward and return journeys to be considered in the same planning sphere
* Loss of business to the railway
* Prevention of people moving to the area, and it's economic growth
* Previously made promises and commitments haven't been applied

The parallel petition for 2021 is at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 (and is not available at either of the banks listed above for signature, I'm afraid)

The above quote is OCR'd from this original and has had significant manual correction too ("Calno, Julksbam, Chippenhau, Malmesbury, Sariborough" was the original standard) - but errors will surely remain.  Here is the original:


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Mark A
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2021, 06:24:41 pm »

Magnificent. Particularly that it highlights the modal shift to... horse and carriage. Who would have had one of *those* to hand?
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Clan Line
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2021, 06:45:24 pm »

"Horses and carriages" ?  Not very green, all that solid and gaseous matter from the animals "exhaust" ! 
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TonyN
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2021, 08:46:33 pm »

Would be a good publicity stunt though.

A Coffee shop liveried horse drawn carriage outside Trowbridge station labled rail replacment service to London Waterloo.
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broadgage
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2021, 02:58:56 pm »

"Horses and carriages" ?  Not very green, all that solid and gaseous matter from the animals "exhaust" ! 

Horse dung is a valuable fertilser. Carbon dioxide produced by horses is of little concern since it is only returning to the atmosphere that carbon dioxide that was removed very recently by the growing of the horse food.

BTW (by the way) I am old enough to just remember working horses in suburban London ! Early 1960s, horses were rare but not unknown. Coal, milk and paraffin deliveries were still regularly made by horse drawn vehicles. Horse drawn hearses were still popular for funerals. Most other vehicles were engine driven.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2021, 03:04:07 pm by broadgage » Logged

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
stuving
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2021, 03:36:29 pm »

"Horses and carriages" ?  Not very green, all that solid and gaseous matter from the animals "exhaust" ! 

Horse dung is a valuable fertilser. Carbon dioxide produced by horses is of little concern since it is only returning to the atmosphere that carbon dioxide that was removed very recently by the growing of the horse food.

BTW (by the way) I am old enough to just remember working horses in suburban London ! Early 1960s, horses were rare but not unknown. Coal, milk and paraffin deliveries were still regularly made by horse drawn vehicles. Horse drawn hearses were still popular for funerals. Most other vehicles were engine driven.

But rag and bone men were using horses long after everyone else stopped - not just the Steptoes.
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Hal
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2021, 04:12:55 pm »

Young's brewery in Wandsworth used horses and drays to deliver beer to nearby pubs up until the brewery closed in about 2006.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2021, 04:30:16 pm »

Young's brewery in Wandsworth used horses and drays to deliver beer to nearby pubs up until the brewery closed in about 2006.

Wadworth's in Devizes still do - https://www.wadworth.co.uk/visitor-centre/the-wadworth-shires - though more for show in recent years, I believe.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2021, 10:03:17 am »

Young's brewery in Wandsworth used horses and drays to deliver beer to nearby pubs up until the brewery closed in about 2006.

Wadworth's in Devizes still do - https://www.wadworth.co.uk/visitor-centre/the-wadworth-shires - though more for show in recent years, I believe.

Are Wadsworth still going?

I never see 6X anywhere these days, used to be a pub staple.
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rogerw
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2021, 04:10:06 pm »

Young's brewery in Wandsworth used horses and drays to deliver beer to nearby pubs up until the brewery closed in about 2006.

Wadworth's in Devizes still do - https://www.wadworth.co.uk/visitor-centre/the-wadworth-shires - though more for show in recent years, I believe.

Are Wadsworth still going?

I never see 6X anywhere these days, used to be a pub staple.

Certainly still going. Currently planning to move to new, more modern premises but still in Devizes
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