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Chelfham Station: Summer 2013

Anyone is free to inspect the restoration progress at Chelfham Station every Sunday from 10am. Just follow the signs from underneath the viaduct.

July 2013 - This occasional report is the latest recording the progress of the small group of volunteers, known as the 'Friends of Chelfham Station', and their restoration of the station building and maintenance of the station site. Although some several miles from Woody Bay and much nearer Barnstaple, Chelfham Station is still wholly owned by the L&B.

1. Back in June the L&B's excavator was transported to Chelfham to carry out several tasks around the site. One useful job for the excavator was to move a large pile of rubble and hardcore to infill an area near the viaduct.

2. The dumper truck was used to move the rubble whilst the excavator levelled out this area. The groundworks were required to prepare a hard-standing for a parking area required for the several volunteers and visitors expected during each Sunday and other work party days.

3. An unusual view from the waiting room window with the modern machinery stabled outside. The binoculars are used to observe the variety of bird-life often found around Chelfham.

4. Further tidying of the whole site at Chelfham revealed a good length of the original railway bricked platform edge on the up (Barnstaple direction) platform.

5. After the spring report of the fitting of a new original style window at the porch end, John O'Dell has been constructing the new outside stonework with a lime mortar mixed as closely to the original colour as possible so that the new masonry will blend in with the original.

6. A view of the completed stonework at the porch end. Installed Inside the porch is a small toilet and washbasin.

7. The final touch to this restoration project was the new window cill cast from concrete using a wooden mould constructed by John Edmonds.

8. Although the porch adds to the smart "look" of the station, the original concrete running-in posts would benefit from a "CHELFHAM" nameboard ......

9. ........ so Bristol based Member John Mack-Smith (who many years ago made the Woody Bay running-in boards) brought his specially made moulding set to cast a new CHELFHAM nameboard.

10. With the concrete poured into the sign base, there is a view through John's legs as the letters are carefully measured and laid out.

11. Dave Evans assists by holding the measuring tape as the word CHELF... begins to appear.

12. Almost complete the new running-in board for CHELFHAM (down platform). John will be soon return to prepare the posts and finish and install the sign.

13. There's been a lot of progress inside the station recently and a special thanks must go to Dave Evans seen here fitting some beading by the doorway before plastering the area around the recently installed door frame.

14. Regular maintenance around the station site has been achieved by all the other regular volunteers. From the grass cutting by Nigel Thompson and Frank Daff to the hedge trimming as seen here by Dave Drayson.

Words and pictures by Nigel Thompson


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