Category: Uncategorized

FOSS memberships now due

2020 was a very different time on the railway and not one that we would like to see repeated.

FOSS members continue to support the station and we have used the shut down to do several much needed jobs on the railway so that we can reopen as soon as it is safe to do so and we very much look forward to seeing you all again soon at our wonderful station.

  • The cattle dock work has continued and looks impressive.
  • Further work was completed in the garden including a new covered bench table as well as a new table.
  • The vegetable garden at the end of the station has been cleared with a new path added, a work areas and compost bins.  Ahhh, the good life!
  • We have also completed various projects needed to keep the station in good order such as painting the waiting room etc.
  • The line was weeded by hand.
  • A new historic running-in board has been mounted in the waiting room and there is some more information and photos about this later on.
  • New running-in boards and notice boards have been fitted.

As you will all be aware, the railway has had a very difficult time financially and following the changes to our constitution, we were able to make a donation to the PLC following their appeal to ensure their viability, without which Stogumber Station could not operate.

This, together with the lack of running days this year has put us in a very precarious position although a couple of very generous donations have enabled us to continue with our restoration work.  However, the longer the railway is closed, the more unlikely it is that we can recoup  the losses that  have been made.  We still have quite a bit of expenditure to meet before we can open including restocking the café as we could not just carry the stock throughout the year because of the sell-by-dates. We also have to ensure that the station is Covid safe before we can open.

This year more than most, we are reliant on your membership to ensure we can reopen.

For the full letter, details on how you can join FOSS and the minutes of the AGM please send a request to .

Nameboard letters

We are pleased to produce Robin’s report in full.

The stations along the Minehead branch originally had Bristol and Exeter Railway style single-piece cast iron station signs as still exist at Dunster and Williton but from the 1890’s these were progressively replaced with Great Western Railway’s ‘house style’ of metal letters screwed onto a wooden backing board.  This was a very flexible system as it allowed any station name or notice to be created and easily repainted.  Letters came in a variety of pre-cast sizes from 2inch high up to 12 inches for the largest signs.  They are in a distinct style or ‘font’.  In GWR days the letters were white painted against a black background.  When the painters came round after British Railways (Western Region) took over, the livery changed to chocolate and cream.

Stogumber’s distinct and clear nameboard can be seen in the photo of a family group waiting for a train in the first photo from the Tony Harden collection.  Its date is uncertain but it must be before May 1964 when Leigh Loop signal box closed.

When closure came in 1971 the letters were removed from the board by unknown hands but they didn’t go far!

In 2019 Station Master Bob Preston was approached by a local couple who had found some metal letters, spelling S-T-O-G-U-M-B-E-R in an outbuilding of the house in the village they had bought and thought they might be ‘railway’.

Indeed they were!  And after a period of discussion, the station was very pleased to accept them as a donation.  RAMS  stepped in to assist and produced a replica of the backboard and the letters were restored to place, care being taken not to remove their (at least) 50-year old cream paint.

As an historical artefact, they have not been left out in all weathers but have been give a protected place in Stogumber’s waiting room with a notice telling their story.  Perhaps, as the Railway comes back to life in 2021, readers might like to stop off at Stogumber to view the letters as well as indulging in one of the station’s now-famous cream teas.

Robin White

letters now back at the station :

In the waiting room – photograph courtesy of Robin White
How they use to look – photograph courtesy of the Tony Harden Collection

Trains on the WSR

At last trains are running on the WSR and the full details of the Santa Express are on the WSR website,

just click here .

We have been told that the trains will not stop at Stogumber Station and the station will remain closed.

Dates : December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 (note on 24th departures are 10 00, 12 25, 14 50)

Bishops Lydeard                       11 00           13 45           16 30

Crowcombe Heathfield            ……              …….             …….

Stogumber                                  ……              …….             …….

Williton                                           stop and return to BL

Drainage Work

You are showing interest in the drainage work so here are some photos. We are grateful to a our good friend and member Malcolm for these shots, they are self-explanatory and mingled with photos of a rainbow. We are waiting for the ballast train to deposit ballast here to cover the pipe and on our siding.

… under the rainbow …

the trench and pipes …

the covered pipes in the trench…

further down the line, where will the water go?

down into a culvert!

… and as it looks from the platform so thank you guys!


The AGM will be held online using Zoom on

Wednesday 7 October 2020

starting at 7 30pm (logon starts at 7 pm).

Letters will be sent out electronically to those with email addresses and by post to those with none. Here is a copy of the calling notice.


I, Terry Shipton, Chairman of FOSS, hereby give notice of the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Stogumber Station

Please note that only current membership card holders will be invited to attend.

To be held on-line at Zoom


Wednesday 7th October 2020 at 19:00 Log-on for 19.30 START

Within the constitution of FOSS and the minutes of the Annual meeting the following Agenda items will be dealt with:

  1. Welcome from the Chairman.
  2. Apologies for absence.
  3. Minutes of the 2019 AGM.
  4. Vote to accept minutes.
  5. Chairman’s Report.
  6. Amendments to FOSS Constitution.
  7. Treasurer’s Report.
  8. Project Manager and Station Masters Reports.
  9. Secretary’s Report.
  10. Membership Secretary’s Report.
  11. Life Membership & 2019/2020 Membership fees.
  12. At the Catering and Sales counter.
  13. Election and Re-election of officers to FOSS management committee in accordance with FOSS constitution.
  14. FOSS members Open Floor Time (limited to 5 minutes per request) for initial discussions to take place, (topics for discussion to be forwarded to the Chairman ahead of the meeting please).
  15. Any Other Business.
  16. Closing Remarks.
  17. Meeting Close (approx.21.30).


Copies of the 2019 FOSS AGM Minutes, 2019 FOSS Accounts and FOSS Constitution will be made available for inspection prior to the meeting via email if requested. If you have an email address and would like a copy of any of the above, then please let me know.                                                                      


FORM OF PROXY AND or PARTICIPATION SLIP                                 

Please return to Mr Terry Shipton, Chairman of FOSS, 141 Jessop Road, Trotts Hill, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 5LH. Alternatively, you can email to

I/We, …………………………………………shall/Shall not be joining the 2020 AGM on-line meeting.

As I/we are not joining the 2020 AGM on-line meeting I/we nominate ___________________________ (insert name) as my/our proxy to participate in meeting and vote on my/our behalf. I wish the Chairman of FOSS to hold my/our proxy and vote as he sees fit, (Please delete and complete as appropriate).

Stogumber Station weed free (almost!)

Many thanks to our volunteers who have removed the weeds from a total of 1 mile of track and on both sides of Stogumber Station.

First down the line towards Williton half a mile now weed free…..

now up the line towards Crowcombe Heathfield another half mile



and further on ….

We have also cleared the siding by the cattle dock and the cess which is nearly finished.

Russell is also clearing the vegetation behind the platform so before …..

and after ….

and behind the fence is not forgotton ….

also a view of the vegetable plot

the area in front of it is where the WSR plc or WSRA are doing drainage works so you can see the trench yet to be filled! We have a rain butt and three compost bins now so we are going environmental too.