Gloucestershire

Film commemorates golden age of steam in Tetbury

Tetbury Station Image copyright Tetbury Goods Shed
Image caption A steam train stops in Tetbury in 1964 - the year the line was closed

A film and permanent exhibition has been created to mark the 130th anniversary of Tetbury Station.

The project was led by a team of volunteers from Tetbury Goods Shed, with the help of a £5,800 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The first steam train left the town in front of cheering crowds on 2 December 1889, after years of campaigning for Tetbury to be given its own station.

Volunteer Carol Paton said it was "important work to preserve history."

Image copyright Tetbury Goods Shed
Image caption Guard Eric Ford issues tickets on the railbus

Track Tales - Memories of the Tetbury Branch features interviews with residents who can remember steam trains passing through Tetbury, before the line closed in 1964, as a result of the Beeching cuts.

A permanent exhibition has been installed at the goods shed, where visitors can watch the film at their leisure, look through archive photographs dating back to 1889 and admire a station replica created by Tetbury Model Railway Society.

Ms Paton said: "Before the train line arrived, if you wanted to go to Kemble or Cirencester, you had to go by horse and cart.

"Farmers were particularly excited because they could build a cattle market and take them backwards and forwards on the train further afield.

"The last steam train ran in 1957 and they replaced it with a rail bus. That was used for five to six years, but when Dr Beeching got his axe out, he decided that it wasn't being used enough."

Image copyright Tetbury Goods Shed
Image caption Tetbury Goods Shed in 1920

The team spoke to many people, some now aged in their 90s during their research for the film and uncovered some incredible stories.

Ms Paton said: "A man transferred his entire farm down from Scotland to Beverston near Tetbury. He took 104 Ayrshire cattle, horses, geese and ploughing equipment in 43 carriages, stopping at Carlisle to milk the cattle.

"We also found the Maharajah of Jaipur used to transport his polo ponies on the train when he stayed at the Hare and Hounds in Westonbirt."

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