I didn't think there'd be much left to film between Christchurch and the Ringwood connection. How wrong could I have been! Another magnificent film which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Great stuff, Chris!
I have watched your Brock-West Moors and West Moors to Alderbury Jct and am hooked! Fantastic filming, it is like strolling along the trackbed with a friend. I travelled on the Sal-Bournemouth line many times as a child/12 year old and I felt so sad seeing the dereliction. How can we have lost our railways to this degree? We have walked the Brock-Holmes-Burley trackbed many times and it was great to stroll along it in your company. I can't recommend these films enough. Truly superb.
Hi Dumpman, I have just watched the Brockenhurst to West Moors video and absolutely loved it! Thank you so much for filming this stretch of trackbed. My wife and I have walked from Burley to Holmsley many times. What an idyllic lifestyle that must have been. I have also purchased your West Moors to Alderbury Jct DVD, and I will watch that tomorrow!
Hi Chris, your West Moors to Salisbury film is stunning! Thank you, your expertise & abilities grow with every offering, the detail shown is excellent. I cant wait for your next works....
Hi Chris, your Ringwood to Christchurch railway is superb, thank you. (I have ordered the West Moors to Salisbury one also). I really look forward to your future Alton to Basingstoke journey as the remains of this line are going fast. You really are documenting history! All the best, R.
Dear Chris, we discussed the viability of the Christchurch to Ringwood line in 2014 and I went and found the station/house at Avon Lodge. I reported back to you that I thought filming would be difficult. So pleased you proved me wrong.
Your DVDâ€™s are an excellent resource for my own goal of walking the entire railway network on the Isle of Wight.
I'm so glad you managed to capture the Crowhurst to Bexhill West. As you may know, the Combe Valley Way is now open and has been for several months. I was very dubious about it. It was not what Bexhill needed. What we need is an east west road and this is a north south one. However it has certainly alleviated the traffic congestion on De La Warr Road and Glyne Gap and that is certainly a great benefit. Hastings for me was pretty much a no-go area. It just took too long to get there and was not worth the effort. Now I can get there in a reasonable time. Prior to the building I had a walk to the track bed and I even remember taking cross country runs, when I was at school, across the viaduct. Health and safety be damned. Trains had ceased to run by that time. Had we tried that in modern times there would have been a furor. I was sorry to see the viaduct go. My memory of the the viaduct was that the trains had stopped running but the rails were still in place. I remember them being quite rusty. Contrast that with what you see on a railway that is used. None of the viaduct was fenced off, not a bit of it. It was mostly intact. A few of the coping stones had been pushed off. I do not think that that was due to wear and tear but sadly vandalism. Not by me I hasten to add. As a child I remember it seeming to be very high indeed. There were passing places on the bridge. They were about a metre square and I remember standing in them and looking over the valley. It always struck me as a wild and abandoned place. I was quite sad when I heard that it was going to be blown up. My father who was a businessman in Bexhill floated the idea of it being used as a road which would give access to Crowhurst. He was ahead of his time. Sadly Dr Beeching had dealt the deathblow for the line. I recall it was claimed to be uneconomic and the viaduct dangerous. Who was going to maintain it was one of the questions posed to anyone who suggested that it be retained. Whether it was economic depends of course how you measure things. There was active shunting yard down at the West station. It is ironic now how so many lines have been reopened. For this one it is too late. It must have moved a great deal of goods over its life and I can see no reason to suppose that has diminished but that movement is now by road.
Hoping to walk the Princetown to Yelverton route and several of the other lines around the Plymouth area in March, have lots of your DVDâ€™s and I love them.
Hi mate, I bought your Shanklin-Wroxall DVD recently & just wanted to say its fantastic! Look forward to seeing more of your films. If you are ever down on the Island again give me a shout.
Many thanks for the Christ's Hospital to Shoreham dvd, it certainly evoked some memories. Good luck with your good work.
Some time ago, I purchased your â€˜Shanklin to Ventnorâ€™ and â€˜Old Blackgang to Niton Roadâ€™ DVDs (through Ebay) which I thoroughly enjoyed!!! I have been looking at the other six IOW DVDs but canâ€™t make my mind up which to order from you. I am comtemplating having them all. I'm so glad you found time to do the Blackgang Road one, it is brilliant !
Hi Chris Just finished watching the Westerham branch line film. Excellent! Especially liked the montage of stills at the end and the detail of the old maps. As you say, and as someone living fairly close to the M25, a noisy eyesore but I guess essential in these modern times. As an aside, your lack of head hair suits you! I wondered who it was initially!
I've watched Westerham and half of the Meon V.line. Totally absorbing! Wonderful stuff. Re Westerham, I've used that stretch of the M25 ever since it opened. When first opened the coal pens/ bunkers were easily visible from the road, but then seemed to disappear. I'm so glad you found them. Also, i had guessed that the line of trees joining the road at a sharp angle was probably the trackbed and you've confirmed it. Re Meon, what an amazing railway. Huge long straights. The guy with his experimental bus/train must have had a ball - lucky bugger (rich too). Shame nothing survives. The missing viaduct near Meon was a cracker - I'd never seen a pic of it before. What a structure! As regards the A272 tunnel under the line, I remember it well from the late 1960s when I was there frequently. I always found that earthwork amazing. Where did the earth come from?? As regards the tunnel you explored (Privett?) what a spooky place. I can't wait to watch the rest. Keep up the good work. All the best, Peter
A keen watcher of your Dorset work. I can't wait to see some north Devon videos. Great insight, and good research into your coverage of years gone by. Keep on doing a good job!
Many thanks just watched the West Pier dvd and now the demo disc that was also sent, done a fair few tunnels and Asylums myself so guess I'm also a lunatic hehe
Excellent demo DVD. I applaud what you do Chris...well done mate!
I just wanted to say thank you for my recent DVD of the Lyme Regis branch line which I purchased the other week. I used to stay with my parents many years ago on Cannington Farm campsite in Uplyme and have fond memories of climbing onto the Viaduct during these times. This would have been the mid to late 1980's when the viaduct had no security gates fitted unlike today. Back then the trackbed on the viaduct was all clear and not overgrown and I can also remember people abseiling down it. How times have changed! Full marks to your documentary as I found it brilliant and I just wanted to let you know. I shall order some more tours in due course and thanks also for your demo disc which is also excellent. I really enjoyed watching it all. Full marks also to your Motorhead t shirts! I love all their music along with AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest to name a few more! RIP Lemmy he was a legend. Thanks again and best wishes to you.
Thank you for your prompt despatch of the videos. I was particularly interested in Bexhill West Station, where as a lad 66 years ago, from age 9 to 16, I would collect the newspapers for my paper-round, meeting the train from London with the National newspapers, at about 0530am six days a week for 7 years. I walked on those original flagstones, through that main entrance and under that canopy onto the platforms every day. The papers would normally have been collected by the agents (W H Smith?) for delivery by van to all the newspaper shops, but by special arrangement, I was permitted to collect the papers for our shop early, as the vanâ€™s delivery was too late to finish my round before school. I would use my own bike as the shop didnâ€™t have one, and strap one bundle to my bike carrier behind the saddle, and balance another bundle on my handlebars! Each bundle was too heavy for me to carry, and the porter or stationmaster would load me up, and the shopkeeper would catch me at the other end before I fell off! The shop was in the group of terraced housing on the right of your 1959 aerial photo of the station - only about half a mile and mostly downhill, and at that time of day, little other traffic! I lived at the lower half of Belle Hill (marked on your first map, now demolished, and the foundations of which now exist beneath the concrete of the replacement King Offa Way) and cycled through the goods yard straight to the station for the collection. Then it was not an industrial estate, just a goods yard, no metalled road, only a rough track which disappared into the cattle pens and coal dumps. I would have to dismount from my bike to cross some of the rail lines (not the passenger line, I hasten to add!). It was almost a straight line from my house and a lot shorter and quicker than by road. Regarding King Offa Way, my parents' property was in receipt of compulsory purchase order in late 1970s, and they moved to Reginald Road, which is the nearest road to Bexhill West as seen to the east in your 1959 aerial photo - quite coincidental! The newspaper shop was in the next parallel road - Windsor Road. The school shown in the same photo was where I attended as a junior - St Barnabas Junior Boys, now demolished and is a used car lot! I later attended the grammar school in Sidley, crossing the old Woodsgate Park bridge twice daily. Here there is now a new bridge spanning the new Bexhill/Hastings Link Road. The shop has ceased trading and has been returned to its original residential accomodation. As lads, the 17 arches as we called the viaduct, along with Pevensey marsh, was a favourite spot for fishing and bird watching - before the days of TV, PCs and mobile phones etcâ€¦they were GOOD days! Happy days! I well remember also the viaduct of 17 arches as we called them, before they blew them up. Best wishes, Phil Lambert
I have just watched your DVD on Baystone Bridge to Christ's Hospital and thought it was a wonderful account of how the track used to be! I cycle the downs link to Southwater, but have never seen the platform or any sign of the old railway. I think from now on I should walk the route, rather than bike it! I was never aware of the southern spur, so particularly interested in that. Great photo's of the beautiful station, I understand that in it's day it had seven plarforms? Shame we cant get a train to Guildford, from Horsham today. Thanks again, i really enjoyed it.