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.
Your travels over the old lines in the Isle of Wight bring back many memories of these trains. It was in April 1957 that I was on a ten day school journey to Sandown when I was an eleven year old school boy. We had to keep a diary, which at the time seemed a bit of a bind, but I still have it. Over that period we travelled on the lines daily. The Freshwater and Ventnor West lines had closed and I am not sure about the line from Ryde to Newport. I see from my notes that we used the line from Sandown to Newport, Shanklin, Ventnor and Cowes. My memory that stands out during that period is when we visited Carisbrooke Castle. We travelled from Sandown to Shide and then from Shide to Newport. I can still see the train coming into Shide station and the token being exchanged before it stopped. We must have been some of the last visitors to use the Sandown Newport line as it appears to have been closed later in the year. Thanks for the memory.
Hi!!!Just watched your brilliant coverage of the Clayton Railway Tunnel and Cottage. I must say I enjoyed it greatly...amazed at how much access you gained not only of the cottage but the secret tunnel behind the cottage and down at trackside too. The story of the tunnel being haunted after the 1861 train crash was very interesting...and your footage looking down the 2266 yard tunnel was great. How I'd love to live in that cottage with the trains rumberling by underneath...great stuff!! The views across the area were great too, with the ventilator shafts etc...great viewing!!! Top work Chris, off to check out your other films now. All the very best, Mike
Hi, I would like to see your video of the dyke railway, as a child it was my playground, we walked out of our back garden in Rowan Avenue, onto the track which was a cutting at that point, walked down to the farm by the trees in knoll park before the park was there, the line came up the back of the houses in lower Elm Drive & Acacia, crossed the road by Harringtons Coach works, where our father worked for 24 years. Out of our back garden and walking north we crossed Hangleton road, the waste ground where they had occasional fairs, car sales lots, Billy Grahams tent when he came to convert us, across West Way & climbed up the chalk mountain onto the track and from there stayed on the track right up to Dyke station which we walked often, it was a shame when the council started filling up the cutting behind our house with rubbish, digging out the mountain & ruining our playground, later on I worked for Hall & Co and we carried chalk from the track up behind the Downsman Pub when the council was using that bit as a dump as well. When I looked at this I hoped you had old film actually from the trains, but Iâ€™ve probably seen more of the track than most still alive.
Hi, Just bought your Freshwater - Newport railway walk DVD off ebay. I thought it was very good, quirky yet intersting and informative. I'd love to have seen a couple of archive shots just to show what some of these places did look like. Carisbrooke Station site would have been a good example as it's totally vanished. On my honeymoon back in 1982 we visited this location and I later did an oil painting of the station based on old photos - once a member of the Guild of Railway Artists. I'll look forward to seeing some more of these films, keep up the great work. Cheers Shaun
Many thanks for swift delivery of your excellent dvd. I remember Hellingly hospital. So sad to see it in such a state Anyway, keep exploring.
Hi Chris, trust you are well. Just ordered the remaining Isle of Wight films that you had done. I must tell you that I think they are fantastic! I had no idea about the Ventnor West tunnel! Thanks to you I managed to find it !!!! I was also brave enough to take the chance to walk the full length of it too! Fantastic to still feel the ghostly rumble of steam trains roaring through it! Managed also thanks to you to find the old north side entrance to the Shanklin / Ventnor tunnel. Such a great shame the trains stop at Shanklin now and don't carry on to Ventnor which has so much to offer now. Anyway thank you again Chris for doing so many brilliant videos. Your hard work has made many many people very happy. My very best wishes to you Sir! kind regards Mike
Hi, just a quick note,excellent DVD, my son and me watched it tonight and both thought it was a cracking watch cheers for that and top marks cheers g
Hi Chris I previously bought your collection of Sussex disused railways which I love and at Christmas, my husband bought me the A23 DVD which is FAB. I loved watching it and didn't want it to end and will be buying a copy for my Dad as it was with him that I used to traverse up and down it as a child in the car. I especially loved the old map section at the end. One final memory was that when my eldest daughter was about 2/3 years old, the old (and no more) Little Chef at Hickstead was the first place I ever took her to eat out! It was also interesting to see the Kings Head Pub at Albourne. I noticed a Gorilla's head was shown as the pub sign but do you remember in the film 'Carry on at your Convenience', on the pub crawl on the way back from Brighton, they stopped at the Kings Head, Albourne and the sign was actually a more regal head (perhaps Henry VIII from memory). Anyway, I've waffled anough here but if I could put my one 'wish' forward, it would be for the same DVD but of the A29, Ockley to Bognor Regis. This road ahs seen many changes both in layout and surroundings / shops etc over the years and there are still some remnants of old placed along the route. Thanks Chris. I love the films. All the best Maria (ex London & Sussex - now up North)!
Hello Chris, thank you so much for the two films covering the Meon Valley & the Bishops waltham line. Both are superb, the Meon Vally particually so! I have orderd further of your works. Have you considerd filming the remains of The Basingstoke to Alton Light railway? there are a few bits left but they are going fast.Your films will become an important historical document in years to come. All the Best, Roger...
Thank you for the Dvds. We have had an enjoyable time watching them. I used to live near Brockenhurst in New Milton. I also spent a few childhood years in Bexhill.
Our fave films are Isle of Wight - loved to bits the old road by Blackgang - we never plucked up the courage to go down there and now we dont need to as you did it for us! Think we have all your Island films. Whenever we think we miss the Isle we watch your films and we are back again! thanks for doing all this stuff , it is almost as good as being there.
I think that you are wonderful. I bought several dvds for my Husband's presents this year but I have enjoyed and watched them all myself. I love your work. I came from the Isle of Wight and my parents ran the cafe at the Toll Gate at Bembridge Harbour until Dr. Beeching closed the railway! We then moved to Lake and all the drivers used to wave at us when they passed the end of our garden. Many of the drivers became personal family friends so it was not surprising that I eventually married a man who is very keen on both model railways and steam railways! Sincere thanks for your excellent work.
Brilliant films! Bought them for my Husband's Christmas present and have enjoyed "checking" them all.
Thanks so much , the West Pier dvd was fantastic and brought back memories of my visit on the old lady but wasn't allowed to visit the main pavilion as they said it was too dangerous and your so lucky to have been allowed and actually walk on the actual floor and go upstairs on the balcony , many thanks , Michael
Chris, just finished watching Shanklin to Ventnor. Excellent! Loved the bit when you went into that building in Wroxall and found bits of platform on the floor! I also loved seeing the North portal and the bit where you're above the tunnel on the Downs. Always wanted to do that since I was a kid on holiday there! The tunnel walk video at the end is also great -- well done for getting hold of it.
An add on was a mention of the colourful man Dave Milham who kicked Isfield off. A very funny,dodgy articulate, charasmatic 'geezer'who I thoroughly liked unlike some others!! His version, one of many stories I could relay,of the day of the auction of the derelict Isfield stn, he'd gone along with his wife just to have a day out, and no purpose to buy.He said to her, what price would you pay for it?and she said whimsically Â£50000? When the bidding reached that figure, he said, 'well, go on then', she put her hand up in a reactionary way, and to her relief was outbid for Â£50500, 'one more' he said, and one very run down stn, and a mile of track was owned. Dave and his family sat in the 'Fish' pub next door, and with glazed expressions they all said 'what the f*^~*"g hell are we going to do now? Build houses? Wait and sell it as an investment? Live there? His son said turn it into a preserved railway? Even though Dave knew nothing about railways local history was born. A locomotive from Turkey , and a pullman coach were bought amongst other artefacts.Unfortunately not with us anymore, I miss his character. Regards again Rich
Thoroughly enjoyed your treks on Uckfield&Sheffield Park lines to Lewes. How you managed to commentate on minimal points of viewpoints,and not annoy the viewer is incredibly hard, so 'amazingly' well done you.A couple of updates if you didnt know already. The BR enamel at Barcombe Mills I've looked at for over thirty years has now been 'taken' sadly. There was a signal box where you mentioned some sleepers with chairs at same station,and there was an auction in the early 90's of the land south of Isfield, and bought by residence to stop any extension Â£20,000, I believe was the price. Thanks again Chris for capturing moments in time and places, that will be precious in the future. Best regards Rich