Dear Evercreech

I might have liked this post to be about a railway, but sad to say, the line this might have been about was closed under the 1960s ‘Reshaping’ plan proposed by Dr Beeching.

The line was the old Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway – the S and D which was often referred to as the Slow and Dirty. It became a real mecca for rail enthusiasts in the 1960s when trains hauled by two steam locos could be seen and heard struggling up the gradients in the Mendip hills of Somerset.

Not so long ago I wrote about Wellow and included a bit of doggerel which went:

Oh Wellow, Wellow down the line
And Blandford Forum too.
Dear Evercreech is out of reach
Now The Pines does not pass through.

Hence my title of ‘Dear Evercreech’ and I’d better explain that ‘The Pines Express’ was a train from Manchester to Bournemouth. Bournemouth is known for its pine trees.

So where is Evercreech? Maybe a Somerset finger post on the road can give a clue.

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So there we have it – roughly half way between Shepton Mallet and Bruton. That’s in the Mendip area of Somerset.

The place has one very quirky feature. Take a look at this clock face on the church clock.

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Do you notice anything odd? Yes, that’s it. It has two places for number 12 (XII) and no number 10 (X).  It may have been a mistake originally, but it’s a mistake now kept totally deliberately when the clock face needs a repaint.

Sadly, on the day I visited, the tower was in slight difficulty. The pinnacles on top had been moved and tilted in the recent storms. Potential repair men were way up high assessing what to do.

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How high is that?

This high!

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You have to hunt for any sign of a railway, but the course of the line can be seen in places. There’s a hefty embankment on the northern edge of Evercreech which stops abruptly where a bridge over a road has been demolished.

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Yes, once upon a time The Pines Express would have made its way along the top of the embankment. What a good view the passengers must have got.

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