I grabbed a couple of days away last month, father and I took off down to the
West Country and had a look around the West Somerset Railway and the Lynton and
We arrived at Woody Bay station on the L&B after an hours drive
across a foggy Exmoor, with a driving rain coming down sideways. Somewhat to our
surprise, not only did we get a warm welcome in the shop, the rostered driver
for the day was most keen to start up the diesel and take us for a ride to the
end of the line, which seemed dedication beyond the call of duty to me!
we spent a happy half hour in the engine shed with the chap, hearing all the
latest goings on.
Currently without a steam engine of their own, the Lynton & Barnstaple have
used engines borrowed from other lines - until recently Jim Haylock's new-build
"Emmett", latterly "Bronwyllyd" from Bressingham. I remember
riding behind this engine as a boy during summer holidays spent visiting steam
railways. Originally built without a cab, once it arrived in the middle of
Exmoor, it wasn't long before management received complaints from the engine
crews (mainly to do with hypothermia). After a quick consult with Bressingham,
the engineering department at Woody Bay rigged up rather an ingenious wooden
quick-fit cab which, whilst not adding much to the overall aesthetic of the
engine, certainly keeps a bit of the Devon rain off. I look forward to seeing it
running on my next trip down, which should be in early summer.