Today Mr PP and I made a visit to the Shillingstone Railway Restoration Project. As regular visitors to heritage railways, this one was a new departure for us, given that it is very much and “in progress” work and doesn’t actually have any trains!
The old station at Shillingstone has been in the hands of the North Dorset Railway Trust since 2003 and was virtually derelict when it was purchased for £20,000. The past 11 years have seen a dedicated group of volunteers giving up their free time to restore this tiny station to a moment in time in the ‘glory days’ of British steam during the 1950’s.
While there is not very much to see, the Trust have created a small ‘museum’ of ephemera related to the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (the line that ran through the station when it was operational).
The museum at Shillingstone
Battered packet bearing the address of Edward Phillips and Son of Okeford Fitzpaine, there was no information to say who this company was, but subsequent research reveals the Phillips family owned a farm and dairy at Okeford Fitzpaine in the mid 1800’s
The volunteers were hard at work today busily preparing track bed for laying more rails. The short section of platform apart from having the usual ‘displays’ of battered leather suitcases on a wooden porters trolley, also boasts some beautiful and very colourful flower borders.
Flower beds at Shillingstone
The little greenhouse is an original building contemporary to the station and looks idyllic! As well as the museum, there is a small room with a couple of scale model railways one of which features an imaginary scene including Shillingstone station.
OO scale model railway with trains passing at Shillingstone
Looking towards Hambledon Hill from the platform at Shillingstone Station
Find out more about the restoration of Shillingstone Railway Station at http://www.shillingstone-railway-project.org.uk