The Final Weekend

Saturday 5th March 1966

Saturday 5th March dawned damp and foggy. Despite the unpromising conditions, I cycled to the station for 7.30 to photograph the first train of the day. It emerged from the mist hauled by one of the by now ubiquitous Ivatt tank engines, bearing a disc above the buffer beam decorated with the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway's crest on a background of S&D blue.

The remainder of the day was spent on the main line near Shepton Mallett, returning to Glastonbury by train in the evening.

The last day of operation dawned (on the branch at least) to dense mist. Ivatt tank no.41307, with S&D crest above the buffer beam, looms into Glastonbury. 5.3.66

Some 12 minutes earlier, 41307 was recorded as it accelerated away from Shapwick. The train is the 06.55 Highbridge - Templecombe. Photo J.P.Smith 41307 leaves Glastonbury for Evercreech Junction and disappears into the fog, to a wave from the level-crossing gate keeper.

The last scheduled passenger train on the branch was the 18.05 from Evercreech Junction to Highbridge. This was also our means of transport home after a day at the lineside.

. Ivatt class 2 2-6-2T no. 41249 takes water at Evercreech Junction before setting off with the last scheduled train to Highbridge. 5.3.66  
A sad day as the last train waits to leave Glastonbury behind Ivatt class 2 2-6-2T no. 41249. 5.3.66 41249 poses for the local press photographers, watched by a group of townspeople. The last train sets off from Glastonbury to the sound of exploding detonators.

Sunday 6th March 1966

The S&D did not have a normal Sunday passenger service. On the final day, a special run by the RCTS traversed the branch from Evercreech to Highbridge. Probably the final steam-hauled train was probably the milk train from the Unigate creamery at Bason Bridge to Highbridge, which was pulled by the two engines used for the 'special'.

  On the day after normal services ceased (a Sunday), the RCTS ran a special train which included a run across the branch from Evercreech to Highbridge. Here it passes Meare behind 41249 and 41283. 6.3.66 . The milk traffic from Bason Bridge continued right up to closure. On the Sunday of the final weekend, Ivatt tanks 41249 & 41283 had pulled a farewell train and are seen here arriving at Bason Bridge to collect the milk tanks. 6.3.66  


Updated 15-10-01