Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cleobury Mortimer and Ditton Priors Light Railway

Michael Billings sent this pamphlet from 1963 about the Cleobury - Ditton Priors line. The line was still operating to an extent in 1962 - 3 when I started but closed shortly after. Tales ensued about a ghost train - The Cleobury Flyer - but in the late 50's when Michael was there - the engine was a reality!

Here are some photos. The pamphlet can be read by following the link given. It looks at the (1) Conception and Construction  of the line in the quiet Shropshire of the Rea Valley / (2) Inspection and Opening /  (3) Locomotives and Rolling Stock / (4) Independent Operation / (5) The Abdon Clee Stone Quarries / (6) The Great Western and the Admiralty / (7) Along the Line Today / (8) Bibliography.

" The quiet Rea Valley of southern Shropshire changed little during the 19thC. Essentially rural, its lack of proper communications caused it to remain virtually unknown to the rest of the world. Roads and railways grew up to surround the region at a distance but nothing of any great importance penetrated up the valley. It was not that local rail development was never advocated: such schemes as the Ludlow, Bridgenorth and Wolverhampton Railway would have cut right across the district, but they were all too un-founded to last. However, as in many other places, the Light Railways Act of 1896 turned what seemed an unlikely dream into a feasible proposition. By the turn of the century a number of local landowners and inhabitants were seriously considering the possibility of promoting a line from the Great Western Railway at Cleobury Mortimer up the valley, with a view to exploiting their not inconsiderable interests there. Chief amongst them was Lord Boyne, for the most important factor in the construction of the railway was to be the opening up of the extensive deposits of Dhu Stone on his estates." (Enter Clee Hill quarries..)

More on this site about the Cleobury - Ditton Priors line here http://wyrefarmed.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/cleobury-ditton-priors-railway.html

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