40th Anniversary of the last train to Torrington
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the last train to Torrington which left Bristol Temple Meads at 10.08am on Saturday 6th November 1982 stopping at Bridgwater, Exeter St. Davids and Barnstaple Junction arriving in Torrington at 14.53pm. The train was topped and tailed by two class 31's, 31174 (seen in the foreground) and 31158 at the rear of 15 Mk1 coaches carrying 843 passengers, this was the longest train ever to run to Torrington Station.
The Mayor of Great Torrington Cllr Clifford Quick was present to meet the train when it arrived together with several locals including Harry Beer, the last railwayman to work at Torrington and Tom Mills who was fireman on the first train to Halwill in 1925. Special free buses were put in place to transport some passengers to the Torrington Arms pub (formally known as the Railway Inn) whilst others took the opportunity to explore the station and local area. A BBC radio team were also present recording interviews which were then broadcast two days later on Monday 8th November. The train left the station at 16.07pm in very wet weather which made for a gloomy return journey to Bideford and onwards back to Bristol.
Many thanks to Stephen Marshall for kindly allowing us to use this wonderful photo taken by him on the day, a sad day for many who speak fondly of their journeys by rail from Torrington Station.