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EXMOUTH 1955 AND OLD RAILWAY BRIDGE

    

PUBLICITY VIDEO

Exmouth Town Council

1955

A promotional 16mm film was commissioned by Exmouth Town Council in 1955 - see link below.

https://www.vimeo.com/39482810

At 15 seconds in, an old bridge is shown and I was intrigued to know where this bridge was as there is no such bridge in Exmouth today. A photo of this bridge is reproduced below:

OLD BRIDGE

Where was this bridge? The church in the distance provides a clue. It's not Holy Trinity church on Rolle Street as the top of the tower is quite different. There's another large church in Exmouth - All Saints on the old Exeter Road. Here's what it looks like:

Look at the church tower, the three castellations, the tower windows and the bulge on the tower on the left. Clearly this is the church shown in the 1955 film. To make it clear, here's the old bridge superimposed on the Exeter Road picture:

This is where the bridge was.

RECENT INFORMATION

I haven't been able to find any reference to this Exmouth bridge, but there's information about the old Exmouth Railway Station in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exmouth_railway_station

Here's an extract:

The railway to Exmouth was opened on 1 May 1861. New docks designed by Eugenius Birch[citation needed] were opened in 1868 and a short branch was laid to connect them to the goods yard.[1]

A branch line with a junction immediately beyond the end of the platforms was opened on 1 June 1903. This ran around the outskirts of Exmouth on a long, curving viaduct, passing through Littleham and then on to Budleigh Salterton meeting the Sidmouth branch line at Tipton St Johns where it connected with an earlier line toSidmouth Junction railway station. This route was used for through carriages from London Waterloo stationsometimes called the Atlantic Coast Express and also a short while from Cleethorpes, which ran via theSomerset and Dorset Joint Railway and Templecombe railway station. The line was closed to all traffic on 6 March 1967 following publication of the report The Reshaping of British Railways.

The original station consisted of a single platform with a track on either side. It was rebuilt with four platform faces, opening on 20 July 1924. An engine shed was provided from the earliest days on the east side of the station, opposite the platforms. It was closed on 8 November 1963 following the introduction of DMU services on the line.

The signal box was closed on 10 March 1968 after which only one train was allowed south of Topsham and only one platform of the four-platform station was required. The station building was demolished and replaced with the present building. A single face (the old platform 2) was opened on 2 May 1986. The eastern side of the station was used for a new road which opened on 10 December 1981; the town's bus station and a swimming and sports centre are also built on the old station site.

Following the privatisation of British Rail the station was operated by Wales & West from 1997 to 2001 and Wessex Trains from 14 October 2001 until 31 March 2006; operation of the station has now transferred to First Great Western

 

So the line that went from Exmouth to Budleigh, through Littleham, crossed this bridge over Exeter Road. Neither the bridge, nor the line, now exists and the route of the line is now a cycle track:

The route of the old railway line at the Exmouth end crossed the bottom of Marlpool Hill opposite Phear Park and probably followed the route highlighted below after leaving Exmouth over the old bridge:

Acknowledgement: All maps and street views were taken from Google Maps.

 

 

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updated 26 may 2015

 

 

new photographs Dr Ian McLauchlin  2015

 

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