Dialect | 19.08.2010 09:22
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TIMINGS ON THE MP3 FILE
00:00 - Introduction
01:00 - Plucky local lad James Bruce has just returned from walking 3000 miles to Jerusalem
12:00 - Eddie Clarke Agit Propaganda Street Theatre in support of Humanitarian Aid in the Middle East
17:00 - Julian Lea-Jones author of Bristol Curiosities talks about the Knights Templar that give their name to Temple Church and Temple Meads and some major finds which started Temple Local History Group
25:00 - Philip Horton has just published the first of two volumes about local rail line closures called The Beeching Legacy
32:00 - Mary McDonnell Hammill at the Edinburgh Fringe
41:30 - Secrets and Lies by David Southwell - More Lies More Statistics read by Malcolm Grieves
50:30 - Trevor Carter the Bard of Windmill Hill
54:00 - Michaela Dennis pretends to be Jeff Sparks
59:00 - Credits
Presenters: John Peters-Coleman and Michaela Dennis
Reporters: Anthea Page and Tony Gosling
Studio Engineer: Lee Duffield
Producer: Anthea Page
Rail campaigners challenged to reconsider Dr Beeching's legacy
Western Daily Press, Aug 4, 2010 - by TINA ROWE
To some he is a Frankenstein-like figure of horror - but without his savage cuts to the rail network, the West Country might not now be enjoying the sights and sounds of steam heritage railways.
That is one of the points made by author Philip Horton in the first of a series of books analysing The Beeching Legacy.
The closure of hundreds of stations and many branch lines across the country, in the ten years following Dr Richard Beeching's report of 1963, still arouses anger in the communities affected.
But others may not now remember how close they came to losing a vital transport link. All the intermediate stations between Castle Cary and Dorchester on the Bristol-Weymouth line were recommended for closure by Beeching - including Yeovil Pen Mill and Dorchester West itself.
Mr Horton also points out the report questioned the need to maintain separate main line services to Exeter via both southern and western route s. The Waterloo to Exeter line was eventually downgraded.
He also asks how many motorists who use gently curving Cartgate link, taking them from out of Yeovil to the A303, realise they are travelling along the track of the old Yeovil-Taunton railway.
The line had been the first to reach the town in 1853 and in its first years there were stations at Athelney, Langport, Martock and Montacute.
At the start of 1964, Mr Horton says, four up and five down trains ran over the 26-mile route between Taunton and Yeovil Pen Mill, with a further train in each direction on Saturdays.
But with fewer than 5,000 passengers a week - the minimum that Beeching deemed economical - the line was doomed. It closed, despite much opposition, with the last train running on June 13.
The Taunton to Minehead line carried up to 10,000 passengers a week, and both Minehead and Watchet had passenger receipts of more than Pounds 5,000 per year - again above the Beeching-designated minimum.
Nonetheless, in 1968 it was proposed for closure, and shut on January 3, 1971.
As Mr Horton says, there was a happy ending. Just four months later the West Somerset Railway Co Ltd was born and today the heritage line runs steam and other trains.
Mr Horton, who lived in Bath and in Wellington before moving to the Midlands, notes many old trackbeds have reverted to farmland, adding: "Some have become footpaths, cycleways and nature reserves, and four of the five standard gauge heritage rail lines in the West are on lines closed by the cuts."
The Beeching Legacy is published by Silver Link Publishing at £20.00.
Original article on IMC Bristol: http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/693204