VISITORS SHARE MEMORIES OF HISTORIC TRAIN NAMING CEREMONY

Visitors to the Open Day at Crewkerne railway station, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Bulleid Light Pacific 34040 being named CREWKERNE, shared their memories of the historic event with Friends of Crewkerne Station. FOCS were delighted that one of the children on the platform at the ceremony on October 20th 1948 had come to see their exhibition in the waiting room.

Glyn Lawrence advised the Friends that Mr George Hancock a councillor who was also the headmaster of Crewkerne Primary School in West Street had marched all the children up to the railway station. Glyn said: “There were no hi viz vests or accompanying parents, he just took us all to the railway station by himself.” Included in the exhibition were photos of the steam locomotive, photos of crowds of excited people on the platform including lots of school children, a drawing of the steam engine by Thomas Courtney-Clark, who was seven years old and a pupil at Perrott Hill School at the time, and had emailed it to FOCS from his home in America and a coffee table.

The coffee table was presented to Crewkerne Urban District Council and loaned by Crewkerne & District Museum where it is permanently on display. FOCS Historian Mike Frackiewicz said: “Unusually for a naming of a West Country Class Locomotive, the coffee table has a picture depicting the engine rather than that of the town or county crest which was customary. However, at that time in 1948, Crewkerne did not have an official heraldic coat of arms, which is why a picture of the locomotive was applied. This makes the coffee table unique.”

Mike Frackiewicz took notes on the new information supplied at the Open Day including the fact that one of the officials presiding over the naming of the engine Mr L Deeley who was then chairman of the council was also the headmaster of Crewkerne Grammar School. One of the steam engines two nameplates is displayed in the council chamber and visitors were also able to see it in situ at the the town hall during the morning of the Open Day, along with a window display to commemorate the 70th anniversary at the museum.

Tony Reese chairman of FOCS would like to thank everyone who came along to the railway station, Sue’s cafe and the local businesses who contributed raffle prizes. The raffle money will contribute to the funds to keep the planters looking good all year round. The flowers looked particularly good this summer thanks to FOCS planting and regularly watering them, which impressed the judges of the In Bloom committee who recently awarded Crewkerne railway station a level 4, second to the top level in the It’s Your Neighbourhood category. Anyone who is interested in joining FOCS can pick up a membership application in the station waiting room, contact chairman Tony Reese on 07967947335 or visit the website at www.crewkernetown.org/friendsofcrewkernestation

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