of the Friends of Bruton Railway Station
Changing of the Guard Kenneth Thom, a founder member of the Friends of the Station in 1997, was our Chairman from 2002 until his retirement in November 2018. He steered our group through many changes over this time, from Wessex Trains to First Great Western, then Great Western Railway, and more recently the arrival of South West Trains, now South Western Railway. Kenneth chaired a notable town meeting in 2015 at which South West Trains presented their plans for a pioneering service from Waterloo to Bruton and Yeovil. He and Patience established the standards for our plantings of the station garden over the years, with the colourful planter pots on both platforms helping us to come second in the ‘Small Stations’ class nationally in 2014, next after Leamington Spa. Nick Scott, our Secretary ever since joining in 2002, retired from that position at the same time as Kenneth, but continues as Treasurer and as our unofficial contact with the managements of GWR and SWR, as well as maintaining our website which he initiated in 2007.
Our new Chairman is Howard Smith, who joined us in 2010, for many years our most active volunteer, and all this time a keen member of the Community Rail Working Party -
We are sad to record that our wonderful Rail Partnership Officer, Catherine Phillips, who took up that post in 2003, has not been able to take much part in the work of the Partnership since a terrible accident on duty in 2016. Catherine was with us for the rebuilding of Bruton Station in 2003, the formation over the years of station support groups for every station up and down the line from Freshford, just this side of Bath, to Upwey near Weymouth and was always the driving force behind the quarterly meetings of the Community Rail Working Party which was able to exercise real influence to get signicant improvements from the train companies on our behalf.
Train Services Our Waterloo service, which we welcomed with a band and civic pomp in November 2015, has not developed further in all this time. We contributed to a large-
Closure of Whiteball Tunnel This tunnel, just beyond Wellington, will be closed for major repairs from 18 February to 8 March, and no trains from Castle Cary will go to Taunton or Tiverton Junction, instead going round by Yeovil and Honiton to Exeter St Davids, with some adjustment of timetables.