Daffodil Line (North)
On moving to Ledbury in June 1963, my father must have faced a
difficult choice. Should he continue his lifelong allegiance to
the LMS or, stranded as he was in GWR territory, start photographing
the local lines? Thankfully, he decided on the latter!
The Ledbury and Gloucester Railway opened in 1885 but closed to
passenger traffic in July 1959, long before my father started taking
his pictures. Goods traffic from Gloucester to Dymock continued
until May 1964. There is a brief history on Wikipedia
and some maps, news articles and modern views on the splendid Disused Railways
. I understand that it became known as the Daffodil Line
as it was used to transport locals down to Gloucester to pick daffodils
W End of Ledbury Stn - 27/8/63
|We start our trip at the far
western end of Ledbury Station looking towards Hereford. In the
foreground the line passes over the road bridge seen in the picture
immediately below. Beyond the signal to the left the curve of the
old line can just be made out as it heads towards the bridge over
Hereford Road, seen to the left of the telegraph pole.
Road Bridge nr Ledbury Stn - 13/12/63
|Stood at the
northern end of The Homend, Ledbury Station is on the right, Bromyard
Road is disappearing into the distance and Hereford Road is on the left.
Rail Bridge Hereford Rd Ledbury - 28/1/64
|The line passed over this
fantastic bridge on Hereford Road. This bridge has its own Wikipedia
page that includes more history of the line. Thankfully, the
bridge survives and now carries the Ledbury Town Trail over the road.
Underside of Bridge Hereford Rd - 29/4/64
|My father obviously appreciated
the superb design and construction of this bridge and took this close
up that shows the skew nature of the bridge.
W End of Orchard Lane - 25/2/65
|The next road the line crossed
was Orchard Lane and this view towards the town shows how narrow the
road was at this point. The bridge parapets have since been
demolished and the road widened as seen in this picture looking in the opposite
Ledbury Town Halt from N - 22/8/63
|The part of the line that
interested my father most was the old site of Ledbury Town Halt.
This view is looking south towards Greenway and Bridge Street passes
over the site of the line with the short platform to the left. I
view of the site on a visit to Ledbury in 2009.
S End of Ledbury Town Halt - 22/8/63
|Having moved closer to Bridge
Street, we now see the line curving away towards Greenway.
Ledbury Town Halt from S - 22/8/63
|Having walked under the bridge,
my father has turned to look north towards Ledbury Station before
taking this shot. The old cottage to the right has since been
demolished. I took this
view stood further back from the road in 2009.
Ledbury Town Halt - 22/12/63
|A north looking view from Bridge
Street towards Ledbury Station.
Notice nr Ledbury Town Halt - 25/5/64
|I wonder if this sign was
erected when the line was closed in 1959? Given the houses on the
left and the trees on the right (compare with the picure directly
above), I think this was at the northern end of the site of the halt.
Ledbury Town Halt - 5/3/64
|The real end of the halt came on
this March day in 1964 and my father was there to record it! The
villain of the piece was W. Matthews of Bromyard but I'm sure they had
permission to do this. The
company is still in the waste disposal business today.
Greenway Halt from N - 25/9/63
|Finally making it out of
Ledbury, next stop on the line was Greenway Halt. Greenway was,
and remains, a tiny place, the kind of place that would never be served
by a modern railway network.
Dymock Stn from Road Bridge - 25/9/63
|Sadly, this is as far as my
father went in exploring the line. However, this is a super
picture of Dymock Station looking south towards Gloucester. At
the time, goods sevices continued to Dymock and this is clear from the
state of the lines. A signal box can just be seen to the upper
right of this view.
Dymock Stn from S - 25/9/63
|The final picture in the
sequence is also a cracker and shows how the line really did end at
Dymock, clearly illustrated by the barriers near the road bridge.
The old station building is fenced off and starting to decay,
Sadly, the building has not survived into the 21st century.