July 15, 2015
Burnham-On-Sea rail heritage project brings buffers back to town

A project to bring a set of railway buffers back to Burnham-On-Sea seafront to celebrate the town's rail heritage has been completed this week following six years of negotiations.

The Burnham Buffer Stop Memorial Project has installed a set of old railway buffers at the top of Pier Street, where the town's former railway line previously ended.

John Strickland, on behalf of the Buffer Memorial Project Team and the North Sedgemoor Local History Group, told he was relieved that the buffers have finally been installed.

"It has taken since 2009, when discussions were first made with BAE Systems about the recovery of a buffer stop from the former ROF Bridgwater Site at Puriton, to obtain all the necessary legal authorisations for the installation in this pebbled area," he said.

"So why did we not choose an alternative area to the pebbled one? Many of our older residents will remember the days when holidaymakers and day-trippers flocked to Burnham on the Somerset and Dorset Railway and saw the engine unhook from the coaches, travel up the line towards a buffer stop before reversing back to re-join the coaches for their return journey. The location of the Memorial Buffer Stop is very close to where the original railway line was and within a stone’s throw of where the original buffer stop was."

A formal unveiling ceremony is being planned for 11 am on 19th August followed by a service of blessing by the Reverend Graham Witts at 11.45 am in St Andrew's Church.

"We hope this memorial will serve to bring back memories of our long lamented railway to our older residents; to encourage visitors to come and see the historic features on our Heritage Trail and for children to ask 'what is that funny looking thing doing there?'"

He went on to thank those who have suppported the project including Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, Larkins 99p shop, The S&D Public House, HSBC College Street, Wetherspoons Pier Street, Hurley’s Toy and Newspaper shop, The Toy Cupboard, The Handbag Shop, Bessies Sweet Shop, The Railway Hotel, Material Needs, The Round Tower Guest House, The Old Pier Tavern, Burnham Printers & Stationers, Moose International, Butterworth & Jones, Positive Wealth Creation Ltd and the Co-op Funeral Care, Adam Street plus those who made direct donations to the funds.

Burnham and Highbridge's Mayor Martin Cox has this week praised the group for their work in seeing the project through. "Top marks to them for their perseverence - it's great to see the buffers in place!"

Pictured: How the original buffers in Burnham's Pier Street looked


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