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Bude

 
The length of the main platform may have seemed excessive on opening but by the 1930s it was too short for traffic requirements so the station layout and signalling were remodelled slightly to allow twelve coach trains to enter the main platform. Longer trains, fifteen coaches or more, could be accomodated by dividing the train between the two platforms. A down train would normally arrive with a pilot engine which was uncoupled at the down home signals and run into a siding. The train engine would then run into the main platform, with the engine going all the way to the buffer stops if necessary. The pilot engine would then couple onto the rear of the train and draw it back sufficiently to release the engine, which then went on shed whilst the stock was berthed in both the main and bay platforms. For an up train, up to five coaches would be in the bay with the remainder in the main. The portion in the bay would be drawn forward, then set back onto the main portion of the train. Because of this all passenger movements inside the home signals were controlled by ground shunt signals, referred to as running dummies. Local services were normally catered for with a two set and it wasn't unknown for the two set and its engine to be berthed in the bay whilst all this was taking place!
 
Bude The 49'10" LSWR vintage turntable with ash heap, engine shed and water tower beyond. The SR concrete fence had to be erected to prevent the prevailing south westerly winds blowing ash all over the station! In the distance an unidentified N Class 2-6-0 stands in the main platform with a train for Halwill Junction. Photgraphed on 1st September 1961.

photograph by A E West

 
Goods facilities were catered for by a small yard with a brick goods shed and a cattle pen, as well as the Wharf branch; and was quite varied - from Whitsone bricks, general building materials and farming requirements to the special traffic needed for the Airship Station established at Marhamchurch during the First World War. The Wharf branch was a more than welcome resource on a number of occasions when the small facilities at Bude were overwhelmed by a large number of wagons as being able to leave stock on this line saved the day on a number of occasions. This Wharf branch generated a large amount of traffic with, for many years, sea sand, coal, feedstuffs, corn and fertiliser traffic using wooden sailing ketches that traded between Bude and the Bristol Channel ports. It was cut back in 1955 to make way for a car park by the Wharf but continued in use well into the 1960s.
 
Looking towards Holsworthy from the end of the main platform with, from left to right, the siding leading to the goods shed, the bay platform and shunt signal Nº6 (bay to dock), the up starting signals, main line, loop, signal box, gasworks, ash heap, engine shed and water column.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Bude
 
Bude Having turned on arrival, N Class 2-6-0 Nº31874 simmers gently as she stands over the pit beside the coal stage whilst awaiting her next turn of duty on 7th September 1963.

photograph: Nigel Brodrick collection

 
The station buildings themselves changed little down the years. W H Smith had a bookstall on the platform from the beginning, with also a lending library. The refreshment room was licenced, making it popular with the local population as well as travellers, and electic lighting was installed from the early 1920s. Until 1938 a horse bus would meet all the principal trains to convey passengers for the Falcon Hotel to their destination.
 
Bude Above: Standard 4 tank Nº80059 photographed through the engine shed at Bude on 22 August 1964.

photograph by Alan Robinson

Bude
Right: The water tower was originally fully covered but, by the final years of steam, all that remained of the roof was the steel supporting structure.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
Bude Another view of the engine shed, this time without a loco in front of it.

photograph by John Bradbeer

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This page was last updated 12 September 2008

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