Sunday 3 July 2011

Look, Smart Trams! Kool! [4]

Seaton, Supreme and Superb.
This series of blogs concludes ... 

Firstly, an acknowledgement.  Much of the early history on this series of blogs came from a more detailed account of Claude Lane and his first miniature tram. It is well worth reading and can be found here. A full account of his life and work is covered in the book, "Next Stop Seaton!", published by the Seaton Tramway (web site link below).

But first, we celebrate tram No 6, once a toastrack at Rhyl, ridden on by fbb at Eastbourne and now the "senior citizen" of the Seaton System.
 Now join fbb for a bloggers' ride.

Our tour starts a Colyton, where the station offers a bookshop and gift store, a very friendly cafe and restaurant and a pleasant place to sit and watch the trams trundle in and out. Normal service runs every 20 minutes but on busy days that schedule can be doubled.  So there isn't long to wait.
The first stage of the trip takes you though pleasant farming country ...
... then over the main Lyme Regis to Sidmouth Road ...
... and into Colyford Station.
Break your journey here for a quick one (or several slow ones!) in the adjacent White Hart (but, beware! don't try this on busy days as most trams run through full.) The final stage of the ride takes you along the Axe estuary ...
... with views of a wide variety of wild life.  Special nature trail trams are run at certain times.  The track no longer runs into the old branch line terminus, but takes a sharp right at the extensive depot ...
... then skirts the site of the former Warners holiday camp.
But, alas, Warner's is no more and here we see ...
... the line entering the aerial shot top right and following the edge of the now demolished camp to the Underfleet terminus just off the edge bottom left. Even this aerial view is now decidedly out of date. The whole Warners site is now a "blasted heath" of raised land ...
 ... in peparation for the completion of a new Tesco store in November. There's something rather quaint in the idea of, possibly, catching a 55 year old tram from Colyton to do some shopping in Tesco's shiny new 2011 emporium.
The line terminates at Underfleet, close to Seaton town centre.

Things have certainly moved on from Claude Lane's first tiny tramcar at Barnet, via St Leonards, Rhyl, Eastbourne and a closed railway line to Seaton; to a splendidly enjoyable travel experience that is, surely, a most fitting tribute to those halcyon days carrying happy children for 3d [1p] at garden fetes in the early 50s.

If fbb has whetted your appetite for this little treasure, bus connections are available for Axminster at Colyton and Seaton; & for Weymouth and Exeter at Seaton.  Limited free parking is available at Colyton and there is an extensive metered car park at Underfleet, Seaton.

Full details of times and prices can be obtained from the company's web site here. Also available there is a video of the complete line from a drivers' cab.
Just in case you were thinking dark thoughts, please note that fbb has no connection with the Seaton Tramway Company other than being a satisfied customer!

Previous blogs in this short series:-
Look, Smart Trams! Kool [1] here
Look, Smart Trams! Kool [2] here
Look, Smart Trams! Kool [3] here

Thanks for the Memory. Warner's Seaton in the 60s ; Now with hot water in your chalet!
Hi-de-Hi, Ho-de-Ho!

To celebrate the outbreak of a limited peace between First and Stagecoach in Sheffield, from Monday onwards, fbb will be presenting a full 7 days of South Yorkshire blogs ; beginning with "Oh, Oh, Optio Orange" tomorrow. 

Next blog : due Monday July 4th



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