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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Railholiday Cornwall notified of the plight of the iconic Dawlish Warren railway carriages

Railholiday Cornwall continue to restore railway carriages for holiday accommodation.
"...[They] are currently working on a big project that will see the conversion of a brake third coach designed especially for wheelchair users and the coach built by GWR for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee."
The unpainted exterior of Railholiday's current restoration project
Inside the current restoration project. Brake carriage is empty. Paintwork is pealing
"...[They are] very proud of [their] newest addition Mevy, a GWR Slip Coach, with its first class sleeping compartment and bespoke triple bunk beds for children. Converted and equipped to the highest standards in an eco friendly way, Mevy has fabulous views over the surrounding countryside and unlike our other coaches is set away from the line. Mevy is sumptuously upholstered and equipped with allergy free mattresses and bedding. Sorry no pets."
Mevy, fully restored exterior in brown and cream GWR colours
fully restored interior of Mevy
Their other superbly converted railway carriages are an old luggage van, and a travelling post office.

Please have a look at their terrific website, which is accessible for the partially sighted.
Railholiday - A Cornish holiday with a difference

  • Perhaps they can help with the campaign to save the Dawlish Warren carriages. Here's the email sent today.

The iconic site at Dawlish Warren is to be demolished when the 2016 summer season finishes. Please can you help and advise the campaign to save it?  I thought that the first step would be to get the site listed with Historic England, which would be a passport to funding from Heritage Lottery and the DofE and all sorts.
The details of the emails I have sent, the new Facebook campaign group, press articles are on this link:
yours sincerely-
Monica Lang
Congratulations on your beautiful website and your innovative  conservation of your railway carriages.

Campaign to save the iconic Camping Carriages at Dawlish Warren

GRAND OLD LADIES: But the end is in sight for these converted railway carriages, now too costly to maintain as holiday accommodation. Picture Alan Craig.

Article in Dawlish Gazette Wednesday 2nd December by Ellen Grindley
accessed online  31st January

AN iconic railway camp site at Dawlish Warren is to close after rising repair and restoration costs made it financially unviable.
Brunel Railway Camping Park, Beach Road, will open for its last season next summer after more than 50 years.
The eight converted railway carriages – with many original features – are run as holiday accommodation by a non-profit making association but although the operation breaks even the coaches are in need of expensive upkeep.
Tracy Baker, general secretary of the Great Western Railway Staff Association, which runs the park, explained: ‘Although the coaches break even, their upkeep and restoration is very expensive and they are in need of some tender, loving care.
‘I still think that the site could be run as a going concern and it would have been lovely to see it continue, but no one has come forward.’

There's a Facebook group Save Dawlish Warren Railway Carriages!

It seems that the iconic carriages will be scrapped in October; at the end of this season.

To stop this happening, the site needs to be listed with Historic England.

Here's 2 emails sent:

I was just invited to join a Facebook group called Save Dawlish Warren Railway Carriages!
I see from an article in the Dawlish Gazette - 2nd December - that you would prefer the wonderful site to remain, but of course the costs of maintaining the ageing coaches is prohibitive. - I think I'm emailing the GWR staff association???
I wonder if you would consider getting your site listed with Historic Buildings? If this was successful, you would then qualify for loadsamoney under the Heritage Lottery Grants and the Department of the Environments and all sorts. Also, there might be a keen team of conservationists who might be willing to help with the work.
Monica Lang
Starcross History
Details of recipient etc:
from: Monica Lang
date: 30 January 2016 at 21:54
subject: Saving your wonderful holiday railway-carriages park

 Dear Ruth Garner
The iconic Dawlish Warren Camping Coaches are to be demolished at the end of the 2016 season in October.
Sophie Pearce did a piece on Spotlight Southwest on January 29th. You can contact Sophie on
Here's the website for the Brunel Camping Coach Park Railway Holiday Accomodation
There's a Facebook group Save Dawlish Warren Railway Carriages!

I'm hoping that the site can be listed as of historic importance - which will be a passport to some funding to renovate and preserve this important site
Please can you tell me how to get the site listed? I couldn't locate it in your Southwest Register 2015 Heritage at Risk…/sw-har-register20…/
Yours sincerely
Monica Lang
Starcross History
from: Monica Lang
date: 31 January 2016 at 13:13
subject: Dawlish Warren Camping Coaches

Monday, 25 January 2016

The January chocolate meet

The January meet of Starcross History munched its way through the generous free samples as they listened to Andrew Cadbury’s delicious talk about his family and the development of the chocolate industry.
The reason that so many UK businesses were started by Quakers was that universities would not accept Quakers. Quakers were unable to study for professions such as law and medicine. Bright youngsters from Quaker families had no alternative but to go into business. They started banks such as Barclays and Lloyds. They founded Huntley and Palmers Biscuits, Bryant and May matches, and Clark’s shoes. The Fry, Rowntree, Terry and Cadbury families became confectioners.
In 1824, John Cadbury opened a grocer’s shop in Bull St, Birmingham. With pestle and mortar, he produced drinking chocolate, which he saw as healthy, and much preferable to alcoholic drinks. As his chocolate product range expanded to include confectionary, Cadbury’s manufacturing moved to larger and larger factories.
  The Cadbury family believed that their loyal workforce deserved to enjoy a quality lifestyle. In 1879, they built a village and a factory near rural Selly Oak, where there was a trout stream called The Bourn. The “Bournville” workers’ houses had back-to-back gardens, separated by rows of fruit trees. Facilities included sports pitches with heated changing rooms. Swimming pools were built. Everyone was encouraged to learn to swim. Cheap train fares were negotiated for those who still lived in Birmingham. There were works outings and summer camps for the children. In the Victorian era remembered for industrial cruelty and deprivation, the Cadbury name became just as famed for its social benefits and advances in working conditions, as it was famed for its chocolate.
The recipe for Cadbury’s milk chocolate remains a secret. Cadbury’s chocolate today is manufactured worldwide, and the recipe varies in the different countries.
Cadbury is now owned by the US giant, Mondelez. The corners of the milk chocolate bars are rounded. There’s a new product which combines cheese’nchocolate - Cadbury  Philadelphia -
 Andrew showed us a book by his niece Deborah; Chocolate Wars
Deborah has written more historical books including  one with a picture of Brunel on the front cover

Monday, 18 January 2016

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Chocolate Wars

Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers 

by Deborah Cadbury

This is the Amazon link to the book recommended at tonight's meet. If you'd like to buy it, please use this link because Starcross History can earn commission every time you buy from Amazon using a link on here


Meeting tonight 7:30pm in St Paul's Church

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Stover Canal

The Stover Canal Society is 
    always   grateful   for   any   assistance   from   members, and   non-members   by   arrangement.   From   just   an   hour   with a   pair   of   secateurs   to   a   couple   of   hours   with   a   shovel   there is   something   that   can   be   done   by   anyone   aged   16   and   over of   any   aptitude.   Young   people   up   to   age   16   are   welcome subject    to    legal    and    insurance    formalities.    We    operate between   9am   to   approximately   4.30pm   each   day.      You   will need   old   clothes,   stout   footwear   and   gardening   gloves   or similar. 

The   Stover   Canal   Society   was   formed   in   1999   and is   dedicated   to   the   preservation   and      restoration   of the   Stover   Canal   in   South   Devon,   England.   Built   in the   18th   Century,   the   canal      was   used   for   nearly 150    years    to    transport    clay    and    other    materials from   the   Bovey   Basin,   and   granite   from   quarries   on Dartmoor, to the docks at Teignmouth.   The    society    has    now    merged    with    the    Stover Canal   Trust   which   works   with   local   councils   and other   interested   parties   to   preserve   the   line   of   the canal   and   to   restore   it   as   an   amenity   for   the   local community.    Some    lengths    of    the    canal    towpath form   part   of   the Templer   Way,   an   historic   trail   which links   the   canal,   the      tramway   and   other   legacies   of the Templer family. 

Their website explains the origins of the canal and its features, where it is, what is planned for the future and how you can help in the restoration of this unique piece of Devonshire history

Here's a photo of a derelict lock Thankyou Chris Allen
 You can follow the work of  The Stover Canal Trust on Facebook

Here's 3 of their latest photographs