Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Trust

Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Trust

The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust (The Trust) is an educational charity supporting the rebuilding and operation of the railway by the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Company, determined to reinstate the railway that was once the jewel in the crown of North Devon, England.


Working closely with the "Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Company" and other sister organisations, the Trusts charitable objectives are:

(1) To acquire preserve and restore for the public benefit items of historical, architectural, engineering or scientific value in connection with railways; and

(2) To advance the education of the public in the history sociology and technology of narrow-gauge railways and railways in general by the acquisition, restoration, preservation, creation and exhibition of railway locomotives, carriages, rolling stock, equipment, artefacts, documents and records, together with any appropriate land, buildings and structures in particular but not exclusively those of the former Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in Devonshire ('the railway') and to provide educational and training facilities to those engaged in the restoration and operation of the railway or railways general


The Trust has well over 1500 members worldwide with the majority coming from the UK.

Members receive a magazine three times a year with articles on the history of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway and news of rebuilding the line and the restoration of locomotives and rolling stock, illustrated with historical and modern photographs, and evocative drawings and paintings recapturing the atmosphere of the line.

Members are also entitled to preferential rates when visiting the railway. They are also encouraged to help with construction, maintenance and operation of the railway, as well as publicity and fundraising activities.



The day after the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway closed, Barnstaple Town stationmaster Harold Ford and Porter Guard Walkey laid a wreath of bronze crysanthemums on the Barnstaple Station stop block. [JW Dorling, "The Railway Magazine" October 1935]

The wreath bore a black-edged postcard, hand-written on both sides:

The wreath was sent by Paymaster Captain Thomas Alfred Woolf, R.N. (Retd.), of the White House Woody Bay. The Captain died on 12 May 1937, aged 55 and is buried in Martinhoe Churchyard not far from Woody Bay.


Inspired by these few words, In 1979 a small group of enthusiasts met to form the "Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Association" with the intention of reopening part of the line within about 18 months. In fact, it took somewhat longer. Not until 1995 did the former station building at Woody Bay became available for sale, and following extensive negotiations, was purchased by the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Company on behalf of the "Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Association". Following further negotiations and purchase of other parts of the trackbed, Woody Bay is now the centre of operations for the restoration project. The former station at Chelfham is now also owned by the Railway Company.

The Association was absorbed into The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust which was first registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales on September 22 2000.


The Trust has to date received no financial support from any external statutory, European or Lottery grants, all income having been raised through the efforts of its members.

The Trust, the Railway Company, Area Groups, and various volunteers, run The L&B Project, researching, restoring, rebuilding and operating the railway.

Woody Bay station reopened in 2004 and the line was extended in 2006. Trains now run on a two-mile round trip over the original route within Exmoor National Park above the Heddon Valley near Parracombe, and visitors are again able to experience a taste of what many believe to be one of the world's ultimate railway experiences.

Each September, at the Annual Steam Gala, a wreath of bronze crysanthemums is carried on the pilot loco, and afterwards, laid on Captain Woolf's grave in remembrance, and in gratitude for his inspirational words.

ee also

*Lynton and Barnstaple Railway
*Lynton and Barnstaple Railway Co. Ltd. The Operating company associated with the rebuilding of the modern L&B.



* "The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Magazine" published three times a year by The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust. 1979 to date

External links

* [ Charity Commission entry No. 1082564]
* [ The Heritage Railway Association]

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