Securing our history for the future



On Thursday 30 August 1888 a railway labourer Mr George Chilwell aged 36 of Boroughbridge was killed whilst excavating in a cutting near a newly constructed bridge between Bawdrip and Cossington during the construction of the Bridgwater Branch Railway. He was one of a gang engaged in loosening earth and filling a “dobbin” cart with it. A quantity of gravel fell on him and his skull was fractured when he collided with the cart.

The inquest at the Knowle Inn recorded a verdict of accidental death. His fellow workmen and the contractors collected for his widow and paid the funeral expenses.

Article courtesy of British Newspaper Archives

The Bridgwater Railway

The Bridgwater Railway opened for business on 21st July 1890 and ran from Bridgwater Station (re named Bridgwater North in Sept 1949) over the Bristol Road and the GWR railway via bridges, across Horsey Lane, under the A39 near Bradney turning, through Bawdrip, Cossington, and Chilton Polden to Edington Junction near Burtle, a total distance of 7miles, 15 chains, station to station, where it connected to the Glastonbury to Burnham railway.

There was one station on the line at Cossington. In 1892 there were 9 ‘up’ and 9 ‘down’ trains each day, and this was reduced to 7 ‘up’ and 8 ‘down’ by 1903.

In 1923 Bawdrip Halt, was built, a concrete platform long enough for 4 carriages, and a year later a shelter with seats was added. The first Bill submitted by the town of Bridgwater to Parliament in April 1866 was rejected. Some years and several Bills later, a Bill of August 1882 was successful, and eventually through the years 1888 to 1890 the line was built by the Bridgwater Railway Company. The operating company was to be the LSWR Company, but the railway was initially leased and run for 3 years by the S&DJR, the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway. The new line offered a route through Edington and Glastonbury to Evercreech Junction where the S&DJR then went north to Bath or south almost to Bournemouth. From Bath the Midland Railway went to Birmingham and the North.  From Bournemouth the London & South West Railway went to Southampton then London Waterloo. The Bournemouth to Burnham connection was also seen as a Channel to Channel service for the S&DJR.

After 64 years the passenger service on the Bridgwater Railway Line ceased on 29th Nov 1952, and then the line was finally closed in October 1954. Dismantling of the line then began in October 1955.

The start of the line was at the Bridgwater Station located ‘in a garden’ to the West of the A38 Bristol Road, now occupied by a Sainsbury’s supermarket car park. A blue plaque marks the spot. Edington Junction, near Burtle, was the end or the start of the line depending on how you viewed it. It was originally called Edington Road Station on the Glastonbury to Highbridge Somerset Central line built in 1854. From July 1890 the railway branched off here to head to Bridgwater, a distance of just over 7 miles, and it became Edington Junction.

Local Bawdrip Resident and Author Dave Bown has recently researched the Bawdrip section of the Bridgwater Branch Railway.

There is one recorded death during the construction period in 1888 Click here for more details

  

You can read more details by clicking the link http://www.geocities.ws/dbown100/BawdripHalt.htm

 

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