With Autumn now here I expect many of us are worrying about what the Winter months will bring. More so now as we see rapid rises in the cost of the fuel we need to heat our homes.
With this in mind I thought that I would show a Winter scene. James F. Bridel who had a cycle shop and filling station in Hatch Beauchamp produced a set of cards in March 1908 showing snow scenes in the village The Winter of 1907 to 1908 was particularly bad.
In December 1907 Devon and Cornwall had severe snowstorms but Winter had a sting in the tail with extreme weather late in April 1908. From April 23rd to 26th the country experienced heavy snowstorms with temperatures down to minus 12 degrees C.
The Winter also caused the loss of HMS Gladiator which sank in a collision and blizzard in the Solent. Thirty men lost their lives. There had been 37 centimetres of snow at Southampton.
Hatch Beauchamp had a pretty little station on the branch line from Taunton to Chard. The line eventually spelled the end of the Taunton to Chard canal whose construction started in 1833. The Bristol and Exeter Railway reached Taunton in 1842. Despite the railway mania of the 1850’s the Taunton to Chard line was not started until 1864. John Fox of Hatch was resident engineer. The line opened to passengers on September 11th 1866 but goods traffic was delayed until March the following year as the goods sheds were not completed. Intermediate stations were built at Hatch, Ilminster and Chard with buildings typical of Bristol and Exeter design. Later another station served the line at Thornfalcon. Later still halts were opened at Donyatt and Ilton. Creech halt opened near the Chard line junction on the main line in 1928. The tunnel at Hatch is 154 yards long far shorter than those that served the canal. Hatch station had one platform and a passing loop with sidings, a goods shed and signal box. Hatch tunnel was built to accommodate two tracks but the line there was never doubled.
The line closed in 1962 and Hatch station became a small industrial estate.
By Nick Chipchase