Tracking Budleigh's past at Fairlynch Museum

Colin Yeats, left, and Leo Dolling with children from Budleigh’s St Peter’s School

Two former British Railways employees were kind enough to welcome nearly 30 children from St Peter’s CofE School during a visit to Fairlynch on 9 November 2017.

The KS 1 children, accompanied by teacher Elizabeth Stubbs and adult helpers, had been studying changes in transport as a class subject. The Museum's railway display in the Local History Room, with its many artefacts, saved when the branch line and station closed in 1967, proved to be an effective teaching aid for the children.

Naturally there was fun involved when they were allowed to wear the station master’s cap, and there was a rare chance for some to hold the ceremonial spade used by Lady Gertrude Rolle on 6 November 1895 to cut the first sod for the building of Budleigh Salterton Station. 

For Yettington’s Colin Yeats who had worked on the Budleigh branch line railway it was the second time that he had helped out in this way.  Another ex-railwayman who told the children about his experiences was Budleigh’s Leo Dolling, a former Controller at Exeter Central.     

As the children had a special interest in transport they combined their tour of the railway display with a visit to the Admiral Preedy exhibition where they were able to learn about telegraphy. 

A telegraph was used in past times to communicate between stations on the Budleigh line; the Museum just happened to have a Morse code set as part of the Preedy display, and the children were taught to use it! 

The visit was an enjoyable experience for all. ‘I'm hoping that with regular trips of this kind over their primary years, all the children will grow to appreciate what pleasure museums can bring,’ said Elizabeth Stubbs.  ‘We are very lucky to have Fairlynch and its team on our doorstep.’


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