Week commencing 11 September saw us erecting our ‘fun tent’ outside Minehead Station during the visit of the Flying Scotsman locomotive to the West Somerset Railway. This was an opportunity once again for us to introduce our campaign to get GWR trains running through to Minehead, to the townspeople as well as the visiting railway enthusiasts. Whilst trains on the West Somerset Railway were busy, some of the town’s traders said that they were disappointed with the failure of the locomotive’s visit, to bring in the projected extra visitors. Nonetheless, the locomotive’s visit and associated events did enable MRLG to make some very useful and potentially influential contacts.
MRLG IN THE NEWS
BBC Countryfile spent a recent afternoon with our Chairman, Alex de Mendoza filming him and discussing MRLG and our goals. The piece has already been aired on BBC1 and there is more coverage in Countryfile Magazine.
SOMERSET COUNTY COUNCIL
MRLG is to approach Somerset County Council to request another meeting, now that new officers have been appointed at county headquarters. We are hoping that the new officers will be more co-operative than one of their predecessors and we have been encouraged by their statement in the council chamber that they are always willing to talk to us, although they have said that they can’t at present afford to fund a feasibility study into our proposed rail service. (it would appear though, that there are seemingly limitless funds for the motorist in the form of new roads, roundabouts and floodlighting public highways!)
On a similar note, we are in discussion with other rail campaign groups in our county, including those campaigning for the re-opening of Wellington, Langport, Somerton and Chard Junction stations with a view to exchanging ideas and information and pooling resources. Some of these other campaigners have also experienced difficulties in getting the support they had hoped for from SCC and it is felt that there may well be strength in numbers by us all working together to persuade SCC to take rail more seriously. What a pity Minehead is not in Devon – their county council take rail very seriously and have been and still are involved in several rail schemes!
MINEHEAD TOWN COUNCIL
Minehead Town Council have embraced our campaign and whilst unlike SCC, they have no involvement in transport services, their support is welcomed and is considered a significant step forward for us in working together with local authorities.
NEXT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
If you are involved in our campaign, don’t forget our next meeting – as always on the last Thursday of the month – 28th September. If you are not on the Management Committee, but would like to volunteer your time and get involved, please give our Chairman, Alex de Mendoza a call on 01643 702510.
David Latimer, Publicity Officer. 19 September 2017