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REALLY SideTracked - Otterton Mystery Cache

Hidden : 10/08/2016
3.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:


There is nothing of interest at the headline coordinates apart from the lovely disused station at Otterton, now inhabited by a friend of mine.


This cache is part of the Sidetracked series, a series of caches at railway stations in the UK. This particular cache is part of the Really Sidetracked branch-line (excuse the pun - I had to do it!) of the series, with caches being placed at disused stations.


The station was opened as Budleigh although it actually served the village of Otterton. The London and South Western Railway, which worked the Budleigh Salterton Railway, chose the name to avoid confusion with its Otterton station on the North Cornwall line. It was renamed East Budleigh 27 April 1898. The first stationmaster was John Larcombe but by 1911 he had been replaced by John Pooke.

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The station had a single-storey brick building with a pitched tiled roof on the up side of the line. It had a flat canopy with a deep valance stretching over the full width of the platform in front of the building. There was a brick goods shed at the rear of the platform. The goods yard comprised a single loop siding on the up side running behind the platform.

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This served a cattle dock and pens. A large concrete-panelled provender warehouse with a pitched asbestos roof - standing on staddle stones, to deter rodents - was built at a later date, probably during WW2, it was operated by local firm Silcocks. Goods facilities were withdrawn from 27 January 1964.

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Two ex-Southern Railway coaches were stabled at the south end of the goods yard c1930s for use as camping coaches. They were still being used into the 1960s. In 1960 only 16 stations on the BR Southern Region had camping coaches and four of those were on the Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton railways.

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After remaining empty for over ten years the station building was restored in 1978/9 and these owners lived in it until 1985. After this, the current owner (the friend of mine) bought it and built a 7.25 inch railway in his back garden. He has renamed it the Otterton and East Budleigh Light Railway and it is not open to the public, however he occasionally has charity open days.

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