BROKEN UP AND SOLD
The railway disappeared from the landscape almost as quickly as it had appeared. The Southern wasted no time in lifting some of the track and removing as much equipment as it could. The rest was sold at auction on November 13 and, by the end of 1936, not much was left, except a bit of track around the Barnstaple end and a 19-mile scar on the North Devon landscape. Lew was eventually sold to a sugar plantation in Brazil where it reputedly lasted until the 1950s. Its sisters were cut up at Pilton. A couple of coaches and a few items of rolling stock survived, but the rest were cut up and sold as sheds and summerhouses, or just burnt. But the seeds of the L&B’S resurrection were sown the day after its closure. A wreath was laid on the Barnstaple Town stopblock and its card contained the phrase ‘Perchance it is not dead but sleepeth’. Those words have fired the imagination of generations of enthusiasts and the L&B is, slowly but surely, beginning to rise from its slumbers. Climbing on board beautifully reconstructed coaches, built from sections of original vehicles that have been found in sheds and gardens, and Lyn, funded and built in the 21st century, will take you on a journey back through time. The view out over the hills to the Bristol Channel has not changed from the days when Sir George Newnes first fell in love with the area. This is a place where you can forget all about the 21st century. Just sit back, enjoy the clickerty clack of the rails and… relax.
Above: The station throat at Lynton, with the locomotive shed to the left and the signal box on the right.
Left: A closer view of the goods shed, with Lew shunting. The track to the left of the goods shed curved around it and terminated in a small yard where one of the cranes was stored.