February 2012

Templecombe Signal Box

A set of 11 photographs taken on 14th February 2012, just over 2 weeks before the Signal Box closed. The new signalling system was introduced here over the weekend of 25/26 February. The final transfer of work on the line as far as Feniton crossing was transferred to Basingstoke on the weekend 24/25 March.

These photos show the interior of the box which, at that time had 3 signalmen whom worked in shifts throughout the week. John Barlow is seen working the signals in the last picture.

The Signal Box was manned between 05:00 to 23:30 approximately. If the 05:23 to Waterloo was running late John could always be relied upon to hand out cups of steaming tea to his passengers. Tickets were sold from a counter in the Signal Box during most of the day along with jam, eggs and home grown produce.

46233 Duchess of Sutherland passing near Milborne Wick 17.12.2019

A1 size Poster
Available for sale £5.00

45212 Black Five approaching Templecombe 22.03.2018


(17th September 2020)

At the National Rail Awards virtual ceremony on Thursday 17th September 2020 Templecombe Station was amongst the runners up for "Small Station of the Year".

A great achievement to be nominated for the award and as always the Friends of Templecombe Station have done a fantastic job. This is despite the frustations and restrictions brought about by coronavirus/covid-19.

More details from the cereomony will be included here as soon as they are available.

Meanwhile click below for a sound extract from the "Small Station" catagory.

Sound Clip from the 2020 NRA ceremony

(8th August 2020)

We have been notified that Templecombe Station is once again Shortlisted as "Best Station" at the National Rail Awards for 2020.

The award ceremony this year will be a VIRTUAL CEREMONY at 4pm on Thursday 17th September. The ceremony can be viewed live by registering at registration

The NRA judges, who are known for their rigorous approach, have applied the same forensic due diligence to this year’s entries (which have been close in number to that received in any normal year, despite the closing date being just days after the start of lockdown in March). Coronavirus restrictions were no match for their determination to award only the very best.

Christine Hillman (Chair of Friends of Templecombe Station) writes:
Please keep your fingers crossed for us all.

Thank you to Andrew Harrowell (Community Rail Manager) of SWR for putting an entry in for us.

Also thank you to our very own David Seares who copied all the pages from the Stations Comments Book and put them onto the Station page of his Templecombe Village website. I'm sure they must have looked at it. It would have helped, massively!!
National Rail Awards

Friends of Templecombe Station

Coronavirus / Covid-19

FoTS coffee mornings are suspended
until further notice

All soft furnishings, literature and FoTS fundraising sale items have been removed from the waiting room until SWR announce it is safe to return them.

Access to the up-platform for gardening and maintenance by FoTS members is suspended until SWR announce it is safe for activities to resume.
(Sunday 10th May 2020)

Each page of the 2016-2020 Customer Comments and Suggestions Book is now available to read here

Click image to open
(6th February 2020)

An email has been received via the website "contact us" page from Andy Holloay. It reads:

I've just passed through your lovely station on my way to London, 1450, and as always your station is looking beautiful in the early afternoon sunshine. It was lovely to see your volunteers busily gardening away and great credit may go to them for giving up their valuable time. Well done and please, please keep up the good work.

Thank you Andy, the volunteers love caring for the station and your comments are greatly appreciated.
(Friday 1st May 2020

The flags have been placed in celebration of VE 75 Day, (Victory in Europe Day).

The flags will fly for one week before and one week after the 75th anniversary which is on Friday the 8th May 2020.
(Christmas 2019)

The Friends of Templecombe Station, provided refreshments for their passengers and visitors (tea, coffee, biscuits and the occasional cake) during the strike days throughout December 2019. Everyone showed their appreciation for their kind gesture by donating almost £300.00 in FOTS collection boxes.

Special thanks to Raif, Anne, Pete, Stephen and many other FOTS members for their support and hard work in holding these daily coffee mornings and also with other events throughout the year. But this really was an exceptional thing to do!

FOTS also raised £300.00 from their Christmas Raffle, a 'BIG' thank you to all those who donated prizes. The draw was held on the 17th December, following an all day Event culminating in the return of the "Christmas Carol" Steam Special from Sherborne headed by : LMS "CORONATION" Class 4 x 6 - 2 6233 "Duchess of Sutherland".

These receipts are greatly appreciated by the friends and users of the station. These funds will contribute greatly to further enhancements at our multi-award winning and much loved station."

Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership
Decoration Station
Christmas Competition 2019

7 Awards for
Friends of Templecombe Station

This year the BVLCRP awards were presented at Templecombe station during the afternoon of Tuesday 17th December. The presentation took place after the 6233 Duchess of Sutherland
steamed through, pulling the Cathedrals Express. The train passed again on its return journey to London Victoria later in the afternoon. Caroline Rowland from BVLCRP announced the winners.

Many teams and individuals had worked very hard at all stations from Tisbury to Crewkerne yet Templecombe and it's friends did extreemly well

Category Winner
Judges' Awards for 'Decorated Station" Competition
Frosty the snowman
Best Snowman or Woman
White Christmas
Most Outstanding Snowy Scene
Rocking around the Christmas Tree
Best Themed Christmas Tree
Polar Express
Most eye-catching Christmas Train
The Holly and the Ivy
Best Christmas Planter
It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Most Creative Christmas Feature
Yeovil Railway Centre
Santa Baby
Christmas Post Box
Deck the Halls
Most FDestive Booking Hall

Judges' Discretionary Awards of Recognition for
The Warmest Welcome Templecombe
Best Display in a Confined Space Sherborne
An Outstanding Steam Railway Experience at Christmas Yeovil Railway Centre

BVLCRP Special Awards of Recognition for
Going above and beyond the Call of Duty Sarah Jay
Outstanding Effort in 2019 Gail Coleshill
Inspirational Customer Service during the rail action Raif Copley

Winner of the Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership Christmas Trophy 2019
THE MOST awards in our Decorated Station Christmas Competition


Open Awards Document

(Saturday 7th December 2019)

Our station friends are getting ready for


Coffee and festive snacks are available during the mornings to help ease the pain and inconvenience of the 27 day rail strikes.

The waiting room is wonderfully decorated (pictures to follow soon).

Today a 12 foot tree has been placed and decorated beside the footbridge.


Thursday 12th December
A Christmas Election Day festive coffee morning with all the trimmings. Watch out for Santa and our living snowman.

Tuesday 17th December
A Steaming afternoon: The Cathedrals Steam Express will pass through around 15:00 on its way to Sherborne and return around 18:00.

Our Santa and Snowman will be watching. Festive treats will abound. Not to be missed.

More station pictures and updates will be added during the coming days.

Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership
Autumn/Winter 2019 News Letter

Click to open the full BVCRP Newsletter

It's Your Neighbourhood

Friends of Templecombe Station
ACoRP 2019
Association of Community Rail Partnerships

It's Your Station

Friends of Templecombe Station



The Friends of Templecombe Station can be very proud of another amazing achievement.

Awared at The National Rail Awards, Grosvenor House Hotel, London on Thursday 19th September 2019

Coffee Mornings

The coffee & cake is always free of charge but donations are most welcome
The money raised is used solely for improvements to our station by the volunteer members of FoTS

As illustrated here in our picture gallery
Friends of Templecombe Station
Friday 15th September 2018

Fantastic reward for the hardworking and dedicated volunteer members of "Friends of Templecombe Station"

The NATIONAL RAIL AWARDS 2018 ceremony was held at: Grosvenor Park Hotel, London on Thursday 13th September.

There are three awards within the catagory "BEST SMALL STATION". Templecombe has been awarded joint second place along with Great Missenden (Chiltern Line). Both Templecombe and Missenden are "Highly Commended". The first place has been awarded to Aberdour, Fife (ScotRail).

The competition is fierce across the entire UK and this is a huge achievement for Templecombe. Our station volunteers have now won many awards since the station re-opened in October 1983 following its closure in 1966.

Christine Hillman (FoTS) writes:
I am so proud of what the "Friends" have achieved, now and over the past few years. As you say we all work very hard to get the results that we do, and the awards that the group have won have been "Highly Deserved". They are a "Great Bunch of People" and good friends too.
We aren't handed lots of money from the "powers that be", we raise funds so that we can make Templecombe Station a better place to be, for all.

Anne Dibble (Ticketing Officer Extraordinaire) says:
I am delighted. I don't know what to say. Everyone works so hard. The judges came unexpectedly and the waiting room windows were smeary. I wish I had known they were coming.

Templecombe Village website congratulates our station friends.
Steaming through Templecombe
(Thursday 08th March 2018)

Black Five 45212 passing Templecombe Thursday 08th March 2018 (pics above).
Just after 6pm on the return (pics below).
(Friends of Templecombe Station 27.06.18)

This specially-commissioned illustration features preserved former Southern Railway express passenger locomotive "Clan Line" passing the iconic art-deco signalbox at Templecombe.

"Clan line" - the steam locomotive that hauls the famous Belmond British Pullman (formerly known as the Orient Express) and other charter trains - is 70 years old in 2018, whilst the Templecombe signalbox is 80 years old this year.

Many railway posters were produced in art-deco style from the 1930s through to the early 1950s. This brand new one has been designed by renowned art-deco illustrator Stephen Millership exclusively for the owners of "Clan Line", the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society (MNLPS).

Two different sizes are available :
A1 Size (23.4 x 33.1 inches) @ £5.00 each
A2 Size (16.5 x 23.4 inches) @ £3.50 each
50% of the profit for each poster goes to the Friends of Templecombe Station, and 50% to the MNLPS

Please e-mail Paul Blowfield (Secretary, Friends of Templecombe Station) at to order a copy (or leave a message on 07540 259065).

Free delivery in the Templecombe area, or pick-up at this station.

(Tuesday 14th July 2018)

Friends of Templecombe Station (FoTS) indulged us in a coffee and cake bonanza starting at 6:15 this morning.

Early visitors and travellers included Valerie Singleton. Valerie has added a comment to the visitor book but didn't leave any "Blue Peter" badges for the FoTS team to wear on their Hi-Viz jackets.

Hayward Burt, our SSDC councillor called in for an enjoyable chat and to catch up on FoTS activities. It's great to see our representatives taking an interest in things "Templecombe".

Caroline Rowland from the Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership (BVLCRP) who lives locally came along with Andrew Ardley, Regional Development Manager for South Western Railway.. Caroline was keen for Andrew to see our station and the things FoTS get up to. Peter Hillman gave them a tour.

The group raised £85 in donations which will go towards extending the new fence behind the "up" platform. Another coffee morning is planned for Tuesday 11th September.
Original Sign Returns

The Templecombe nameboard has been donated to the Friends of Templecombe Station (FoTS) by Jim Milton.

Jim was one of the four in the working committee that was responsible for getting Templecombe Station re-opened in 1983. This nameboard would probably have been at the station from 1952 until closure in 1966 and is a British Railways Southern Region board.

To thank Jim for his very generous gift we are planting a Rose called "Darcey Bussell", in memory of his late Father, Harold who worked on the railway.

Alight here for Wincanton and Stalbridge

eMail from SWR
(17th September 2020)

Subject: Good Luck at the National Rail Awards

Dear all,

I wanted to wish you good luck ahead of the National Rail Awards this evening as you defend your title of Small Station of the year.

In the past year I know that you have all continued to make Templecombe a great station for our customers, with stunning flower displays. The work our community groups helps ensure our stations reflect their local communities.

Whichever way these awards go I hope you hard work at the station continues.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hopwood
Interim Managing Director

South Western Railway
4th Floor, Southbank Central, 30 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9LQ

Salisbury To Exeter
Rail Users Group
Click here for SERUG website
News Letter (12) 2020 October
News Letter (11) 2020 June
News Letter (10) 2020 April
News Letter (09) 2019 November
News Letter (08) 2019 May
News Letter (07) 2019 February
News Letter (06) 2018 August
News Letter (05) 2018 March
News Letter (04) 2017 October
News Letter (03) 2017 March
News Letter (02) 2016 September
News Letter (01) 2015 November

11th September 2020

Open to Read - Hooked....
Open to Read The full August Journal

(Thursday 27th September 2020)

Claire Carter talks with FoTS secretary, Steve Hood, about the fothcoming National Rail Awards.

Radio BBC Somerset, Thursday morning, 27th September 2020

Click below to listen to the full interview.
Stephen Hood with Claire Carter

(14th March 2020)

Sometime between Thursday late afternoon and Saturday morning

Three benches have been taken from our station. They were all secured by bolts to the ground and the bolts have all been neatly cut. One was in front of the closed platform waiting room and the other two in front of the signal box.

If anyone saw or heard anything during this time please could they let me know or talk to Anne at the station.

The rail authorities have been contacted and so far no one is aware. We will be asking if cctv footage is available on Monday.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday 11th May 2020
It has now come to light that the missing benches have been relocated by SWR and are now in use at HOOK main line station.

(1st June 2020)

Two of our missing benches have been located and photographed at Hook mainline station on the downline platform.

The whereabouts of the third remains a mystery and still the railway companies have said nothing to our "Friends" or to local line management staff.


Tempus Fugit

No, this was not Adlestrop
although it was a hot June day
and the stop was unwonted
but there was no hiss of steam,

no meadowsweet or willow-herb.
What I saw was a single name – Templecombe,
a bee-busy bed of lavender and neatly clipped lawn
alongside the Waterloo Express.

Time had ceased to fly.
No one left and, indeed, no one came.
Only a bronze stationmaster
populated the bare platform

standing proud, one arm raised,
frozen in time, sculpted
in the act of ripping sheets
from his bronze-bound timetable

rendered obsolete by the digital display.
No sound could be heard,
not even a Somerset blackbird,
above the diesel engine thrum

and then the train juddered,
as if clearing its throat,
Time unfurled its wings
and Templecombe slid away.

Rosalind Adam

Rosalind Adam is a Leicester, UK, girl, born and bred. She is the author of three children’s books, including The Children’s Book of Richard III. Her poetry has been published in a number of anthologies and online sites. In 2018 she won the G. S. Fraser poetry prize and was awarded a distinction for her Masters in Creative Writing at The University of Leicester.

Rosalind Adam's Blog





Come and join us 1:00pm to 6:00pm

(Thursday 31st October 2019)

Plenty of halloween cake and scary fun was had at the station this halloween.

The witches of Templecombe were up and ready at 6:00am.

Cake, coffee and treats were plentiful.

Creepy crawlies came and went.

What ever Next?

(Saturday 19th October 2019)


This “jewel of the small stations”, as dubbed by the NRA judges, was highly commended in 2018 and has come back in 2019 to take the top trophy. Situated on the West of England Main Line, Templecombe station opened in 1860, only to be closed just over 100 years later in 1966. Local demand brought about its reopening in 1983 as a station that now serves about 114,000 passengers a year. Thanks to a partnership between South Western Railway and the Friends of Templecombe Station, 2018 was another year of surprises for the station, with further improvements to the extensive gardens. The ticket hall/waiting room is now in use as a centre for community activities, including a major Christmas party for passengers and the local community.
NRA - The Winners 2019
Rail Magazine

A Station Project
Thursday 20th June 2019

The aged door to what is believed to be an old "lamp store" has now been renovated. The frame was too far gone and a replacement has been made.

Just Another Thursday
Thursday 30th May 2019

On Thursday afternoons FoTS members gather at the station and go about the tasks that make Templecombe station sepcial. On Thursday 30th Paul Blowfiled stopped by to photograph the action.

New members are always welcome so drop down on a Thursday afternoon, email or give Pete a call on 07549 953808.

More Than Just Coffee
Coffee Morning - Tuesday 04.06.2019

Another surprise was in store at the June Coffee Morning.

Members had been up early preparing a model dispay of Sir Arthur Heywood built estate railways.

Henry Greenly and Bassett-Lowke designed and built miniature railways to the same 15inch gauge and their work can still be seen in many seaside resorts and pleasure grounds in the UK and even on the Continent.

The Victorian, Edwardian and modern figures are readily available in the same 1/12 scale in the Dolls House market/hobby.

(Thursday 9th May 2019)

Andy Bennett who hosts the daily radio show between 1pm and 4pm on BBC Somerset (95.5FM) visited Templecombe recently and recorded a series of interviews.

At the railway station Andy met Christine Hillman, chair of "Friends of Templecombe Station".

Dressed in HiViz, Andy was given a tour of our station while its unusual history was explained.
Andy, intrigued by the voluntary work carried out by the "Friends", had many questions and Christine was delighted to be able to show our multi prize-winning station in the very good light it deserves.

Click below to listen to the interview.
Christine Hillman at the station

A dashing new uniform
For our ticketing officer extraordinaire
(Saturday 6th April 2019)

An early morning surprise was in store at Templecombe Station this week as our ticketing officer Anne was all fitted out in her very smart new SWR uniform.

Anne had decided to wear her neck tie as a cravat rather than tie it into an over complicated bow and it looked very smart indeed. The new colours were a joy.

Anne was keen to point ot the gold thread stitching along the button holes and the addition of a blue vertical line down the back which expanded into a pleat at the skirt.

It is understood the new uniform is now being rolled out to all customer facing staff on the line.

Tempus Fugit

At Templecombe railway station. Tempus Fugit (Time Flies), is both a sculpture and sundial. The bronze statue is of a railwayman consulting the British Rail timetable, some of the pages of which have blown away and landed on the grass.

The statue forms the gnomon (part of a sundial that casts a shadow) of the sundial; the pages on the ground mark the hours.

The Hour markers
have recently been rejuvinated (summer 2018).

Friends of Templecombe Station
(Tuesday 11.09.2018)

At 6am on Tuesday morning members of FoTS were ready to serve coffee cake and exciting snacks to commuters and local residents who wished to drop in.

The Friends were later joined by Phil Dominey (Senior Regional Development Manager) and members of the South Western Railway management team along with Caroline Rowland from Blackmore Vale Line Community Rail Partnership (BVCRP).

Phil Dominey has worked his way up 'through the ranks' in the railway industry, and having once been a signalman at Templecombe he has a real soft spot for our station.

During the morning a working signalling maintenance team were invited to join us for a break and welcome refreshments.

The group raised £83 in donations which will go towards extending the new fence behind the "up" platform.

The next FoTS extravaganza is planned for Halloween on Wednesday 31st October.


FoTS on Facebook.







6th March 1966 was a sad day for the village of Templecombe, for on this day the last trains ran on the famous Somerset & Dorset line from Bath (Green Park) to Bournemouth via Templecombe, and the station was also closed to all services on the main route from London and Salisbury to Yeovil and the West Country. It is difficult to believe nowadays that at its peak around 500 people were employed by British Railways at Templecombe in various tasks ranging from station and booking office personnel, goods yard shunters, clerks, signallers, track maintenance staff, engine drivers and firemen, engineers, loco maintenance fitters, cleaners etc. etc.

For the next 17 years all trains on our line passed through Templecombe without stopping. The station buildings - other than the 1938 signal box - were demolished in the late 60s, much of the route was reduced to single track and the station slowly slipped into history ...........

However, the residents of Templecombe did not want to lose their train services so readily, and thanks to the tireless efforts of the 'Templecombe Station Working Committee' and local councillors, plus welcome support from the local B.R. Area Management team, the station was re-opened on 3rd October 1983.

Templecombe station today is unrecognisable from that which existed in 1966. But despite being vastly reduced in size and ambience it nowadays has a better service than at any time in its history, though sadly you will never again be able to travel directly from here to Bath or Bournemouth.

* * * * * * * *

The 'Friends of Templecombe Station' was formed in 2012 - superceding the 'Templecombe Station Support Group' - to carry on and develop the task of looking after the gardens and, more recently, the redundant signal box and waiting room on the former up-side platform, plus the general environs of the current station. Members of 'FoTS' are drawn from all sections of the local community, and enjoy an excellent working relationship with the management and staff of South Western Railway (previously South West Trains) and Network Rail.

In recent times to help with the maintenance of the gardens and buildings 'FoTS' have been given, or loaned, a variety of tools. Manual labour is the norm - spades, forks, secateurs and shears, saws and screwdrivers etc, though we do have a petrol motor mower, kindly provided by the Parish Council. We do it for the enjoyment and satisfaction, and there is excellent camaraderie between all members, both at work and outside.

Commencing in 2015 'FoTS' have undertaken considerable work on the preservation and exterior renovation of the now-redundant 1938 art-deco signal box (including providing the new hand-crafted nameboard) and have repainted the 1980s waiting room in former Southern Railway Buckingham Green and cream livery. After much lobbying it was agreed by the then SWT and Network Rail management that the 19th century cast iron footbridge (originally situated at Buxted station in East Sussex, and moved to Templecombe in 1990) could be repainted similarly in historic Southern livery. Much of the preparation and painting was carried out by 'FoTS' members, as part of a unique joint project between the 'Friends of Templecombe Station', South West Trains management and Bagnalls the Network Rail contractor.

In 2016, all this hard work was recognised when Templecombe was awarded First Prize in the 'Best Small Station' category of the National Rail awards. We entered Templecombe again in 2017 and despite there being an increase in entries we were delighted to reach the final three, and were 'Highly Commended'.

Templecombe has joined up with other station groups on the line to form the Blackmore Vale Community Rail Partnership ( plus Templecombe is represented on the committee of the Salisbury to Exeter Rail Users Group (SERUG - which lobbies through Railfuture ( for the continuation of investment and improvements in rail services locally and nationally.

Since formation, 'FoTS' main source of income has been from the sale of a limited-edition, specially-produced calendar, which have usually been printed by Thales Underwater Systems Ltd at Templecombe. We undertake the production work, and supply of photographs, whilst Thales have printed them for us free-of-charge, for which we are most grateful. Whilst there isn't one for 2017, a 2018 edition is in the planning stage.


New members are very welcome, and it's absolutely free! Don't worry if you're not a gardener; this is a good place to start if you want to try your hand at gardening, and most of us have learnt by trial and error. We also need people who could help with the watering, grass cutting, litter pick-ups, assist with the upkeep of the former station buildings, administration, arranging outings and help us to develop our Facebook Page. So if you would like to join the team and make a contribution to keeping the station in award-winning condition we will always be able to find something to interest you.

Telephone : 01963 370279 ('FoTS' inquiries only) E-mail :

'Friends of Templecombe Station' are a group of individuals who are entirely independent of South Western Railway or Network Rail.

Templecombe Station at 125 years
back in 1985

On 7th May 1860 the line from Gillinham to Sherborne was opened and a new name added to the railway maps - Templecombe
This was celebrated 125 years later in 1885, less than two years since the station was re-opened on 3rd October 1983.

Click any image to open and read

Click to open booklet
Blackmore Vale Magazine
11th May 1985
Western Gazette
8th March 1985

Rail News
June 1985

The Western Gazette
10th May 1985

Blackmore Vale Magazine
April 1985