Wrington Guide 192?
|D Edwards - 28th March, 2005 (following an appeal for information about the date of publication)
There are several references to the railway (Wrington Vale Light Railway) and from them it is obvious that it was still operating as a passenger-carrying enterprise at the time the Guide was published.
The railway was closed to all passenger traffic in September 1931 (except for three specials during the ensuing 26 years) although of course it continued as a goods line. The section from Wrington to Blagdon was shut in 1950 and the last part (Congresbury -Wrington) finally closed in 1963.
So returning to the Guide, it seems it predates 1931 and, judging from the motorcar photo and a woman's shoe in an advertisement, it was probably published sometime in the 1920s.
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Philip Whitehouse - Belgrave, Victoria, Australia, 29th March, 2005
Regarding the vintage of the guidebook. I would have dated it about 1928. It is certainly pre-war. Two clues for this conclusion may be gained from examining the map. Firstly. there is no reference to an airport at Lulsgate. Originally, I think, it was an RAF (Fighter Command ?) airfield constructed during the war. Secondly, looking in the Clevedon area, a single line appears extending South-West which possibly delineates the route of the Weston-Clevedon-Portishead Light Railway. This closed in 1940.
The Marlborough family connection is briefly mentioned in the reference to the village of Churchill yet Sir Winston's name does not appear. Such a reference would become almost inevitable after the war.
As correspondent D. Edward mentions, passengers services were discontinued on the Wrington Vale Light Railway in 1931, whereas the impression given in the Guide is that it is very much a viable transport option for the would-be visitor. On the other hand there is a reference to a "Motor Bus" service travelling between Bristol and Bridgwater. This is probably a reference to the Bristol Omnibus Company's 23A service which commenced operations in 1923.
Another impression is rather less precise . John Locke's leading opus, the Essay on Human Understanding is described in the Guidebook as "once famous". This accords with the impression I gained, in reading, that Locke's reputation rather went into eclipse immediately after World War 1 (I remember reading in one reference of the period that Wrington's most famous son was "rather futile"). It was only later that he began to receive his due.