Post Card captures a December train ride:


I love to collect #oldpostcards and photos with any relationship to #Sticklepath, its people, places or events. Often the picture shows things in the background or fashion for example that add interest. In my view the best postcards have been posted. Of course the stamp and postmark can be of interest but messages can allow us a fascinating glimpse into past lives. For example:

“I just caught the train at Oke, it was moving when the guard opened the door for me, the other was so late from B. Love D. All Good Wishes”.

The postmark is Tavistock 24th December 1909. Had she been visiting relatives? Taking Christmas greetings and a pot of jam to family? Or attending a nephew’s nativity play perhaps? Can you imagine her running along the platform in her ankle length dress and buttoned boots, the steam billowing in the frosty air? Or could this message be from a man?

It seems our sender, D, had come from visiting the addressee, Miss Henning in Stratton. She would have caught the first train from Bude station to Okehampton and changed trains for the journey home to Tavistock. (The Bude line split from the main Plymouth line just after Meldon Viaduct, pictured above). Bude station opened in 1898 but very little evidence of the line or station remains today, being a victim of Dr Beechings cuts in 1966.

‘Oke’ or Okehampton Station, which opened in 1871, was similarly ‘cut’ and closed in 1971, but with the government ‘Restoring Your Railway’ initiative, services on the Dartmoor Line are expected to restart at some point in 2021 providing a regular, daily passenger rail service between Okehampton and Exeter.

As children we took a special train ride to Exeter before the line closed. I wonder how many people did that?

Cyndi’s list has a page all about genealogy postcards.

Read more about postcards from Family Tree Magazine.

Road Map to give an idea of the geography.

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