FOR their summer outing this year, members of Shobrooke Friendly Club, went to Minehead, by way of the West Somerset Railway on July 20.

A total of 47 members and other friends, mainly from Crediton, were taken by Powell’s Coaches of Lapford to Bishops Lydeard, where the majority took the steam train to Minehead. A handful did not want to travel on the railway, and so stayed on the coach, and were then driven straight to Minehead.

The weather was fine and very warm, and the Railway Company had reserved a coach for us. We all sat back in the comfortable Pullman-style coach seats and enjoyed a leisurely ride through the beautiful Somerset countryside, and skirting along the coast of the Bristol Channel by Blue Anchor Bay.

The sound and smell of a steam locomotive is more evocative of a bygone age of transport. The diesel locomotives of modern day rail transport may be more powerful and efficient but the chuff chuff chuff and the shrill of a whistle of a steam loco appears much more friendly than the deep throaty growl, and klaxon of a diesel.

On arrival at Minehead, most of the party went in search of a lunchtime snack. It was at this time that the heavens decided to open, and for about five or 10 minutes there was quite a heavy shower. This was soon over and the pavements dried quite quickly.

Some of the party enjoyed some shopping, whilst others took a stroll along the front, or sat on the benches watching the tide come in.

It was soon time to think about boarding the coach for the trip home, departing Minehead at 5pm, arriving back home by about 7pm or thereabouts.

The usual draw was held on the way back, and the first prize of £10 Morrisons Vouchers (kindly donated by Morrisons) was won by Eileen James. Second prize, a voucher for tea or coffee for two at Ashtons Coffee Lounge in Crediton, was won by Jack Fey, and the third prize, a Boots voucher by David Job.

Norman Gale