Friends of Yetminster Station

You may not be aware but there is a railway line (formerly known as the Heart of Wessex Line) connecting Bristol to Weymouth that runs through the village) and has a user group which promotes local communities getting involved in looking after and improving their railway stations.

The initiative is a twenty-year-old joint venture between seven local authorities and the train operator, currently South Western Railway (formerly First Great Western) who provide grant funding for improvements.

Fantastically, a growing army of volunteers generously give over 13,000 hours of their personal time each year to enhancing stations and promoting the railway in their local communities. The construction of a safe walking route to the station, creation of a car park and station link and reinstatement of the running board (the Station name) and other station signs Thornford is an example of what a user group can achieve.

Way back in March 2019 I was travelling on the train from Bath Spa sitting next to three friendly people that were volunteers for the Heart of Wessex Line.  They advised me that Yetminster was the only Station on the Bristol to Weymouth line without a Friends Group. At a meeting of the Parish Council in April 2019 it was agreed to start a group linked to the Parish Council and I attended a coffee morning in the Jubilee Hall at which 19 willing volunteers signed up.

Following Health and Safety training with GWR, the volunteers started to improve the appearance of our lovely station. Progress has been made even in lock-down.   We received a £1,000 grant from Community Rail to buy plants and containers plus a GWR style bench for the platform. A bridge was replaced over the river by Network Rail at a cost of £2.3m with new low energy lighting and a modern waiting room installed.

For the future, we plan more flowers, a running Board for the platform and trying to recover the old UP platform, thereby enhancing the total appearance of our Station.

Dennis Gilbey

If you are interested in becoming part of this support group, please get in touch by e-mailing

Updated 22.08.22 – DIT