Upexe Halt to Brampford Speke by Bike
Having not done anything on the website for a good while, I thought it was about time I did something. So on a lovely Spring morning, Christine and I set off to explore our favourite branch line.Usually we like to rummage around off the beaten track, but I thought it might be nice (and easier), to pack up our bikes in the car and do a route that anyone could follow who has a few hours to spare.
We set off and drove to the Rufwell Inn near Thorverton and parked up. The pub owner came out and informed us that,he doesn't really like people who aren't customers using his pub as a carpark, but I assured him that after our bike ride we would return and sample something from his pub, which he seemed happy with.
From here we took the fairly short ride up the back roads to Upexe. Upexe is a quiet little place with not much going on other than barking dogs that rush out if you get too close to anything. A short while after you come into Upexe, if you look to your left behind a hedge, you will see the familiar ^ ^ of the station building roof and a bit further on you will notice the Station Master's House. Where the road turns left just by the Station master's House is where the level crossing used to be and here you can see where the line used to go in between the Station Master's House and the station buildings.
Click on the buttons below to see what Upexe Halt looked like and what it looks like today.
Whilst I was looking around, I heard Christine talking , so I went to investigate. She had happened upon the owners of Upexe Halt who were on their way out and after telling them who we were and what we were doing, they very kindly and trustingly told us that we were welcome to have alook around their grounds and take pictures of the station building while they were out. Thank you very much for doing this.
Upexe or Up Exe was originally a proper station and hence the station building and not just a waiting hut as you might expect at a halt. It was meant to serve the surrounding farms, but also Silverton, which although had it's own proper station on the main line, was quite a walk for people living at this end of the village. As time went by passenger numbers went down and Upexe was downgraded to a halt in 1923. The Station Building was converted to a house and a waiting hut was installed for the passengers. With the introduction of auto-trains where tickets were available from the conductors, Upexe lost it's significance and soon became rundown.
Today the building is much changed and has been extended and converted, but you can still with a bit of imagination see how it used to be. While standing there where the platform used to be, I'm sure I heard the toot of a distant oncoming train and shuffled slightly forward in anticipation of boarding it. Back to the now, I realised it was just the distant sound of a tractor working in a field and called Christine to go, as we still had a lot to explore.
A lovely old haunting picture of the Station Master's House at Upexe.