By Harry Mottram: In the last few decades the Strawberry Line – the former Cheddar Valley Railway line – has become increasingly vital to Somerset’s tourist economy and to the push to get more people cycling, walking and generally exercising to improve the nation’s health.

The story begins with the Government’s axe-man Dr Beeching who systematically committed economic vandalism by closing railway branch lines across the country with the line from Yatton to Wells and beyond shut down in the 1960s. Disused and overgrown the line saw parts of the former British Rail property sold off and of course the Axbridge bypass constructed.

Slowly people began to walk along the defunct line using it as footpath while some parts of the line disappeared or were sold. Nature quickly also took hold with brambles and shrubs springing up. Step forward the the Strawberry Line foot and cycleway group who campaigned to create the path we know today. A number of other groups have also added to the story of the resurrection of the line including help from some authorities. On Wednesday, October 18th, at 2pm, there is a talk by Lois Brenchley on the story of the line from closure to today’s well used resource.

Join The Friends of King John’s Hunting Lodge and read their newsletter Retrospect with news of local history events. See


Wednesday October 18th.

The Strawberry Line Past, Present and Future.

Speaker: Lois Brenchley

Lois one of the former founding members of the Strawberry Line foot and cycleway provides an in-depth story behind the process of the creation of the Strawberry Line, along with interesting and historic picture records.

Venue: Cross Memorial Hall at 2.00 pm  £5 to non members Teas, coffee and Cake available at £2.

Wednesday October 18th.

An invitation to join a social evening of entertainment with the Axbridge and District Museum Trust. See attached invite.

 Speaker: John Page                                                          Venue: Axbridge Town Hall at 7.30pm

Wednesday November 15th   

Our Sacred Spaces a power point presentation of various locations throughout UK from N. Cornwall to the Lake District of the spaces we find sacred to us of Pre Christian stone circles and walls.

Speakers: Sue and Phil Thorne.

Venue: Cross Memorial Hall at 7.30 pm £5 non members, refreshments £2

Friday December 8th

7.00pm Christmas Social and Quiz .  Christmas special menu  at The Lamb at Weare . Ample parking. Please indicate if you would like to attend asap so menus can be sent out , partners and friends welcome.

Contact Liz on 01934733341

Monday December 11th

Christmas coffee morning at The Lamb, Axbridge 11.30am. Come and join the Museum Trust for a complimentary Coffee and Mince Pie.

Please let me know if you are able to attend by 8th December tel 01934733341 or email as above

Other Events

Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society

Wednesday October 25th.

The Revd, Thomas Gould Vicar of Axbridge 1766 – 1796

Speaker: John Page

Venue: The Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way, Norton Fitzwarren. 19.30 – 21.00.

Axbridge Review is edited by Harry Mottram and is published for the interest of himself and fellow residents.

Harry is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc