What it Looks Like Today: Bampton to Lower Lodfin Crossing
Today's little adventure carried out by myself,Christine and my two youngest,was broken up into two trips.Firstly,we drove to Lower Lodfin Crossing and secondly,we walked down Frog Street in Bampton to a long forgotten bridge.
Lower Lodfin Crossing
There were five level crossings on the Exe Valley Railway that had keepers living in adjacent cottages.It had always been the tradition for the wives of signalmen to run the crossings.The work was not too hard,but you had to be on call for anything up to 16 hours a day,which could cause problems with things like food shopping etc.,especially if your post was in a remote and rural location. Although as a Crossing Keeper you were basically tied to the house,it did come rent free,so there were never any shortages of people wanting the job.
When a train was coming,a bell would sound outside the keeper's cottage and the crossing keeper would close the gates to stop the road traffic.When the gates were shut,a signal would be sent to the train telling it that it was safe to pass.
The keeper's cottage at Lower Lodfin,is now a private residence,but there are still many clues as to its old use.Crossings had wooden signal boxes with windows looking down the line,so crossing keepers could view all coming trains.Lodfin's signal box is still there(see pics) and has been converted by the present owners into a sort of conservatory.