Awards for Tarka Line winners

THE Tarka Line s winners in the recent National Community Rail Awards will receive their trophies on Monday, when Neil Buxton, general manager of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, visits Barnstaple station. He will present the first trophy t

THE Tarka Line's winners in the recent National Community Rail Awards will receive their trophies on Monday, when Neil Buxton, general manager of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, visits Barnstaple station.

He will present the first trophy to Mike Day, owner of The Stationmaster's Caf� at Barnstaple station. The cafe won the Best Station Retail Outlet award, the second on the line to win in recent years after Crediton Station Tea Rooms' victory in 2005.

The caf� has just celebrated its first anniversary. Mike Day worked hard for four years turning the then very dilapidated former station master's house into the first class caf� it is today.

A second trophy will be presented to Peter Craske, author of the Tarka Line Walks booklet which won the Best Marketing Publication award.


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Published in March, this booklet includes twenty two walks, two from each station on the line, all researched and written up by Mr Craske who also oversaw production of this high quality publication, which was published by the Tarka Rail Association.

Five thousand copies have already been distributed and the booklet has just been reprinted.

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Neil Buxton said: "I am delighted to be visiting the Tarka Line to congratulate Mike Day, Peter Craske and the Tarka Rail Association on their success at the National Community Rail Awards.

"There were some terrific entries this year and the judging was very hard. It never ceases to amaze me how many ordinary people contribute to giving their local railway lines a sustainable future, be it through promotion of the train service, making their stations centres of the community or indeed the 101 other activities demonstrated in the awards this year."

Mike Day said "It's a great privilege to have won this fantastic award which hopefully will not only benefit our caf�, but North Devon and the Tarka Line as a whole.

"We have achieved a huge amount in our first year including hosting the James May Toy Stories production crew in our conference rooms for a week, while filming the forthcoming Christmas special world record attempt back to Bideford by model railway.

"Our aim has always been not only to cater for the rail passenger but also to draw in new people to the station, thus helping the railway station to once more become an essential part of community life.

"I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who have helped us get the project off the ground over the last four years"

Peter Craske said "Researching and testing these walks has been a total labour of love. I've known the line for more than sixty years and wanted, through this booklet, to share with others the countryside that I've loved since childhood. Scrumpy, my rescue lab', has been an enthusiastic companion, losing six kg. testing out the trails!"

.The Tarka Line Walks booklet is available free of charge from the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership by calling 01752 233094 or e-mail railpart@plymouth.ac.uk

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