Backtracking Around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard, Three Stations For Bodmin, Wadebridge & Padstow
In this, the fifth of Bernard Mills’ wonderful and hugely successful Backtracking series, the author takes us on a wistful journey through the rural corner of South East Cornwall and on, via Bodmin, to embrace part of the so-called Withered Arm into Wadebridge and Padstow.
While we still have lines to Liskeard, Looe and Bodmin, Bernard’s incredible archive of images allows us to travel back in time with a wonderful selection of colour photographs, mostly taken by the man himself more than half a century ago and updated by him in the last year or so. Friends and fellow enthusiasts have also generously allowed Bernard access to their material and the result is a truly remarkable record of a largely bygone era, particularly with regard to the former three-station situation at Bodmin and the lost line to Wadebridge and Padstow.
Many will know that 17-mile section as the Camel Trail, a gloriously rural ride through the Cornish countryside, one of the most popular cycle paths in the country and one that follows the Camel to a point near Boscarne Junction, before heading on into Cornwall’s former County Town – Bodmin. Many still recall the loss of the old line with an air of sadness but Backtracking Around Plymouth, Looe, Liskeard, three stations for Bodmin, Wadebridge & Padstow brings it back to life in the most vivid of ways because, not only was Bernard an enthusiast, he was also an employee of the railways, so he knows many of the stories spawned by these lines. Stories he recalls in his well informed, fastidiously detailed and inimitable prose.