I made additional money in the evenings and at weekends by carving wooden house signs and doing plans on the side. The train had to travel through Fawley Tunnel immediately after leaving the station. It would soon reach the viaduct on the Aramstone side of the hill. This is a very special and spectacular space. I spent many hours just upstream at Carey Islands fishing and wildlife watching. A remarkable, unspoilt corner of England. Just beyond the viaduct was Ballingham Station, and from there to Holme Lacy Station and then Hereford it was just eight miles from Fawley. I travelled to Hereford in this way for almost three years by which time I bought an old Vauxhall Wyevern (LAD429) from the local garage, Biggs Motors of Fownhope.’
The bridge connecting the parishes of Sellack and Kings Caple was built by public subscription in 1895, thus uniting the two parishes. It was sorely needed. There had been some difficulties at the river crossing. Patrick Darling is church warden at Sellack Church.
‘At the time of the bridge’s construction, Sellack was quite an old church and Kings Caple a young one. In those days, the vicar of Sellack had a curate at Kings Caple, who looked after the parish there. From time to time the vicar obviously would need to cross the river to check on the curate. At the time, there was a ford at the crossing point and it required a man in a boat to bring the vicar across. Well the boatman used to often get drunk, which meant the poor old vicar couldn’t get across to see his curate. If that wasn’t enough, the boatman would also verbally abuse the vicar. And there was the added nuisance in the summer when the river would become too shallow to use the boat and so it is said people, including the vicar, crossed on stilts carrying passengers on their backs. So the building of a bridge was felt to be a good thing and a lasting unity of the two parishes.’
Tom Henderson of Brilley was born and bought up next door to the Whitney Toll Bridge. In 1963, he was back from his national service and at home working with his father at his riverside engineering business. When the last goods train passed on the Hereford to Brecon line, he was on hand with his camera. It was the end of an era and the trains were missed:
‘You could set your watches by the train. If it was the nine train, or the ten train or whatever, then you knew it was that time when the train passed. I used to catch the train to Hereford or to Hay. A lot of people used to walk through Whitney Wood to the train station, where the saw yard is now. The footpath came out by the station in those days. I used to catch the 11 train, go to Hereford on a Saturday and mother used to take me to the pictures. It was a shame the trains stopped. We liked the old trains and there were some old characters too.’