Seafront stories

In reply to Steve Jellyman and his postcards of Sidmouth seafront. The railway revealed by the storm of 1924, is, I believe, to be the uncovered track of a light railway.

According to the website it was constructed by the Sidmouth Harbour Co. of 1836, to transport rock from Hook Ebb, via a tunnel through the cliff (east of the River Sid), to deliver to the harbour to be built on the remains of the Chit Rock site. Curiously the ‘rails’ were made of wood, and had a strip of wrought iron laid on the top surface. A further storm in 1837 led to the abandonment of the project. A leaflet called Sidmouth Harbour Company Railway, and the book, Sidmouth: A History, (p72), provide more information about the harbour.

The second postcard also shows damage caused by the same storm in 1924, and a derrick. The same derrick can be seen on page 55 of Reg Lane’s book, Old Sidmouth, engaged in rebuilding the new sea wall, which was started in 1925, and officially opened in March, 1926.

All three books are available online from

Handel Bennett, SVA