Severing Links Timelines: All, House of Windsor (1910 to present)


27 March 1963 saw the publication of Beeching’s report “The Reshaping of British Railways,” which made the closure of the rail line to Bideford one of its recommendations. Thus, 2 October 1965 saw the last passenger service leave Bideford Station, severing a major artery into the town. As some demand remained for occasional freight specials, the odd train still used the line, primarily for the transport of clay.

On 9 Jan 1968 the two halves of Bideford were effectively severed when flood-water in the Torridge caused the collapse of the western end of the Long Bridge. A casualty of this incident was the transatlantic telephone cable. In 1963 AT&T had laid their third transatlantic telephone cable (TAT-3). The appears to have run through East-the Water, across the Long Bridge, and on to plunge below the Atlantic at Widemouth Bay, it continued in service until 1986.