Macmillan Coffee Morning

On the 23rd September 2020 we held our first Macmillan coffee morning here at Station Masters Cafe. It was wonderful seeing so many familiar and new faces. Homemade cakes, delicious coffee and a great raffle helped us raise £250 even though we had to battle with the unpredictable weather. By donating at an event such as this you are providing much needed funds to support the fabulous work Macmillan does. Thank you to everyone who braved the weather and made the effort to support such a fabulous charity during such challenging times. We look forward to holding another Macmillan coffee morning next year.

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BBC - Broadcasting live from Barnstaple Railway Station

12th July 2012 Saw BBC Radio Devon broadcast live from our café for around 3 hours- we heard the immortal words “ This is the BBC, Broadcasting live from Barnstaple Railway Station”.

Live interviews with local people, music from local groups and  head Chef Thomas Carr from Kentisbury Grange (Who has recently won a Michelin star for his Ilfracombe restaurant).

Along with our superb friend Guy Fenton and his Jazz band. Guy sadly passed away earlier this year.

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Intercity HSt 125

The most recent charter train was a GWR full HST set on April 17th 2016.

This created a lot of attention for the line, several such trains have visited Barnstaple in the past. This was hoped it could prove the infrastructure was already in place to accommodate the main line trains with the desire to have a direct London connection.

The last steam train to visit Barnstaple was the Tarka Pony in April 2007, quite a spectacular site. Again another charter, on the other end was a Class 37 Diesel “ Caerphillary Castle”

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Hastings Charter 1001

Thumper 1001, on a hasting charter The Tarka Special on 25 June 2005 carried several hundred passengers and attracted a lot of attention.

We added the visit as part of the research into converting The Station House.

The station house looked very different back then.

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Platform 2 Barnstaple Railway Station

We have worked with volunteers from Great Western Railway, Network Rail, Tarka Rail Association, Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership & members of the public to help tidy and restore the redundant 2nd platform.

We now have track for the platform kindly provided by Network Rail from recent track replacement works near Yeoford.

Although the pandemic has meant further progress has been halted, we are keen to see the platform back in use.

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Old building before the Café

In 2007 this view welcomed tens of thousands of tourists to North devon for many years.

In 2008 after 3 years of paperwork and various other necessities we started the build in May and opened on August 12th, during the middle of the Beijing Olympics, we had a large tv showing the games, and were immediately swamped with people watching it and enjoying our breakfasts and a good cuppa! 

The Building work Was undertaken by local Firm Pearce Construction and formerly opened to tie in with the new rail timetable in December of that year by Betty Pierce and Hugh Butterworth.

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The Tour Of Britain in 2007

The tour of Britain, Devon stages has come through the station twice in the last few years.  

The event attracts national and international attention.

We help celebrate it and encourage spectators to travel by train to Barnstaple to watch the race unfold.

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The Tarka Trail at The Station Masters Cafe

We are one of the main entry points, by bus, cycle, train or by foot for the famous and very beautiful  tarka trail which predominately follows the River Taw and Torridge through, Braunton, Bideford, Instow and Torrington. 

You can pick up a wide range of home made sandwiches and cake before wandering along the trail, or indeed you can come in as a stop off point, either way we would love to welcome you to our establishment. 

It is worth taking a camera and binoculars if you want to see the wide range of wildlife along the trail, from butter flies to otters and Spoon bills to foxes. 

The trail is a truly magical place to unwind and enjoy some of the very best of Devon.

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James May's Toy Stories in North Devon

We were delighted to work with James May in 2009 and 2011 on and off for around 6 months on each occasion to be the production base for an Episode of James May’s Toy stories and from the success of this a one off special.

Both productions featured the building of a Hornby model railway from Barnstaple to Bideford. 

It generated huge public interested and thousands of people turned out on both occasions to take part or watch the events unfold. 

The original episode that was filmed here was shown out of sequence and moved to prime time Christmas Day viewing.

It was truly fun to watch and help the production company, the BBC and of course James May and Oz Clarke.

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