Transfer Shed

Built in 1864 by Great Western Railway (GWR), this building is historic and Grade 2 listed. With GWR being broad gauge (7ft - actually 7ft.01/4 in) and London & South Western Railway (LSWR) standard or narrow gauge (4ft 81/2 in), their wagons could not run on each others lines and therefore it was necessary to manually transfer the loads. Situated at the end of the Clifton Maybank branch (which diverged from Yeovil Pen Mill to Weymouth line), the Shed opened on 13 June 1864. The set up comprised a covered, but open ended, Transfer Shed and Shed Masters office and outside loading dock.

Photo by D B Clayton shows a King Arthur locomotive near the turntable with the water tower on the right. The Transfer Shed is in its original form and the difference between the two openings can be clearly seen, with broad gauge on the left.

A view of the west end showing S15 No 823 easing off the turntable.
To the left is the original water tower and to the right the Transfer
Shed with the Shed Master's Office.
Picture probably taken in late 1940's.
From the late Norman Kibby's collection
A modern view taken of north side whilst the building was being
offered for rent.

Broad Gauge was only to last locally until Thursday 18 June 1874 when the last broad gauge engine left Weymouth at 11 pm and Yeovil Pen Mill just after midnight with Station Masters delivering a certificate that all broad gauge stock had been removed. Conversion of the Clifton Maybank branch was completed on 25 June. The Branch became unnecessary but it was only on 7 June 1937 that it was closed with arrangements being made for the daily goods to be worked from Yeovil Town by a GWR pannier tank via the Southern Railway branch. In 1952 the ends of the Shed were blocked in and the building was taken over by Messrs Jewell & Son who were contractors to the Southern Region. Later occupancy was taken over by Border Engineering who originally offered steam traction engine repairs and latterly steel fabrication services.

On 1 July 2002, Yeovil Railway took a lease on the building, after the departure of Border Engineering. The following pictures show the condition of the Transfer Shed on takeover. In the above picture you can see the mezzanine floor (unsure when installed) which had been partly removed to accommodate machinery.

The east end wall at far end showing the 1952 block work and dirty south wall coated with the remains of grease, dust etc from many years.

The roof beams appear to be in good order, although much wiring and other attachments had been added in recent times (not to mention dust and Victorian spiders webs!).

Looking down to the corner where an industrial heater was situated with associated tubes.

West end showing the original panelling, not limewashed for a long time.

General view towards the west.

Shedmaster's Office with invading foliage.

Some pictures to show some of the work undertaken entirely by volunteers since July 2002. A bright and clean kitchen area has been completed. The floor has received a thorough clean and coating of paint.

Walls have been limewashed, and the original woodwork tidied.

Disfiguring wiring and other attachments has been removed and new lighting installed.

We are proud to have the building in our care and use it regularly. The stairs have been moved to the east end and all metalwork has been painted.

The mezzanine floor has had its missing part replaced and is fully functional.