Babbacombe Cliff Railway was delighted to receive a wonderful piece of memorabilia last week. The first ever ticket issued on the railway, back on opening day on 1 April 1926, was presented to the some of the team by descendents of Mrs John Taylor, Lady Mayoress, who officially opened the railway that day.
Brothers David and Mark Taylor are the great-grandsons of Mrs Taylor and visited the railway with David’s son Ben to present the ticket in a lovely silver frame, as presented to their great-grandmother all those years ago.
David first remembers the ticket, in its lovely frame, sitting on a coffee table at his grandfather’s home in Seaway Lane, Torquay, back in the 1950s. When his grandfather passed away the ticket was left to David and Mark’s father and was in the family house in Oxfordshire for many years. Six years ago, their father passed away and David took over care of the ticket.
David said “We are delighted to present the ticket to the team at Babbacombe Cliff Railway. That ticket has been in our family for many years and, while there is an element of sadness that it will no longer be with us, I feel that it is in its rightful place.”
David, Mark and their wives visited Babbacombe in April 2016 and enjoyed the 90th anniversary celebrations with the team and a very busy beach full of people. David added “When we came to visit last year we wanted to meet the Directors and staff of the railway and talk about the possibility of giving the ticket to them. The Visitor Centre on the beach seemed to be the perfect location for it.”
Cliff Railway CIC Chairman, John Ayres, said “We are delighted that David and Mark are happy for us to have the ticket. It really is a one-off and will make a marvellous exhibit for us. Many of our visitors are truly fascinated by the history of the railway and I’m sure will be delighted to see this original ticket and hear the story behind it.”
David and Mark had never actually visited Babbacombe until last year. In fact, it was after a friend of David’s had been in the area and visited the Cliff Railway that he went home to tell David all about his trip. David then got in touch with John, they chatted, the first visit was arranged and the idea developed from there.
John said “It has been lovely to meet so many members of the Taylor family and for us to find out that the ticket has actually been on display and talked about within the family for all these years is fascinating. We will take extremely good care of it and hope that David, Mark and all the rest of the family will visit it, and us, again in the very near future.”
The ticket will be on display soon in a special cabinet so anyone having a browse around the Visitor Centre down on Oddicombe Beach will be able to view it.