The Daffodil Line

Daffodil Sunday thirty years ago meant an expedition on the Gloucester – Ledbury railway, through the woods and valleys of the Ryeland countryside; it was one of those pastoral routes that were such a distinctive feature of the Great Western Railway.


The line itself was a delight. From 1940 it was worked by G.W.R. diesel rail-cars, in which children could happily look over the driver’s shoulder. There were few straight lengths of track, and the curving rails were always leading on to new sights and mysteries. These included jthe original brick-built stations at Barber’s Bridge, Newent and Dymock, as well as the primitive platform-and-hut halts apparently isolated in the fields.


When the line was opened in 1885 Gloucester station was decorated with bunting and Chinese lanterns. At first business was good but by the 1940’s, there were only five trips a day even though additional halts had ben opened at Ledbury Town, Greenway, Four Oaks – the nearest to the daffodil woods –and Malswick.

The last passenger train left Dymock on 11thSeptember 1059, its departure witnessed by a few old people with dim childhood memories of the first journey seventy four years previously.


(Extract taken from Brian Smith’s article in the Gloucestershire and Avon Life in March 1977) The attached image shows the line passing Lassington Lane near Over.