I’ve seen signposts on the M5 for Taunton many times and I think I may even have driven threw the town a few times, but I’ve never explored it.  Today would change that. 

The 8am train from Cardiff on a Saturday has the added excitement of stopping at Pilning, which only gets two trains a week stopping there.  I had visited Pilning on the train a few years before when it was declared Britain’s least used station.  I think that’s been the making of it in a way as people like me visit it to say that they have been to Britain’s least used station.  In fact, so many people now go there that it no longer has that claim to fame.  Ironic isn’t it.

Anyway, today I didn’t get off at Pilning but headed for Taunton. I arrived without much of a plan other than just wandering around and seeing what I came across.  I was surprised how connected the centre of Taunton was to the Somerset County Cricket club. Not only is the ground very much in the centre of town but many of the shops are selling cricket related gifts etc.

I stopped off at the museum which is based in part of Taunton Castle.  Somerset seems to be able to trace its history a long way back because it is built on a bog which seems t preserve things very well.  The displays seemed to have plenty of things rescued from bogs. The museum wasn’t overly exciting but there was an art exhibition of the works of Doris Hatt which very much appealed to me.  Her painting were lovely and she seemed to have an interesting history, spent time in Paris and was a communist candidate in elections.

Lobster Potts, Sennen Cove – Doris Hatt

There was a mini-festival going on outside the museum and where better to eat my lunch than on a bench watching the entertainment.  I was especially impressed by a man peddling a piano who was both playing the piano and peddling the bike at the same time plus emitting a happy vibe.  Cheered me up no end.  He goes by the name of  RimskyPiano and you can even watch a video of him.

Rimsky Piano outside Taunton Castle

I did a bit of wandering around, up and down the river, finding some geocaches, including one near St John the Evangelist church.  Unfortunately it then started to rain but only when I was standing outside a CAMRA award-winning pub.  How lucky is that!  I was forced to take cover inside and watch the Test Match on the TV. 

Look, rain! And a pub. Time to watch the cricket in the Ring of Bells, Taunton

On the way home the train terminated at Bristol for some reason and I had to catch another train to Cardiff.  Even this had a positive side however.  A heritage special pulled by Brush D1944 Craftsman was in the station.  It reminded me of my schoolboy train spotting days!

Brush D1944 Craftsman at Bristol Temple Meads

Date of trip: 15 Jun 2019

See progress to date: A-Z of Railway Stations