Conservative County Councillor for Combe Martin Rural, Cllr Andrea Davis, this week unveiled a National Transport Trust Red Wheel (RW) heritage plaque at the famous Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway.
The scheme seeks to highlight the most important sites of transport heritage and bring them to the attention of a wider and younger audience, by the erection of bespoke commemorative plaques backed up with a comprehensive website.
In unveiling the Red Wheel, Cllr Davis said:
We are here today to celebrate the magnificent cliff railway. The railway is an incredible achievement, and it’s heritage is something to be treasured.
I’ve looked up the word heritage in the dictionary and it’s definition is the traditions, achievements history of a group or nation. I don’t believe there is a better word that encompasses this. Today is the anniversary of St George Newnes’ death 121 years ago. Without Sir George, not only would there be no cliff railway, there would be no Lynton and Lynmouth that we recognise today. Twin villages that celebrate a pedigree and heritage and it is that that we share with the many thousands of visitors every year.
We are also joined today by some of the recipients of the George Newnes Medal. These amazing local residents have carried on the local tradition of service, truly contributing to our heritage. The Lynmouth and Lynton lift company is the physical manifestation of heritage. It is recognised around the world by many people who have visited over the years as well as people like me, railway enthusiasts.
A few of you will know that I’m the Devon Cabinet member for transport and climate change. This railway is a perfect example of sustainable transport - the engineering and vision from over a century ago fulfilling the very essence of what we all believe sustainable should be. This is the inspiration that we need now as we look for sustainable solutions to our transport requirements. I’m proud and honoured to be here today. This railway is a much loved attraction and the staff rightly deserve the recognition from the many awards the railway has achieved. Only this year another award; the Green Tourism ‘Gold’ Status.
The cliff railway has been a part of our lives in this area for 131 years, opening on the 7th of April 1890. Generations have engaged with it - Parents take their children on it, and then those children take their children on it. With the dedication and commitment of the Lynmouth and Lynton Cliff Railway lift company we can look forward to the next 131 years with confidence and pride and know that our children will show it to their children with the wonder and love that we have for it.