Friends of the Railway Path

Promoting and developing the Coate to Marlborough Railway Path

2011 Events

Work Day - 6th November 2011

First Work Day

Jointly with the Swindon Sustrans Ranger group, and with the weather a lot better than we have had a right to expect we achieved a huge amount and the 0.85 miles of track between the curly wurly bridge over the M4 and the end of the path before Chiseldon housing estate looks so much better.


  1. erected two 10 feet beams on the small bridge over the stream just on the south side of the CW bridge, this should prevent anyone falling into the stream
  2. Cleared the path of dry and wet leaves using the petrol powered leaf blower. We were sceptical about how efficient these devices are, but as anyone who was there will tell you this one was extremely effective.
  3. We also cut back many overhanging or protruding brambles and branches; whilst at it we took some pretty vicious steps to cut back brambles that, whilst not a problem now, were threatening to be so in the future
  4. We also removed a lot of earth and vegetation from the path edges, taking it back to the edge of the tarmac and in places beyond; this has restored the whole length of the path to its original width and it should be some time before this action is required again.
  5. Had several cups of tea

Launch Exhibition - 22nd October 2011

Launch Exhibition

Launch Exhitition photo

On Saturday 22nd October, Marlborough saw the launch of the Friends of the Railway Path.

The exhibition in the Town Hall included a presentation of the railway history of the path by Neil Lover, and stalls from partner organisations including:

* The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
* The Wiltshire Bridleways Association
* North East Wilts Ramblers
* Sustrans
* Swindon Bus Walks

at Marlborough Town Hall

Launch Exhitition photo

The Friends stall showed a variety of circular routes suitable for cyclists using the Path (see the Routes page on this site); more history material; and the Friends objectives and aspirations.

Many of the 100+ visitors were users of the Path. We were struck by how many cared deeply for its continuing use and development.

Launch Ride - 20th September 2011

Meeting up at Coate Water cafe

Gathering at Coate

Over 30 riders met up at Coate Water Cafe. We signed in for the ride and enjoyed chatting with old friends and new.

Briefing before the Ride from Dick Millard

Gathering at Coate

Before we set off Dick told us a bit about the history of the path. The ride to launch the Friends of the Railway Path was 50 years after the last passenger train to use the line.

Crossing the M4 via the "Curly Wurly" Bridge

Riders cross the Curly Wurly Bridge

Heading out of Coate Water country park, we crossed the M4 motorway over what is known affectionately as the "Curly Wurly" Bridge. As we cycled towards Chiseldon we soon left the noise of the motorway behind.

Breather at Ogbourne St George

Having a break under main road at Ogbourne St George

At Ogborne St George the Railway path changes from being on the west side of the Swindon-Marlborough road to the east side. The route of the path goes under the main road so keeps away from busy roads all the way from Coate Water to Marlborough.

We stopped here for a drink and a rest before doing the last stretch to Marlborough and lunch in a pub