With so much publicity in the last couple of weeks the future of the Dawlish Warren camping coaches site is quite a hot and delicate subject right now. There have been various reports and comments from many involved directly and those who believe it should be saved in some sort of guise. Without doubt the site has been a historical view for many a passing passenger and for those walking around the warren since the 1930’s but the current set of coaches would appear to beyond their lifespan and repairs have become too much for the current non-profit making owners to continue as a viable concern.
Whilst i am no expert on any of the issues surrounding the site or the condition of the coaches i do believe it would be a great loss for the area if we lost another connection to our railway heritage. The site was originally set up for the use of railway employees to enjoy a cheap non luxury camping experience in the coaches and while under the control of the railway company the maintenance was carried out by apprentices learning their trade skills. Once privatisation took place this resource was lost and it fell to a group of volunteers to do whatever they could. They should be applauded for their efforts over the years.
So what happens next? there are a number of sites across the country that offer quirky railway coaches as holiday accommodation so it’s not beyond the realms of possibilities for someone to purchase the site, bring in a few new coaches and continue with an updated version. Quite clearly and understandably the current set of coaches are beyond use and so there is no real value in the business as it stands.however the site itself will have a considerable value and if planning permission was available the value would go through the roof.
There is now a Facebook page for those wishing to partake in discussion and share ideas. While this group has some very eager supporters, as yet it is not in a position to move forward with official enquiries regarding the site. Would you like to join them and share a few ideas or suggestions for a way forward? do you think the site has a future if it could be updated? or maybe you think it’s time to let the past go and build some new holiday homes on the site? feel free to join and share your views, photo’s and memories at