ONE of Donyatt’s beloved residents has a new view after locals came together to replace part of an historic train station.

The statue of Doreen has been in place since 2009, when the villagers reopened the Donyatt Halt.

The station once sat on the Stop Line Way, a defensive line from the Second World War, and transported many evacuees to the South West.

These included seven-year-old Doreen Ash, who travelled from London to Somerset in 1939.

The real life Doreen returned to Donyatt in 2009 when, after four years of hard work, the station was resurrected. The halt now sits on the cycle path between Chard and Ilminster.

And thanks to funding from Donyatt Parish Council, along with a Somerset business waiving their costs, the station has a new sign.

David Light, a parish councillor who took charge of the project, said: “We decided to replace the sign earlier this year, in around March or April.

“The total cost of replacing the sign was just over £400, paid for by Donyatt Parish Council.

“It was decided to rebuild it in oak as this would last much longer than the old sign.”

The previous sign has lasted more than a decade, as well as a heartless arson attack on the station in 2015.

Mr Light added: “Fortunately the fire did not seriously affect the sign, but damage has be caused by weather conditions over the years.

“Hopefully with a solid oak frame and a double thickness of one inch of marine ply board, the sign will probably last a lot longer than most of us will.”

Nick Chalon is a Donyatt resident and part of the Donyatt Halt project.

He said: “We have just erected the new sign with many thanks to Donyatt Parish Council who funded the costs, Metalwise who sand-blasted the letters and powder coated in white and donated their costs, and especially to David Light who sourced the timber and re-made it in Oak and Marine Ply.”

Earlier this year, the statue of Doreen once again became a symbol of British resilience.

As the country was plunged into a months-long lockdown starting in March, Doreen was seen sporting a protective face mask.

The statue was sculpted by Ian Edwards, of Chard, whose grandfather Billy was evacuated to Donyatt at the same time as Doreen.

For more on the station, visit