Updated: Feb 10, 2021
Angela Cutbill says the cabinet was found in an antique store in LA (Angela Cutbill)
Historians say they are baffled as to how a 1960s railway ticket cabinet ended up thousands of miles away in a Los Angeles antiques shop. The cabinet was spotted by Angela Cutbill whose curiosity was sparked by its design and markings.
Mrs Cutbill said: "I could tell that it came from a railway station in the UK and decided immediately to buy it."
West Somerset Railway (WSR) archivist Ian Coleby said he has "no idea" how the cabinet ended up in California. The cabinet was sold at the Agoura Antique Mart in Los Angeles.
"It is now right by my front door where I intend to show it off to all who visit us," Mrs Cutbill said.
"I don't intend to do anything to it other than polish it occasionally because it really is beautifully built and in perfect condition - it rolls open and closes like new,"
The cabinet was used in the 1960s at Minehead ticket office (Angela Cutbill)
Mrs Cutbill said she did not know which part of the UK it was from and was put in touch with the WSR. Mr Coleby, archivist for the railway, which closed in 1971, has examined photographs sent by Mrs Cutbill. He concluded the ticket cabinet must have come from Minehead Station, because the resort did not feature on any of the hand-written labels.
"It's divided into little pigeonholes, each one sized to hold one of the tickets people used to get," he said. "So much of the railway's infrastructure was thrown away. It's fantastic that this particular ticket rack survived,"
Mrs Cutbill added: "I am so appreciative of everyone on the WSR weighing in with their thoughts on my cabinet, which I just love. I am determined to visit the WSR next time we come to the UK."