The Honeybourne Line - Notes from along the Permanent Way by Jo Roesen

Weston Sub Edge

My guess is this was taken in the first year after opening, looking at the size of the plants along the platform fence. But no Scots pines along the back yet ! Things that strike me: The platform surface

The hut by the signal box

What looks like a vegetable garden by the station building

A goods waggon in the siding. Weston Sub Edge village was a good mile away, so I think this station, now occupied by CRH, must have been for agricultural produce in the main.

A box on the RH platform, and the stationmaster having a chat with the guard of the railmotor. What a quiet station this must have been.

It looks as windy then as it is today, in this part of the country

Looks like a mid morning picture, judging by the shadows

Just checking with Audie Baker, the name was shortened in 1907 to that seen on the running in board, so the picture is not quite as early as I thought. The wide board shows that the words Bretforton and have been removed.

Weston Sub Edge (2)

All that remained of Weston Sub Edge station up to October 1994. That was the month that members of the Llangollen railway bought the platform 2 waiting room for £200 from the BR Property Board. It took 3 days to dismantle brick by brick, was subsequently rebuilt and can now be seen at the fully restored Carrog station. In this view the waiting room lies derelict, with the platforms removed as at Broadway. The main station building has already gone, and the site is now occupied by a vehicle hire company. Fortunately, the trackbed remains unencumbered. In this view the rails are still in use, pointing to a date for the photograph prior to 1976.

Author: Unknown, photograph courtesy of Tony Harding.

Broadway Photos by kind permission of Great Western Trust collection, Didcot

A late picture of Broadway station, looking south. It was taken between closure for passengers in 1960, and the demolition of the buildings, in November 1963. It is an unusual view, taken through the footbridge. Most photographers took their pictures from the other platform, and looked north. This gives us an unseen aspect under the bridge, and a view of the empty running in board posts on the left, the sign having been taken down. The photographers car is parked just outside. The grass has grown high on the platform. In the distance is the goods shed, with the half high doors closed. The signalling has been removed; for operational purposes this was just another stretch of railway line.

: The more traditional view of Broadway, looking north towards Honeybourne. The station is completely abandoned, with the doors to the concrete bicycle shed hanging off. It’s clearly been some years since a passenger train stopped here, so the two views were most likely taken in 1963, just prior to demolition. The rails are still shiny, because sporadic fast passenger trains and freight would continue to use the line until the Winchcombe derailment in 1976.

Toddington - Pictures by kind permission of Jim Hughes

Taken Southbound (down) direction. The empty goods in train is probably headed by a Castle and has been reversed into the loop to allow another, following, train to pass it. There were no facing points at the Northern end of Toddington and any slow trains were driven well past the signal box and then reversed back, over the up (Northbound) line into the loop, to allow the faster train behind to pass. You can see the points and crossover in the picture. There is plenty of steam in the distance, another up train approaching but it is impossible to make out many details.

Picture 2 Taken Northbound (up) direction. A small selection of goods vehicles in the passing loop. The Guard’s van appears to be of LMS/BR origin (same design). The wagons in the Goods Shed head shunt are obviously of interest. At least three of them are loaded with ballast but they are probably not for blanketing. At this time, there were no track possessions for this task, having been carried out, either before 1950, or post 1957. Also, the blanketing was South of Winchcombe and involved rather more material than is shown here. It is more likely that the ballast was needed more locally. The small brick-built structure in the foreground was for holding coal, used by both the signal box and the platelayers hut just beyond. The goods shed is on the left, and in the distance on the right are the station cottages, still there today. The number of telephone wires is also interesting for the times – there are at least 20 of them, such busy traffic.

Picture 3 This one is readily identifiable and helps to tie all three pictures together. It is, of course, The Cornishman in full steam and running easily as it heads up to Wolverhampton, headed by a Castle. Unfortunately the running number obscures the  smokebox door number of the locomotive but it is plainly an early build, by the shape of the inside cylinder cover. The Cornishman was actually an old named train, running originally from Paddington to the West Country. It was only in June 1952 that the service was re-instated, to run from Wolverhampton to Penzance, over the Honeybourne line.  So, the pictures are post this date. A timetable from 1959 schedules the up train leaving Penzance at 10.30am. With various stops in between, it left Cheltenham Spa, Malvern Road, at either  5.20pm, July to Aug or 5.00pm all other months. It was due at Stratford at either 6.05pm or 5.50pm. So if it is running on time, this gives an approximate time for passing Toddington of 5.40pm or 5.20pm. The leading coach is a TPO - Travelling Post Office. The sidings are full of goods vehicles, suggesting that freight traffic was still very meaningful.

The last picture was taken on a mid-late Summers evening, judging by the timetable, light and position of the sun - although obscured by cloud. The empty coal facility in picture 2 would also seem to confirm the season. We do not know the date of the photographs, but it is probably around 1960.


---------------------Page last updated on 4th September 2013 -------------------------