The Jo Roesen Scrapbook
The Early Sixties at Broadway - With Brian Parsons Recollections
1. Castle class GWR 7037 SWINDON with the up Cornishman approaching the closed station from the south on 31st July 1962. You can see the typical "Cornishman" headboard above the smokebox. 7037 was built in August 1950 and withdrawn on March 31st 1963 and cut up 2 years or so later on 31st August 1965 at Cashmores in Newport. SWINDON was the last of the Castle class, of which 171 were built over 28 years. From 30th June 1952 the name The Cornishman was applied by the Western Region of British Railways to a train from Wolverhampton Low Level (09:15) and Birmingham Snow Hill (09:50) to Plymouth and Penzance (17:55), travelling via Stratford-upon-Avon, Cheltenham and Bristol. The return working left Penzance at 10:30, reaching Birmingham at 18:36 and Wolverhampton at 19:28. The train was diverted via the Lickey route from 7th September 1962.
2. 9453 has trundles through Broadway station with a freight from the Honeybourne direction on 14th July 1962. The station by this time is disused, although the goods yard is still open, and this indeed is the next stopping point of this train. The BROADWAY sign behind the train has been removed following the closure of the station to passengers, but the cast iron posts still remain in situ. The construction of the platform is evident in this picture. This southern part of the platform was on made-up ground and while the earth was fresh, the new platforms were made of wood. At a later date concrete foundations were cast, and the platform extension built of blue engineering bricks, as in the photograph. The edge of the platform was made of 3ft and 4ft heavy concrete slabs, with thinner slabs behind, and gravel behind that. A GWR spear head fence closed off the rear.
3. The second picture shows 9453 shunting its train down the slope of the goods yard. Large piles of coal, and two cranes, show that a coal merchant was still active there. 9453 was a Hawksworth designed panier tank built in 1951 by RSH in Darlington. It was withdrawn after a relatively short career in November 1964, with a last shed allocation of 85B Gloucester Horton Road.
4. The last down Cornishman. Here is the description in Brian Parsons own words: I took this photo, on Sunday 9th September 1962, of the last down Cornishman to run through Broadway. This was the final day of the summer timetable, and from the next day onward The Cornishman ran via the Midland line. I borrowed my parents camera, for what I knew at the time was an historic occasion, as it had a colour film, unlike my own camera. The photo was taken as the train was approaching Springfield Lane bridge. The loco was just passing the warning sign for catch points. I also saw the last up Cornishman pass through Broadway that evening, but sadly it was not light enough for a photo.
Some might disagree that this was in fact The Cornishman, because on Sundays it didn’t carry the headboard nor, in fact, was it described in the timetable as "The Cornishman". However, the Sunday trains ran from Wolverhampton to Penzance, and Penzance to Wolverhampton in a very similar time slots to the weekday trains, so it was The Cornishman in all but name. (It certainly was to us train spotters!) In the book The Honeybourne Line by Collin Maggs & Peter Nicholson there is a photo of The Cornishman taken near Gotherington the Sunday before my photo.
GWR 4096 Highclere Castle only lasted another 4 months after this picture. She was last allocated to 87F Llanelly, and was withdrawn on 31.01.1963 and then cut up at Bridgend in October 1963. In the picture the Honeybourne line still looks very neat. There is wheat in the field next door, the fencing is in good condition, the grass is short and there is no scrub or other wild growth. Today this scene is unrecognisable because of the self seeded trees. Only a very narrow footpath now meanders along the trackbed between Springfield Lane and Honeybourne.
---------------------Page last updated on 21 April 2013 -------------------------