Bewdley

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Bewdley station
Southern approach to Bewdley
Next stations
UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR) (towards Kidderminster) DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) (towards Bridgnorth)
Kidderminster (3½ miles) Arley (3¾ miles)
via Northwood Halt

Next stations pre-closure

Towards Hartlebury Towards Kidderminster Towards Shrewsbury Towards Tenbury Wells
Stourport (2½ miles) )
via Burlish Halt (from 1930)
Kidderminster (3¾ miles)
via Rifle Range Halt (1905-1920)
and Foley Park Halt (from 1905)
Arley (3¾ miles)
via Northwood Halt (from 1935)
Wyre Forest

The station

Bewdley station in Worcestershire has three platforms and was formerly the junction for both the Wyre Forest and Stourport lines, both of which are now used as sidings.

The station is controlled by two signal boxes, Bewdley South and Bewdley North. The section through platforms 1 and 2 is the only double track section of the present SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society. This is worked under Absolute Block regulations.

Bewdley Down Yard is home to the Carriage and Wagon department which supplements the Carriage Repair Department at Kidderminster and maintains the fleet of goods wagons. A considerable amount of rolling stock is stabled there including rolling stock under restoration. Public access to the yard is available during the annual Open House Weekend (and was formerly available during the Peep Behind the Scenes event).

Bewdley MPD is home to the Class 108 DMU. Other operational locomotives are also stabled at Bewdley, running light engine to Kidderminster at the start and end of each day as required. On certain Gala days a DMUDiesel Multiple Unit shuttle service is operated between Stourport Triangle, Bewdley and the short remaining length of former Tenbury Branch track immediately north of Bewdley to recreate the feel of a country junction station.

Bewdley Platform 1 is home to the Volunteer Liaison Office.

Legal Charge

On 8 August 1988 Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC gave a Legal Charge in favour of the County Council of Hereford & Worcester in respect of "All that land at Bewdley containing six point seven acres or thereabouts together with the buildings erected thereon." The charge was given as security against "All monies due or to become due from the company to the chargee under the terms of agreement dated 10.5.88." As of 2019 its status was shown as 'Outstanding'.[1] The Council itself was abolished in 1998 and reverted to the two separate historic counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Facilities

Bewdley has limited public pay and display parking. Three sales coaches run by support groups are adjacent to the car park.

In March 2018 the buffet adjacent to Platform 1 (but not the more recent toilet block and kitchen) was closed pending demolition of the buffet building, which took place from 16-19 July. BR 4593 Tourist Standard Open was moved to the dock in front of the buffet to be used as seating for staff and the public, with table service provided from the kitchen.

Points of interest

Booking hall

The booking hall had been ‘modernised’ by BRBritish Rail or British Railways with tall ticket windows and plywood facing. The plywood was removed in winter 1980-81 to reveal the original GWRGreat Western Railway panelling. At the same time the smaller windows were reinstated and fitted with brass wired grids acquired from the old Birmingham Snow Hill station. The balustrades in front of the windows also came from Snow Hill[2].

Phone box

The phone box outside the station is an example of the K4 type, introduced in 1930. The K4, nicknamed the Vermillion Giant, was a combined telephone and post box. Only 50 were ever produced.[3]

The box is Grade II listed by Historic England and described as "Intact but not on original site".[4] It arrived on the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society in winter 1981-82 on permanent loan from the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust[5] and was originally situated on Platform 1.[6].

Footbridge

A covered wooden footbridge at the northern end of the station allows access between Platform 1 and Platforms 2&3. It is numbered bridge 10.

Water towers

Two water towers at the southern end of Platforms 2&3 and in the MPDMotive Power Depot area allow watering of locomotives. The tower on the island platform is of GWRGreat Western Railway origin and was recovered from Stow Heath yard, Bilston in 1969. The tower next to the MPDMotive Power Depot is of LNWRLondon & North Western Railway origin and was retrieved from Hadley, near Wellington, in October 1972[7]. Both columns were installed during the winter of 1973-74[8]. Unlike at Bridgnorth and Kidderminster, the water supply at Bewdley is not specially treated, and so the columns are only used on rare occasions such as galas.

Island platform canopy

Platforms 2 and 3 share a canopy, built in 1878, giving passengers protection from the weather. The canopy, featuring timber frames on cast iron pillars was extended around 1900 with the new section supported on steel frames.

Platform clock

The double-faced clock under the island platform canopy was built for the GWRGreat Western Railway by Kays of Worcester in the late 19th or early 20th century. It was used at nearby Stourbridge Junction until 1977 when, no longer required by BRBritish Rail or British Railways, it was acquired by staff from Arley station. It worked until 1998, but then underwent a year-long overhaul, being re-commissioned on 10 April 1999[9].

Gent's urinal

An open roofed cast iron gentlemen's urinal is located on Platforms 2 and 3 on the site of the original urinal which was built in 1896. The replacement was relocated from Melrose in Scotland by SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society volunteers and formally opened in September 1977. See 'Links' below for two copyrighted images of the urinal at Melrose.

Portable water tank

A portable water tank with hand powered pump was used for the refilling of carriage water tanks.

Token catcher

The token catcher opposite Bewdley North signal box was originally located opposite Bewdley South signal box, where it could be used by locomotives on the former Stourport Branch. It was moved to its present location during the 1974-75 close season[10]. It is not currently in use, tokens instead being exchanged by hand.

Bewdley history before preservation

Bewdley station in 1963 (Geograph)
  • 1862 Bewdley has a population of 2900[11] (Population; 10869 in 2001)[12]
  • 1862: When the Severn Valley Line opened, Bewdley was a crossing point and was deemed a principal station, being provided with a goods shed and goods yard. Construction of the Tenbury and Bewdley Railway and the Kidderminster Loop Line had already been authorised, and the station was always planned to be a junction.
  • Around 1864: The turntable is moved from Bewdley and re-erected in the goods yard at Tenbury
  • 1877: In preparation for the delayed opening of the Kidderminster Loop, authorisation was given to enlarge the island platform and provide a shelter and footbridge. New Bewdley North and Bewdley South signal boxes were also built.
  • 1878: The Kidderminster Loop opened on 1 June.
  • 1900: Authorisation was given for additional siding space including the Rock Siding at the back of Platform 3 and the siding along the far side of the yard.
  • 1962: Passenger services to Tenbury ceased on 31 July[13] (services beyond Tenbury to Woofferton had ended a year earlier).
  • 1963: Passenger services towards Shrewsbury ceased on 9 September, with through freight services ending at the end of November. The Public Notice announcing closure of the line can be seen behind the ‘Platform 1’ sign in the photograph to the right (a copy of the closure notice is on display in The Engine House).
  • 1964: Goods services ended on the Tenbury Branch and the line was closed.
  • 1965: The goods yard closed on 1 February.
  • 1969: All goods traffic north of Bewdley ceased with the closure of Alveley Colliery. This enabled the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society Society to rent the former goods-shed and yard (even though they had not yet opened the first section of the railway between Bridgnorth and Hampton Loade by that time). This space was used for restoration of locomotives and rolling stock, 4566 and 1501 being among the earliest residents.
  • 1970: Passenger services to Kidderminster and Hartlebury ended on 5 January, ending the pre-preservation use of Bewdley Station. 

Traffic statistics for Bewdley (including Northwood Halt), selected years prior to 1939

Passenger Traffic Freight Traffic
Year Tickets issued Parcels despatched Revenue (£) Tons received & despatched Revenue (£) Total revenue (£)
1903 63,131 15,577 4,296 16,588 5,076 9,372
1913 82,475 19,845 4,702 17,020 4,074 8,776
1923 92,463 16,783 7,584 20,171 7,553 15,137
1929 92,479 17,812 6,202 20,201 8,875 15,077
1930 88,763 14,840 5,251 19,323 7,812 13,063
1931 69,627 14,706 4,922 20,599 9,227 14,149
1932 56,206 13,689 4,042 16,907 7,180 11,222
1933 56,012 15,578 4,007 15,158 6,802 10,809
1934 55,051 15,834 4,061 14,797 6,679 10,740
1935 61,135 16,093 3,988 13,668 5,920 9,908
1936 63,262 16,300 3,896 14,457 6,931 10,827
1937 66,925 16,001 4,164 13,357 5,627 9,701
1938 60,251 14,120 3,748 10,874 3,833 7,581

Historic maps of Bewdley Station

  • GWRGreat Western Railway plan of Bewdley station with the original lines in blue and the Rock Siding and alterations to the DownIn reference to the direction of travel means away from the major terminus (i.e. towards Bridgnorth on the present day SVR) Yard as later amendments in red
  • 1884 map showing scissors crossovers at both ends of the station and the short platform canopy
  • 1903 map showing facing and trailing crossovers, the Rock siding and an additional siding in the goods yard
  • 1927 map showing the longer platform canopy and changes to the southern access to the Back Road and Rock Siding
  • 1938 map showing little had changed since 1927
  • 1964 map showing showing changes to the southern access to the Back Road and the goods yard

See also

Bewdley Down Yard
List of stations
List of shops
Tenbury & Bewdley Railway

References

  1. Companies House (Retrieved 14 March 2019)
  2. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 59
  3. RedPhoneBox.info
  4. Historic England listing entry for the phone box
  5. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 62
  6. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 66
  7. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 29
  8. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 31
  9. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 130
  10. SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society News 36
  11. Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway, J. Randall, 1863
  12. 2001 census
  13. Beddoes and Smith ((1995) p. 193.

Links

Bewdley Station web site
Volunteer Liaison Office web site
Image of "Melrose, Railway Station, urinal View from W" 8/4/1974
Image of "Interior of cast-iron urinal at Melrose Railway Station, Melrose, Roxburghshire", n/d