Hampton Loade

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Hampton Loade station
An unidentified pannier on a Northbound service in September 1962 (Sellick Collection)
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)
Highley (2 miles)
via Country Park Halt
Bridgnorth (4½ miles)
via Eardington (disused)

Hampton Loade station is a minor country station located between Bridgnorth and Highley, located close to the River Severn. On opening, the station had only a single platform and a siding, with a second platform and signal box being added in 1880s.

The station

The station house is built of yellow brick. Unlike some of the other station houses including Highley and Arley, this was not upgraded during the GWRGreat Western Railway era by the extension of the waiting room and provision of an extra bedroom.

Hampton Loade history before preservation

Although the village was also historically known as Hampton's Loade[1], the station was called Hampton at opening, but within a month had adopted the name Hampton Loade which it has retained ever since[2].
Key dates in the history of Hampton Loade were:

  • 1862: Hampton Loade station opened with the rest of the Severn Valley Line on 1 February, with a single platform on the west side of the line and a short siding opposite. There was no facility for crossing trains.
  • 1882-1883: Approval was given for construction of the up platform and provision of the passing loop and an additional siding, controlled by a newly-installed signal box. The Board of Trade approved these works in June 1883[2].
  • 1930s: Hampton Loade was the site of a GWR camping coach pre-World War 2[2].
  • 1963: Through passenger services ceased on 9 September, with through freight services ending at the end of November.
GWR Traffic statistics for Hampton Loade, selected years prior to 1939[3]
Passenger Traffic Freight Traffic
Year Tickets issued Parcels despatched Revenue (£) Tons received & despatched Revenue (£) Total revenue (£)
1903 9,967 2,691 760 1,488 631 1,391
1913 10,350 3,076 579 4,632 1,270 1,849
1923 9,077 3,117 778 900 599 1,377
1933 4,704 1,183 350 335 147 497
1938 5,116 659 304 555 201 505

Hampton Loade in preservation

During the early years of SVRSevern Valley Railway operation (1970 to 1974) Hampton Loade formed the southern terminus. Trains were until 1973 operated as 'one engine in steam' before signalling became operative.[4] Evidence of its terminus function remains in the form of the presence of the down starting signal on platform 2, which is normally only used for up trains. Following the 2007 Storm Damage the station again acted as the limit of trains from Bridnorth for a short period in 2008. It was later the terminus of The Eardington Explorer trains.

Hampton Loade station has two platforms and a signal box, allowing trains travelling in opposite directions to pass. However the crossing loop is the shortest on the railway, only able to hold a loco and 8 full-length coaches, with special arrangements to allow longer trains to pass. During periods of lighter traffic, when Hampton Loade signal box is switched out, all trains use platform 1, adjacent to the station house. In addition there is a south facing bay goods platform adjacent to platform 2.

Facilities

The station has a small kiosk serving snacks and hot and cold drinks. The Hampton Loade Station Fund Shop and the Barry Railway Carriage Trust sales van are both situated in the bay platform. There is a small picnic area next to the station.

Although the station has a very small car park, road access to the station is limited and SVRSevern Valley Railway visitors are advised not to travel to Hampton Loade station by car.

Volunteer accommodation

GWR 2426 Toplight Full Third was stabled at Hampton Loade from 1988 for SVRSevern Valley Railway volunteers' accommodation. 2426 continued in use until mid-2016 and was succeeded by GWR Riding Van 55.

In late 2014 the railway announced that the station house had become vacant, and plans were in hand for it to be converted into SVRSevern Valley Railway volunteers' accommodation and mess room, subject to final agreements and costings between Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC and Hampton Loade Station Fund.[5] This would provide a more suitable facility than does rolling stock. As of 2019 volunteer work continues behind the scenes on the project with decoration and the Station Fund acquiring period GWRGreat Western Railway and BRBritish Rail or British Railways(WR) furniture.[6]

Historic maps of Hampton Loade Station

  • Early GWRGreat Western Railway plan showing the original single line and siding
  • Later GWRGreat Western Railway plan showing the 1883 loop and second platform as amendments in red.
  • 1884 map (surveyed 1882) showing the single line and siding.
  • 1903 map showing the loop and second platform and repositioned siding
  • 1926 map showing little change over the previous twenty years.

Points of interest

Passenger Foot Ferry

The station and the nearby Unicorn Inn are actually situated in the hamlet of Hampton. The village of Hampton Loade is on the other bank of the river (Loade comes from the Saxon word 'lode' meaning ford). There is now no ford or bridge, but in modern times a passenger foot ferry operated in summer months. However, the ferry has not operated since 2013, and it is not known if or when it will return to operation.

Paddock Garden Railway

The Paddock Garden Railway, a 32mm gauge model railway, is situated adjacent to the station and operates every Sunday when the SVRSevern Valley Railway trains are in operation, every Bank Holiday Monday and other days when certain special events are taking place.

BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation. Railway Carriage 163

Hampton Loade is the base for Barry Railway Carriage Trust who are restoring Barry Railway Carriage 163.

Water Pump

A water pump next to the station building was the sole source of drinking water until the station was connected to the mains in the 1930s. It is hand powered and mounted over a well, approximately 100' deep, and pumped water in to a tank in the roof of the Gent's toilets.

Filming at Hampton Loade

Hampton Loade was used as a flming location for the film The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain and the BBC TV drama The Incredible Robert Baldick.

Hampton Loade derailment

On 28 September 2009, a derailment occurred when the tender of LMS Ivatt Class 4 43106 hauling a down passenger train became derailed as it approached Hampton Loade. There were no injuries. The immediate cause of the accident was the leading right-hand wheel of the tender flange climbing over the rail at the site of a track twist. An incorrect spring had been fitted to this axle of the tender.[7]

Gallery

See also

List of stations
Accidents
List of film and TV productions filmed on the Severn Valley Railway

References

  1. Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway, by J. Randall 1863
  2. 2.02.12.2 Marshall (1989), p101
  3. Nabarro (1971) p. 54.
  4. SVR S&T website (Retrieved 10 February 2019)
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway(H) notice board issue NBI-H-194 "October-December 2014 Round UpIn reference to the direction of travel means towards the major terminus (i.e. towards Kidderminster on the present day SVR)", published on SVRLive
  6. Hampton Loade Station Facebook
  7. Rail Accident Investigation Branch (retrieved 6 January 2017)

Links

Sharpos-World photos at Hampton Loade, showing station buildings, signalbox etc.