Stourport

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1948 aerial photograph of Stourport. The station is at top centre, the SVRSevern Valley RailwaySVRA:Severn Valley Railway AssociationSVRS:Severn Valley Railway Society passing from left (Bewdley) to right (Hartlebury). The River Severn, Stourport Power Station (plus sidings), and canal basins on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal are also visible. Image from Britain from Above
Extract from 1951 OS Map showing Stourport
Next stations pre-closure
Towards Hartlebury Towards Shrewsbury
Hartlebury (3 miles) Bewdley (2½ miles)
via Burlish Halt (from 1930)

Stourport Station

Stourport Station was located 3 miles from Hartlebury and 37¾ miles from Shrewsbury. It was considered one of the principal stations on the line, with two platforms and a passing loop from opening in 1862 as well as a small goods yard and goods shed. The station building was almost identical to those at Bewdley and Buildwas. The location of the station just a short way north of the town made it perhaps the most convenient of the Severn Valley Railway’s stations relative to the town it served.[1]

The line through Stourport ran east-west, the goods yard being situated south of the line. In 1885, additional sidings were installed north of the line connecting to a newly built basin on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. Around this time the GWRGreat Western Railway also built two new interlocked signal boxes at each end of the station; these were named Stourport North and Stourport South, referring to the overall direction of travel rather than the geography of the station itself. From late 1887 the double line between the boxes was worked under absolute block regulations.[2]

Stourport station was officially renamed 'Stourport-on-Severn' in 1934, possibly to avoid confusion with nearby Stourbridge as there was no other Stourport station.[3]

The Shropshire & Worcestershire Electric Power Co built a power station at Stourport after the First World War. However a direct rail connection to the Severn Valley Railway was only opened in 1940, coal deliveries before then being mainly via the River Severn or the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. Once opened, the rail connection remained until January 1981, prolonging the life of the southern end of the Severn Valley Railway.

The extract from Ordnance Survey Map SO87, surveyed 1938 - 1949, published 1951, shows the branch line between Stourport Power Station (bottom) and Stourport Station (marked ‘Sta’). The line continues northwards towards Burlish Halt (top).

The area formerly occupied by the station is now part of a housing estate.

The town of Stourport

The origins of the Worcestershire town of Stourport date back to the completion of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal in 1771. In that year John Wesley described Stourport as a "well-built village", but following the opening of the canal for trade in 1772 the village quickly grew into a town based around the large canal basins that served as the ‘port’, reaching a population of 1,300 by 1795.[4]

The early growth of Stourport saw a corresponding decline in the fortunes of Bewdley as a port.[5] However further significant growth of Stourport was effectively ended by the opening of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal in 1816. This provided a direct link between the two towns.

Gallery

See also

The Severn Valley Railway under GWR/BR ownership

References

  1. Vanns (1998/2013) p. 75.
  2. Vanns (1998/2013) p. 77.
  3. Marshall (1989) p. 89.
  4. Stourport on Wikipedia
  5. Marshall (1989) p.12.