Lambourn Valley Railway header
The Lambourn Valley Railway
Stations & Crossings
Lambourn 1950-1960
Photo : C Gordon Watford Photo : M.B Warburton
Photo : T.B Sands Photo : T.J Saunders

Above: An 0-6-0 Pannier Tank passes the signal box, probably running round then nudging its way to the platform to collect its train for the return trip to Newbury.

Below left: A Dean Goods arrives at Lambourn in the early 1950s. Tender-first working was never popular with the crews, as on summer days, coal dust constantly blew into their faces. Even travelling boiler-first, in the winter the rather miserly cabs on the Dean Goods provided very little shelter from the harsh weather.

Below right: A platelayer is seen lubricating the points on the approach to the terminus.

Photo : P.J Garland
Photo : J.H Moss
Photo : J Smith Photo : C Gordon Watford
Above: The gas lighting used in the horseboxes was sourced from a Cordon (Gas Tank Wagon) based at the terminus, and visible in the bottom right of this image. The pressurised tanks were refilled from a GWR gasworks near the junction with the West London Line. Above: The three-ton crane pictured here in the early 1950s replaced the earlier one-ton version. The very first crane to exist at Lambourn was a one-ton 10 cwt model.
Photo : D Canning
Photo : Unknown Photo : Unknown
Above: This rare image shows the approach to the platform, whose western end was reinforced in order to accept vehicular traffic. The weighbridge is just visible bottom right.
Above: A grimy 0-6-0PT awaits the right away to lead its one-coach train back down the gradient to Newbury.

Photo : H Ballantyne
Above: Railcar No. 18 awaits departure on 8th June 1954. This railcar was the first to feature cut-away bodywork that on all previous examples had shrouded the bogies, adding to the streamlined look so redolent of the 1930s. All subsequent examples followed this pattern, presumably to provide easier access to the mechanicals.

Photo : I.D Beale

 Photo: T B Sands

Above: The station yard in 1954 with 0-6-0PT running round its train. The extensive loading bank in the foreground was required to cope with the large volumes of racehorse and cattle traffic. The Pacos (horseboxes) stabled in the yard were a familiar sight at Lambourn, some of the vehicles being allocated to particular trainers whose names appeared on the sides. The gas lighting in these vehicles was replenished from a Cordon (gas tank wagon) which was normally kept in the yard. Note the vehicle crossing to the goods shed.

Photo : D.B Clayton
Photo : D.B Clayton
Above: A full goods siding, and a general view of Lambourn station with a railcar sitting at the platform, awaiting its sparse passenger load.
Photo : E . Wilmshurst Photo : D.B Clayton
Above: An unidentified 0-6-0 Pannier Tank simmers as it waits for its timetabled departure time
Above: The goods shed, which survived from the station's opening until it closed. Note the ladders and short platform.
Photo : A.E Bennett Photo : J Smith
Above left: This is from 1956, and we are back to solely steam-hauled trains; the railcars were not used again.
Above right: Left of the water pump housing is another picture of what must be the most-photographed gas tank wagon ever. In this image from 1956, beyond the 3000-gallon, conical water tower can be seen the concrete weighbridge office. The weighbridge capacity was increased in 1945 from six to 20 tons.
Photo  :  S Fletcher Photo : Unknown
Above: A view from the end of the station building, looking towards the platelayers' hut and signal box. Note the signal beyond the box, its location after 1938 when it wasmoved to allow for longer trains.
Above: View from the goods yard of the platform and station name board, with its characteristic Great Western Railway font. The bench bears witness to its GWR heritage.
Photo : J Smith
Above: A GWR pannier tank awaits just before the run-around loop point. A goods yards full of horse boxes suggests plenty of activity. Above: Another view of the one-coach train behind the pannier tank. Unseen behind the photographer is probably that gas tank wagon.
Photo : Unknown Photo : Unknown
Above: GWR 0-6-0PT 3740, having run round its train, awaits the right away. A member of the 8750 class, these engines were first built in 1933. The updated design included an improved cab with a higher roof, rectangular windows and grilles – in contrast to the earlier round windows, or spectacles, of the initial design – together with sliding shutters and hinged doors offering greater protection from the elements. Above: Engine 2212 waits to run round its train while a host of passengers disembarks. This example, built in 1940 and  a member of the 2251 class, was a modernised Dean Goods. It shared the earlier design's main dimensions, but more modern features included a tapered boiler and full cab. AHillman Husky interlopes on the platform, a precursor of the line's ultimate decline.
Photo : M.J Deane
Above: Lambourn in the late 1950s with 0-6-0PT No 4666 near the water tower, running round the single-coach return trip to Newbury. The postman on the platform wheeling the trolley I believe to be none other than my old friend and work colleague, the late Cyril Prince (writes Ken Tarbox).
The station in 1958
Above: The station in 1958.
Below: Two aerial views taken on 31 July 1958.
Lambourn from the air in 1958
Both photos: Aerofilms. With thanks to Kevin Robertson
Photo: Google Earth
And as a comparison, this is an image from Google Earth (with colour removed for easier comparison) showing roughly the same view as the image above it, but 70 years later in 2018. The station's location can be seen towards the upper right of the image.
The station in 1960 - just before closure
Above: The storm clouds gather over Lambourn station, as they did over the entire Lambourn Valley operation. Despite the fresh ballasting evident in this image, on 4th January 1960, the Lambourn Valley branch line was officially closed. It had a lifespan of just 62 years.

During its operational lifespan, Lambourn station was managed by just seven stationmasters:
  • 1898 – 1905: W Brain
  • Dec 1905 – May 1915: J R C Williams
  • May 1915 – March 1926: G H Gamble
  • March 1926 – May 1933: W J Parmee
  • May 1933 – July 1941: W R H Mager
  • Nov 1941 – Sept 1949: A C Smith
  • Sept 1949 – 1960: S W Knapp

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