Sunday, December 19, 2010
The Third Station
The third station opened in 1881 on the new loop line around Wolverton Works and is shown here with its entrance on the Stratford Road. It was a wooden building supported on brick pillars above the railway line. Covered staircases took passengers down to the platforms. Platform 1 on the left was the main down line. The middle staircase met platforms 2 and 3. Platform 2 was the main up line and 3 the secondary down line. There were also waiting rooms on this platform. The third stair flight went down to Platforms 4 and 5. Platform 5 was used exclusively for the "Nobby Newport" branch line.
The Stratford Road entrance took you into an entrance hall. the booking office was on the left and the parcels office on the right. Besides the parcels office stood a large weigh scale. The ticket collector stood at the gate and punched your tickets as you went through. No one was allowed past without a ticket. Even if you were going to wave someone off, you had to purchase a "Platform Ticket", which I think cost a penny.
The upper hall always had a smell of steam, as I remember. In the 1950s there were still porters working at the station whose job it was to carry and help load luggage. There was a goods lift that went down to Platforms 2 and 3. Nobody travelled light in those days. If you went on holiday for two week you had to take all the clothes you needed because there were no self-serve laundrettes, nor had non-iron clothing been invented. Therefore a family holiday meant the packing of large trunks and suitcases, which, at the station end, could be carried by porters with trolleys.
The station was built for an age which had low volumes of road traffic. There were nearby bus stops of course but most passengers walked to the station. The odd taxi or car could stop outside the front entrance without disturbing traffic very much. In 1990 or thereabouts access to the station was changed to the car park down the hill and the wooden building which had done more than 100 years service (longer than either of its predecessors) was demolished.