Sunday, September 23, 2012
An 1839 Timetable
In 1839 Wolverton scarcely existed. The first workshop was not ready until September of that year and hardly any houses had been built for the workers. What housing there was were no better than temporary wooden shacks.
The station served the towns of Newport Pagnell and Stony Stratford, and Newport was the larger of the two.
This bill, printed in Newport Pagnell, was probably posted in the Swan Hotel, where you could buy tickets for travel on the railway. Note the rather quaint way times are expressed. A train leaves at 1/4 before 7 in the morning and arrives in London at 3/4 past nine. It seems that time expressions such as 6:45 am had yet to be invented. The journey times vary from Wolverton to London from 2 3/4 hours to 3 1/4 hours - slow by our standards, but an unheard of speed in 1839.
The printer has also not found a way to present timetables in a clear format. The first and second columns list departure times from Wolverton and arrival times in London in no obvious order and uses the third column to list departures to Birmingham in the top part of the column and arrival times at Curzon Street in the lower group.