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The Banbury & Cheltenham Direct Railway

cover illustration
The Banbury & Cheltenham Direct Railway


Stanley C. Jenkins, Bob Brown & Neil Parkhouse

368 pages. 275x215mm. Casebound with colour dustjacket.

ISBN13 : 9781899889150

£24.99


contents and extra information for this book »

A new single-volume history of this well-loved and picturesque route, complete in one profusely illustrated volume. From the earliest beginnings of railways in the Cotswold area, the narrative traces the piecemeal development of the B&CDR the Chipping Norton Railway, the Bourton-on-the-Water Railway, extension to Cheltenham, extension to Banbury and the direct line at Kingham as well as looking at the various abortive schemes which surrounded its birth. The route itself is studied in detail, with numerous scale plans of all of the stations and junctions at the various stages of their development, as well as looking at the various industries which connected with the line. Train services, including the famous Port-to-Ports express, and the locomotives to be found on the line at the different periods of its history are also considered. This is a well rounded history, backed up by a collection of over 400 photographs and illustrations, many of which have not been published before, and were collected over a period of 25 years, covering the route from the 1860s up to its demolition in the 1960s.

The Banbury & Cheltenham Direct Railway - Sample Images

cover illustration
The running of an express service over such an unlikely route as the B&CDR line obviously fascinated the local postcard photographers of the time and several views of the train at various stations on the line have been found. Here, it is seen approaching Andoversford Juntion station around 1910. The big moment of the day for the station staff, however, is undoubtedly the chance to have their photograph taken and scant notice is being paid to the on-coming express. The obligatory GWR 'Bulldog' Class 4-4-0 is again hauling a train of GCR stock, although at this time it can be seen that all of the carriages have roofboards. Note the waiting shelter on the Up platform has a stove-pipe chimney which does not show up in any of the later views, indicating that originally a stove was installed inside perhaps at the request of the local gentry?
cover illustration
One of the earliest known photographs of the station at Bourton-on-the-Water is this view showing the road entrance to the goods yard, which, from the costumes, must date to around 1890. The premises of two coal merchants feature prominently on the right: Geo. Clifford and Henry Burlingham & Co., whose headquarters were in Evesham. The latter also had an office at Notgrove station on the B&CDR line and the delivery wagon standing on the weighbridge belongs to him. Both merchants were in business by 1868 at least but Clifford disappears from the coal merchant listings in trade directories just before the First World War. The company were mainly builders, however, and still appeared under that heading in later directories. It is likely that they continued to supply coal locally and, indeed, their coal business is noted as having been bought by Pratt & haynes of Shipton-under-Wychwood in 1935. Burlingham & Co. are listed in local directories as coal merchants up until the early 1930s. Note the coal stacked up neatly behind the wooden offices, whilst several other delivery carts are aslo on view. The array of cattle vans and sheeted wagons in the sidings provide further evidence of Bourton's importance as a railhead for the surrounding rural community. The coach and horse outside the station on the left will be waiting to meet someone off the next train from Kingham, a client for one of the local hotels most probably.