Station Name: BOTLEY
Station still open but included for completeness

[Source: Nick Catford]

Botley Station Gallery 2 c1907 - April 1963

Another view of the Botley yard during the summer strawberry season in the first decade of the 20th century. Local growers often insisted on using their own carts and careful drivers as well as having their own workers pack the punnets into the railway vans. Some stations used children for this packing because their smaller size worked better inside the crowded railway vans. This view has proved rather problematic insofar as identifying vehicles is concerned. On the extreme left an open door of what is thought to be a L&NWR van with shelving can be seen. The next vehicle, being loaded, cannot be identified. It has two sets of double doors with barred droplights and ventilation louvres above the waist. The van has a look of SE&CR about it but, as said, it cannot be positively identified. The next vehicle is a L&SWR five-compartment carriage. The next four vehicles also appear to be L&SWR but their livery is a problem; are they ex-works perhaps. we do not know. Further L&SWR vehicles are visible in the distance. The horse-drawn carts are lining up to unload their produce into the vans on the left and there will likely be further vans out of view to the left. The passenger coaches appear to be well loaded, suggesting this is a fruit pickers train due to depart as soon as the vans have been loaded. If any readers expert of pre-grouping rolling stock can provide further information we would be most grateful.
Photo from John Mann collection

Looking north-west from the up platform at Botley station before September 1923 (the date this postcard was franked), the only passengers appear to be waiting for a Bishops Waltham train. Note the large number of large barrows stacked on the platform. The photographer is standing under the footbridge. This was provided by the L&SWR in in 1884. Initially it was an open bridge but following a petition from rail users the bridge was covered over in 1894. When the bay platform was built there was ‘provision for an independent access to the station’. This is assumed to be direct access from the Station Hill bridge but examination of large scale OS maps shows no evidence of this.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Looking north-west along the station approach road from Station Hill c1920s. The top floor of the main station building is seen on the right; the gable facing onto the road is the private entrance to the house. Beyond that an arch can be made out; this is the top of the steps leading down to the platform. Access to the booking office was through a door in the side wall of the building at the bottom of the steps. The small building alongside the approach road is the fruit traffic office. The two-storey goods warehouse is seen in the yard. With the need to get freshly picked strawberries to market quickly, it is inevitable that some of the horses pulling the carts to the station were overworked and it was not unknown for horses to drop dead on their way to the station. To give them some refreshment a horse trough and public drinking fountain was built at the top of the approach road as a memorial for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The building to the left of the drinking fountain is Bottings Hotel. Note the transport transition with the old on the left, drinking from the trough, and the new on the right. The car at the front looks like an early Austin and that at the back a Model T Ford. They are probably taxis as that style of body was common on taxis at the time.
photo from John Mann collection

A Bishops Waltham train is seen in awaiting departure in the bay platform at Botley station in March 1928; the loco is No.236. Built in 1894 at Nine Elms works of the L&SWR, this is one of the last batch of 10 Adams-designed Class O2 tanks. No.236 had a long working life. It passed into SR ownership and on to BR ownership as 30236 until withdrawal in January 1960 from 72F, Wadebridge shed, to be scrapped a month later, probably at Eastleigh works. The large L&SWR sign (black letters on a light cream background with a salmon pink border) seen above has been replaced with a smaller concrete Southern Railway running-in board. Note the oil lamps placed at regular intervals along the platform; these gave the station its local nickname of 'Paraffin Junction'.
Copyright photo by HC Casserley

The station is seen from the same position 22 years later. No passenger trains are now using the bay as the Bishops Waltham branch closed from 1 January 1933. The sign remains, but 'Change here for Bishops Waltham' has been painted out. As can be seen in this and the above picture the platforms extend some distance on the east side of Station Hill.
photo from John Mann collection

Although closed to passengers since 1933, the Bishops Waltham branch remained open for goods traffic until 1962. A coal train form Bishops Waltham is seen in the bay platform at Botley in March 1958. Class M7 0-4-4 tank engines provided this service until replaced by Ivatt tanks later in the year.
photo from John Mann collection

By March 1958 Class 205 Hampshire 'Thumpers' were in use on the Fareham line; DEMU 1118 is seen arriving at the platform. The first batch of units, numbered 1101–1118, was built at Eastleigh in 1957 as two-car units and classified as 2H. They were built for services in Hampshire on the non-electrified routes between Portsmouth Harbour, Salisbury and Andover and between Alton, Winchester and Southampton Terminus. The first units entered service in September 1957. However, owing to increasing passenger numbers, all eighteen units were strengthened to three cars with the addition of a centre trailer, and therefore were reclassified as 3H units. They were nicknamed 'Thumpers' due to the noise they made while in motion. 1118 is now preserved and can be found on the Dartmoor Railway.
photo from John Mann collection

The Branch Line Society ‘Portsmouth Area Railtour’ was the last of three railtours to visit the Bisahops Waltham branch after cloure to passsengers in 1932. The toour stopped briefly at Botley on 7 March 1959 and enthusiasts who got off the train to get pictures are seen running on the opposite platform.
Photo by David Pearson

The final goods train to travel over the Bishops Waltham branch is seen in the bay platform at Botley station on 27 April 1962. No.41328 was built at the ex-LMS works at Derby in 1952. An Ivatt design, this Class 2, 2-6-2 tank lasted until withdrawal from Eastleigh shed on 30 June 1964. It was put into store there until the October, when it was sent for scrapping to Cashmores of Newport and cut up at the end of December. The building on the station approach road to the right of the signal box is the fruit traffic office. Following the decline in fruit traffic after WW2 the building was rented to Murphy Chemical c1950. Copyright photo by RM Casserley

Botley station looking south-east from the main line up platform on 27 April 1962, the last day of goods service on the Bishops Waltham branch. The last train, comprised of coal wagons, stands in the bay platform. Although the original down platform shelter has been retained it is noticeably shorter than in earlier pictures. Note the BR Southern Region totem sign fixed to it.
Copyright photo by RM Casserley

Although the Bishops Waltham branch was closed completely on 27 April 1962, the first part of the branch was retained and is seen here with coal wagons in August 1962.
Photo by Ian Nolan from his Flickr photostream

Botley station looking north-west from the footbridge in April 1963. Although the footbridge was covered in 1894 by this date the cover had been removed and it was once again open, as built. The gents' toilet is seen on the left. The small building with the pitched roof is the original WC building; the urinals in front were added in February 1890. The signs on the station building indicate 'Gentlemen'. 'Ladies Room' and 'Way Out and Ticket Office'. The way out was a flight of steps between the canopy and the building with a door into the ticket office at the bottom of the steps.
Photo by Ben Brooksbank

Click here for Botley Station Gallery 3:
Mid 1960s - August 2011

Last updated: Sunday, 04-Jun-2017 09:53:22 CEST
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