Station Name: BOTTISHAM & LODE

[Source: Darren Kitson]


Bottisham & Lode Station Gallery 2: c1960 - May 1977


Another undated view looking towards Swaffham Prior and Mildenhall but probably c1960, and on a summer evening, if the shadows are anything to go by. On this occasion, the goods yard is empty and undergrowth is encroaching on the cattle dock, behind the running-in board. By this time the carriage of livestock on the railways was in decline and in 1964 British Railways announced that they were considering whether the time had come for them to get out of livestock movement. Subsequently they decided to cut the number of stations at which livestock could be handled from around 2,700 to 250. On the right, the large lock-up provided at several Mildenhall branch stations can be seen, together with the obligatory fire buckets and sack barrow. In the distance, the curve becomes a long straight section of track which continued as such through Swaffham Prior to a point just before Burwell station.
photo from John Mann collection

This quite charming view shows a Waggon und Maschinenbau diesel railbus approaching Bottisham & Lode station on a Cambridge - Mildenhall service. It has just passed the re-sited home signal and crossed Bottisham Lode* and the level crossing. Unfortunately no other details accompany the photograph but by examining photographs of the railbuses in BR service, the railbus is almost certainly E79964 and the period 1960-62. Note the sloppily-applied electrification warning flashes; little details such as this help in identification. The seats adjacent to the small driving cabs faced inwards, much to the annoyance of youngsters who wished to 'see where they were going'. Most youngsters, however, were usually intent on peering into the cab to watch the driver.[* Some explanation of the word 'Lode' is in order. A lode is nowadays a term used to describe a vein of ore running through rocks but its origin dates back centuries when it meant a watercourse, usually man-made and, it would seem, peculiar to Cambridgeshire. So we have the quirky situation of Bottisham Lode at Bottisham & Lode station. The village of Lode derived its name from this watercourse.]
Photo from Mike Morant collection

A view of the former stationmaster's house from a pleasingly different angle in June 1963; this was a year after the end of passenger services, but during the period when a goods service still operated. With Mildenhall branch stationmaster's houses set at a right angle to the track, what would in other circumstances have been the side of the buildings effectively became the front. Note the neat garden with its flower, lawn and vegetable areas. Such gardens were once considered an essential part of life, especially in rural areas. There is no sign of the signal box, yet it reportedly remained in use until 1964. It is probably hidden by the bushes which are gradually engulfing the down platform.
Photo by Ben Brooksbank


Five years after the final train trundled through Bottisham, we find ourselves looking along the trackbed towards Swaffham Prior in July 1969. Pallets now stand where passengers once stood and the down waiting room stands dejected. The down platform has had its facing cut back. The pitched roof structure in the distance is, in fact, a haystack or similar type of storage pile. The gate from the stationmaster's house to the platform still stands on the right.
Photo by John Mann


A view of the up platform in July 1969. The buildings remain intact as does the weigh office in the left background. It would appear that the station was in use by a builder or builders’ merchant at this time. The post on the left once supported an oil lamp but there is no sign of the posts which once supported the running-in board. After closure, BR was very quick to lift the track and remove signage, lamps and other fittings from stations along the line but some items, such as lamp standards, remained.
Photo by John Mann


An excellent view showing details of the station's buildings from the forecourt side, looking towards Cambridge in July 1969. Although not unattractive, the overall design was somewhat messy and the differing gable sizes did nothing to enhance the appearance. The nearest building is the lock-up and beyond that is the gents' toilet, while in between is the gateway leading from the platform. Beyond the toilet is the station building containing the booking office and so on, with the stationmaster's house at the far end. Two noticeboards are still present with the nearest, at least, apparently still bearing a poster. Signs of decline are becoming apparent, especially condition of the roofs.
Photo by John Mann

An unusual view from May 1976 across the site of bridge 2238, in the foreground, and No.17 level crossing beyond with the station in the distance. The bridge was of girder construction with iron safety railings and wooden decking. The bridge was removed sometime around 1970. One or two similar bridges still exist at the time of writing, at isolated locations along the course of the line and on what is now private land. The bridge on the left carries a farm track over Bottisham Lode (the watercourse) but today it is without railings. Of the former railway bridge, the remains of its abutments and a section of its railings can still be seen in the undergrowth. On the right, evidence of the lineside fencing made from old sleepers , and of which the ever-resourceful GER was so fond, can be seen.
Photo by David Burrows from his Flickr photostream


The up platform looking in the down direction in May 1976. At the bottom of the ramp another post which once supported an oil lamp can be seen. This lamp does not appear in earlier photographs of the station so quite when it was installed is something of a mystery. It was probably done at the same time as the down waiting room lamp was moved onto a post - whenever that was. The seemingly odd siting of the lamp at the bottom of the ramp suggests that it was for staff purposes, perhaps for when staff were walking to and from the cottages or level crossing.
Photo by David Burrows from his Flickr photostream

Pallets, more pallets and building materials, somewhere behind which is Bottisham up platform and station building. The date is May 1977.
Photo by Alan Young


The down platform waiting room in May 1977, still standing to attention waiting for passengers who will never come. The windows are now boarded up but the building still appears to be in generally good condition. This view also makes it very obvious that the platform face has been cut back although for what reason is not known. By now, the roof appears to be of corrugated asbestos. Some form of seating would have been provided inside these waiting rooms; either plain wood or the heavy wood-framed bench type with horsehair-stuffed leather cushions which were once typical of railway waiting rooms. The post which once supported an oil lamp is still present.
Photo by Alan Young

Click here for Bottisham & Lode Station Gallery 3:
July 2006 - May 2015



 

 

 

[Source: Darren Kitson]




Last updated: Sunday, 04-Jun-2017 08:53:33 BST
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