[Source: Alan Young]

Date opened: Soon after 1922
Location: Immediately east of old overbridge crossed by lane into Low Briery Holiday Park (which occupies site of the former mill)
Company on opening: London, Midland & Scottish Railway
Date closed to passengers: 17.11.1958
Date closed completely: 17.11.1958
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Platform survives
County: Cumberland
OS Grid Ref: NY286241
Date of visit: October 1988

Notes: Located in a broad loop of the River Greta, a textile mill was operating in the 1820s, manufacturing woollen goods. In the 1830s the mill began to produce bobbins, made at first from local hardwoods, but later from imported timber, and the bobbins were despatched to textile industries. In 1867 the CK&PR agreed to install a siding to serve the mill but it was not until 1891 that a layout and terms were agreed with the owner for construction of a siding capable of accommodating 20 wagons, controlled by a ground frame facing up trains, and an internal loop siding. In its heyday the siding was used to export bobbins to various destinations including St Petersburg in Russia. It is claimed that at one time the mill produced 40 million bobbins a year.

Workers at the Briery Bobbin Mill c1920s

Soon after 1922 a timber platform was constructed close to the siding, on the up side of the single track, immediately north- east of the bridge which carried the lane to the mill. A wicket gate gave access to the platform directly from the mill yard. One up train called in the morning to enable workers to arrive from Keswick and Cockermouth, and a down train collected them in late-afternoon on Monday to Friday, and at lunchtime on Saturday. These calls were omitted from the public timetable. As with some other private and ‘untimetabled’ stations, the halt serving the mill has been known by more than one name; Croughton et al (1982) refer to it as Briery Siding Halt, as this name was used on workmen’s tickets, but Bowtell  (1989) and Quick (2009) prefer the more colourful Briery Bobbin Mill Halt.

By the early 1930s the timber platform facing was decaying so the LMS rebuilt it with pre-cast concrete units; apparently the LMS, looking to economise, used surplus stock for the job.

Until winter 1958-59 morning and evening calls at the halt were included in the British Railways working timetable. It had been the procedure that an up morning passenger train would call before 8.00am with passengers wishing to alight at the halt travelling in the leading coaches which would stop adjacent to the short platform. The return calls were made by a passenger train booked to call at lunchtime on Saturday or late afternoon on Monday to Friday. There were periods when the workmen’s special train between Keswick and Threlkeld (see Threlkeld page) would call at Briery Siding Halt, and Bowtell (1989) believes that at other periods a shuttle service operated between Keswick and the halt, the locomotive propelling the coach in one direction. 

The mill closed in November 1958 and a week later trains ceased to call. At this time the siding layout (expanded in 1906 and 1911) was in place but latterly used only for inbound coal. The private siding Agreement with the railway was officially discontinued on 17 October 1959.

The site of the mill has been redeveloped for holiday accommodation, and former workers’ cottages have been included in this project.  A cycle route follows the trackbed of the railway for much of the distance between Keswick and Threlkeld , including the section past the platform of Briery Siding Halt.

Click here to see a short video of the halt as it is now.

Route map drawn by Alan Young. Tickets from Michael Stewart.

To see the other stations on the Cockermouth - Penrith line click on the station name: Cockermouth 1st, Cockermouth 2nd, Embleton, Bassenthwaite Lake, Braithwaite, Keswick, Threlkeld, Highgate Platform, Troutbeck, Penruddock & Blencow

Click here for a brief history of the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway

Looking north-east c1935, Briery Siding is seen diverging to the left of the line between Keswick and Threlkeld. The workmen’s platform is out of sight, immediately beyond the overbridge that carries the lane to Briery Bobbin Mill. The ground frame which controls the points is in the foreground.
Photo by Richard L Pattinson, courtesy of Cumbrian Railway Association,

1924 1: 2,500 OS map. Briery Siding Halt was not shown on Ordnance Survey maps. The platform was immediately north-east of the bridge carrying the road to the Bobbin Mill (named) on the up (north-west) side of the track. The layout of the mill sidings, installed in the 1890s, is clearly represented. The River Greta forms the north-western boundary of the mill. The Mill Race diverting water from the river upstream to provide power to the mill and the Mill Stream which returns water to the river are both identified on the map. Click here for a larger version of the map.

Looking south-west towards the single platform of Briery Siding Halt; the date is unknown. Access to the platform was via a wicket gate from the mill yard and lane (right).
Photo by Richard L Pattinson, courtesy of Cumbrian Railway Association

Briery Siding Halt, looking east from the overbridge in May 1966. Although the platform is in place it has been out of use since 1958.
Copyright photo by John Alsop

A Class 108 diesel multiple unit bound for Keswick is about to pass the disused Briery Siding Halt c1970.
Photo from John Clark collection

A class 108 DMU is seen passing thorugh the closed Briery Siding Halt c1971.
Copyright photo by John Charters from Cumbrian Railway Association

Briery Siding Halt, looking east from the overbridge in February 1972. Although the platform is in place it has been out of use since 1958. The line through the station would close to all traffic in March 1972.
Photo by John Mann

The disused Briery Siding Halt, looking east in February 1972.
Photo by John Mann

Briery Siding Halt looking south-west in summer 1988. A cycle route follows the trackbed of the railway for much of the distance between Keswick and Threlkeld. The lane that once served Briery Mill now gives access to the cycle route.
Photo by Danny Bedlam

Looking south-west in October 1988 towards the platform of Briery Siding Halt. The lane to the right passes over the trackbed by means of a stone arch bridge beyond the platform, obscured by the trees. An interpretation board about the Bobbin mill is seen on the right.
Photo by Alan Young

Briery Siding Halt looking looking north-east in November 2017. The platform edge has been fenced and the halt forms part of the cycle way.
Photo from Georgraph, reproduced under creative commons licence




[Source: Alan Young]

Last updated: Sunday, 23-Feb-2020 11:02:43 CET
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