Station Name: FENCEHOUSES

[Source: Alan Young]


Date opened: Possibly 8.1841
Location:

Immediately north of the level crossing on Station Avenue

Company on opening: Durham Junction Railway
Date closed to passengers:

4.5.1964

Date closed completely: 1.6.1964
Company on closing:

British Railways (North Eastern Region)

Present state: The platforms and station buildings have been demolished but the adjacent goods shed still stands and is used as a car workshop (The Fencehouses MOT Centre). The goods dock is also extant.
County: Durham (now Tyne & Wear)
OS Grid Ref: NZ318503
Date of visit: 22.6.2011

There is no record of a station at Fencehouses when the line from Rainton Meadows to Brockley Whins opened through on 9 March 1840, however it is assumed to have opened shortly after. In its early days the name was rendered ‘Fence Houses’ but the single word name was used in Reid’s June 1849 timetable; both forms of the name were used indiscriminately in later years. After the Leamside – Durham – Bishop Auckland line opened in 1857 Fencehouses found itself on a busy section of line with passenger and goods trains operating in four directions: to Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and Ferryhill. Express ‘East Coast’ services between London, Newcastle and Edinburgh passed through Fencehouses until 1872 when they were diverted onto the new East Coast main line from Ferryhill through Durham to Newcastle. Thereafter the route through Shincliffe, Leamside, Fencehouses and Washington was referred to as the ‘Old Main Line’.

The main building at Fencehouses station was on the down (west) platform, and Hoole (1985) states that it contained features of G T Andrews’ work but it did not follow his fairly standard designs. The axis of the two-storey sandstone building was parallel to the platform, rather than at right angles as found, for instance, at Brockley Whins. On the ground floor, facing the platform, were two hipped bay windows: a distinctive ‘Andrews’ feature. The ridged roof had a large overhang. A small sandstone single-storey block connected the main building to further stone building, again single-storey but of generous proportions, somewhat taller and with a hipped roof. The whole group possessed sombre dignity, perhaps owing some of this character to blackening of the stone by soot. On the up (east) platform, adjacent to the level crossing, was an open-fronted stone-built waiting shed with a hipped roof. At some stage the track side of the down platform was raised slightly and a post-and-rail fence was installed in front of the main building. The platforms were connected at the south end by a footbridge of the familiar NER profile but with close-meshed lattice sides.

Goods sidings were placed behind the down platform with access from the north, and a 5-ton crane was provided. Behind the up platform were two separate tracks for mineral traffic, ultimately being used by National Coal Board trains. The signal box was cantilevered-out on both its east and west elevations and stood immediately south of the level crossing, east of the main tracks. It operated the level crossing gates for the two pairs of tracks.

The OS 1896 plan shows that a goods shed was in place with a track running through, as well as cattle pens and a loading dock to the south of the shed. At this time Fencehouses was a very small settlement, but the OS plan of 1920 indicates a ribbon development of terraced houses on each side of the level crossing and an auction mart west of the cattle pens. By the end of the 1950s an estate of semidetached houses had been constructed east of the railway.

Even though in 1911 the immediate environs of the station were lightly populated the NER claimed that it served 20,485 people – presumably including Houghton-le-Spring. In that year 141,237 tickets were issued. Goods statistics for 1913 record that creosote / tar and livestock were handled. From the 1920s motor buses began to compete effectively with the railway offering more frequent and cheaper services; in north-east Durham they served mining communities without direct rail access, such as Houghton-le-Spring whose residents would previously have considered Fencehouses station, 1½ miles from the town, to be their local railhead. As a result of this competition from road motors while the population of Fencehouses itself grew, the railway station’s passenger traffic declined.

In 1923 at the Grouping of Britain’s railways the NER lines, and thus Fencehouses station, were allocated to the London & North Eastern Railway. During the LNER era on the Old Main Line the frequency of passenger services on the line to Newcastle via Washington was reduced and an infrequent service of about half-a-dozen trains each way operated on the route to Ferryhill until it was withdrawn in 1941. Nevertheless in winter 1937-8 Fencehouses enjoyed a high frequency of trains, the majority being on the Sunderland – Durham route.

Up trains winter 1937-8

Destination

Down trains winter 1937-8

Destination

5.29am

Durham

6.25am

Sunderland

7.21am

Ferryhill

7.57am

Newcastle

7.30am

Durham

8.24am

Sunderland

8.32am

Bishop Auckland

8.46am

Sunderland

9.09am

Durham

8.54am

Newcastle

10.24am

Bishop Auckland

9.23am

Sunderland

11.07am

Ferryhill

10.06am

Sunderland

11.13am SX

Bishop Auckland

10.48am

Sunderland

11.13am SO

Barnard Castle

10.56am

Newcastle

11.39am SO

Middleton-in-Teesdale

11.31am

Sunderland

11.44am SO

Leamside

12.04pm SO

Newcastle

11.57am SX

Middleton-in-Teesdale

12.11pm

Sunderland

12.54pm SO

Durham

12.57pm SO

Newcastle

1.19pm

Durham

1.44 pm

Sunderland

1.52pm

Darlington via Durham

1.57pm SO

Newcastle

2.11pm

Ferryhill

2.27pm

Sunderland

2.24pm

Durham

3.05pm

Newcastle

3.24pm

Durham

3.17pm

Sunderland

4.24pm

Durham

4.14pm

Sunderland

4.54pm SX

Middleton-in-Teesdale

4.40pm

Newcastle

4.54pm SO

Barnard Castle

4.59pm

Sunderland

5.37pm

Durham

5.18pm

Sunderland

5.45pm

Ferryhill

5.24pm SX

Gateshead East

6.02pm

Bishop Auckland

5.41pm

Sunderland

6.29pm

Leamside

5.46pm SO

Newcastle

6.58pm

Durham

6.14pm

Sunderland

7.27pm

Leamside

7.02pm

Sunderland

7.36pm

Durham

7.10pm

Newcastle

8.40pm

Durham

7.39pm

Sunderland

8.52pm

Bishop Auckland

7.56pm SX

Newcastle

9.24pm

Bishop Auckland

8.01pm SO

Newcastle

9.34 pm SO

Leamside

8.39pm

Sunderland

11.02pm

Durham

9.38pm

Sunderland

11.21pm SO

Durham

10.04pm

Sunderland

 

 

10.25pm SO

Newcastle

 

 

10.55pm

Sunderland

 

 

11.49pm

Sunderland

On Sundays there were six up trains -two to Durham and four to Bishop Auckland - and six down trains, all to Sunderland.

At nationalisation in 1948 the station found itself in the North Eastern Region of British Railways. By 1951 ticket bookings at Fencehouses had fallen sharply to 21,340 a mere 15% of the figure forty years earlier. By this time the train services to and from Fencehouses via Washington had virtually ceased: in summer 1952 only one passenger train ran south of Washington, calling at Fencehouses at 5.05am on weekdays on its way to Middleton-in-Teesdale. British Railways invested little in Fencehouses station leaving it gas-lit and with LNER signage.

Up trains summer 1952

Destination

Down trains summer 1952

Destination

5.05am

Middleton-in-Teesdale

5.45am

Sunderland

7.40am

Bishop Auckland

6.44am

Sunderland

8.21am SO

Blackpool North

8.20am

Sunderland

8.36am

Middleton-in-Teesdale

9.54am

Sunderland

10.57am

Bishop Auckland

12.14pm

Sunderland

12.43pm

Durham

2.12pm

Sunderland

2.27pm

Middleton-in-Teesdale

3.55pm

Sunderland

4.31pm

Bishop Auckland

4.05pm SO

S. Shields via Sunderland

5.35pm

Bishop Auckland

5.05pm SX

Sunderland

6.02pm

Durham

5.12pm SO

Sunderland

6.41pm

Durham

6.12pm

Sunderland

7.17pm

Bishop Auckland

7.45pm

Sunderland

9.57pm

Bishop Auckland

10.25pm

Sunderland

 

 

11.30pm

Sunderland

On Sundays there were five up trains: three to Durham, one to Bishop Auckland and one to Saltburn (via Bishop Auckland). There were six down trains, all to Sunderland.

Passenger traffic surveys were carried out on the Sunderland – Durham line on representative days in summer 1962 and winter 1962-3. The figures showed that passengers from and to Fencehouses dominantly used trains in the Sunderland, rather than Durham, direction. The winter 1962-3 survey found 45 passengers joining trains at Fencehouses on weekdays and 52 on Saturdays, with similar numbers alighting.



When the Reshaping of British Railways was published in March 1963, Beeching dealt severely with County Durham, recommending the closure of the Sunderland – Durham – Bishop Auckland and the Pelaw – Washington (not ‘Fencehouses’) lines; although the BR(NE) summer 1963 timetable book included a Newcastle - Fencehouses table, only one train ran on the whole route, calling at 5.01am on weekdays en route to Durham. This train did not call at Washington, so effectively there was no Washington – Fencehouses service. Closure of the Washington route was one of the few to which no objections were received, so its demise was swift, formal closure taking place on 9 September 1963. This seems to have caught the timetable compilers napping as the Newcastle - Fencehouses table appeared again in the winter 1963-4 North Eastern Region book.

Following the publication of the formal proposal of closure19 July 1963, Ernest Marples, Minister of Transport, gave his consent on 28 February 1964 to the closure of the Sunderland – Durham – Bishop Auckland line, and services were officially withdrawn on 4 May 1964. Fencehouses lost its goods services one month later, on 1 June. The station was demolished within a few years of its closure, but the line through it continued to be used by mineral and goods trains, and for occasional passenger trains diverted from the East Coast main line. Although the route from Leamside to Durham closed entirely later in 1964 and the connection to Sunderland was lost in 1967, the Old Main Line remained in use until 1991 when British Rail ‘mothballed’ and singled the line from Pelaw to Ferryhill through Fencehouses with a view to possible future use. Various proposals were made to reopen it to passengers, but gradually the line was rendered unusable: some track was stolen and elsewhere lengths were officially removed at some level crossings, and fly-tipping also obstructed some of the route. In 2012 the decision was taken to close the line, and by late February 2013 most of the track south of Penshaw had been removed by rail vehicles, access being made possible by the reconnection of the junction with the East Coast main line at Tursdale, just north of Ferryhill: a correspondent noted a track recovery train topped and tailed by a DRS (Direct Rail Services) class 27 and 47 loaded with concrete sleepers. Nevertheless restoration of the track and services might eventually take place.

BRIEF HISTORY OF 'THE OLD MAIN LINE'
The ‘Old Main Line’ was the name frequently given to the railway between Ferryhill and Pelaw in County Durham which, from 1850 until 1872 formed part of the ‘East Coast’ route from London (Kings Cross) to Newcastle. Prior to 1850 trains ran via Brockley Whins, prior to the opening of the Washington – Pelaw line, and until 1848 terminated at Gateshead rather than Newcastle. From 1872 the present East Coast main line route was used, with diversions in 1906 when the opening of King Edward Bridge removed the need to travel via Gateshead (West) and at Newton Hall Junction, north of Durham, where the curvature of the tracks was reduced in the late 1960s. The evolution of the ‘Old Main Line’ was far from straightforward.

By the beginning of the nineteenth century waggonways were already in existence to move coal from the mines in south-east Northumberland and north-eastern County Durham to tidal water for export. It stands to reason that passengers will have been carried unofficially on such lines, but the first recorded passenger transport by rail in north-east Durham was in 1834 on the Pontop & South Shields route. Originally opened as the Stanhope & Tyne Railroad, it was not established by parliamentary Act but was built on the ‘wayleave’ system under a Deed of Settlement dated 3 February 1834, perhaps to conceal the ambitious nature of the scheme, which was 33¾ miles in length. Under this arrangement the company was to pay a toll, based on the amount of traffic carried, to each landowner through whose property the railway passed.

The south-western end of the line was in Weardale, on the moors just south of Stanhope. Here limestone was quarried, and there were deposits of coal available at intervals between Consett and South Shields. In July 1832 building of the line began, and progress was rapid. Although much of the terrain it crossed was moorland at high altitude, few earthworks were constructed or excavated, and some steep slopes on the south-western section of the route were negotiated with inclines; indeed more than half was worked by inclined planes, either self-acting or with a winding engine, and a few near-level stretches were worked by horses. Locomotives were used only at the eastern end. Much of the line remained unfenced until it closed in the 1960s. The route from Stanhope lime-kilns to Annfield was opened on 15 May 1834, and the eastern section onward to South Shields on 10 September 1834. The engineer T E Harrison surveyed the route; he was to become one of the most influential personnel of the NER.

The carriage of minerals was the priority of the Stanhope & Tyne, and no attempt was made to serve centres of population which would generate passenger traffic. Nevertheless there were requests for passengers to be conveyed so they were permitted to ride free-of-charge on top of the coal wagons. Soon a wagon was attached specifically for passenger use, and shortly afterwards a separate locomotive-hauled passenger coach was provided fortnightly on pay days. Finally, on 16 April 1835, a full passenger service was instated between Durham Turnpike (one mile north of Chester-le-Street) and South Shields, possibly calling from the start at Vigo and Washington. At South Shields a nearby inn sold tickets, and passengers boarded the train in sidings. Part of this route, from Washington to Brockley Whins, was to become a section of the original ‘Old Main Line’. The isolated stretch of passenger railway between Durham Turnpike and South Shields was joined by the Brandling Junction Railway from Gateshead to Brockley Whins, three miles south-west of South Shields, opening to minerals on 30 August 1838 and passengers on 5 September 1839; and the Durham Junction Railway, stretching north from an obscure terminus at Rainton Meadow (with horse-bus connection to Durham) to Washington opened for mineral traffic on 24 August 1838 and passengers on 9 March 1840.

Unfortunately the cost of running the Stanhope & Tyne proved unsustainable. In the moorlands wayleaves cost about £25 per mile per year, but at the eastern end the figures were £300 or more. The outgoings on wayleaves alone amounted to £5,600. Plans for a dock (where Tyne Dock was later opened) were abandoned. Traffic did not develop to the expected levels and the wayleaves proved to be financially crippling. By the close of 1840 the railway company was £440,000 in debt, and it was wound up on 5 February 1841. The following year the Pontop & South Shields Railway obtained an Act to take over the northern end of its track which had hosted the passenger service. The Derwent Iron Company took control of the section south-west of Carr House to bring limestone from Stanhope to its furnaces at Consett. This section later passed into the hands of the S&D.

The Brandling Junction Railway (BJ) originated as a private venture by brothers R W and J Brandling to connect Gateshead, South Shields and Monkwearmouth. The brothers obtained an Act to buy or purchase leases for the land over which their lines would pass, but they chose to proceed by the wayleave system. A company came into being on 7 September 1835 to acquire the assets of the Brandling Railway, and as the Brandling Junction Railway Company it was incorporated by Act of Parliament on 7 June 1836. The Stanhope & Tyne also sponsored a Gateshead, South Shields & Monkwearmouth Railway, but discussions with the BJR resulted in the abandonment of the plan. The BJR opened in three sections. The first was from the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway’s Redheugh in Gateshead, adjacent to the River Tyne, which ascended at 1:23 through Greenes Field to Oakwellgate; this was operated by a stationary engine. A self-acting incline from Gateshead Quayside was opened with it on the same day, 15 January 1839. The route from South Shields to Monkwearmouth opened on 19 June 1839, followed by the connecting lines between Gateshead and Cleadon Lane (later East Boldon) and between Brockley Whins and Green Lane (north-east of Brockley Whins) on 5 September 1839. A chord known as the Newton Garths branch opened on 9 September 1839 between East Boldon and West Boldon junctions, immediately south-east of Pontop Crossing, but this was not used by passenger trains. On 9 March 1840 the west-to-north link between the BJ and S&T opened at Pontop Crossing which enabled through services between the several termini at Gateshead, South Shields, Monkwearmouth and the Durham Junction Railway’s Rainton Meadows to operate. However services from the south had, at first, to reverse from just north of Pontop Crossing to reach Brockley Whins in a complex operation (described on the Brockley Whins page).

The Durham Junction Railway (DJ) was authorised by an Act of 16 June 1834. It became an important link in the chain of railways forming the ‘Old Main Line’, the original intention was merely to redirect to the Tyne coal from the pits in the Houghton-le-Spring area, and from pits served by the Hartlepool Railway. Even these modest ambitions were not realised as its southern terminus was to be at Rainton Meadows, two miles short of Moorsley, its intended destination, and the Houghton-le-Spring branch, authorised by an Act of 1837, was never constructed. Nevertheless a ‘Station Road’ was partly constructed in Houghton – the triumph of hope over reality – which was to be one of the largest population centres in the North-East never to have the benefit of a passenger station.

The DJ’s crowning glory was the stately stone viaduct over the River Wear between Penshaw and Washington, and based upon the Roman bridge at Alcántara, Spain. The last stone was laid on the day of Queen Victoria’s coronation, 28 June 1838, thus it was named Victoria Bridge (or Viaduct). The engineer T E Harrison constructed four main arches, those at each end of 100ft span and the two central arches of 160ft and 144ft; the total length was 811ft and the height above water level was 135ft. In 1843 the DJ became part of the portfolio of the ambitious George Hudson (the ‘Railway King’) as part of his plan for an integrated east-coast route. The Act of 23 May 1844 which confirmed his purchase of the line also made provision for the project of bridging the Tyne.

At Washington the DJ connected with the Stanhope & Tyne whose metals were used as far as Brockley Whins. Here the BJ line was joined, and the passenger service between Rainton Meadows and Gateshead took this route from its inception on 9 March 1840. The S&T owned over half of the DJ shares and also worked the services. As noted above a reversal was necessary at Brockley Whins, and this inconvenience was compounded by congestion caused by the DJ and S&T/P&SS trains sharing the line between Washington and Brockley Whins. To allow more efficient operation powers were sought to construct a direct curve and to widen the line between Washington and Brockley Whins: an Act of 23 May 1844 authorised these projects. The curve was on a difficult site intersected by the River Don and was constructed on a wooden viaduct which stood until 1940. The viaduct was used by main line trains until 1 October 1850 when the more direct route between Washington and Pelaw via Usworth was opened.

For the next stage in the evolution of the ‘Old Main Line’ through County Durham it is necessary to return to the 1830s. The Great North of England Railway obtained its Act for a route from Redheugh Quay at Gateshead to Croft (south of Darlington) on 4 July 1836. After opening from York to Darlington the GNE decided, for financial reasons, not to construct the route onward to Gateshead, and on 5 October 1841 agreed to relinquish the powers to Robert Davies, James Richardson and John Hotham, who acted on behalf of the embryo Newcastle & Darlington Junction Railway. The N&DJ agreed to apply for powers to finish the line and pay all costs. The N&DJ was incorporated on 18 June 1842, and on 11 April 1843 the northern part of the GNE was transferred by Act of Parliament to the N&DJ. Work proceeded swiftly, and the line opened throughout on 15 April 1844 to mineral traffic and to passengers on 19 June. The short section between Belmont Junction (where the Durham branch left the main line) to join the Durham Junction line at Rainton Crossing was the last to be completed. There was now a direct railway link from London to the Tyne: on 18 June 1844, the day before the route opened to regular passenger traffic, a special train made history when it ran from London (Euston Square) to Gateshead in 9h 21m, including stops totalling 70 minutes. At the time of opening the N&DJ did not actually own the line beyond Washington, but had a station at Gateshead, reached via the P&SS and BJ railways: although only authorised by the Act of 23 May 1844 the station was illustrated by an engraving in a Gateshead newspaper four weeks later.



The early days of the N&DJ were difficult owing to strained relations with the GNE. For details see K Hoole’s Regional History vol 4.

The original ‘East Coast’ main line of 1844 therefore ran from Ferryhill to Gateshead via Shincliffe, Leamside, Penshaw, Washington, Brockley Whins and Pelaw. The Gateshead terminus was at Oakwellgate, which had opened on 5 September 1839. On 2 September 1844 Oakwellgate closed, and the service was diverted to the Greenesfield terminus, which had opened on 19 June 1844. This terminus, in turn, gave way to a new through station which would eventually be known as Gateshead East, when the main line was extended to Newcastle Central, crossing the River Tyne on a temporary bridge (opened 1 November 1848) then on the High Level Bridge, which opened on 30 August 1850. From 1 October 1850 the new, shorter route via Usworth was used between Washington and Pelaw, avoiding Brockley Whins. This ‘Old Main Line’ or ‘Leamside’ route was used until 15 January 1872 when through express services were diverted to the route via Durham.

The ‘Old Main Line’ continued life as an important freight route and retained its stopping passenger service between Leamside and Ferryhill into LNER days. This service - latterly amounting to four up and five down trains on weekdays and one up on a Sunday, calling at the intermediate stations of Shincliffe and Sherburn Colliery – was to have been withdrawn in 1939 but closure was deferred until June 1941. Thereafter the Leamside – Ferryhill line was used for passenger trains diverted from the main line via Durham and for freight traffic. In 1991 British Rail mothballed the line, but owing to dumping of rubbish on the lines, removal of rails at level-crossings, theft of 2½ miles of track near Penshaw in 2003, and effects of overall neglect Network Rail decided to close the line entirely and the rails were removed by April 2013. Concrete sleepers recovered from the route are understood to be destined for re-use on the Waverley Route currently under construction between Edinburgh, Galashiels and Tweedbank.

The Durham diversion was, like the development of the Leamside route, a result of evolution rather than one direct action.

BRIEF HISTORY OF 'THE NEW MAIN LINE'
Access to Gateshead from the south was via Leamside until 1872, when the present-day East Coast main line superseded it. However much earlier, in July 1846, the York & Newcastle Railway announced its intention to promote a Bill for a line following a route via the Team valley from Gateshead (and ultimately Newcastle). On 30 June 1848 the Y&N – by now the York, Newcastle & Berwick Railway – obtained an Act authorising construction. The proposed route was from Gateshead via Team Valley to Newton Hall, where a branch to Durham and Bishop Auckland continued southwards, while the main line curved eastwards for about a mile then turned south to join the main line near Belmont Junction. However in 1849 the work was postponed owing to the downfall of George Hudson.



The NER in 1862 revived the project, but the line authorised was only between Gateshead and Newton Hall on the Bishop Auckland branch north of Durham, which had opened from Leamside in 1857. The section eastwards from Newton Hall had been constructed as part of the Bishop Auckland branch, but there was no west-to-south curve near Leamside to allow through running from the north onto the old main line via Shincliffe. Consequently the new line could be used only as an alternative route to Durham and the south via Bishop Auckland; and at first there were only four stopping trains in each direction between Newcastle and Durham. The Team Valley route opened on 1 December 1868, and it became part of the ‘new’ East Coast main line on 15 January 1872 when the line between Relly Mill Junction (one mile south of Durham) and Tursdale Junction (one mile north of Ferryhill) was completed.

Sources and bibliography:

Tickets from Michael Stewart. Bradshaws from Chris Totty & Nick Catford, Route maps drawn by Alan Young.

To see other stations on the Old Main Line click on the station name: Felling 2nd, Felling 3rd , Felling 1st, Pelaw 1st, Pelaw 3rd, Pelaw 4th , Pelaw 2nd, Usworth, Washington 2nd, Washington 1st, Penshaw 1st, Penshaw 2nd, Rainton, Rainton Meadows (on branch), Leamside 1st, Leamside 2nd, Belmont Junction, Durham Gilesgate (on branch), Sherburn Colliery, Shincliffe & Ferryhill

See also Coxhoe (branch from Ferryhill)

See also: Springwell, Brockley Whins (1st site), Brockley Whins (2nd site)
& Boldon (route prior to 1850)

See also Sunderland and Durham (via Leamside):
Durham (still open), Frankland, Cox Green, South Hylton , Hylton, Pallion 1st, Pallion 2nd , Millfield 2nd, Millfield 1st, Millfield 3rd , Sunderland Fawcett Street (on branch) & Sunderland Central (Still open)


Station still open as part of the Tyne & Wear metro


In the early twentieth century Fencehouses station is seen here looking south on the down platform. The G T Andrews’ station building is on the right and an open passenger shelter is provided on the up platform. The footbridge has the standard NER profile but the parapets are of a less common design.
Photo from John Mann collection


1874 1:2,500 OS map. By 1874 Fencehouses passenger station was more-or-less complete; the footbridge is not shown. Goods sidings are provided to the north of the down (west) platform, and a crane is shown in the yard. The Lambton mineral railway can be seen parallel to, and immediately east of, the passenger lines.

1896 1:2,500 OS map. Although its immediate setting remains essentially rural in 1896, the importance of Fencehouses station for goods traffic can be inferred from the sidings and large shed to the north of the passenger facilities and the cattle pens to the west. The footbridge is now shown just north of the level crossing. Although there is little residential development in the vicinity of the station a hotel and a post office have been built next to it.

1920 1:2,500 OS map. Terraced housing has reached Fencehouses station by 1920, and the cattle pens have been joined by an auction mart.

NER plan of Fencehouses station in 1906. A proposal to replace the level crossing with an underpass came to nothing. Click here to see a larger version.

Fencehouses station looking north in the early twentieth century.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Looking north-west from the Lambton Railway level crossing towards Fencehouses station c1912. The station building can be seen to have two bay windows on the lower floor; most of G T Andrews’ stations had only one on the platform elevation. Note the two-word form of the name on the NER running-in board. The footbridge is shown clearly in this view which also includes a small
‘repeater’ signal on the post in the foreground.
Photo from John Mann collection


Probably in the early 1950s a southbound local passenger train calls at Fencehouses. The locomotive is a Worsdell G5 0-4-4T built at the NER Darlington works in 1896. Its LNER number 7265 was carried until May 1948 when BR renumbered it 67269. After almost 62 years’ service the loco was withdrawn in February 1958 from 54A Sunderland shed.
Photo from JC Dean collection

Looking south from the up platform of Fencehouses station in the 1950s.
Copyright photo by NE Stead

In 1959 a diverted Newcastle to London Kings Cross express is hauled through Fencehouses by Peppercorn A1 Pacific 60129 ‘Guy Mannering’. Built at Doncaster works and entering service on 15 June 1949 at 50A York North shed it had a working life of just over sixteen years, when it was withdrawn from 50A shed on 11 October 1965 and scrapped later that month, possibly at Kings in Norwich. On the right is the double-track National Coal Board (Lambton Hetton & Joicey) main Line from Hetton to the interchange sidings at Penshaw, passing the New Lambton coke works and Lambton ‘D’ Pit.
Photo by IS Carr

An unidentified loco draws a passenger train southbound into Fencehouses station c1950s. A remarkable quantity of sacks and packages is awaiting dispatch on both platforms. In the background the New Lambton Coke Works and ‘D’ Pit dominate the view.
Photo from John Mann collection

In April 1964 a northbound Metro-Cammell DMU on its way to Sunderland calls at Fencehouses. Closure of the station to passengers is imminent.
Photo by Frank Tweddle

This is the only exterior view of Fencehouses station that has come to light, and the photograph was taken on 5 November 1966 shortly before the building was demolished. Although this station was not given the distinction of a portico, as the architect G T Andrews provided at some of his other stations, a somewhat ungainly awning was provided over the entrance.
Photo by JC Dean

On 5 November 1966 demolition of Fencehouses station has begun. This view is
southward from the down platform.
Photo by JC Dean

A southbound passenger train, diverted from the East Coast main line, hauled by a Class 47 approaches Fencehouses level crossing in 1991.
Photo by Peter Barella from his Flickr photostream

.The site of Fencehouses station looking south towards the level crossing in October 2013. The track was lifted late in 2012. The substantial brick goods shed is seen on the right; this has found a new lease of life as a car workshop.
Photo by Ali Ford


Click here for more pictures of Fencehouses station


 

 

 

[Source: Alan Young]




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