Station Name: FULWELL & WESTBURY

[Source: Nick Catford]
Date opened: 1.8.1879
Location: On the east side of an unnamed minor road
Company on opening: London & North Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 2.1.1961
Date closed completely: 2.12.1963
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: The platform was intact until 2009 when the Chinnor Railway removed the edge bricks for reuse, now only a mound remains. The station master's house was restored in 1968 and later extended and is now in private occupation. In 1977 a vintage car restoration business was using the goods yard.
County: Northamptonshire
OS Grid Ref: SP628347
Date of visit: December 1968

Notes: Fullwell & Westbury was located between the two villages and was a modest structure consisting of a single low platform, small ticket office, WC's, ladies waiting room and a general waiting room. There was a station house on the other side of the road. Behind the house was a short looped siding with a cattle dock controlled by a ground frame.

The LNWR did not see the need for a station here until 1879. When opened it was called Westbury Crossing and was renamed on 1.10.1880

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BANBURY - VERNEY JUNCTION BRANCH OF THE
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE RAILWAY
Until 1844 Buckinghamshire had been poorly served by railways with only Aylesbury connected to the London & Birmingham in the east. With the support of the L & B two separate companies were formed, the Buckingham and Brackley Junction Railway and the Oxford and Bletchley Junction Railway. In 1847 under the direction of the newly formed London & North Western Railway the two were merged into a unified board with the collective name of the Buckinghamshire Railway

The line was to run westward from Bletchley to Oxford, via Winslow and Bicester, with a junction near Claydon House (later Verney Junction) where another line turned north to Brackley via Buckingham, with a further extension to Banbury. The engineer employed to build the Buckinghamshire Railway was Robert Stephenson

Construction started on 20th April 1847 and on 1st May 1850 the Buckinghamshire Railway was opened for passenger traffic from Bletchley to Banbury. From the outset the line was worked by the LNWR who absorbed the Buckinghamshire Railway in 1879.

The major objective of the branch was the small market town of Buckingham. Until the railway came to the town transport had not been good which it was felt was stopping development of the town. A branch of the Grand Union canal reached Buckingham in 1801 but even after the opening of the canal and the railway little development occurred.

The busiest part of the line was the 5 1/2 mile section from Banbury Merton Street to Cockley Brake where there was a junction with the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway.

Passenger traffic over the whole line was comparatively light although the LNWR operated various specials and excursions over the years to encourage use. Passenger levels reached their peak just before WW1 after which they declined more or less continually as competition from the bus and growing car ownership began to increase. WW2 brought a short lived improvement but
with new BR management the line was under review. A threat to its future became imminent in 1952 when BR reduced services to three trains each way per day, having withdrawn Banbury - Towcester Trains (via the junction at Cockley Brake) the previous year.

In spite of this, the line survived and was selected for an experiment as part of the 1955 Railway Modernisation Plan using lightweight single unit diesel railcars. These railcars were introduced during the summer of 1956 but strangely they only ran from Banbury to Buckingham, where connection was made with the traditional steam push-pull service. New halts at Radclive and Water Stratford were opened between Fulwall & Westbury and Buckingham and a third on the edge of Buckingham was suggested but not built.

The new railcars attracted a reported increase in traffic of 400% with the service being well used on market days and Saturdays but the improvement was insufficient to save the service between Buckingham and Banbury which closed from 2nd January 1961. The remaining passenger facilities between Buckingham and Verney Junction lingered until 7th September 1964
using the diesel units transferred from the Banbury section. Freight facilities were withdrawn from Banbury on 6th June 1966 and from Buckingham from 3rd December 1966 with track lifting underway by February 1967.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

For further reading see The Banbury to Verney Junction Branch by Bill Simpson. Oxford Publishing Company 1978 ISBN 902888 87 0

To see the other stations on the Banbury - Verney Junction line click on the station name: Banbury Merton Street, Farthinghoe, Brackley,
Water Stratford Halt, Radclive Halt, Buckingham, Padbury & Verney Junction


Fulwell & Westbury Station in August 1956
Photo by W A Camwell



1881 1:2,500 OS map

1900 1:2,500 OS map

Fullwell & Westbury station looking west in April 1966. View from the signal post at the east
end of the platform.
Photo by John Evans

Looking east towards Fulwell & Westbury station in April 1966. The small goods yard which closed in December 1963, is seen on the left.
Photo by John Evans

To the east of Fulwell & Westbury lay Bacon’s House Crossing, where a largely similar  house was erected for the crossing keeper. This view from April 1966 shows a platelayer’s hut beyond the crossing, where a large moveable ramp was provided for offloading cattle or horses. Passengers were allowed to leave trains here unofficially.
Photo by John Evans

Fulwell & Westbury station looking east in November 1966. The lione was closed completely a few weeks later.
Photo from John Mann collection

Fulwell & Westbury Station in December 1968
Photo by Nick Catford

Volunteers from the Chinnor Railway recovering bricks from Fulwell & Westbury station in August 2009
Photo from Chinnor Railway's Flickr photostream

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