Station Name: GRANGE ROAD

[Source: Nick Catford]

Jeff Masters' memories of growing up near Grange Road: For about 14 years from 1956 to 1969 I lived within 150 yards of Grange Road station so have a lot of knowledge of what it was like during that time.

The Station Master during that period was Bill Turner, who lived with his wife in part of the station building. His assistant Station Master was a man called Sid Valence who lived in Delaware Road, East Grinstead and would travel over to Crawley Down on his motor cycle, except when the weather was bad when he would take the train.

There were on average only two trains an hour through the station, one going towards East Grinstead and the other towards Three Bridges. This meant that whoever was on duty as Station Master had a lot of time on their hands. As kids we used to sit and talk with whoever was on shift, to help pass the time and were even allowed to sell tickets to the customers travelling on the trains. There were level crossing gates at the end of the platform where Station Road crossed the line and we used to help with their closing and opening. We even operated the signals in the signal box when there were trains approaching and would help with the lighting of the paraffin lamps that lit the platform at night. (Somethings that would never be allowed in the current climate of Health and Safety). In the summer we used to play cricket on the platform, which was great fun, although the game would be held up when the trains approached, or when we had to retrieve our ball from the allotments over the other side of the line.

They were great times, which I look back on with a lot of affection. It was a different era and one that regretfully has been lost forever. It was a sad day when we took the last train from the station to East Grinstead in January 1967, accompanied by the Copthorne Brass Band.

I did have a number of photos of the station, but the only one that I have remaining is here. It dates from the late 1950s and is a postcards of the time. The view shows Bill Turner holding the carriage door open for a lady passenger to board.

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