Station Name:MAENCLOCHOG

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 19.9.1876
Location: South side of an unnamed minor road (C3002) opposite Station Terrace
Company on opening: Narberth Road & Maenclochog Railway
Date closed to passengers: 25.10.1937
Date closed completely: 16.5.1949
Company on closing: Great Western Railway
Present state: The only surviving structure is the corrugated iron goods shed which now stands in the middle of EJ Lewis and Sons’ bus and coach depot
County: Pembrokeshire
OS Grid Ref: SN079271
Date of visit: August 1967 & September 2016

Notes: When Maenclochog station opened it had a single platform on the down side of the line with a single-storey timber building. It is recorded in John Morris's book that a crossing loop was provided, the train staff sections being Clynderwen- Maenclochog—Letterston; but the 1889 Ordnance Survey map (reproduced below) does not show a loop. The original layout of the goods yard had four sidings and a loop with the easternmost siding serving a cattle dock and pens. Maenclochog was provided with a signal box believed to be by McKenzie & Holland, which was sited adjacent to the level crossing on the down side. A water tank was also provided on the down side opposite the goods yard.

When the extension to Letterston opened in 1895 the station layout was radically changed. A second (up) platform was built with the original station building being replaced with a small shelter on what was now the down platform The water tank was replaced with a 'parachute' water tower the north end of the down platform adjacent to a relocated signal box south of its original position by the level crossing. The new box was a Dutton Type 3. Samuel Dutton had been an employee of McKenzie & Holland but set-up his own business with premises at Worcester sometime in the late nineteenth century. A new station building was provided on the up platform; it was a single-storey timber structure with a pitched slate roof comprising booking office, waiting rooms and toilets. As the platform was some distance from the level crossing a fenced walkway was provided from the crossing to the north end of the up platform. Passengers wanting to use the down platform had to use a barrow crossing. Adjacent to the station building there was a corrugated iron goods shed or store with an entrance on both sides, one being directly onto the platform.

The post-1895 goods yard at Maenclochog was a different place to the original, the alterations being necessitated by the provision of the up platform and changes to the track layout. The number of sidings had been reduced from four to three, the yard being entered from points trailing in the up direction. Prior to 1895 there had been a second connection, from points facing in the up direction and located opposite the platform, which involved awkward reversals to enter the sidings. The 1895 arrangement eliminated this nuisance by virtue of the removal of No.1 siding which had been parallel to the running line, ending near the level crossing. Irrespective of period, the goods yard had cattle and coal facilities as well as what maps describe as a 'weighing machine' (WM). Cartographic terminology could differ from that of the railways; in railway parlance a weighing machine was used for parcels and sundries. Maps showing the weighing machine at Maenclochog also show a small hut, so this is a weighbridge. The 1907 Ordnance Survey map shows a crane in the yard although the Railway Clearing House Handbook for 1904 does not list a yard crane. The houses seen in the right background, a terrace of four, are believed to have incorporated the former Railway Hotel. This would have been No.1 Station Terrace, at the west end of the terrace and close to the level crossing. The location of the stationmaster's accommodation remains a mystery at the time of writing but could have been in the same terrace.

Stationmaster Mr D Evans arrived at Maenclochog in 1899. On 24 May 1902 the Pembroke County Guardian and Cardigan Reporter reported that it had been discovered Mr Evans was a qualified conductor [of music] and he went on to become the conductor of Maenclochog United Choir as well as an unnamed ladies’ choir. A nephew of Mr Evans was also a well-known conductor of Llanpumsaint Choir. Mr Evans was still stationmaster at Maenclochog in 1917 when, on 18 July, the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph reported that the railway between Maenclochog and Clynderwen [the newspaper's spelling] was extremely busy with pit-prop traffic, under the supervision of Mr D Evans who had become responsible for the whole of the railway service in the district. The newspaper did not go into detail regarding the 'district' but it is likely Mr Evans' responsibilities were extended due to the First World War. Pit props are used to support roofs of tunnels in mines and back in 1912 all would have been of wood.

The monthly Maenclochog fair brought extra traffic to the station. Maenclochog Station first closed on 1 January 1883, reopening in December 1884, and closing again on 31 March 1885; it reopened on 21 March 1887, only to close once more on 25 May 1887. The station reopened for a longer period on 11 April 1895 when the line was extended to Letterston by the North Pembrokeshire & Fishguard Railway.

In 1916 the Ministry of Munitions asked the GWR to provide 40 miles of track for use in France as part of the war effort. A number of branches were selected for closure to provide this track and one of these was the North Pembrokeshire. The service between Clynderwen and Letterston was withdrawn from 8 January 1917. The closure was not popular with local businesses that relied on the line for the delivery of goods. As a result of this protest, the goods service from Clynderwen to Maenclochog was reinstated on 22 January 1917. The remaining track between Maenclochog and Letterston was lifted with 11 miles of rails being transported to France.

After the war the North Pembrokeshire branch reopened in stages: from Maenclochog to Rosebush this was on 12 July 1920. The signal box was closed and was quickly demolished when the through service restored in 1920. Maenclochog station finally closed to passengers with the line on 25 October 1937 but it handled goods traffic until its complete closure on 16 May 1949.

The station and goods yard site is now occupied by EJ Lewis and Sons as a bus and coach depot. The company was incorporated on 22 October 2003. Their registered office is in Cardigan but they also have an office at 3 Station Terrace. The corrugated iron good shed stands in the middle of the depot. The site may have been used by another bus company since the 1980s.

Ticket from Michael Stewart. Route map drawn by Alan Young. Airey's map from Alan Young

Click here for a brief history of the North Pembrokeshire branch

Sources:

See stations on the North Pembrokeshire Branch: Fishguard & Goodwick, Jordanston Halt, Letterston, Beulah Halt, Martell Bridge Halt, Castlebythe Halt, Puncheston, New Inn Bridge Halt, Rosebush, Llanycefn & Beag Fair


Maenclochog Station Gallery 1: 1912 - July 1974

Maenclochog station looking north towards Rosebush in 1912. Measured from the village Post Office, the main part of the village is half a mile east of the station by road but, presumably owing to the coming of the railway, had spread along the road to and beyond the level crossing, seen here, over the minor road to New Moat. The station as seen here differed greatly from the original which had a single platform on the left, i.e. the down platform in this view. Maps showing the original station suggest that the original platform was a low, if not ground level, structure. Provision of a loop, up platform and its buildings dated from the extension of the line to Letterston in 1895. Pre-1895 maps show a water tank further south at the rear of the, then, platform but it is shown as a rectangular structure. The 'parachute' water tower seen in this view probably dated from 1895 but whether the original tank remained to supply it is not known, nor is it known if a similar (parachute) facility was provided on the post-1895 up platform. The original, believed McKenzie & Holland, signal box was located closer to the level crossing with that seen here being, as at Rosebush, a Dutton Type 3. Of the buildings on the up platform, the corrugated iron shed is believed to be the same, and only, structure extant as of 2017 - the corrugated sheeting may however have been replaced. Usually referred to as a goods shed, it appears to have been more of a store than goods shed in the accepted sense of the term. The goods yard was behind the up platform, to the right in this view; a siding served the shed from its other side. The walkway from the road was part of the 1895 alterations. Of the two people on the platform, that on the left is perhaps a porter or possibly the signalman. That on the right is wearing a fob watch and braided cap so will be the stationmaster. The GWR had provided new style uniforms in 1902, catapulting staff away from the styles of the early Victorian period.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection



1889 1:2,500 OS map shows the layout of Maenclochog station as built. The map is confusing as it does not show a platform or room for a platform with a siding shown where the platform should be. There is a complex arrangement of sidings including a loop with the entrance to the goods yard opposite the Railway Hotel where a weighbridge (WM = Weighing Machine) is shown. The Railway Hotel is one end of a terrace of four houses. The signal box is shown adjacent to the level crossing on the down side with a water tank to the south, also on the down side.

1889 1:2,500 OS map shows the layout of Maenclochog station after the extension to Letterston was opened in 1895. The layout of the station is now more straightforward. The original platform is now shown complete with station building and adjacent goods shed. A second (down) platform with a small shelter is shown opposite. The signal box has been relocated south to the end of the down platform. The goods yard has been simplified with three sidings running behind the up platform, that to the east serving a cattle dock. A crane (C) is shown in the yard but no crane is listed for Maenclochog by the Railway Clearing House.

Maenclochog station looking north in August 1958; six years after the track was lifted. The station building has already been demolished leaving only the goods shed. In the background the weigh office is seen at the entrance to the goods yard. On the road the Railway Hotel is seen, the first building in a terrace of four houses.
Photo by Michael Hale

Maenclochog station looking north-west along the platform in August 1967. The trackbed has been partially filled but part of the platform in front of the goods shed survives.
Photo by Nick Catford

Maenclochog station looking south-east in August 1967. The goods shed survives in a dilapidated state but appears unused at this time.
Photo by Nick Catford

Maenclochog station looking south-east along the remnant of the platform in August 1967.
Photo by Nick Catford

Maenclochog station looking north-west towards the level crossing in July 1974. Little has changed since the 1967 pictures; the goods shed remains in a derelict state.
Photo by John Mann

Click here for Maenclochog Station Gallery 1: July 1974 - September 2016


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