Station Name: MANOR WAY (2nd site)

[Source: Nick Catford]

Date opened: 1886
Location: East side of Woolwich Manor Way immediately south of Gallions roundabout
Company on opening: London & St. Katharine Docks Company
Date closed to passengers: 8.9.1940
Date closed completely: 8.9.1940
Company on closing: Port of London Authority
Present state: Demolished - no trace remains, the station was in a cutting which has been infilled, presumably the buried platform is still there
County: London
OS Grid Ref: TQ438807
Date of visit: Sep 1968, Feb 1974, Sep 1979, May 1980, Sep 1980 & 23.12.2006
Notes: The station replaced the original Manor Way Station on the opposite side of the road. When the road was widened in 1926 the original wooden street level building was replaced by a larger wooden building. Initially there was a signal box at street level alongside the station building, this was removed in 1926 when the road was widened. Its unusual street
level position gave the signalman a clear view of the track on the west side of the bridge. There was a footbridge at the east end of the station, this appears to have been removed in the early years of the 20th century.

Although the booking office was at street level there is also some evidence that there was a ticket booth at platform level as well as some tickets are known with the words 'Lower Office'. Both platforms had a timber canopy, that on the up platform was at the bottom of the stairs and suspended from the retaining wall. On the down platform there was a free standing timber structure some distance to the east if the stairs.

The station was closed from 8th September 1940 following air-raid damage. The wooden down platform was quickly demolished but the up platform remained until the early 1980's. The street level buildings survived until 1979 having been converted into two commercial premises including a post office, but it was empty in its final years. The upper part of the retaining wall survived
into the 2000's.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GALLIONS BRANCH
When the Royal Albert Dock was built, the dock company obtained powers under the 1882 London & St. Katharine Dock Act 1882 to build a railway for both passengers and parcels from the North Woolwich line to Gallions Reach, passing alongside the northern side of the dock. Under the Act, the company had to provide trains every weekday morning for the convenience of "artisans, mechanics and daily labourers".
The length of the branch once open to passenger traffic was 1 mile, 61 chains, from a point 34 chains east of Custom House Station. The first part of the line from Albert Dock Junction to Central was opened on the 3rd August 1880. The line between Connaught Road and Central was single but was doubled on 14th November 1881.

Initially the service between Custom House and Central was worked entirely by the London & St. Katharine Docks Company with half-hourly trains from 8.30 a.m. till 6 p.m. but this was later increased to three per hour in 1881. To operate this service the company bought three second hand locomotives and passenger stock.

No mention of a service east of Central Station is found in the Great Eastern timetables until July 1881, when that company advertised through trains hourly to and from Fenchurch Street. The local Custom House - Gallions service comprised twenty-four down and twenty-six up trains, all worked by the dock company, who hired the bay platform at Custom House for the purpose. The line between Central and Gallions was single until 1st April 1882 when a second track was added.

The Gallions Hotel was part of Gallions Station with the front door of the hotel opening on to a part of the platform. It was built for the convenience of passengers leaving or joining their ship. From the 12th December 1886, the old station at Gallions was closed when the line had to be diverted to allow dock alterations. A larger station with an island platform was opened 275
yards further east with Great Eastern trains occupying the north side (platform 1), and the dock company's trains, on the local service, kept to the south side (platform 2). A few weeks later a new station replaced the old one at Manor Way. The line continued beyond the station at Gallions to a coal wharf and jetty at Gallions Reach.

On 31st March 1909 the London & St. Katharine Docks Company was absorbed into the Port of London Authority.

During the First World War, from the beginning of 1918, a special train service to Gallions was provided for munitions workers, who were brought by ferry from Woolwich Arsenal on the opposite side of the river.

The stations at Manor Way and Gallions were rebuilt between 1924 and 1926, the latter being reduced in size moved a little to the east. Central Station was converted into a halt from the 1st November 1933.

From 1st July 1896 the Great Eastern Railway took over the local Customs House - Gallions service running until 6th June 1932, when the shuttle service was suspended. The Sunday service ceased after 27th June 1915.

The prosperity of the line reached its climax at the turn of the century; in October 1900, fifty four up and fifty-three down trains were advertised on ordinary weekdays. Of these, thirteen were through trains from Fenchurch Street to Gallions via Bromley, two trains worked through from Liverpool Street, two from Fenchurch Street via Stratford and two came from
Stratford Market. The local service of seventy trains in both directions made up the remainder, bringing the total to 107 journeys. In general, trains called at all three intermediate stations but there were some exceptions.

Passenger numbers dropped during WW1 and didn't improve post war and the service was cut back with seventy six fewer journeys in 1938 than in 1900. By October 1939, the total in both directions had dropped to twenty eight daily trains.

On the 7th September 1940 the line was severely damaged during a German air raid. The line was repaired for the storage of wagons but the passenger service was never reinstated. The line was abandoned under Section 29 of the Port of London Act 1950. It was used for wagon storage at least until the mid 1960's. By the late 1960's the track had been lifted
except at Gallions where it was still in situ until at least 1974. With the lifting of the track to the east, Gallions was later reached via a connection from freight lines to the south.

Tickets from J E Connor except 7242 Michael Stewart. Tickets for the four stations on the Gallions branch are sometimes shown as Royal Albert Dock with a letter to indicate which station. A was Gallions, B was Manor Way, D was Central and E was Connaught Road.


Sources:

Manor Way station - the 1887 street level entrance seen in 1908; note the signal box on the left, this was removed in 1926 when the road was widened. This unusual position allowed the signalman a clear view of the track on the opposite side of the bridge. At this time the booking office was replaced by a longer building.
Photo from Newham Local History Library




1895 OS Town Plan

1919 1:2,500 SO map. The signal; box is still shown but the footbridge had gone by this date.

1958 1:2,500 SO map. This map shows the station 18 years after closure. The line has now been singles and the down platform has been demolished.

Manor Way station in 1939 looking west after the arrival of a Fenchurch Street to Gallions train hauled by an ex-GER 2-4-2T. The headboard says 'Albert Dock' which means stations within the dock:' Gallions, Manor Way, Central and Connaught Road.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Manor Way station looking east towards Gallions c. 1930s. The timber down platform seen on the left was quickly demolished after closure in 1940.
Photo from John Mann collection

Manor Way station looking east in the mid 1960s. After closure of the line in 1940 the line was officially abandoned by the PLA Act of 1950. After that date it was was retained for wagon storage but had been singled by the mid-1950s. The track was lifted shortly after this photograph was taken. The Gallions Hotel (still standing) is seen in the background. This was the site of the original Gallions terminus.
Copyright photo from Tony Harden collection.


Manor Way station looking west in the mid 1960s. The down platform was demolished soon after closure in 1940.
Copyright photo from Tony Harden collection.

In the mid 1960s the street level building was still in good condition and was divided into three commercial premises; a Post Office, a gents' hairdresser and a turf accountant.
Copyright photo from Tony Harden collection.


Manor Way Station looking west in September 1968
Photo by Nick Catford
In 1972 the street level building was no longer in use and boarded up.
P
hoto by Tom Burnham

Manor Way station looking west in 1975. The street level building survived until 1979.
Photo by Tony Bryant


Manor Way station looking east in September 1980.
Photo by Nick Catford


Site of Manor way Station looking east in December 2006. The Gallions Hotel links this view with the earlier pictures; It can be seen surrounded by scaffolding between the two blocks in the background.

Photo by Nick Catford

Click here for more pictures of Manor Way Station


 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


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