Station Name: MAYFIELD
|Location:||On the west side of Station Approach|
|Company on opening:||London Brighton & South Coast Railway|
|Date closed to passengers:||14.6.1965|
|Date closed completely:||14.6.1965|
|Company on closing:||British Railways (Southern Region)|
|Present state:||Although the main station building still survives as a private residence, the platforms and embankment were largely removed in the early 1970's with further clearance prior to the building of the Mayfield bypass in about 1990 which left a steep bank up to the station building. The station was clearly visible when the bypass was opened in 1991 but is now heavily overgrown. A new housing estate stands on the site of the goods yard and shed.|
|OS Grid Ref:||TQ579268|
|Date of visit:||June 1968, June 1975 & 14.11.2005|
Notes: The station was inconveniently sited and traffic was always light although Mayfield Milk Depot was served by a private siding and dispatched milk tanks until 1950. Goods facilities were withdrawn from 6.5.1963.
BRIEF HISTORY OF EASTBOURNE
- TUNBRIDGE WELLS (CUCKOO) LINE
The remainder of the route northwards from Hailsham to Eridge was completed some 31 years. In 1873, local business interests promoted a Bill for a 3' gauge line from Tunbridge Wells to Polegate. Little progress was made in raising the required capital and the LBSC stepped in, obtaining an Act in 1876 giving them authority to extend their Hailsham line to Eridge where it joined the Uckfield - Groombridge Junction line (opened in 1868). The South Eastern Railway was to be given a share in the receipts and running powers over the line into Eastbourne.
The 7 1/2 miles of single track was opened between Hailsham and Heathfield on 5th April 1880 and the 9 3/4 miles on to Eridge on 1st September that year.
At Redgate Junction, south of Eridge it joined the route from Uckfield to Groombridge and both lines ran in parallel to Tunbridge Wells and to London via the Oxted line. When the Uckfield line was doubled in 1894 the Heathfield line north of Redgate Junction became the down line.
The name `Cuckoo' was adopted by the railwaymen themselves. This relates to the old Sussex legend that on the 14th April annually the first cuckoo of summer is released at Heathfield Fair.
By 1925 the single track spur from Tunbridge Wells West to Central was little used with four daily trains to Brighton and two to Uckfield. Three of these carried through carriages for the Cuckoo line which were detached at Eridge. By the 1950's this had improved and in 1956, 58 passenger trains and two freights used the spur making it, for that year, the busiest section of single track in the country.
The main goods stations on the Cuckoo line were at Heathfield and Hailsham, the other stations handled little more than the occasional wagon of coal.
Despite a new timetable being introduced in the 1950's with
one train an hour on the Cuckoo line, it was not to survive
the Beeching cuts. In 1965 a survey revealed that there were
only 250 passengers a day using the line of which only 23 were
season ticket holders. Any attempt to promote the line was halted
under the Beeching plan and a new timetable was introduced with
long waits between connecting trains designed to deter passengers
from using the service.
Although the line between Groombridge and Tunbridge Wells West was also proposed for closure this remained open but there was no future investment in the line and by the early 1980's the track and signaling needed replacing. With the planned removal of Grove Junction during the upgrade of the Tonbridge - Hastings line British Rail decided they could no longer justify keeping the line open and announced closure of the line from 16th May 1983. Once again there were strong objections but these were outweighed by British Rail's cost argument. They estimated that to upgrade the infrastructure, while retaining the existing services, would give a £175,000 loss per year and the Secretary of State confirmed closure of the line on 6th July 1985.
Grove Junction was removed the day after closure but the line from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells remained in use until 10th August 1985 when the depot was closed.
Shortly after closure the Tunbridge Wells and Eridge Railway Preservation Society was formed with an aim of reinstating the passenger service on the line. The Society acquired the line in the early 1990's and by winter 1996 they had refurbished half a mile of track and were able to run a steam service from their base on part of the old Tunbridge Wells West station site. TWERPS later merged with the North Downs Steam Railway at Dartford, Kent. The line is now known as The Spa Valley Railways, a name chosen as the result of a competition.
The Spa Valley Railway now runs for 3 1/2 miles to a new station at Groombridge with an intermediate station at High Rocks built by the owner of the High Rocks Inn and Restaurant.
Between 1992 - 1994 the section of line between Polegate and Heathfield was reopened by the county council as a footpath and cycleway known as the Cuckoo Trail. There are proposals to extend northwards from Heathfield and as part of this extension Heathfield Tunnel has been restored and lit and the 'Millennium Gates' fitted to the south portal.
To see the other stations on the Eastbourne - Tunbridge Wells West line click on the station name: Tunbridge Wells West, High Rocks Halt, Groombridge, Eridge, Rotherfield & Mark Cross, Heathfield, Horam, Hellingly, Hailsham, Polegate, Hampden Park & Eastbourne
|Last updated: Monday, 18-Feb-2013 23:00:26 GMT||
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