Saffron Walden Station Gallery 2: c1930s - July 1956
Saffron Walden engine shed c1930s. The tank to the right of the shed fed the two water cranes. One is seen on the left, the other is at the east end of the platform.
G4 8105 is seen alongside the water crane on the shed road in June 1936. This class of locomotive operated services on the branch in the 1930s. With just two years service left 8105 was built to a design by James Holden for the GER and classed as S44. This 0-4-4T was built at Stratford works in January 1899, entering service carrying the number 1105 and along with the rest of its class, passed to the LNER in 1923, where it received the number 8105 and reclassified G4. Withdrawal of the class started in 1929 with 8133 but 8105 lasted until 1938, one of the last three locos to be
withdrawn, the final one a year later.
Copyright photo by HC Casserley
Saffron Walden station looking south-east from Dixie's siding in June 1936 as two coaches wait for the return of their engine which is in the process of 'running round'. The goods shed is seen to the rear.
Copyright photo from Tony Harden collection
A view from South Road bridge,looking towards Ashdon and Bartlow. On the right the 40ft turntable, engine shed and water tower can be seen, while beyond these structures is the coaling stage and water crane. The coaling stage had fallen into disuse, with the usual coaling procedure being direct from wagons. The running line is that on the left. Three Class C12 4-4-2T locomotives are visible, the bunker of the third can just be seen inside the shed. It is somewhat unusual to see three locomotives at Saffron Walden but it might be due to extra wartime traffic, this view dating from 3 August 1941. Normally Saffron Walden shed had only two diagrams. The locomotive in the foreground is LNER No.4509 and this number was carried between October 1926 and May 1946. Two brakevans are seen behind 4509; the first cannot be positively identified but the second is an LNER 20 ton vehicle to Diagram 61. Introduced in 1929, the type went on to become the standard 4-wheel 20 ton brakevan of British Railways. The steps on the right were for staff access. Quite why wagons are spaced out on the long siding is unclear but it might be because wagon sorting is in progress; not immediately obvious is that the points beneath the second brakevan are set for the shed access road so shunting is obviously ongoing. The sidings seen here were single ended, so shunting of coal wagons could be a complicated procedure. The device towards bottom left of the image is a shunt signal and in the left background the post can be seen, but not the arm, of Saffron Walden's up home signal. No.4509 was to be allocated to Cambridge (which shed out stationed locomotives at Saffron Walden) on several occasions and ultimately became BR No.67367. She was among the final survivors of the class, ending up at Grantham shed from where she was withdrawn in August 1958.
Photo from Mike Morant collection
Class C12 LNER No.7385 is seen leaving Saffron Walden yard with a freight service for Cambridge, probably in early 1948. This 4-4-2T was built for the Great Northern Railway to an Ivatt design in December 1903 at Doncaster works with the number 1534. It was renumbered first 4534, then 7385 by the LNER finally receiving the ‘6’ prefix after nationalisation, although in this view it has yet to be renumbered. At this time it was allocated to Cambridge shed (31A). Like its sister, No.67375, this locomotive was transferred from Cambridge to March and then Bury St Edmunds. It, too, was withdrawn in April 1955 and cut up at Doncaster works. None of this class has
survived into preservation.
Photo by WA Camwell
Saffron Walden station on 2 October 1954. At this time, the service was operated by the Class G5 0-4-4Ts and the original, to the branch, push-and-pull sets. On the extreme right is Foundry Siding and on the extreme left part of the dock can be seen, which also served the cattle pens. South Road bridge can be seen beyond the station. The Saxby & Farmer 32-lever signal box was the only one on the branch, those at Bartlow and Audley End being junction boxes and not responsible solely for the branch. Saffron Walden box and the signal on the end of the platform were sensibly designed to provide good sighting both for signalmen and train crew. It should be remembered that train guards are also required to check signals and cannot give the 'right away' to drivers until the applicable signal is 'off'. Illumination of the railway at Saffron Walden was a strange affair. Originally gas lit and supplied by Saffron Walden gasworks on Thaxted Road, in the 1930s the LNER installed electric lighting but apparently only within the station building and one lamp towards the Bartlow end of the platform. The remainder was to stay gas lit to the end. It is known that at least one fluorescent lamp casement of the type widely introduced by BR in the 1950s and bearing station names (see Audley End) was produced for Saffron Walden. This is thought to have been produced in error and confusion in some far away BR office over the odd mix of gas and electric lighting at Saffron Walden may explain why.
Photo from DK Jones collection
An unusually quiet Saffron Walden station looking towards Audley End in May 1956. The goods shed doors are closed and the platform is deserted so perhaps it was a Sunday. The high service frequency of the Audley End - Saffron Walden section on weekdays meant there was always some sort of activity. One BR totem is visible, on the wall between the noticeboards, but the GER running-in board is still present. The photographer is standing on what was known as either Foundry Siding or Bell Siding, usually the former. The origin of the 'Bell Siding' name is obscure; Saffron Walden did once have a bell foundry, Graye's, but that was centuries before the railway existed. Foundry Siding was, with the arrival of the diesels, the usual home for the out-stationed Cambridge diesel shunter between duties. Directly ahead but partly out of view was Dixie's Siding. The points on the right are interlocked with the signalling, hence the shunt signal between the tracks, while the points on the left are operated by the simple lever seen ahead of the shunt signal. Barnard Brothers granary is on the left'.
Copyright photo by RM Casserley
A push-and-pull service from Bartlow is seen at Saffron Walden station July 1956. The yard crane with a capacity of 1 ton 10 cwt is seen at the end of the goods dock. Another two-car push-and-pull set is seen in the goods siding.
Copyright photo by HC Casserley
A push-and-pull service for Audley End is awaiting departure from Saffron Walden station in July 1956. The loco is class G5 0-4-4T No.67279. This train was about to enter the siding on the left and its locomotive detached and sent to the engine shed for servicing. The train would be replaced by the second push-and-pull set and locomotive which can be seen waiting just beyond the bridge in the distance; its movement being under the control of a ground signal and, with another train at the platform, protected by the station's down starter signal. Note the gas light on a cast iron standard. Another is seen on the cattle dock with a further one adjacent to the engine shed road. In 1935 the LNER provided electric lighting but only in the station building, the remainder of the station and environs remaining gas lit. The foundry siding is seen opposite the station and the photographer is standing at the start of Dixie's siding.
Copyright photo by HC Casserley
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