STOCKCROSS and BAGNOR

Just under three miles from Newbury, and barely three quarters of a mile from Speen, the line descends gently into the Lambourn Valley on a 1 in 300 gradient. This isolated, out of the way stopping place was the station for Stockcross and Bagnor.

Post 1939 and looking north towards the village of Boxford. The requirements for wartime operation are clearly visible. These being, the Blacked out station lamps and the blank nameboard.

Photo : Stations UK
Referred to by the local residents simply as, "Stockross." The station changed little over the years, but during the late 1940s posts were erected either side of the shelter to allow the use of tilley lamps, thus replacing the two outdated oil lamps.
 
Photo : J.H Moss
The lamps themselves were kept at either Boxford or Lamboum and brought to Stockcross as and when required. The platform was topped with cinders and fine gravel while it's leading edge was built of sleepers. Rails sunk vertically into the ground supported the entire structure throughout its length. Travelling from Newbury, the line entered the station on an embankment, crossing a narrow lane by means of an iron bridge. Aptly called "Snake Lane" the road twists and turns dramatically and if you have ever had the misfortune to actually drive along it, you will understand fully, the reasoning behind the name. It runs from the Lambourn Road towards the village of Stockcross and is roughly a mile in length.

Access to the station was marked by a single parking space, a gate and a small sign. From here a cinder and gravel path led up to the platform a climb of 210 ft before reaching rail level.
During the independant LVR days, the station was staffed by a lad porter whose responsibities included, the collection of tickets, and parcel dispatch. But from 1905, under the GWR, staff were no longer employed here, a lad being despatched from either Boxford or Speen stations to clean and maintain the site as required.
The responsibility for the general upkeep of Stockcross would, in later years, ultimately fall on the Speen porter.

Photo : Courtesy of Kevin Robertson

All passenger services were required to stop here with a time allowance of one minute for patrons to alight or board the train. This differed from the independent days of the LVR Company when trains would stop only if requested.
Goods traffic was very light, primarily, small quantities of milk and farm produce. Small parcels were delivered free by the porter to the area served by the station. Larger items would be left at Newbury to await delivery by carrier.

Photo : J Smith

Interestingly this tiny isolated station would, on occasions, play host to race horse traffic from nearby Marsh Benham stud.
A horse-box would be ordered by Lambourn for attachment to the appropriate train. On arrival at the station, The horses were held on the cinder pathway until the train had stopped, before being led up to the horse box and loaded accordingly.

On a fine Summer's day it would have been hard indeed to find a more pleasant place to sit and wait for a train. Peaceful surroundings with superb views accross the valley and only the birds for company.

 
The Winter months at the station however paint a truly different picture, the location taking on a bleak and desolate persona.

( Pictured far right )
A scene taken from the carriage window of a down train from Newbury on a dull, overcast day in the late 1950's.

 

( Pictured immediate right )
The platform and shelter frozen in time. This shot taken as an LCGB railtour passed through on 14th February 1970.
A Diesel Multiple Unit was used for this particular trip.

Photo : J.H Bird
Photo : R.M Casserley
On a glorious summer's day in 1959, the halt looking south towards Newbury. The lamp post was fitted with a pulley which lowered a hook upon which a Tilley lamp was placed. The winding mechanism, visible near the bottom of the post, would then be used to raise the lamp into position. Note the plain ordinary garden seat situated under the name board. No GWR standard seating for Stockcross & Bagnor Halt, .... so it would seem anyway.
photo : T.J Saunders

Stockcross and Bagnor Station opened for passenger, and goods traffic on the 4th April 1898 running through until the close of passenger services on January the 4th 1960. From the 4th of January 1960 though until the 19th of July 1965 goods traffic still moved along the line, prior notice was required as special trains only were dealt with between these dates

photo : C Webb photo : unknown
(above right) ~ Some years after closure. Despite efforts made by Western Region to record and potentially salvage reusable items, the only thing to have been removed would appear to be the station name board.