Saturday, 9 February 2008

Railway Echo No 6

Here's a treat for railway buffs. Aynho is in Northants, its station in Oxfordshire, built in 1850 for the Oxford & Rugby Railway. It left Oxford, made it to Aynho but then veered off westwards towards Warwick and Birmingham. Rugby never saw it, but considering its importance as a railway town probably didn't notice. The building is a classic, very likely designed by Brunel, certainly drawn-up by an assistant under the master's supervision. It has the trademark canopy extending around all elevations, although at some time this was severely cut back from its original extensive overhang. Just one storey, the station is built in local stone and, like other stations on this route, has a waiting room bay window on the Oxford side. Imagine sitting here with morning sunlight streaming in, folding up your Times when you hear the shrill whistle of the Birmingham train approaching, white billows of steam drifting out over the Oxford Canal that runs at its side. The station was closed in 1964, but continued as the local Charringtons coal office until let as a private dwelling. There is still a working line at its side, the atmosphere of a coalyard intact. The big house on the hill, Aynho Park, had a platform of its own on the Bicester branch. Now I really fancy that, my own platform. Trouble is, no train would ever stop.


Ron Combo said...

Looks like an original lamp too, Shag. Nice shot.

Justin Savage said...

I'm standing on a platform
This one's my very own
The trains whizz by
I wave, I cry!
"Stop train, stop"
They never slow
Now I know it's
Not enough to have a station,
I need a signal too.

Maybe then they'll come to rest
Take on water, mail and vested
Interests I'll pursue:
They can take me on
To Sutton Hoo.

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Justin, that's very kind. I love platform halts. There was one I remember in the middle of a field somewhere north of Caistor-on-Sea, reached by a footpath through waving corn. You had to tell the guard you wanted to get off there, and he went and got some wooden steps out of his van to facilitate your getting down from the train.

"G" said...

I'm not sure you are correct when you say that Aynho Station is in Oxfordshire. I believe the county boundary is further west and closer to Clifton.