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Great Alne Station

GWR Route: Hatton to Bearley and Alcester Branch

Great Alne Station was originally the only intermediate station on the Alcester Railway. The railway and station were constructed by engineer William Clarke and opened on Monday 4th September 1876. The Alcester Railway was a 6 mile 69 chain single track standard gauge line running from the Stratford upon Avon Railway at Bearley to the Evesham & Redditch Railway at Alcester. Although nominally independent, the Alcester Railway Company entered into an operating agreement with the GWR, who also had a director on the Board and in 1878 the GWR arranged the purchase of the company. Great Alne was a small country station served by six trains in each direction. It never created much railway traffic and the station's history is intrinsically linked to that of the Alcester Branch. When the branch closed in 1917 and the track was removed to assist the War effort, the station also closed. It reopened again on 18th December 1922, when the track between Bearley and Great Alne was re-laid. The remaining section between Great Alne and Alcester reopened the following year.

The start of World War 2 caused the Alcester Branch line to be closed again on 25th September 1939, but this time the track was not removed and the relocation of the Maudslay Motor Company from Coventry to Great Alne in 1941 meant an unadvertised workman's train from Leamington was required. Public goods services were also restored to Great Alne the following year, but the section between Alcester and Great Alne remained closed. The special passenger service to Great Alne finished on 3rd July 1944, but the goods yard remained open with a regular twice weekly freight service. This ceased in 1947 and the Alcester Branch was officially closed on 1st March 1951. After closure Great Alne Station became the local Post Office and is now a domestic residence. A major source of information for the photograph captions came from ‘The Alcester Branch’ by Stanley Jenkins and Roger Carpenter. This book is considered essential reading for anyone who wants to know more about the Alcester Branch and Great Alne Station in particular (see Bibliography).

The station building comprised of a two-storey building providing accommodation for the station master and the booking office, ensuring the station safe and other sensitive items were within the most secure portion of the station. The single storey buildings to one side provided passenger facilities including waiting rooms and toilets. The platform canopy protected the entrances to the booking office, general waiting room and ladies waiting room. Supported by cast-iron brackets with the Alcester Railway's initials 'AR' embedded, the canopy was edged with distinct tongue and groove fretwork, typical of the design found on other Clarke buildings seen elsewhere on the GWR system. Erected using brickwork laid in 'English Bond', a course of stretchers alternates with a course of headers, the window and door openings were 'square headed' with stone lintels, whilst the window frames were large paned sash windows. A bay window was provided at one end within the two-storey building at platform level for the station staff to use to look out onto the station without needing to leave their office. The roof was gabled with stone stone copings provided on each gable and stone 'kneelers' at the bottom of each parapet. The station was provided with four substantial chimney stacks, all of which were of typical William Clarke design.

Robert Ferris

Great Alne Station Building

The 230í gentle curve of Great Alne Station platform viewed from the Level Crossing at the Alcester end of the platform
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Real Photos
The 230’ gentle curve of Great Alne Station platform viewed from the Level Crossing at the Alcester end of the platform
Close up showing Great Alne station with its goods shed on the platform and siding in the background
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Real Photos
Close up showing Great Alne station with its goods shed on the platform and siding in the background
An early picture of Great Alne Station shortly after the first corrugated iron goods shed was erected
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Postcard
An early picture of Great Alne Station shortly after the first corrugated iron goods shed was erected
Close up showing the Station Masters House alongside the booking office and passengers facilities
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Postcard
Close up showing the Station Masters House alongside the booking office and passengers facilities
Close up showing the gentlemen's toilet and steel corrugated goods shed situated on the platform
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Postcard
Close up showing the gentlemen's toilet and steel corrugated goods shed situated on the platform

Great Alne Station photographed in 1889 from the level crossing looking towards Bearley
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Green-Jaques Collection
Great Alne Station photographed in 1889 from the level crossing looking towards Bearley
The goods yard, a single 300í siding, which could accommodate approximately 14 wagons
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Green-Jaques Collection
The goods yard, a single 300’ siding, which could accommodate approximately 14 wagons
Close up of the station showing a group of villagers waiting for the arrival of the next train
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Green-Jaques Collection
Close up of the station showing a group of villagers waiting for the arrival of the next train
The station was reopened in 1941 to enable workers from Coventry to get to the shadow factory
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AT Locke/KRM
The station was reopened in 1941 to enable workers from Coventry to get to the shadow factory
This close up shows the corrugated iron good sheds at the Bearley end of the platform
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AT Locke/KRM
This close up shows the corrugated iron good sheds at the Bearley end of the platform

The track on the Alcester Branch was removed during WW1 to assist with the war effort
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RK Cope
The track on the Alcester Branch was removed during WW1 to assist with the war effort
A 1949 view of Great Alne station seen from the position of the ground frame after goods operations ceased in 1947
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J Moss
View of Great Alne station seen from the position of the ground frame after goods operations ceased in 1947
The station buildings and entrance to the goods yard viewed from the Great Alne to Wootton Wawen road
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John Platt Collection
The station buildings and entrance to the goods yard viewed from the Great Alne to Wootton Wawen road
A 1956 view of Great Alne station now converted to serve as a Post Office and General Store
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G Tilt
A 1956 view of Great Alne station now converted to serve as a Post Office and General Store
External view of Great Alne station taken circa 1955 showing the vandalised state of the station building after the line's closure
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A Vaughan
External view of Great Alne station taken circa 1955 showing the vandalised state of the station building

Great Alne Station sidings and approaches

View of the overgrown trackwork and abandoned Great Alne Station viewed from the goods yard in 1947
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John Platt Collection
View of the overgrown trackwork and abandoned Great Alne Station viewed from the goods yard in 1947
Close up looking towards Alcester in 1947 showing the station and platform opposite the P&W huts
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John Platt Collection
Close up looking towards Alcester in 1947 showing the station and platform opposite the P&W huts
Great Alne goods yard viewed from the end of the station ramp looking back towards Bearley
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John Platt Collection
Great Alne goods yard viewed from the end of the station ramp looking back towards Bearley
Close up of the goods yard showing the wooden gangers hut and the standard GWR  loading gauge
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John Platt Collection
Close up of the goods yard showing the wooden gangers hut and the standard GWR loading gauge
View looking towards Alcester showing Great Alne's overgrown goods yard and disused station in 1949
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John Platt Collection
View looking towards Alcester showing Great Alne's overgrown goods yard and disused station in 1949

Looking towards Spencer's level crossing at the Bearley end of Great Alne goods yard with the gatekeepers cottage
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John Platt Collection
Looking towards Spencer's level crossing at the Bearley end of Great Alne goods yard with the gatekeepers cottage
Close up showing the gangers hut at the Bearley end of the yard and the up distance signal protecting Spencerís level crossing
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John Platt Collection
Close up of the gangers hut at the Bearley end of the yard and the up distance signal protecting Spencer’s crossing
A 1949 view of the station seen from the Alcester side of the level crossing
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JH Moss
A 1949 view of the station seen from the abandoned trackwork on the Alcester side of the level crossing
Looking towards Alcester in 1949 showing the level crossing that guarded one end of the station
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JH Moss
Looking towards Alcester in 1949 showing the level crossing that guarded one end of the station
The view along the branch's single line from the Level Crossing at Great Alne towards Alcester
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AT Locke/KRM
The view along the branch's single line from the Level Crossing at Great Alne towards Alcester

Spencer's Level Crossing

A 1965 view of the former crossing keeper's cottage at Spencer's Level Crossing seen shortly before its demolition
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Great Alne Village Collection
A 1965 view of the former crossing keeper's cottage at Spencer's Level Crossing seen shortly before its demolition
The Down distance signal for Spencerís Level Crossing - between Great Alne and Aston Cantlow
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PJ Garland
The Down distance signal for Spencer’s Level Crossing - between Great Alne and Aston Cantlow
Alcester branch being used to store crippled PO colliery and coal trader wagons during World War Two
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Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey map showing Spencer's Crossing and keeper's house and Great Alne Corn Mill

Miscellaneous

View of Auto trailer No 83 being hauled by an unidentified Collett 48xx class 0-4-2T locomotive
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RS Carpenter
View of Auto trailer No 83 being hauled by an unidentified Collett 48xx class 0-4-2T locomotive
A Great Western Railway 0-4-2T class 48xx locomotive arrives at Great Alne station with an auto trailer
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RJ Buckley
A Great Western Railway 0-4-2T class 48xx locomotive arrives at Great Alne station with an auto trailer
Photograph of a track relaying gang at Great Alne Station that appeared in the GWR Magazine of March 1912
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GWR Magazine
Photograph of a track relaying gang at Great Alne Station that appeared in the GWR Magazine of March 1912
Alcester branch being used to store crippled PO colliery and coal trader wagons during World War Two
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RS Carpenter
Alcester branch being used to store crippled PO colliery and coal trader wagons during World War Two
A 1960 view of the skew girder bridge near Kinwarton looking in the direction of Alcester shortly before the removal of the girders
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R King
A 1960 view of the skew girder bridge near Kinwarton looking towards Alcester shortly before the removal of the girders

Looking towards Bearley up Captain's Hill towards the three-arch road over bridge located near Kinwarton circa 1952-3
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PJ Garland
Looking towards Bearley up Captain's Hill towards the three-arch road over bridge located near Kinwarton