Milcote Weston & Welford station was located on the
Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway's single line branch from
Honeybourne to Stratford Upon Avon and was opened on the 12th July 1859. In
1915 Milcote was just inside the county boundary which passed through the very
southern end of the goods yard. As was the case with other stations on the then
single branch line, Milcote was built with just the one platform until 7th May
1908 when the new platforms were opened after the line had been doubled from
Long Marston to Stratford on Avon (East & West Junction) in February 1908.
The original platform was by nature short being just 196 feet long and had the
goods yard and its facilities immediately adjacent to the platform's end.
Rather than remodelling the goods yard the cheapest alternative for the GWR was
to resite the platforms (each 400 feet long) to the other side of the level
crossing. The original ten ton weighbridge was replaced in 1932 by a fifteen
ton version which remained in place until June 1964. Its assumed that prior to
the signal box being erected in 1891 some form of control must have been
provided, either by a gatekeeper or porter signalman, utilising a ground frame.
This Class 4 signal box's original frame contained 21 levers of which 2 were
spare and had in addition, two wicket levers and a gate wheel. In the course of
time, reflecting wear and tear, the frame was renewed in 1903. On 29th June
1973 the signal box was relegated to a crossing frame (it no longer acted as
block post dividing the line) and it was to close in late 1976.
Audie Baker in his book 'The Stratford on Avon to
Cheltenham Railway' states that by 1903 the number of staff at the station
numbered four, rising to five by 1931, all being under the control of the
station master at Long Marston. The 1930s saw the total receipts averaging
£1500 per annum with tonnage being in the region of 1800 tons per annum.
There was initially a coal merchant based at Milcote but towards the end this
did not generate much traffic. Latterly the only traffic that was forwarded
being sugar beet and then only during the season. Audie also writes that it was
'during World War II that the station received attention from the German
Airforce (Luftwaffe). A train was attacked whilst in the station area. Little
damage resulted but a bullet found its way into the woodwork of the down
platform waiting room side window and the subsequent hole remained until the
station closed. The station closed in stages: becoming unstaffed on 1st March
1956; goods yard closed on 1st July 1963; and passenger services withdrawn on
3rd January 1966. The empty Station Master's house became the home of the then
Winchcombe signalman who commuted daily.
Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith record in their book
'Stratford Upon Avon to Cheltenham' the records for the movement of
goods traffic and passengers over three decades from 1903 to 1933. These
records showed the passenger numbers in 1903 were 5077. By 1913 they had grown
to 7126 with a further increase to 9399 in 1923 but by 1933 these numbers had
fallen back to 5151. Parcel traffic showed a similar pattern. In 1903 the
station forwarded 1844 parcels, growing to 4943 in 1913, and further growth in
1923 to 4806 but again a fall in number to 1919 by 1933. The year 1923, which
saw the station's busiest time, saw the station with five members of staff
being employed. Interestingly, the tonnage of goods forwarded from the station
didn't follow this pattern as numbers actually fell from 1903 onwards. Whilst
in 1903 the figure was 1333 tons, the following three decades saw much lower
figures, being respectively 575, 534 although tonnage did recover to 692 tons
in 1933. General goods received commenced at 301 tons in 1903 with increases
over the next two decades to 449 tons and 485 tons respectively before falling
to 195 tons in 1933. The station, being located in a rural area without much
industry, handled very little coal and coke. Tonnage received started from 14
tons in 1903 growing slightly to 16 tons in 1913 before falling back to 7 tons
for both 1923 and 1933.
Much of the information on this and other pages of
Warwickshire Railways is derived from articles or books listed in our 'bibliography'.
Locomotives seen at Milcote station
Ordnance Survey map of Milcote station