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Bidford-on-Avon Station

LMS Route: The Shakespeare Route

Bidford station was opened on 22nd February 1885 not being named Bidford-on-Avon station until 1st July 1909. It was the first station on the 7½ mile extension (built in 1879) between Stratford upon Avon to Broom Junction. It was built under the auspices of the Evesham, Redditch & Stratford upon Avon Junction Railway. The single-line route was operated on the 'staff and ticket' principle which limited the line to one train in occupation. In the early years however, Bidford and Binton stations both had ground frames and signals allowing trains to be held pending acceptance by the signalman at either Stratford upon Avon or Broom Junction. Prior to the development of rural bus services both Binton and Bidford on Avon stations handled daily commuters to: Stratford upon Avon, Evesham and Redditch; whilst on Stratford upon Avon's Annual Mop Fair day as many as three hundred extra passengers would be carried on the 6:15pm special train at a fare of 6½d (3p) return. During the plum season the station was very busy as was its neighbour Binton with as many as twenty wagons a day being used to carry the produce.

Bidford even had a thriving business despatching large quantities of Hay to 'The Railway Provendor Company' at Manchester with each wagon taking one hundred trusses each. A single siding, later duplicated, had to serve the coal yard before running on into the 'Brick & Tile Company's works. The line between Stratford upon Avon and Broom was treated as being separate by the LMS and passenger traffic was minimal, being limited to, in 1905 for instance, four trains daily in each direction. The economy measures brought in as a result of the First World War, which impacted upon all of Britain's railways, compelled the SMJ to close the station on 19th February 1917 which continued until 1st January 1919. The level of service continued at four trains daily in each direction until 1938, when the Second World War meant that the service was reduced to one day train daily in each direction. Even this service was discontinued when all passengers services between Stratford upon Avon and Broom ceased on 16th June 1947. Despite the cessation of passenger services, both Bidford and Binton station remained open until 23rd May 1949 with freight traffic continuing for another decade, not ceasing until 1960, following which the line was lifted.

Looking along the platform towards Stratford upon Avon with the station's booking office built into the second arch of the road overbridge
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Postcard
Looking along the platform towards Stratford upon Avon with the station's booking office built into the second arch of the road overbridge
Close up   showing the entrance to Bidford on Avon's innovative booking office which was formed inside the second arch of the bridge
Ref: smjboa1a
Postcard
Close up showing the entrance to Bidford on Avon's innovative booking office which was formed inside the second arch of the bridge
Close up   showing Bidford on Avon's single siding used for distributing the harvested plums and throughout the year by local coal merchants
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Postcard
Close up showing Bidford on Avon's single siding used for distributing the harvested plums and throughout the year by local coal merchants
A later view looking towards Stratford upon Avon through the road bridge and showing the huts used by the coal merchants
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LGRP
A later view looking towards Stratford upon Avon through the road bridge and showing the huts used by the coal merchants
A 1933 close up  showing more clearly the limited facilities of Bidford upon Avon station with the double plank doors and tiny windows
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LGRP
A 1933 close up showing more clearly the limited facilities of Bidford upon Avon station with the double plank doors and tiny windows

Close up   showing the grounded six-wheel coach body  used as a passenger waiting room on Bidford on Avon station's platform
smjboa2b
LGRP
Close up showing the grounded six-wheel coach body used as a passenger waiting room on Bidford on Avon station's platform
Ex-MR 3F 0-6-0 No 43520 is seen passing Bidford on a goods train made up of an ex-LMS 50' brake, fitted vans and sheeted open wagons
smjboa3
P Hokins
Ex-MR 3F 0-6-0 No 43520 is seen passing Bidford on a goods train made up of an ex-LMS 50' brake, fitted vans and sheeted open wagons