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Coleshill later Maxstoke Station

LMS Route: Hampton in Arden to Whitacre

Coleshill station was the only intermediate station on the route between Hampton and Whitacre. It looked distinctive with its very short platform suffice for two or three four wheel coaches, a station house with booking office and waiting rooms as well as a short goods siding. Whilst photographic evidence confirms only one platform which was sited on the up line, in all probability there was once a second platform on the down line which was swept aside when the track was singled. The line was originally built with double track when first opened on 5th August 1839 reflecting its importance to the B&DJR as its gateway to London via the L&BR. The line reverted to single track between August 1842 and March 1843 when its importance as a route to and from the North on MR metals was significantly down graded by the opening on the 1st July 1840 of the Leicester to Rugby route and on the 10th February 1842 the Whitacre to Birmingham line.

The number of passenger services never again reached the anticipated volume and because the line was not now fully utilised the line was singled between August 1842 and March 1843. Even after the line was singled, of the three daily services each way, two carried through coaches to London until February 1845. The daily service of three trains each way was reduced to two in 1859, and from May 1877 the service was reduced to a single coach morning train in each direction. This drastic action was a direct consequence of the 'Long Depression' a worldwide price and economic recession, beginning in 1873 and running either through the spring of 1879, or 1896, depending on the metrics used. This being the minimum level of service required by Parliament. Its recorded thatalthough from 1902 the service often ran without a single passenger the MR could not close the line to passengers'. It was not until 1st January 1917 when war time economy measures enabled the MR to enact legislation that the line closed to passenger traffic. Still in use for occasional goods traffic in 1923 the station was renamed Maxstoke, with Forge Mills on the Whitacre to Lawley Street line being renamed Coleshill. On 12th January 1935 the branch line was cut in half when the timber bridge opver the River Blythe was certified as too weak to support a train. Coleshill (or now Maxstoke) still had a goods service until 30th April 1939 when the line was used to store crippled wagons.

At Coleshill, signal levers were installed adjacent to the now disused 'down' platform, and despite appearing in the record books in a list of 'signal posts' it is possible that there was never a signal box structure. Although two home and two distant signals were erected, it was common practice to pass the home signals at danger. A single siding for the storage of up to ten wagons was installed here in 1883. Access was controlled by a separate ground frame. It was here that the long-established firm of Rollasons' coal merchants started trading, with an office, weighbridge, and a fleet of three private wagens. Started by Harriet Rollason, the firm celebrated their centenary in 1984. and played a major part in the history of the line. With the expansion of trade towards the end of the nineteenth-century, goods sidings were also laid circa 1900 to serve the large estates of Maxstoke and Packington, again being worked by ground frames. The Maxstoke Castle siding was situated just to the north of Coleshill station, and a farm path crosses the bed of both the old running line and siding at this point. The estate siding held perhaps eight wagons, with coal coming in and timber going out. The siding at Packington also tcok coal, and in addition received live (freshly killed) fish from Grimsby. The contents of the fish-wagons were transferred to four salt-water tanks located in the grounds of Packington Mall. The remains of the old step-block at the end of this siding can still be observed. Severe storms on the last day of 1900 caused widespread damage due to flooding. The timber river bridges were badly weakened, and a number had to be strengthened. Between Maxstoke siding and Coleshill station was the large bridge over the River Blythe. A farm accommodation underbridge adjacent to it frequently flooded due to the low level of the surrounding farmland, and silted up to the distress of the cattle that used it. In 1922, after complaints, the Midland Railway raised the level of the roadway beneath this bridge.

Coleshill later Maxstoke Station

Looking towards Whitacre with the station  on the right and the goods siding on the left with the level crossing in between
Ref: mrcm169
RS Carepenter
Looking towards Whitacre with the station on the right and the goods siding on the left with the crossing in between
Looking towards Hampton with the short single platform station on the left and the level crossing gates in the foreground
Ref: mrcm177
RS Carpenter
Looking towards Hampton with the short single platform on the left and the level crossing gates in the foreground
View of Coleshill station on the left and the former down line track bed and probable remains of the down platform
Ref: mrcm388
A Cocking
View of Coleshill station on the left and the former down line track bed and probable remains of the down platform
View showing the very short platform and the up signal which was operated by the station staff
Ref: mrcm175
Warwick County Museum
View showing the very short platform and the up signal which was operated by the station staff
Close up showing the stationmaster posed on Coleshill station platform which has been raised to the height of the window sill
Ref: mrcm175a
Warwick County Museum
Close up of the stationmaster on the station platform which has been raised to the height of the window sill

Close up of the booking office and waiting room complete with a post box in the gable wall
Ref: mrcm175b
Warwick County Museum
Close up of the booking office and waiting room complete with a post box in the gable wall
View of the station now renamed Maxstoke and operated only as a goods facility
Ref: mrcm387
Anon
View of the station now renamed Maxstoke and operated only as a goods facility
View of the station now abandoned with the level crossing in the foreground with the down signal still evident
Ref: mrcm170
LGRP
View of the abandoned station with the level crossing in the foreground and the down signal still evident
A 1936 view of Maxstoke station which, despite surface erosion to the platform, was still tidily maintained despite the lack of traffic
Ref: mrcm1204
R Waring
View of Maxstoke station which, despite surface erosion to the platform, was still tidily maintained
A 1951 view of Maxstoke station's building and platform now used as a private residence
Ref: mrcm1205
NRM
A 1951 view of Maxstoke station's building and platform now used as a private residence

A 1962 view of Maxstoke station, now fenced off, shortly to be abandoned by British Railways
Ref: mrcm1203
C Brookes
A 1962 view of Maxstoke station, now fenced off, shortly to be abandoned by British Railways

Miscellaneous

View of Harriet Rollason & Sons office, Weighbridge and one of the company's three Private Owner wagons
Ref: mrcm1201
P Rollason
View of Harriet Rollason & Sons office, Weighbridge and one of the company's three Private Owner wagons
Close up of Rollason & Sons' seven plank mineral wagon which would handle loads of up to eight tons
Ref: mrcm1201a
P Rollason
Close up of Rollason & Sons' seven plank mineral wagon which would handle loads of up to eight tons
A Midland Railway Third Class Hampton to Coleshill Day Ticket showing a fare of 4 old pence
Ref: mrcm1206
Anon
A Midland Railway Third Class Hampton to Coleshill Day Ticket showing a fare of 4½ old pence
MR 2F 0-6-0 Class 1873 No 3678 is seen at the head of the 8.10am Whitacre to Hampton train as it departs Coleshill station
Ref: mrcm389
A Cocking
MR 2F 0-6-0 No 3678 is seen at the head of the 8.10am Whitacre to Hampton train as it departs Coleshill station
View of one the line's level crossings and gate keeper's house after the removal of the track
Ref: mrcm1207
Anon
View of one the line's level crossings and gate keeper's house after the removal of the track

View of Coleshill's later Maxstoke station's abandoned siding looking towards Hampton
Ref: mrcm174
JM Ryan
View of Coleshill's later Maxstoke station's abandoned siding looking towards Hampton
Close up showing  a Victorian four-wheeled coach probably once used for storage and mess purposes
Ref: mrcm174a
JM Ryan
Close up showing a Victorian four-wheeled coach probably once used for storage and mess purposes
Ordnance Survey map showing Coleshill station on the right and Rollason & Sons private siding on the left
Ref: mrcm1202
Ornance Survey
Ordnance Survey map showing Coleshill station on the right and Rollason & Sons private siding on the left