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Stewartby

The London & North Western Railway opened Wootton Pillinge station in 1905 serving the small, rural village of Wootton Pillinge. However the bnature of the village was changing as in 1897 it had become the site of B.J.H. Forder's brickworks. When built the halt was very basic with a 50ft rail level platform constructed of old sleepers, a nameboard, an oil lamp and no shelter.

In 1926 the London Brick Company (who had acquired the Wootton Pillinge Brick Company) began to build a ‘garden village’ for its employees at Wootton Pillinge as the size of the works had grown exponentially. The village was named Stewartby after Sir Halley Stewart, the first chairman of the Wootton Pillinge Brick Company.

In 1935 the LMS renamed the station Stewartby. With the introduction of DMUs in 1959, the low platforms were replaced with longer conventional height timber platforms. As part of the route modernisation at this time the up platform was replaced with a new platform on the south side of the level crossing. The reason for staggered platforms is to avoid road traffic being held up by trains waiting at the platform before proceeding over the crossing. Stewartby station became unstaffed from in 1968. This was one of the last stations un the UK to retain oil lighting; the lights not being replaced until 1981.

The brickworks at Stewartby were probably the saviour of the entire Marston Vale line, first transporting the finished bricks out and in later years transporting in household waste from London. After reaching a peak production level of 738 million bricks in 1973, demand for bricks declined and the LBC signed an agreement to re-use its empty clay pits for landfill waste transported from London.

The London Brick Company was acquired by Hanson plc in 1984 who, in 2008, ended brick making operations at Stewartby. The final waste trains ran shortly thereafter leaving a rural station used by around 16700 people per year.

 

www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/stewartby/index.shtml

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stewartby_railway_station

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Taken on July 12, 2014