Hello! I'm always looking out for more material: if you have anything you would like to share (especially relating to my Request List), please get in touch! Twitter: @malvernrailway.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Three Counties Horse Boxes in Malvern - June 1961

A new post this week, thanks to a contributor who captured an unusual occurence at Great Malvern station over 55 years ago.

Richard Moreton writes:
'These were taken on 16th June 1961, when a train of Southern region horseboxes, coach and well wagon with a carriage were unloaded at Great Malvern, all in connection with the Three Counties Show. This was the only occasion when I saw the end-loading dock on the down side in use (although I believe that in the mid-1950s when Sanger's Circus came to town the elephants got off there). At that time, it was possible to walk from the down-side exit along an unsurfaced extension of Thorngrove Road, turning left by Imperial Garage and coming out in Manby Road. There was a gate for vehicles unloaded from the loading dock to exit via this unsurfaced road. I suppose in the days of the water-cure this could have been a regular occurence.

The bay platform, after the closure of the Ashchurch line, was used for a variety of trains... the pigeon train, the school baggage train, and from 1959-61, a local Worcester-Ledbury train recessed there in the afternoon for an hour or so. I used to catch it to get home from school, as the Paddington train ran non-stop from Great Malvern to Hereford, and I needed to retrieve my bike from Malvern Wells station.'

Southern Region horseboxes in the Midland bay platform, June 1961.
Southern Region horseboxes on the up line at Great Malvern, June 1961.
Southern Region horseboxes departing southwards, June 1961.

The next shot is of a 'pigeon train' waiting in the Midland Bay at Great Malvern.

Jon Pratty recalls:
'The pigeon train was usually a diesel multiple unit or a loco with parcel vans carrying hundreds of pigeons in baskets. These were racing pigeons from all over the Midlands, sent by their owners by rail, to be released a distance away. The pigeons would then fly back home, getting valuable racing practice. It's amazing, but this was a regular weekly event. I don't know if the pigeon fanciers sent their racing pigeons elsewhere - they must have done - but Malvern was a regular destination. British Rail charged to carry the baskets with ten or fifteen pigeons in each one. The baskets were gathered together in groups by region then sent here on one train. When the train pulled in, station staff and us trainspotters would unload the baskets onto luggage trolleys, then line the trolleys up on the platform edge. Then we'd unbuckle the baskets and let out the racing birds in one big feathery cloud. Great fun! I have no idea when this stopped.'

3738 on the Wolverhampton - Great Malvern pigeons trains, recessing while the birds were released.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

More Pictures of Dutch Soldiers at Wood Farm Camp

This week I was contacted by another historian who has kindly provided me with some more pictures of the Dutch soldiers based at Wood Farm Camp during World War Two. On seeing the shots, I remembered that I had also received a picture of a commerorative plate which was presented to the Welcome Club on Church Street by members of the Dutch brigade resident in Malvern. I'll add these new pictures to the main article on the Dutch soldiers in Malvern Wells during the war. Enjoy!

Soldiers on parade.
Dutch flag at the base.
Looking towards the hills.
Blurred shot of the camp with Wyche Cutting in the background.
Commemorative plate, front.
Commemorative plate, rear.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

1501 at Arley, 25 October 2017

1501 steams into Arley from the south, 25/10/17, 1/2...
1501 steams into Arley from the south, 25/10/17, 2/2.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Kidderminster Town Station

Kidderminster Town is the southern terminus of the Severn Valley Railway. Lying barely 200 yards across a car park from the current Kidderminster stop, the Severn Valley station is probably the most convenient way to access the heritage line.

The station itself is not an original piece of GWR architecture, having been built in 1984 as part of the SVR's expansion southwards from Bewdley. Constructed on disused sidings formerly owned by British Rail, the station is therefore much younger than its cousin at Bridgnorth (opened 1862). Nevertheless, the station maintains a bygone style with Edwardian glass roofs and wooden awnings.


2857 at a dull Kidderminster Town, 07/09/17
43106 waiting for a tender-first morning departure to Bridgnorth, 25/10/17
50031 'Hood' sits at Kidderminster Town. Note that this shot was taken at the same time as the picture above, but this time with the sun behind the camera (much less editing)!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Borle Viaduct - Borle Brook

Borle Viaduct is a 42-yard bridge which carries the Severn Valley Railway over a small stream known as the Borle Brook. The Brook itself flows into the Severn immediately east of the viaduct's four arches.

Located north of Arley, the bridge offers some spectacular photo opportunities both from the near side and from the numerous public footpaths on the higher ground above the opposite river bank. The view is particularly colourful in autumn due to the many trees which grow behind the bridge.


7714 approaches Borle Brook from the south...
...before crossing the viaduct itself amid the autumn colours.
1501 pulling its 10.50 Bridgnorth-Kidderminster service tender first over the viaduct.

Borle Viaduct

I was able this week to get down to the Severn Valley Railway again to try out a new walk I had planned near Arley. I'd set out to get some shots of Borle Viaduct from the eastern bank of the river and was very happy with my first attempt, despite the somewhat grey conditions. The forecast had actually predicted clear skies all day, but predictably these only materialised once I'd snapped the two trains I'd planned to see at Borle and had returned to the village. Luckily, however, this did mean that I was able to get some great snaps of Arley station washed in autumn sunshine, which I'll save for a future post. Anyway, here are three from Borle on a slightly grey October morning - definitely one to try again in clearer light!