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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Ripple Station

The small village of Ripple lies on the souternmost edge of Worcestershire, close to the border with Gloucestershire. With a population of barely 1800, it was by far the smallest settlement served by the Malvern-Ashchurch branch line. Nevertheless, it did manage to hold onto its station until the early 1960s, when the remaining Ashchurch-Upton spur was finally closed after a ten-year stay of execution.


Today, Ripple has no railway station, but nonetheless offers a lot of interesting relics of the old line, as well as plenty of interesting walks through some lovely countryside. The village also contains many pretty houses and is easy to get to by road.


Ripple is a small village consisting to all intents and purposes of one street, the appropriately named 'Station Road'. There is also a very quaint parish church and a pub, the Railway Inn, which continues the connection with the Railway to this day.

Not a railway pic, but nevertheless: St Mary's in Ripple.
A clue as to the village's history.
The bridge joining Station Road to Bow Road, the last road crossing before Ripple Station.
The south wall of Station Road bridge.
The view over the north parapet is pretty overgrown!
These next pictures show the view over the southern parapet of the small road bridge. There isn't much to see here now as the trees have all grown, but the station remains in use as a private residence. After crossing the bridge, the road turns south and runs parallel to the old railway before reaching the M50 crossing.

'Ripple Station (remains), 1985'. Used courtesy of Ben Brooksbank via Creative Commons.
'Site of former Ripple Station, 1997'. Used courtesy of Ben Brooksbank via Creative Commons.

Historical Photographs


These pictures have been generously donated by Richard Casserley, who tells me that he took them on 8 March, 1956. To celebrate the 60th birthday of that visit, here are three shots of Ripple station before its closure in 1961.

'43373 with 5.45 from Upton to Ashchurch'
'5.45 to Ashchurch'
'Ripple (MR), facing Malvern, 1934'
These next three photos were taken over the course of forty years by Ben Brooksbank, and show how the station site has changed. Interestingly, unlike Malvern Hanley Road, Upton-upon-Severn and Tewkesbury, Ripple station remained intact and is now a private residence. 
 
'Ripple Station, southward view'. Used courtesy of Ben Brooksbank via Creative Commons.
One of the surviving station signs today.

4 comments:

  1. A location that I have passed on countless occasions, while going down to fish on the River Severn. I vaguely remember the line when it was still operating, albeit at around 4 years of age, in 1962. Similarly for the line in and around Tewkesbury.

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    1. MalvernRailway17 May 2016 at 20:40

      Wonderful, glad you found the site. If you have any photographs of the line from your fishing trips I'd love to hear from you!

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    2. My late father may have taken some but they will feature fish, rather than trains! I will check with Mum. I now realise that it must have been the dismantling of the line, after closure, that I observed, especially in Tewkesbury. The Avon bridge and the embankments either side of Bredon road disappeared quite quickly. I am glad to see the remainder towards Ripple is largely still intact. Finally, a question. Was there still a line across the High Street, towards Healing's mill, around this time. I am sure I remember one from my visits to the Fish & Chip shop in Quay Street.

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    3. MalvernRailway9 July 2016 at 23:53

      Hello again KL, as far as I am aware the Quay Branch was removed in two sections. The first part, between the loco shed (which stood to the north of Rope Walk) and the quay itself was closed in 1957, and the rest was closed in 1962, although I don't know the precise dates of when the line itself was taken up. If you were 4 in 1962 it's almost certain that you will have seen the line crossing the High St and running down Quay St. The Quay branch is a great oddity which adds a lot of interest to this project!

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