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Woodlesford

The Story of a Station
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Children pose for the photographer outside Oulton St. John's school shortly before the First World War. 

 

Woodlesford station opened in 1840 as part of the North Midland Railway, one of the first long distance railways in the country. Running between Derby and Leeds Hunslet Lane the line was designed and engineered by George and Robert Stephenson and built by navvies working for a number of contractors.

In 1844 it was absorbed into the Midland Railway which at "The Grouping" in 1923 became a constituent of the London Midland and Scottish Railway. On the creation of the nationalised British Railways in 1948 Woodlesford was in the London Midland Region. In 1950 it was transferred into the North Eastern Region.

Throughout the early part of the 20th century the station had a thriving goods business including coal trains from the nearby Water Haigh colliery. George Armitage's stone quarry and brickworks had their own sidings. Raw materials for Bentley's Yorkshire Breweries arrived by train and their beer was dispatched all over the north of England. There was also freight and parcels traffic for the Rothwell district and homing pigeons were sent by fanciers far and wide for training and competitions.


This website tells the history of the station and the industries and people it served in the township of Oulton-with-Woodlesford.

 

Homes for Heroes. The original houses, now demolished, on Green Lea built by the Hunslet Rural District Council after the First World War. This photo, looking east, is from a postcard sent from Woodlesford in 1923. The rest of the street, towards Highfield Mount in the distance, was completed by the Rothwell Urban District Council in 1939.   


A Sentinel Super steam wagon at Bentley's brewery in the 1920s.

 

A view of Water Haigh colliery from Fleet Lane as it was being demolished in 1972. Photo by Jim Hardwick,   

courtesy of the Rothwell and District Historical Society.



Ivatt 2-6-0 43130 with an engineering train passing through Woodlesford in the mid 1960s. The loco was built at Horwich

works in 1951. It was based at Leeds Holbeck shed and withdrawn and cut up for scrap in 1967. The crane was built by

Ransomes & Rapier in 1931 and was capable of lifting loads of up to 40 tons. It was also based at Leeds Holbeck from 1939

until 1978. Since December 1982 it has been preserved at the Nene Valley Railway near Peterborough.

Photo by Geoffrey Pickersgill.


Elizabeth, one of Water Haigh colliery's surface shunting engines. Built by Hudswell Clarke in Hunslet in 1927 

it was named after Princess Elizabeth who had been born a year earlier. In 2012 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 

her Diamond Jubilee. Unfortunately her namesake was consigned to the cutter's torch many years ago. In the 

background are houses on Eshald Lane, and on the horizon, Woodlesford church with its spire. Photo by Derek Rayner.   

 

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More pictures and information will be added to the site over time. If you have anything to add please contact me. 

This site is being created by Howard Benson