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Gatekeepers and Crossing Policemen

There were crossing gates at three locations, operated by railway persons who lived at railway lodges at the locations. The first was at Northway, just to the north of Ashchurcn station, operated by a dedicated railwayman. The other two were south of the Ashchurch Road at Fiddington and Homedowns and on at least some occasions these were operated by the wives of railwaymen with other tasks (platelayer etc). All three were housed in a house ("lodge") probably owned by the railway.

All three lodges continued to be occupied until at least the 1930s, presumably by railwaymen, but there is as yet no detail of their precise jobs (or those of their wives!) after the war.

Northway Crossing

Accommodation Northway Lodge

This crossing was operated by a man whose sole job this appeared to be. He is recorded from the beginning of the record until at least 1925
NameJoined fromPay incrementsNext posting
Crump E 17 April 1860 deceased
Newell, Thomas 20/10/1860  Rugby, porter; in Rugby, retired, in 1871
Bassano Jbefore 1871 1873,1879superannuated 30/12/86, see footnotes
Wood AJ20/1/87 Wakefield Joint1892 
Pike, Arthur10/7/89  
Arnold, Harry George7/4/99 resigned 18/11/99
Shepherd, Samuel Stephen12/7/99 see footnotes
Hawkins, Charles Howard20/10/99 
Jolly H4/6/1900Fish Ponds gateman deceased 2/3/01
Roper G18/11/01 Ashwell signalman Bristol; St Philips gateman 20/2/02
Beacham J20/2/02 Draycott signalman see footnotes
James Bassano lived at Northway Crossing in 1871. For full biography see under Signalmen
S S Shepherd only briefly. Became porter in Nov 1999, goods checker July 1900, resigned October 1902
John Beacham lived in Northway Lodge to at least 1925, presumably working as gatekeeper

Fiddington and Homedowns Crossings

With the Fiddington and Homedowns crossings the men and their wives occupying the lodges are known from the 1870s to the inter-war years as shown in the following tables. Four of the seven wives appear in censuses as gatewomen. Two are also listed as such in railway documents. Mrs Leach is shown in Ashchurch station staff lists as earning 4/- (four shillings) a week and Mrs Webb, also listed in Ashchurch station records with her initial appointment shown in railway central records. She was probably recruited locally and appointed centrally.


Accommodation Fiddington Lodge, referred to once as Claydon Lodge.

Leach, Mrs 1859-66   deceased 18/7/76
Bullock, Hannah 1871 wife of John, labourer no occupation shown
Elizabeth Hancock 1881 wife of James, platelayer no occupation shown
Hannah Hampton
or Anna Maria
1891-postwar wife of Henry, platelayer  


Accommodation Homedowns Lodge

Elizabeth Webb 1871 wife of Charles Webb, platelayer  
Mary Trapp 1881-1891 wife of John, platelayer  
Elizabeth Stephens 1901-postwar wife of Frederick, platelayer no occupation shown

Crossing Policeman

In the early days there was a post called called Crossing Policeman, presumably with a function at level crossings. This post was regraded to Porter.
Vernon J4/1/76 from FJ Joint Line discharged 12/11/76
Dainty W15/5/76 not shown1877resigned 19/5/77
Rickards J16/10/77 Brightside porter discharged 26/3/78
post redesignated as Porter


This data has been researched and produced by Brian Harringman. Comments, additions, and especially corrections would be gratefully received.