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Appendix: Railway Accommodation

As shown in the 1911 list, railway staff were accommodated throughout Ashchurch. But the Midland Railway owned property at or near the railway station, enough to accommodate the stationmaster in a dedicated house and fourteen families plus lodgers in cottages. It has been possible to establish the occupants of these, though with some gaps, over the period approximately 1870 to 1939, when this study ceases. These are presumably included in the description "land and buildings, railway and station" in Ashchurch pre-war electoral registers which qualified Percy Marriott Payne of Derby to vote in Ashchurch. He was the Chief Rating Surveyor of Midland Railway and he appears similarly in electoral registers elsewhere, for example in Yorkshire, testifying to Midland Railway's ownership of the buildings.

The Cottages

There seems to be some form of pattern here, by which certain cottages are occupied by signalmen, others by foremen, others by occupants of the Provender Stores; though not always exclusively. Care should be taken if trying to establish job/post continuity as one cottage occupant replaces another. In the case of the signalman this does not always correspond with the pattern obtained from the station lists.

This study is concerned only with the householders. There are often lodgers, usually other railwaymen, young and single men who are in Ashchurch for a short posting. These are not considered here.

Pre-war and post-war sources differ, and provide different information:-

Pre-war. Up to 1914 the main sources are the ten-yearly censuses, a selection of electoral registers and some local records. All the censuses identify the occupants of the railway cottages, variously called station, new and Midland cottages, but only those of 1881 and 1911 give the full address, with cottage number. They also show occupations. The electoral registers list (male) householders, but without specific addresses. All the cottages are shown simply as located "near the station".

Post-war there are no censuses (that for 1921, due for release at the beginning of 2022, is eagerly awaited). The electoral register gives full addresses, in the form of, for example' 1 Midland Cottages. There is no information on occupations, but this can sometimes be compensated for by the 1939 register, though people may have moved on by then; and sometimes by local records such as births and marriages.

One feature, perhaps unexpected, is that railwaymen could stay in their railway cottage after retiring from work — at least in the twentieth century. This is shown in the 1939 lists where no less than seven of the fourteen cottages were occupied by retired workers in their late 60s and 70s - four retired sigalmen, a foreman and two others. One, signalman Joseph Cooper, was still living in his cottage when he died at the age of 90.

Cottage 1
1881-1898 Francombe, Louis Alfred Provender Stores
1901-1912 Trapp, Frederick  
1918 Lowe, James Frederick 
1919-1924 unoccupied, see cottage 12 
1925-1939 Lowe, James Frederick 1939 retired railway worker, Ashchurch
Cottage 2
1881-1891 Bater, Charles labourer
1911-1939 Pardoe, James Provender Stores, 1939 retired railway servant, Ashchurch
Cottage 3
1881-1906 Chave., John signalman
1911-1927 Bullock, Joseph relief signalman
1928-1929 Horne, George Aubrey 1939 railway signalman Meriden
1930-1939 Huggins, Albert 1939 LMS permanent way labourer, Ashchurch
Cottage 4
1981-1909 Bassano, Henry signalman
1911-1912 Bamford, Albert G S signalman
1918-1939 Washbourne, Martin Wm signalman, 1939 retired signalman Ashchurch
Cottage 5
1881-1891 Bonsey, James signalman
1911 Smith, Richard 
1918-1937 Thomas Barnett signalman
1938-1939 Price, Charles James  
1939 Ponter, William 1939 railway signal and telegraph engineer
Cottage 6
1881-1906 Robert Wickes signalman
1911-1912 Hamlin, Robert 
1914-1927 Starks, George Edward 
1928-1935 Bunn, Albert Haydon 1913 signalman Birmingham
1936-1939 Rogers, John Henry 1939 signalman Ashchurch
Cottage 7
1881 Platten, Samuel porter
1911-1939 Woolley, Frederick coalman, night watchman, 1939 retired
Cottage 8
1881 Hanks, John train examiner
1885-1922 Heard, Thomas signalman
1923-1930 Langford, William 1939 signalman Gloucester
1935- Miles, William Henry 1939 relief signalman Gloucester
1936-1939 McMillan, John Charles 1939 signalman Ashchurch
Cottage 9
1881-1909 Stacey, Henry Charles Yard Foreman
1911-1920 Evans, Samuel Stockton Yard Foreman
1921-1922 Clarke, Horace Walter perh 1939 Goods Foreman Sutton-in-Ashfield
1924-1939 James Bunn 1939 Yard Foreman retired Ashchurch
Cottage 10
1881 Freeman, Charles signalman
1909-1939 Haynes, Raymond Richard 1939 signalman (retired) Ashchurch
Cottage 11
1881 Webber, Thomas signalman
1891-1939 Cooper, Joseph Joel retired signalman, died Tewkesbury hospital
Cottage 12
1881-1888 Cuff, Cornelius engine coalman
1909-1918 Malin, James goods checker
1919-1925 Stacey, Henry Charles  
1926-1939 Venn, Henry Predeth parcels porter
James Frederick Lowe doubling up here 1919-1924 in his absence from Cottage 1
1881-1891 Bowles, William goods porter/checker
1911 Weaver Frederick under goods guard
1914-1939 Payne, William Henry 1939 signalman (retired) Aschchurch
Cottage 14
1898-1925 Harrison, John Foreman Porter
1925-1939 Parslow, Francis Henry 1939 railway foreman Ashchurch

Not identified to specific cottage

The following have been identified as cottage residents but without knowledge of the cottage number. They will fill in some of the gaps in the table above

Bending, Norman 1898-1909 signalman
Bowyer, William 1891-1908 signalman
Cocks, Albert 1909  
Dilley, William H 1909  
Dones, Daniel 1901-(1908) Provender Stores
Hampton, William 1885-1889 signalman
Johnson, Gilbert Edward 1902 booking clerk
Lee, Thomas 1885-1890 ticket collector
Mulcock, Daniel 1890-1891 engine driver
Smith, John 1902  
Trapp, John 1898-1902 Provender Stores

The Stationmaster's House

There was a stationmaster's house as part of the accommodation at the railway station. The accommodation for stationmasters George Peck (1871) and William Lewin (1881) is not specified in the censuses but is clearly very close to the cottages. Thereafter:

1885-1891 William Lewin stationmaster's house
"near the station"
1901-1922 William WatkinsWest View stationmaster
1923-1928 Anthony Swift West View stationmaster
1935 George William Waite West View uncertain
1938-postwar George Stanley Jones West View stationmaster
No record has been seen of occupation of West View between about 1891 and 1900; William Lewin had moved
to his newly acquired house at Homedowns.
No record has been seen of occupation of West View between 1929 and 1938 except the brief period of one year by George Waite, and
he was perhaps other than the stationmaster (listed in Gotherington in 1939 as a retired railway inspector)


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