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.
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.
|1881-1898||Francombe, Louis Alfred||Provender Stores|
|1918||Lowe, James Frederick|
|1919-1924||unoccupied, see cottage 12|
|1925-1939||Lowe, James Frederick||1939 retired railway worker, Ashchurch|
|1911-1939||Pardoe, James||Provender Stores, 1939 retired railway servant, Ashchurch|
|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|
|1911-1912||Bamford, Albert G S||signalman|
|1918-1939||Washbourne, Martin Wm||signalman, 1939 retired signalman Ashchurch|
|1938-1939||Price, Charles James|
|1939||Ponter, William||1939 railway signal and telegraph engineer|
|1914-1927||Starks, George Edward|
|1928-1935||Bunn, Albert Haydon||1913 signalman Birmingham|
|1936-1939||Rogers, John Henry||1939 signalman Ashchurch|
|1911-1939||Woolley, Frederick||coalman, night watchman, 1939 retired|
|1881||Hanks, John||train examiner|
|1923-1930||Langford, William||1939 signalman Gloucester|
|1935-||Miles, William Henry||1939 relief signalman Gloucester|
|1936-1939||McMillan, John Charles||1939 signalman Ashchurch|
|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|
|1909-1939||Haynes, Raymond Richard||1939 signalman (retired) Ashchurch|
|1891-1939||Cooper, Joseph Joel||retired signalman, died Tewkesbury hospital|
|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|
|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
|Dilley, William H||1909|
|Dones, Daniel||1901-(1908)||Provender Stores|
|Johnson, Gilbert Edward||1902||booking clerk|
|Lee, Thomas||1885-1890||ticket collector|
|Mulcock, Daniel||1890-1891||engine driver|
|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 Watkins||West 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.