The Huthwaite Railway Station

Grouping a Derby based Midland Railway Company brought competitive track constructions radiating from Nottingham. Lines northward through Ashfield connected Kirkby, before extending to Mansfield, via a Sutton Junction. That first opened our parish town passenger services in October 1849.

Derbyshire coal fields added another primary target for 1865 tracks reaching Alfreton. Heading further north into Sheffield steel industries, they ploughed routes through the Erewash Valley. Extending a Tibshelf and Teversal branch across into our county borders picked up Whiteborough, Skegby and Brierleyhill Collieries. Lay inside sharing those Nottinghamshire northwest boundaries are the areas Huthwaite and Teversal. Between those and through Whiteborough farmlands that Midland Railway carved and bridged its signal posted branch lines, initially found mapped 1884 leading towards the Miners Arms in Stanton Hill.

Woodend Station

Incorporating station platforms offered welcomed incentive for gaining permission laying what would be profitable industrial railroads. Following lower valley levels skirting Hucknall-under-Huthwaite heights, a bridged Harper Lane afforded us this lines nearest road access. Built adjacent some Woodend farm cottages when opened on 1st May 1886, gives obvious reason for initially naming a Woodend Station.

Whiteboro' Ticket OfficeThanking Glynn Waite whose specialist research published in Midland Railway Society Journals details unique finds for this remoter siting. Adding data with dated changes notes after just five months it next became called Woodend for Hucknall Huthwaite. This is very likely an upgrade from goods into a full ticket office passenger service, advertising a significant purpose behind opening this station platform. To become potentially linked by taxi carrier carts called for Jan 1886 widening of Harper Lane into a designated main road, recognising Station Road.

Acknowledgement gratefully given Mr Andrew Knighton for permitting above display of such an excellent and unique view of those ticket offices facing the bridged Harper Lane, or Station Road before recognising todays Chesterfield Road. The Railway Inn can be sighted opposite over the bridge, and here looking east towards Huthwaite heights can also actually reveal the isolation Hospital when sited atop Strawberry Bank.

Whiteboro' Station

This station changes name nearly as many times the Hucknall-under-Huthwaite township it clearly meant to serve. Whiteborough for Hucknall Huthwaite Renamed again 20th January 1893 with fullest title Whiteborough for Hucknall Huthwaite as shown signed on this platform photograph first shared by Dr K Hill.

Confirmed 1st January 1908 dates shortening of address into Whiteboro'. There can be no coincidence finding that same day the towns Midlands platform added Sutton-in-Ashfield for Huthwaite. This must all apparently stem from the Mansfield tramway recently extending regular routes into Huthwaite, favourably upping competition by Sutton stations.

Clearest reason why this Huthwaite station actually became named Whiteboro', is surely because the rail lines were routed through lower valley fields across Whiteborough farm lands. Plus a branch line picked up from a small but working Whiteborough colliery, extending on to reach a larger modern Brierley coal mine.

Railway InnExactly how a few farm cottages gained grander address 'The City of Whiteborough' is still a mystery.
  Bar room speculation raised a few romantic tales, all fairly easily dismissable. Cllr Keetley heard a good suggestion based upon the railroad when parents had run the Railway Inn, shown 1901 by Mr & Mrs Wallace. Tale could well have intrigued patrons during time this Inn invited travellers. But as references far predate locomotion, there's also no evidence of any elaborate proposals to build up a whole new area around this tiny remote station platform. Discovery can only add one new thought behind some small rural communities elsewhere asserting similar City Farm status, keeping up interests like working museums.

Journeying via the Whiteborough ticket officed platform has only ever been heard voiced by just a handful of childhood memories. It's remote setting upon the west Nottinghamshire border proved a disadvantage, highlighted by 1907 opening of a huge CWS factory. Requiring heavy goods transportation while equally distant from busier Sutton Stations led Huthwaite Urban District Councillors agreeing hopes for a closer station. They tried inducing the other Great Central Railway into extending their line. Firstly proposing a centralised Huthwaite passenger platform, directly connecting through both Sutton and South Normanton. And then showing 1909 plans, again extending the New Hucknall Colliery Branch line next joining into Whiteborough station. Negotiations around those costly ideas failed at persuading that Railway Board.

Whiteborough station layout is mapped by surveys between known years 1886 to 1926. Mapping circa 1899Interestingly shown is roadside access onto platforms uniquely crosses over county borders. Derbyshires old Newton Wood can highlight boundaries, also firstly offering name siting a Huthwaite Woodend. The farmstead buildings all earlier mapped 1884 are here shown after adopting role, unsurprised by naming the Railway Inn. A small cluster of mine worker homes took address Railway Cottages. Recalled families occupying tenancy included Bennet, Hill and Holmes. Clearance sited a pub car park since claimed by the renamed and extended Woodend Inn.

Companies competitively fought over freight, leaving larger railways carrying passengers at lower profits. A struggling Midland further grouped 1923 as London, Midland and Scottish Railway.   Cost efficiency led to closures. Losing Huthwaite's little used station came 4th October 1926, although villagers kept a suitable public transport system by frequent trams still connecting Sutton Stations, until July 1930. Massive railroad closures then ended the life of most smaller stations, leaving buses to also replace our obsolete trams.

Whiteborough for Hucknall HuthwaiteChildhood memories clearly once given by the now late Gordon Woodward were of playing among a still very picturesque, but abandoned tree lined platforms before removal of all the overgrown stone. He also recognised a Barker Street neighbour by name Mr Owen, claimed retired from last held post as Whiteboro' Station Master.

While families rambled along this railroad collecting wild blackberries, the tracks were in fact still used for hauling coal laden trucks from Sutton Colliery; until 1989 closure of Brierley Pit. Walking its quieter pathway would encounter some overgrown evidence of wooden sleepers and rusty rails. A few solidly built brick bridges are last remnants from the days of steam and past industry, since presenting a surfaced cycle trail skirting the areas transformation into Brierley Forest Park.

Some Whiteboro' Station masters are identified by dated commercial directories. This full listing edits the authoritatively complete railway records gratefully presented among memorabilia by enthusiast Mr G Waite.

From Named         Starting pa  Transferred From      Transferred Onto
1887 Benjamin Pointer £63.14 Signalman Bulwell Station Master Wryde
1888 Samuel Eaton £63.14 Booking Clerk Sutton Station Master Hathern
1892 Obadiah J Haddock £63.14 Station Master Langwathby Resigned
1898 Harry York £65.00 Signalman Cudworth Station Master Attercliffe Rd
1902 Herbert T Bunker £70.00 Porter King's Norton Station Master Stretton
1906 V H Owen £80.00 Station Master Stretton exchanged with HJ Bunker
1907 H C Bryant £80.00 Goods Clerk Langley Mill Station Master Kimberley?
Post withdrawn beyond 1908, placing duties lastly under Teversal Station Masters
1911 James King - 1915 W R Pumfrey - 1921 Thomas Tongue - 1922 Mr Cornell

Written 26 Feb 04 Revised 24 Oct 13 © by Gary Elliott