Station Name: RAYDON WOOD

[Source: Nick Catford]


Raydon Wood station Gallery 2: April 1965 - November 1974

Brush Type 2 No.D5664 shunts at Raydon Wood on an unknown date. With D5664 being new in November 1960 and closure of the Hadleigh branch in April 1965, this window of just short of 4½ years has to suffice. The rear portion of the train has been left on the running line while the locomotive draws the front portion forward to drop off or pick up wagons in the goods yard, the points giving access to the yard being out of view behind the locomotive. It was only possible to shunt Raydon Wood yard when trains were heading towards Hadleigh; wagons being collected would therefore be taken forward to Hadleigh before returning to Bentley and Ipswich. A minor change when compared to photographs taken earlier in BR days is the absence of the oil lamp from the post on the right. The locomotive's headcode box displays a single '9' which, among other things, signified a branch line pick-up goods train. However, something is amiss as this number should be in the first column followed by a blank and then '00' with '00' being, under the system in use at the time, the route code for the Hadleigh branch. The use of '9' was not always displayed, sometimes '8' was displayed, and it depended upon the types of braking, if any, fitted to the wagons. Whatever the correct procedure, it seems there was an element of laziness among crews as photographs of diesels on the Hadleigh branch reveal a few oddities. One, for example, has been seen displaying 'Blank Blank 00'. On locomotives fitted with the disc headcode system, the disc position for the Hadleigh goods was one and three, i.e. top and bottom centre. D5664 has a small yellow warning panel and overhead warning flash and given she was new towards the end of 1960 may have carried these adornments from new. The two stars, which were blue, above the buffers are the coupling symbols for multiple working. This means that any locomotives bearing identical symbols could be coupled and operated by just one driver. The 'blue star' actually signified, from the technical aspect, electro-pneumatic control system. There were numerous other symbols of various shapes and colours but 'blue star' was to become, at least in theory, the BR standard. D5664 is not recorded as ever being allocated to Ipswich shed so may have been 'borrowed' or was allocated only for a very brief period - both situations being not uncommon. When photographed she still had her Mirrlees engine and was to be given an English Electric unit in October 1966. The Brush Type 2 was a heavy locomotive, around 108 tons depending upon equipment, for its power and when a power output increase was deemed desirable the Mirrlees units were found incapable of handling the uprating, hence the re-engining programme. D5664 went on to become No.31237 but is not among the class members still with us today as she was withdrawn in the summer of 2000 and lingered on, being stripped for spares, until the scrap yard beckoned in September 2004.
Photo from James Lake collection

Raydon Wood on Wednesday 14 April 1965, seen from the brake van at the rear of the Hadleigh goods. This was the penultimate day of the branch goods and this train was worked by BTH Type 1 D8226, believed crewed by Driver Rogers and Secondman Browes, of Ipswich depot, who also worked the final train the following day with Brush Type 2 D5699. Determined not to miss out on being photographed is the branch PW gang's motor trolley which apparently followed the goods train to Hadleigh but for reasons unknown. The trolley had a shed at Hadleigh but had probably come from Capel where a side track, or 'Run off' in BR parlance, was provided for it. These 'run offs' comprised a short length of lightweight track not connected to the running line and usually laid at a right angle to it. Thus it was necessary to lift the trolley manually on and off the track. Trolleys were required to carry white and red lamps front and rear respectively while the Regulations governing the operation of trolleys were complex. The Hadleigh branch trolley at this time was, as can be seen, adorned with the British Railways 'hotdog' logo and probably at both ends. Livery would have been either green or crimson, most likely green. The trolley's number is visible but unfortunately the digital age prevents us blowing up the photograph enough for the number to be read with certainty. Whilst the crossings at Bentley Church and Capel were required to be operated by train crew, that at Raydon Wood retained the services of a crossing keeper. The female keeper can be seen closing the gate behind and to the right of the motor trolley. The reason for the retention of a keeper may have been the proximity of the points for the goods yard to the level crossing. Following the demise of the signal box, a ground frame for locking the level crossing was provided and this would also have been operated by the keeper. A single open wagon, probably for coal, can be seen on the siding. It would appear the level crossing latching post nearest the camera had been replaced at some point in time, with the old post lying on the ground beside the track. Outside the gatehouse on the left is what appears to be an Austin Seven Ruby. This car appears in a number of photographs and seems to have been taken off the road and simply left to dereliction. It remained in situ to witness the track being lifted, being removed at some point in time thereafter. The car on the right, a Ford and probably a Zephyr Mk II, will shortly carry on its way over the level crossing. The car had just traversed the section of Woodlands Road which had been obliterated by, with traffic diverted around, the World War Two Raydon Aerodrome.
Photo by GR Mortimer

Raydon Wood station looking south-east c1968. The track has only been lifted a few years but already the track bed is getting heavily overgrown.
Photo by JL Smith

Raydon Wood station looking north-west towards the Woodlands Road level crossing c1968.
Photo by JL Smith

The classically-influenced two-storey station building c1992. The single storey block probably comprised the gents' toilet and a lamp room.
Photo from John Mann collection

Raydon Wood station looking south-east c1972. The goods yard is occupied by Cawoods Solid Fuels Ltd, a local coal merchant.
Photo from John Mann collection

Raydon Wood station building seen from the station forecourt c1972. The door on the left is for the station master's house while the bricked up doorway in the centre was the public entrance to the booking hall. It is unclear of Cawoods were using the station building at this time.
Photo from John Mann collection

Raydon Wood station looking north-west towards Hadleigh c1972. The gate on the far side of the Woodlands Road crossing was still in place at this time.
Photo from John Mann collection

Raydon Wood station forecourt c1972. The single storey rooms at the west end of the building were probably a gents' toilet and a lamp room. The recess between the two buildings is where the stairs to the basement were located
Photo from John Mann collection

The station building at Raydon Wood c1972.
Photo from John Mann collection

Raydon Wood station looking north-west towards Hadleigh c1972. The crossing keeper’s cottage is seen on the right.
Photo from John Mann collection

Woodlands Road crossing seen from the west side in November 1974. This gate survived at this time but the other gate has been removed. The crossing keeper’s cottage is seen on the far side of the road. The front of the cottage resembles the octagonal cottage at Church Road, Bentley but with a larger part to the rear. The cottage was occupied by a member of the permanent way staff and his family. The cottage was rent free and the occupant's wife was employed as crossing keeper. In 1913 ganger George Vince occupied the cottage but when operation of the branch was rationalised in 1923 his wife was relieved of gate keeping duties and Vince was required to pay an annual rent.
Photo by David Burrows from his Flickr photostream

Raydon Wood station looking south-east from Woodlands Road in November 1974. The station entrance is now the entrance to Cawoods Solid Fuels Ltd.
Photo by David Burrows from his Flickr photostream

Click here for Raydon Wood station Gallery 3:
November 1974 - October 2018

 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]




Last updated: Monday, 01-Jun-2020 19:19:26 CEST
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