Object of the Month – March 2024

Historic Photographs of Saffron Walden Station. Chosen by, Tony Morton

In the Saffron Walden Museum Society Winter 2023 newsletter an article drew attention to the former railway station in Saffron Walden, which has been featured on YouTube in the form of a working model railway, set in the 1940s.

The Museum’s collection includes many historic photographs taken of locations in the district which document former times of places that, in many cases, have subsequently been redeveloped for other purposes. The former station is one such place, and since its closure in 1969 having been redeveloped first as a petrol filing station and car repair business, and then again as a housing area. Possibly many people today do not even realise that there ever was a station here.

Dating from circa 1939, a snowy winter view of the tracks, looking west with the old goods shed on the right.

Two photos that show the change over a period of time with a 2 coach train circa 1939, and from a similar viewpoint in 1980, with the old platform still in place when the site was used in connection with the garage ( the grey square building in the distance ) as a vehicle park.


Another view from the 1950’s shows the railway service now replaced by a diesel railbus, and also shows the industrial area that used to be on the south side of the station tracks, with sidings that enabled the delivery and collection of goods direct to site. Again this is now a housing area.

Finally an older photo from circa 1900, a mounted sepia photograph of South Road, Saffron Walden, circa 1900. This features 30 South Road, just opposite Victoria Avenue, and its distinctive brickwork is shown. Four brick built houses in a row, built for the railway station managers around 1868. The railway is gone, but the houses remain.


Whilst this photograph shows, the Station Coal Yard, Station Road, Saffron Walden, in the 1880s. A view taken from the top of a house on West Road. The Coal Yard is in the foreground, with a row of houses in Station Road and St Mary’s Church in the distance.

More photos and descriptive history about the station can also be found on a Disused Railway Stations website: http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/saffron_walden/

Opened in November 1865, Saffron Walden station was located on the south side of station road. It was on a branch line of the Great Eastern Railway (GER), which ran between Audley End and Bartlow, on the Stour Valley Railway between Shelford and Haverhill, a distance of 7¼ miles. The line was the initiative of the local Gibson family whose bank helped to finance the railway. It remained independent until 1877, when GER purchased the line. In the late 1950’s it was operated by Railbuses, who ran diesel railbuses along the line, until it’s closure in 1964.





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