Historian hopes to build picture of railway heritage

By Ian Dipple 08/03 Updated: 15/03 11:59

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Buy photos » A train pulls into Evesham on the Great Western Line. (s)

AN HISTORIAN is appealing for Observer readers to help build a picture library of Evesham's railway heritage.

These pictures show some sections along the former Midland Railway Line which for almost 100 years ran from Barnt Green to Redditch, through Evesham and out towards Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury.

But Redditch based Philip Jarvis, who has been researching the history of the Midland Railway route for 25 years, is searching for more pictures of the Evesham to Ashchurch part of the line - particularly former stations at Bengeworth, Hinton and Ashton-under-Hill - to allow him to give presentations on the subject to societies and groups in the Vale area.

At one time Evesham was served by two railway lines, each with separate stations side by side. The Oxford, Worcester and Wolverhampton Railway (which became the Great Western Railway line) opened its station in the town in 1852 and remains today. The Midland Railway station opened in May 1868 but was closed in June 1963 and the site has now mainly been developed for housing.

As well as carrying passengers, the line was an alternative freight route and also served important agricultural and rural industries. It was particularly important for Evesham as a centre for fruit and market gardening and the line provided a more direct link to important Midlands towns than the Great Western Line.

Anyone who can provide pictures or wants to book a talk on the subject for their group or society should contact Philip Jarvis by emailing philipjarvis1@btinternet.com or call 01527 544068.

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