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Banbury yards and freight

This topic will break into several parts as I develop it. The initial tags are the signal box names:

1 - Banbury Junction

2 - Banbury North and marshalling yards

3 - Banbury South and goods shed

4 - Approaching and leaving

After some scene-setting pictures in each case, additions will be made in chronological order.


1 - Banbury Junction

Banbury Jc

Banbury Junction signal box as seen from a passing train. 13th August 1977. Photo: Gulliver Colletion.

Banbury Jc

A view from the signal cabin in October 1948 shows the ex-GCR "Banbury Branch" and its holding sidings. The ex-GWR marshalling yard was to the right. On the Birmingham-Banbury line, a Hall is approaching with a Parcels/ECS train. Photo: Patrick Whitehouse, Millbrook House.

Banbury Jc

Another view from the signal box, the same day. A Class C goods is coming off the Banbury Branch headed by a WD 2-8-0, No 77318. Photo: Patrick Whitehouse, Millbrook House.

Banbury yards

Looking south from Banbury Junction signal box towards the yards, on 22 August 1959. Ex-GWR 2-8-0 No 2844 is on the goods passing line. It remains today, along with the running lines; everything else has gone. S.V.Blencowe collection.

Banbury yards

Seen from the signal box, Reading's Castle No 4074 Caldicot Castle is heading north with a fully fitted freight. 29th June 1961. Photo: S.V.Blencowe collection.


2 - Banbury North and the marshalling yards

Banbury North

Banbury North Signal Box on 13th August 1977, from a passing train. Photo: Gulliver Collection.

Banbury North

Banbury North Signal Box looking south on 27th March 1976. Photo: M. Green collection.

Banbury North

Part of the marshalling yards and the out-buildings at Banbury North. 34077 603 Squadron is passing light engine prior to setting back towards the loco sheds. April 1966. Photo: R.K. Blencowe Negative Archive.

Banbury north

The former stables being rebuilt. 22nd August 1975. Photo: Gulliver Collection.

Banbury north

A ground-level view at Banbury north with the former stables looking very smart. 6934 Beachamwell Hall (Shrewsbury) is passing with a fully fitted vans/parcels train. 8th August 1964. Photo: F.A. Blencowe.

90069

WD 2-8-0 90069 (88A Cardiff Canton) runs past Banbury North with a track train on 29th June 1962. My apologies for the blurry right hand side; this was taken by a Halina camera. Photo: D. Battersby.

Banbury north

Reading's Modified Hall 7926 Willey Hall leaves the yards via the up loop on 16th May 1964. Photo: believed to be by Les Hanson.

Ban S

The steam era has ended but most of the buildings remained in use, such as these opposite Banbury North signal box. 11th July 1977. Photo: Gulliver collection.


3 - Banbury South

Banbury South

Banbury South Signal Box seen in relatively modern times (1997). The box is little changed but grass is rampant between the rails leading to the "Cattle Market sidings", as they became known. Photo: R.K. Blencowe.

Banbury South Goods Shed

Looking north out of the signal box with the goods shed well filled with wagons. This building was to last until the early 1980s. A Black Five, No 45132 is in the South Bay Platform. 27th August 1966. Photo F.A. Blencowe.

Banbury South + 48351

A rare picture from the South Signal Box on 23rd January 1965 showing the Up Main Line signal "off" for a through train while 8F No 48351 is turned out of the Up Goods Loop with a mixed freight onto the long loop that ran as far as Astrop, where it will eventually be allowed onto the Up Main Line. Photo: F.A. Blencowe.

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Looking south from Banbury South signal box on 3rd September 1966 as the last Bournemouth-York approaches. This was the last day of services on a large part of the GCR's London Extension that closed this day. Ex-SR "West Country" 34034 Honiton was in charge.

The three-post junction signals on the left controlled the turn-off into the Up Goods Loop as far as Astrop; the Up Main Line; and to the engine shed, visible in the distance.

The home and distant signals seen from behind are for the down, main platform, and the bay platform where the train is heading, next stop. The enlargement shows train spotters all over the place, but also from left to right : the loco repair shed, the running shed, and the coaling stage. Photo: S.V.Blencowe collection.

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In the sidings south of the station and goods yard, with the loco shed visible in the background, stand the empties of a Homing Pigeon Special, getting ready for the return working behind a Sheffield B1, No 61109. It was a Saturday and it looks like some young trainspotters were not being welcomed! On the right, Brian Clark is leaving on his moped. 1st May 1963. Photo: F.A. Blencowe.

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Having set the scene, general views follow, in chronological sequence.

Banbury South 3031

Ex-ROD 3031 approaches Banbury from the south with coal empties. 29th October 1950. Photo: R.J. Buckley.

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It's 15th June 1952 as the Dorrington milk passes the goods shed on its approach to Banbury from the south behind a Woodford B1, No 61083, presumably re-routed via Bicester. In the background stands 2920 Saint David with an SLS Tour, the "Saint David Tour". More on this later when I add a section about passenger traffic. Photo: R.J. Buckley.

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A "Pom-pom" J11 from Woodford Halse, No 64388, waits in the Down Goods Loop with a Class F unfitted goods train. Behind, Banbury's coaling stage looms in the mist. 23rd August 1955. Photo: F.A. Blencowe.

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Ban S 92009

92009 heads south on the Up Main Line with a through freight. In the background, the old gasometer is being dismantled. 20th August 1959. Photo: R.K. Blencowe.

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"Grange" No 6868 Penrhos Grange runs through the station on an evening, past Banbury South signal box with a Class H partly-fitted freight, seven vans with AVB behind the tender. 4th June 1960. Photo: S.V. Blencowe Collection.

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Ban S 92163

A fine sight on Christmas Eve in 1960, as 9F 92163 leaves a filthy exhaust on its way past Banbury South Signal Box. My guess is that the crew was keen to get home! Photo: R.K. Blencowe.

Banbury South

6803 Bucklebury Grange (84E Tyseley) at Banbury South with a fully fitted, Down freight, 5th May 1962. Photo F.A. Blencowe.

Ban 2836

Didcot's 2-8-0 No 2836 passes through the station on a murky 24th November in 1962 with a Class 6 goods (20% AVB). Most of the train has been made up with vans but open wagons are still to be seen. Photo: Mick Green collection.

Banbury South

Didcot's 6909 Frewin Hall at Banbury South, being allowed out of the Up Goods Loop onto the Main Line with a southbound coal train. 15th June 1963. Photo: F.A. Blencowe.

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New addition - It's hard to tell how much of this wild exhaust is for real and how much has been added for effect by the darkroom printer but, either way, 9F 92116 looks like it has just set off with a Class 8 non-AVB through freight and is passing Banbury South signal box. 14th April 1964.

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New addition - Pictures with the shunters in the scene are rare and with one standing by with his pole, I can't tell if Didcot's 6937 Conymgham Hall has just uncoupled from a Class 8 non-AVB through goods and is going to run into the engine shed, or is about to take over. 14th July 1964. Photo: S.V. Blencowe collection.

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New addition - An 8F from Woodford Halse, No 48010, makes its way past Banbury South with a Class 6 express frieght, partly fitted with AVB (at least 20% of the vehicles) and allowed up to 45mph. 14th September 1965.

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New addition - Another working on the same day as WD 2-8-0 runs northwards past the signal box with an unidentified freight. The shed plate on No 90699 looks like 55A Holbeck but it may have been 55E Normanton, between Wakefield and Leeds, where the former Midland Railway had built exchange sidings. 14th September 1965.

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Ban 6904

One of Banbury's "Halls", No 6904 Charfield Hall approaches from the south with a Class 6 freight, commonly called a "pick up goods". A steel open and a van are at the head. Photo: Peter Groom.

Banbury South

With its safety valves blowing off, WD No 90136 emerges from the Up Goods Loop onto the Up Main Line with a southbound coal train on 2nd January 1965. This was a Canklow loco and it was probably hauling coal from the South Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire coalfield, having crossed over to the WR via the Banbury Branch. Photo: S.V. Blencowe collection.

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This appears to be a crew or loco change on the Down main line by the engine shed with a Didcot "Hall", No 4962 Ragley Hall, at the head of a Class F unfitted freight. Most of the train comprises empty steel mineral wagons, to which five sheeted opens have been added. 30th March 1965. Photo: Gordon Coltas.

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Modified Hall No 6963 Throwley Hall of Didcot, in its last few months of service, stands by Banbury Loco on Wednesday, 12th May 1965. It would be withdrawn in July and is already missing its nameplates, smokebox number and even its shedplate. It is standing at the head of a train of coal empties, but the Class 0 headlamp code suggests a change of loco. Photo S.V.Blencowe collection, G250.

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Judging by the lights, this looks like a change of loco on a parcels train with a Banbury "Black Five" at the head of a parcels train. 29th April 1966. Photo: G.W. Sharpe.

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Ban 92247

A final view from Banbury South signal box with the goods and coal yard visible in the distance. Riddles 9F No 92247 is drifting by from the Up goods loop. This was Banbury steam shed's last month. 3rd September 1966. Photo: F.A.Blencowe.

4 - Approaching & leaving

New sub-section - I don't propose to stray too far but some good pictures were taken of regional freight workings leaving or approaching the yards at Banbury and they can help broaden the picture.

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New addition - In 1964 "Prairie" tanks from Leamington Spa were still working trips to Banbury and this is No 4171 near Claydon on the descent from Fenny Compton with a Class 8 through freight (not fitted with AVB and limited to 35mph). Many of the vans would have been equipped with AVB, including a long wheelbase SR PMV, but at the head is a delivery of coal in manually-braked steel mineral wagons being shuttled to Banbury. Photo: Les Hanson.

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New addition - Bereft of shed and nameplates, Oxford's "Hall" No 6910 Gossington Hall is not the prettiest of sights as, on a Down parcels train with a clear road, it passes the cement works near Shipton-on-Cherwell. 29th July 1965. Photo: R.K. Blencowe.

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To be continued....

Banbury station pictures are here.

Banbury express passenger pictures are here.

Banbury loco shed pictures are here.

Banbury light engines are here.

Banbury signal box pictures are here.

Ardley-Greaves Siding limestone traffic pictures are here.

Banbury Merton Street station is here.

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