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Bygone Stanley - Stations and Railways


Coal mining in the area developed in the early 1800's to such an extent that there was a need for rail connections to the main lines in order to transport coal to the many markets which were available. There was already private lines from collieries to the River Calder.

The first plans I have been able to locate at the Wakefield Archives were of the Lake Lock Rail Road with intended connections to Smithies Bridge in the township of Birstall, and Hullet Hall in the township of Adwalton in the parish of Birstall of the West Riding of Yorkshire. These plans were prepared by James Gawthorpe and J. Heminwav in 1805. A line was shown from Stanley Lane Ends to Lee Moor and Bottomboat. This was the beginning of the railway main line connections from the Stanley area.

The next plans I was able to examine were made by a John Harris in November 1845 on behalf of the Pontefract & Goole Railway Company for lines to Methley and Castleford. So it would appear that in the 1845/60 period we had a main line connection from Stanley Lake Lock and to Methley and Castleford on the east and Lofthouse, Outwood, Ardsley on the west side with connections to all the local collieries - Newmarket, Lofthouse and Methley.

The tram road from Lofthouse to Bottomboat Colliery and the Staithes at the River Calder appears to have been used in places for the rail connections from Stanley Station to the west side stations. A line passes under a road bridge in Lee Mount Road under a further road bridge on the Longcausway Road and over a bridge on Baker Lane,. the route previously taken by the tram road. Part of the tram road still exists as a public footpath and is known a's the 'Bullv' or Bull Wagon Road.

Stanlev Station closed in 1964. It had served the area for approximately 100 years.

A few memories of Stanley Station from my younger days in the 1930's:-

The occasion perhaps of the most importance to the villages was the annual day excursion to a seaside resort for the employees and their families of Newmarket Colliery The special train was always fully loaded and got off to an early start around 6 am. To many it was the only day in the year that they visited a seaside resort.

Many housewives used the service to Castleford to go shopping. For some reason the goods in Castleford were not so expensive as the local and Wakefield goods. For example, the Castleford Co-operative paid a dividend of 5/- to the pound.

The local pigeon fanciers sent their pigeons training and racing from the station.

I remember, during the summer and autumn seasons in the 1930's, special excursions to Blackpool were available for 2/6d. They were short-stay excursions but, as young people, we had a few hours in Blackpool which was enjoyable for a price we could afford.

A few local names I remember who were employed at the station for many years were a Mr Atkinson Station Master. He and his family lived in the Station House. Mt Atkinson was in charge of the signal box and Mr Wainwright and Mr Fogg were porters.

During the summer in the early part of the 1930's, records show that up to 16 passenger trains stopped at Stanley on Mondays to Fridays, and in addition there were many freight trains passing through with coal wagons for local collieries and, during the season, collecting large quantities of rhubarb. Special excursions to seaside resorts were catered for on Saturdays during late spring, summer and early autumn.

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This page (rail.html) was last modified on Sunday 27/01/2013