Firsby railway station

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Firsby
Firsby station site geograph-3518501-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Location of the station in 1992
Location
Place Firsby
Area Lincolnshire
Operations
Original company Great Northern Railway and Spilsby and Firsby Railway Company
Post-grouping Great Northern Railway
Eastern Region of British Railways
Platforms 3
History
1850 - 1970 Station in operation
1850 Firsby Station opens
1 May 1868 Spilsby and Firsby Railway Company formed
30 November 1958 Spilsby branch line closes
1970 station and line closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain
A B C D–F G H–J K–L M–O P–R S T–V W–Z
UK Railways portal

Firsby railway station was a busy station in Firsby, Lincolnshire which closed in 1970 as a result of the Beeching Axe. Firsby served as a main line station and a terminus for two branch lines, one to the seaside resort of Skegness and one to the market town of Spilsby.[1] Firsby station was located in a small rural linear village 36 miles (58 km) east from the county town of Lincoln, 4 miles (6.4 km) south east of the nearest market town of Spilsby and 8 miles (12.9 km) inland from the popular holiday resort town of Skegness.

Opening[edit]

The railway station at Firsby opened on 3 September 1848,[2] and was a substantial structure for a country station, totally unlike the majority of small isolated rural halts. The station had three platforms each two twenty hundred yards long and covered with buildings, booking offices, several waiting rooms (male, female and general), restaurants, toilets, baggage and goods halls, crew rooms, staff canteen and housing, and several railway offices. The main line tracks were crossed by a substantial passenger footbridge and most of the station was covered by an ornate cast-iron and glass canopy normally only seen at main city stations.[3] The station also had signal boxes, water towers, extensive goods sidings and engine repair sheds.

The station was served by two public houses, one of which doubled as the Firsby Railway Hotel. There are several mentions in old records of a second drinking establishment around 1852, called Whyley's Beerhouse, that stood adjacent to Firsby railway Station.

Firsby Junction in the 1930s

Branch lines[edit]

Firsby was a junction for the Skegness line and the Spilsby line on their short branches from the main Great Northern Railway's London Kings Cross to Cleethorpes East Coast Main Line railway. During the summer months holiday passenger traffic from all over the country alighting at Firsby for their connection to Skegness was substantial with hundreds and sometimes thousands of passengers passing through the station at a weekend and the platforms would be teeming with families and their luggage. In the Victorian era most holidaymakers travelled by train and Firsby was one of the busiest stations on the east coast main line. The station was the major employer in the area and between the station master and his assistants, ticket office staffs, ticket inspectors, signalmen, porters, catering staffs, drivers, firemen, guards and track maintenance staff for three separate railway companies, several hundred people worked at or from Firsby station on a regular daily basis.[4]

Between 1943 and 1958 Firsby station was kept busy as the nearest railhead staging point for RAF and later USAF airmen travelling to and from the nearby RAF Spilsby airfield at Great Steeping.

Closure[edit]

The line was closed down in 1970 due to the Beeching axe cuts, and the majority of the station and the platforms were demolished. Only the most southerly section of the station building remains and is now a private residence.[5] With the old East Coast Main Line between Firsby and Grimsby removed a new direct link to Skegness was used at the junction a few hundred metres south of the old Firsby station. Although the station is long gone many locals still remember the station master calling out "Skegness passengers, Over the bridge for Skegness!"[6]

Former services[edit]

Preceding station Disused railways Following station
Little Steeping   Great Northern Railway
East Lincolnshire Line
  Burgh Le Marsh
Little Steeping   Great Northern Railway
Kirkstead and Little Steeping Railway
  Terminus
Halton Holegate   Great Northern Railway
Spilsby branch
  Terminus
Thorpe Culvert   Great Northern Railway
Skegness Branch
  Terminus

Timetable for February 1863[edit]

The table below shows the train departures from Firsby & Spilsby station on weekdays in February 1863. At this point, the East Lincolnshire line is only 13 years old, and none of the branch lines have been built yet, but Firsby is still an important station on account of being the railhead for the nearby town of Spilsby.[7]

Departure Going to Calling at Arrival Operator
03.33 Great Grimsby Alford, Louth, Great Grimsby 04.35 GNR
07.22 Boston Little Steeping, East Ville, Old Leake, Sibsey, Boston 08.05 GNR
07.35 Great Grimsby Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Claythorpe, Authorpe, Legbourne, Louth, Ludborough, North Thoresby, Holton-le-Clay, Waltham, Great Grimsby 09.15 GNR
09.35 (Wed) Louth Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Claythorpe, Authorpe, Legbourne, Louth 11.15 GNR
11.15 Boston Little Steeping, East Ville, Old Leake, Sibsey, Boston 12.00 GNR
13.02 Great Grimsby Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Claythorpe, Louth, North Thoresby, Great Grimsby 14.20 GNR
16.30 (Wed, Sat) Louth Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Claythorpe, Authorpe, Legbourne, Louth 17.35 GNR
18.23 Boston Little Steeping, East Ville, Old Leake, Sibsey, Boston 19.05 GNR
18.24 Great Grimsby Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Claythorpe, Authorpe, Legbourne, Louth, Ludborough, North Thoresby, Holton-le-Clay, Waltham, Great Grimsby 19.50 GNR
21.18 Peterborough Cowgate Boston, Spalding, Peterborough Cowgate 22.48 GNR

Timetable for July 1922[edit]

The table below shows the train departures from Firsby station on weekdays in July 1922, when services were at their peak. The most recent addition, the Midville line has been open for 9 years. This was built mainly for excursion trains to Skegness, and the local service is sparse, consisting of only 2 trains each way per day, with one extra on Mondays and Saturdays.[8]

Departure Going to Calling at Arrival Operator
06.57 Peterborough North Little Steeping, East Ville, Old Leake, Sibsey, Boston, Kirton, Algakirk & Sutterton, Surfleet, Spalding, Littleworth, Deeping St James, Peakirk, Peterborough North 08.47 GNR
07.10 Skegness Wainfleet, Skegness 07.28 GNR
08.30 Grimsby Town Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Aby for Claythorpe, Authorpe, Legbourne Road, Louth, Ludborough, North Thoresby, Holton-le-Clay, Waltham, Grimsby Town 09.50 GNR
08.35 Skegness Thorpe Culvert, Wainfleet, Havenhouse, Seacroft, Skegness 08.58 GNR
08.47 Spilsby Halton Holegate, Spilsby 09.01 GNR
08.50 Lincoln High Street Little Steeping, Midville, Stickney, New Bolingbroke, Tumby Woodside, Coningsby, Woodhall Junction, Bardney, Washingborough, Lincoln High Street 10.08 GNR
09.00 Boston Little Steeping, East Ville, Old Leake, Sibsey, Boston 09.34 GNR
10.25 Peterborough North Boston, Spalding, Peterborough North 11.33 GNR
10.28 Spilsby Halton Holegate, Spilsby 10.39 GNR
11.02 Mablethorpe Willoughby, Mumby Road, Sutton-on-Sea, Mablethorpe 11.32 GNR
11.05 Boston Little Steeping, East Ville, Old Leake, Sibsey, Boston 11.40 GNR
11.10 Skegness Thorpe Culvert, Wainfleet, Havenhouse, Seacroft, Skegness 11.35 GNR
11.15 Spilsby Halton Holegate, Spilsby 11.30 GNR
11.37 (Mon) Skegness Skegness 11.52 GNR
11.49 Mablethorpe Willoughby, Mumby Road, Sutton-on-Sea, Mablethorpe 12.20 GNR
11.53 Skegness Skegness 12.08 GNR
12.40 Boston Boston 13.00 GNR
12.50 Grimsby Town Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Aby for Claythorpe, Authorpe, Legbourne Road, Louth, North Thoresby, Waltham, Grimsby Town 14.01 GNR
13.05 London King's Cross Boston, Spalding, Peterborough North, London King's Cross 16.00 GNR
13.10 Spilsby Halton Holegate, Spilsby 13.21 GNR
13.10 Skegness Thorpe Culvert, Wainfleet, Havenhouse, Seacroft, Skegness 13.35 GNR
15.59 Boston Little Steeping, East Ville, Old Leake, Sibsey, Boston 16.34 GNR
16.06 Grimsby Town Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Aby for Claythorpe, Authorpe, Legbourne Road, Louth, Ludborough, North Thoresby, Waltham, Grimsby Town 17.29 GNR
16.15 Spilsby Halton Holegate, Spilsby 16.29 GNR
16.15 Skegness Thorpe Culvert, Wainfleet, Havenhouse, Seacroft, Skegness 16.40 GNR
16.20 Woodhall Junction Little Steeping, Midville, Stickney, New Bolingbroke, Tumby Woodside, Coningsby, Woodhall Junction 17.03 GNR
17.03 Nottingham Victoria Boston, Sleaford, Nottingham Victoria 18.46 GNR
18.13 Peterborough North East Ville, Old Leake, Sibsey, Boston, Spalding, Peterborough North 19.45 GNR
18.16 Spilsby Halton Holegate, Spilsby 18.27 GNR
18.20 Skegness Thorpe Culvert, Wainfleet, Havenhouse, Seacroft, Skegness 18.38 GNR
19.07 Grimsby Town Willoughby, Alford, Louth, Waltham, Grimsby Town 20.00 GNR
19.15 (Fri) Skegness Skegness 19.30 GNR
19.15 (Fri) Mablethorpe Willoughby, Mumby Road, Sutton-on-Sea, Mablethorpe 19.50 GNR
19.23 Spilsby Halton Holegate, Spilsby 19.34 GNR
19.31 Grimsby Town Burgh, Willoughby, Alford, Aby for Claythorpe, Authorpe, Legbourne Road, Louth, Ludborough, North Thoresby, Holton-le-Clay, Waltham, Grimsby Town 20.49 GNR
19.35 Skegness Thorpe Culvert, Wainfleet, Havenhouse, Seacroft, Skegness 19.59 GNR
19.50 (Mon) Lincoln High Street Little Steeping, Stickney, New Bolingbroke, Coningsby, Woodhall Junction, Lincoln High Street 21.02 GNR
21.00 Grimsby Town Alford, Louth, Waltham, Grimsby Town 21.53 GNR
21.06 Peterborough North Boston, Spalding, Peterborough North 22.23 GNR
21.08 Skegness Wainfleet, Skegness 21.26 GNR
21.10 (Tue, Thu) Spilsby Halton Holegate, Spilsby 21.21 GNR

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ British Railways Atlas.1947. p.17
  2. ^ "Disused Stations". Firsby. Subterranea Brittanica. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Firsby Station
  4. ^ Steam engines at a busy Firsby
  5. ^ "Firsby Station". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britannica. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Firsby station memories
  7. ^ Bradshaw General Railway and Steam Navigation Guide, February 1863
  8. ^ Bradshaw Railway Guide, July 1922

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°09′12″N 0°10′46″E / 53.15339°N 0.17950°E / 53.15339; 0.17950