Westward Ho! railway station
The old station in 1969, used as a bus station
|Original company||Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway|
|Pre-grouping||British Electric Traction|
|20 May 1901||Opened|
|28 March 1917||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|
The village name comes from the title of Charles Kingsley's novel Westward Ho! (1855). The exclamation mark was therefore an intentional part of the station's name; the only station in the United Kingdom bearing an exclamation mark.
Westward Ho! had two platforms of 320 feet length and one foot above rail level, platform lighting, a passing loop of 8 chains allowing three coach trains to pass, a ticket office with waiting rooms and toilet, an 8-lever signal box and a 2-lever ground frame; a waiting room, refreshment room, bookstall, level crossing gates and a Concert Hall called the Station Hall. A siding ran to the Westward Ho! Gas Works. It was controlled by a two-lever ground frame, which was released by a key attached to the Westward Ho! to Appledore section of the train staff.
The loop was signalled with up home and down home, but no starters. At first only a signal box was present, with a long unbroken fence running along the back of the platforms and no other buildings or lighting. The other station buildings and facilities were probably added circa 1908. Crossing gates protected level crossings at both ends of the station.
In an effort to entice the public onto their trains and provide shelter during inclement weather, the company built a Concert or Reception Hall on the 'up' platform at Westward Ho! in 1901/02; it was called the Station Hall. Performers such as the 'Jolly Dutch' and Clog Dancers performed in Station Hall. It was an expensive undertaking, costing £17 9s 7d in 1906, under the heading of 'Services of Minstrels' in the traffic expenses log. The hall was built to attract local and tourist patronage and was fully licensed for music, dancing and the sale of alcohol. This hall was well built and still stood in 1980 as a 'Beer Garden'.
Three young men were observed on Sunday, 4 August 1907 at Westward Ho! station, swearing and fighting. A train was due and Mr. Loughlin, stationmaster, asked them to desist and take care, upon which one of the men caught him round the neck and punched both of his cheeks. The man was fined by the Bideford Magistrates and told that he was lucky to get away with a fine of 10s and costs of 7s 6d.
The old trackbed is used as part of the South West Coast Path.
The station was 4 miles and 55 chains from Bideford Quay.
On 11 July 1901 a group of inmates from Bideford's local workhouse were carried free of charge to Westward Ho! for an outing.
|Preceding station||Disused railways||Following station|
Line and station closed
|Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway||Cornborough
Line and station closed
|Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway|
- Jenkins, Page 44
- Baxter, Page 8
- Jenkins, Page 123
- Jenkins, Page 101
- Garner, Page 113
- Jenkins, Page 106
- Baxter, Page 20
- Garner, Page 76
- Jenkins, Page 103
- Garner, Page 52
- Baxter, Page 38
- Garner, Page 109
- Garner, Page 44
- Baxter, Julia & Jonathan (1980). The Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore railway 1901-1917. Pub. Chard. ISBN 0-9507330-1-6.
- Christie, Peter (1995). North Devon History. The Lazarus Press. ISBN 1-898546-08-8
- Garner, Rod (2008). The Bideford, Westward Ho! & Appledore Railway. Pub. Kestrel Railway Books. ISBN 978-1-905505-09-8.
- Griffith, Roger (1969). The Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway. School project and personal communications. Bideford Museum.
- Jenkins, Stanley C. (1993). The Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway. Pub. Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-452-0.
- Kingsley, Charles (1923). Westward Ho! Pub. London.
- Stuckey, Douglas (1962). The Bideford, Westward Ho! and Appledore Railway 1901-1917. Pub. West Country Publications.
- Thomas, David St John (1973). A Regional History of the Railways of Britain, Vol.1: The Westcountry. Pub. David & Charles.
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