Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Northampton & Lamport Railway

Pitsford and Brampton my arse. This is Little Bowden Crossing signal box.

It used to stand at the end of my road and, although it had gone by the time it had moved here, the rails were still in the road where the level crossing had been. I can still hear the noise cars made rattling over them in my mind's ear.

This afternoon I visited the Northampton & Lamport Railway, where the box has been relocated and renamed. They have a mile or so of track to the south of Brixworth and, as their name suggests, plans to extend it along the route of the former Market Harborough to Northampton line.

To my surprise it was not open to the public on a Saturday in July, but it does open on Sundays and there are a couple of weekend events coming up. A Vintage Gathering on 25/26 July and Ivor the Engine on 1/2 August.

And perhaps the absence of trains in steam and volunteers made things easier for the inquisitive photographer? The Lamport & Northampton has a pleasing selection of steam and diesel locomotives and rolling stock.

As I wrote last week, the route of this old railway is now the occupied by the Brampton Valley Way - a footpath and cycle path. But the railway seems to coexist amicably with it - a lesson to people who oppose railway reopenings elsewhere when the trackbed is now a cycle path.

The old stationmaster's house at Pitsford and Brampton has been converted into a pub called the Brampton Halt. I found it surprisingly charmless and headed for the Spencer Arms up the road at Chapel Brampton.

That is Spencer as in Lady Di - the family seat of Althorp (even the Spencers have now given up pronouncing it All-trup) is only a couple of miles away.

When I came out there was a trap with two grooms trotting past. I assumed they were on their way to a wedding, but maybe life in Spencer country is always like this?

1 comment:

Jim Sharman said...

It is indeed Little Bowden Signal Box as you say, I also remember it well and was in it, (unofficially), when the last trains ran past in July 1981.