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History of Kingscote Station
– Station Area

We are fortunate to be able to share with you some views and memories from the early 1920's of Kingscote station. This page features some general views of the station and its environs, while photos and information about some of the staff who worked at the station during the period are on this separate page.

The Timber Yard

Timber yard

The timber yard and sawmill north of the station provided both incoming and outgoing goods traffic, but all the main contracts went out by rail. The machinery included both hand and mechanical saws. There was a shed which contained a pit saw worked by a man at each end cutting vertically, one man standing in the specially built lower well area. On Saturday mornings Len would earn a bit of extra pocket money by reporting to Harry Gasson, the Foreman at the mill, to wheel away barrow loads of saw dust.

Here the yard has been caught when stocks of raw materials were high. Such extreme neatness was commonly seen at industrial locations of this time when labour was cheap and handling machinery rare.

The shed shown in this view still stands today, albeit reclad in modern materials.

Kingscote station

Station building from the forecourt

The above view of the station building from the forecourt shows the floral decoration and half timbering that was originally a feature of the upper storey of all the station buildings on the line. Poor weather resistance may have been the problem responsible for its subsequent elimination. Here, half of it is shown covered by hanging tiles. The remainder would be replaced or covered by cement rendering by the Southern Railway.

View through station

This view, taken from the tall wooden signal that stood at the south end of the down (No 2) platform, shows well the gentle 39 chain (280 metre) radius curve of the track through the station. Note the heavy timber buttresses necessary to stop the buildings sliding down the slope. This must have been a quiet moment at Kingscote judging by the member of staff apparently asleep in the sun outside the Porters' Room.

This present day view, taken on the 25th January 2004 by Jon Bowers, illustrates how well the quiet country branchline station has been recreated. It is not possible to exactly replicate the view of the original photograph, due to the current down starting signal being much smaller than its older counterpart, but note the differences in the Platform 2 canopy which was rebuilt from scratch, the addition of the refreshment kiosk in the picnic field to the right of the picture, and the recent tree growth in the background.

Looking south

This rather dark view of the station looking south from the down platform. The wooden paling fences were replaced by 'low maintenance' prefabricated concrete ones by the Southern Railway.

© Roger Barton and Martin Skrzetuszewski, September 2004.

With thanks for past assistance from Klaus Marx and Robin White.

Recommended reading:
An Illustrated History of the Lewes & East Grinstead Railway by Klaus Marx, published by Oxford Publishing Company, 2000 (ISBN 0860935477) contains ten pages of text on and photographs of Kingscote station.

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