What’s the storey?

1st Shenstone Scout troop on Sunday Parade, 1962, showing a Shenstone Station before some features were removed. Picture kindly supplied by Steve Hickman.

Here’s a quick one that’s piqued my intent and left me pondering, so I thought I’d share it – friend of New Hall Mill Alan Dawson has asked a really excellent question about my frequent 365daysofbiking muse, Shenstone Railway Station.

Alan asked:

Hi Bob,

Seeing the photo of Shenstone railway station in 365 days of biking, I was wondering if any of the railway fraternity would know the purpose of the upstairs rooms?

Was it all accommodation? How many people would be employed at typical village stations and did they live on site?

Regards,
Alan

That’s a very, very good question. So I started looking at other stations, and Alan’s right, The upper storey is a bit unusual. Lichfield City does have one, as you’d expect, but I can’t think of another locally. So what was the upper storey for?

There are no clues in Steve Hickman’s wonderful 1963 image, above. For the story behind that, see this post.

I believe at Shenstone it’s now rented out; for a while it was the offices of a concrete restoration company. I always thought it would be a great place to have an office.

Cheers to Alan for an interesting discussion point, and also for the very kind mail he sent me regarding publicity for the events at New Hall Mill – advertising on the blog does appear to work, and I’m glad the Mill seems to be benefiting. Alan, if you’d like any help with the Friends Group’s social media, I’d be happy to advise.

If you can answer Alan’s question, or just have a view, I’d be glad to hear it. Please do comment or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

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Shenstone sadly had it’s chimney truncated and lost it’s glass canopy but is still beautiful, as I’ve noted on many occasions.

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3 Responses to What’s the storey?

  1. Ken Briggs says:

    Four oaks station 9 people working Monday to sat Sunday 4 people all station had 4 cottages by them for the staff

  2. Ian Pell says:

    South Staffs stations had upstairs accommodation. Initially, this often served as the station master’s house. At Pelsall, Brownhills, Hammerwich and Alrewas this was the case. Down stairs were the booking hall and waiting area. As the stations grew, then separate accomodation was often provided – Pelsall had a separate staion master’s house, Brownhills had an expanded station and the oroiginal station building became the “station master’s house”, Hammerwich had an addition added to provided a booking office and waiting area. The upstairs then reverted to accomdation, or as in the case of Pelsall, storage. If you wanted a station master’s, porter’s hat, etc:- and you worked for the LNWR and then the LMS, then Pelsall was the place to go! The upstairs became the Company’s hat store.
    Equally, stations often looked after goods yards, sidings, etc:- and the upstairs provided office space for clerks, etc:-
    As you can see even the smaller stations found use for the upstairs.
    Best wishes
    Ian

  3. Alan Dawson says:

    Many thanks for the responses, Village stations were obviously extremely busy places having considerably more functions than seen today. It is difficult to comprehend that many were under the control of a dedicated Station Master – Today there are times when it becomes hard to find anyone actually working on site.

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