Friday, 1 May 2015

Baynards in 1977






Back in 1987 and armed with a motorbike and a light-leaking Zenith E camera I managed to visit a lot of closed lines around southern England.

Baynards was a strange little place on the useful Horsham to Guildford line, which closed in 1965. I did actually see this line being lifted, at Slinfold, a year or so later. By 1977 of course the track had been lifted for around ten years. The station was well preserved, with even the concrete nameboards still in place. There was no access to the station itself, but it was easy to get pictures.

These shots are now 38 years old  but recent shots of the station show it to be pretty much the same. Like many stations serving tiny places the building itself was substantial, and many have been converted to homes. Perhaps that's how many of these stations would have ended up, had not the energy crisis come knocking on all our doors!

This was a useful line, linking a number of smaller places, plus the larger town of Cranleigh, to both Guildford and Horsham. It was a commuter line and with hindsight an unbelievable closure taking this into account. Cranleigh is one of the larger towns still off the network and calls for reconnection have been uttered almost from the day the line closed. It is daft that even now in 2015 a town like Cranleigh should lack modern and sustainable transport. A recent ATOC report had Cranleigh as one of its top ten targets for quick reconnection - yet still there is procrastination. There are the beginnings of a revival group but with so many lines up for reopening it is still slow going. If you live in the area why not join the Facebook group and get a feel for what's happening. It would be great to see trains calling at Baynards again!

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