I live a few hundred metres from the site of Whitmore’s old railway station booking office. The station itself closed in 1952. On first sight there’s nothing more remarkable than a blue plaque on a building with boarded up windows.
Even though I’ve lived in the area for 15 years, I didn’t pay much attention to it until a couple of years ago, when Staffordshire historian Andrew Dobraszczyc held a guided local history walk around Whitmore to speak about the influence that the new railway had on the buildings in our area.
Andrew informed us that construction of our present railway line, built by the Grand Junction Railway Company, began in 1835 and Whitmore was one of the principal stations on the line being the nearest to the Potteries.
During the walk, Andrew drew our attention to a short row of terraced houses tucked mostly out of sight behind the booking office. They are on a cul de-sac, set back from the main road and mostly hidden behind trees.
When the railway first came to Whitmore, the company built four railway cottages, ‘two up, two down’ with a wash house out the back where 1841 records show that railway porters had made them their homes.
A few years later, another few cottages were added and they now stand at ten. These are worth recording and I made a few sketches before beginning the formal architectural drawing.
It’s timely to reflect on these buildings now because as I write the new HS2 railway line is mapped out to pass very close by here but this time around it won’t be stopping at Whitmore. These buildings will remain, but there are many homes which are now up for sale where the line crosses their path.
I will be scanning the drawing soon and plan to include this in my November exhibition at Gallery at 12 in Eccleshall. There will also be a small run of limited edition prints. Please get in touch (RonnieCruwys@drawingthestreet.co.uk) if you would like me to reserve a print.
Thanks for reading,