THE FAIRFORD BRANCH LINE

EPHEMERA

Carterton to Fairford ticket on thelast day of passenger services - 16 June 1962

Brize Norton & Bampton to Oxford ticket

Fairford to Kelmscott & Langford ticket

Witney to Oxford bicycle ticket

'Witney Wanderer' ticket- the last train to traverse the Witney Railway - 31 October 1970

Witney to South Leigh ticket

Witney platform ticket

Alvescot to Carterton ticket

A selection of Fairford Branch Line tickets: (top left): The Carterton to Fairford ticket used by my father on the last day of passenger services - 16 June 1962. (top right): A Great Western Railway Brize Norton & Bampton to Oxford half day excursion ticket for use via Yarnton (try finding an alternative route!). (second row left): A Fairford to Kelmscott & Langford 2nd class single. (second row right): A Witney to Oxford accompanied bicycle ticket. (third row left): Ticket for the last passenger train to traverse the Witney Branch - 'The Witney Wanderer' on 31 October 1970. This was an impressive 9 car Pressed Steel DMU formation. (third row right): Witney to South Leigh 2nd Class single.  (lower left): GWR Witney platform ticket, date stamped on the rear 7 March 1956, so they were obviously using up old stock! (lower right): An unusual background to this ticket for the short trip from Alvescot to Carterton. 
Martin Loader (top left & lower left) & Stanley C. Jenkins Collections

EGR 1861 letter

A printed letter to the East Gloucestershire Railway's solicitors, dated 18 December 1861, for a landowner to state his position, in this instance 'assenting', in regards to the railway's application for parliamentary powers. This is in connection with the original over ambitious scheme to link Cheltenham to Witney and Faringdon. Although the Royal Assent was received on 7 August 1862, various problems meant that the first sod was not cut until 31 March 1865, in a field between Andoversford and Cheltenham. A section of embankment and Sandywell Tunnel had been constructed before the whole project was abandoned. The EGR finally began construction of the Witney to Fairford extension in 1869, but continuing financial difficulties resulted in a further four years passing before the line finally opened. 
Martin Loader Collection

 

RAF Bedford to Carterton ticket

A couple of mementos from the Fairford Branch (above): Something of a rarity - an unused RAF ticket made out for a journey between Bedford and Carterton. Dated 22 March 1946, this should have been used by my father after his release from the RAF after World War 2, quite why it wasn't used is something of a mystery! Interestingly, the dispersal centre stamp clearly shows Cardington, the Bedfordshire village which allegedly would have been confused with Carterton, if the airfield that later became RAF Brize Norton had been named after its nearest village.

 5 August 1951 handbill

(above right): A handbill advertising an excursion from Paddington to Fairford on 5 August 1951. Surely something of a novelty, as one would assume most excursions would travel from the branch to some tourist destination. Admittedly Fairford is an attractive Cotswold market town with world renowned medieval stained glass in the church windows, but I doubt if any prospective tourists realized how far they would have to walk from the station! 
Both from the Martin Loader Collection

GWR Station truck label

A Great Western Railway station truck label from 1933 (left). Note the list of the stations along the line (Cassington is not included due to lack of freight facilities, and Carterton station has yet to be built), and also the list of available freight trains:
7.40pm ex Stourbridge Junction - Hockley to Oxford.
SX 12.35pm ex Oxford - Oxford to Witney.
SO 12.45pm ex Oxford - Oxford to Witney.
5.50am ex Oxford - Witney to Fairford.
Martin Loader Collection