2013: When steam engines were seen at Oxenholme

From 1846 until 1968, steam locomotives were stationed at the Oxenholme Shed, to assist trains up the bank to Grayrigg. This photograph features the last steam engine to perform this duty on May 4, 1968. The engine was a British Rail Standard Class 5.

2013_oxenholme train.jpg-pwrt3

A heavy-laden train coming down from London often stopped at Oxenholme for a locomotive from the shed to be run to the rear of the train to help it up Grayrigg Bank. A whistle signal was given on the approach to Oxenholme Station to alert the staff for the need for a ‘banking’ engine. Once up Grayrigg Bank the banker would then return to Oxenholme to await its next job. Engines to help the train go over Shap Fell were situated at Tebay Junction. The last steam engine withdrawn from service on British Rail was in August 1968.

Westmorland Gazette, Thursday 3 January 2013

2008: Oxenholme Station car park contract awarded

Network Rail has awarded J Murphy and Son Ltd the contract to build a new car park at Oxenholme station as part of a £90m initiative to provide additional car parking spaces at a number of stations on the west coast main line.

Work is expected to start in the autumn and the project is anticipated to be finished by spring 2009, increasing the total number of spaces from about 80 to approximately 130, although precise numbers have yet to be determined.

David Golding, Network Rail’s Route Enhancements Manager said: “More passengers are travelling by train than ever before and the demand for rail travel is set to continue to rise. We predict that a large proportion of these extra passengers will drive to the station, putting more strain on the car park. Awarding the contract is a positive step towards the work actually starting.”

Further details of the project will be available nearer to the start of work. Network Rail and Virgin Trains will advise local residents and users of the car park about the scheme and measures that will be put in place whilst it is underway.

Westmorland Gazette, Monday 21 July 2008

1965: Public Tributes after Manhunt

From our Correspondent – Kendal, Feb 11

The inquest on Police-constable George William McKinley Russell, aged 35, of Springfield Road, Carlisle, victim of the shooting at Oxenholme, was formally opened at Kendal police headquarters today.

The proceedings, before Mr. L. G. Powell, Coroner for south Westmorland, lasted one minute. Brief evidence of identification was given by the policeman’s father. The Coroner then said he would adjourn the inquest seven days at a time until the hearing could proceed.

Appreciation of the services of those who had taken part in the manhunt on Wednesday was paid at Kendal today by Mr. F. Williamson, Chief Constable of Cumberland, Westmorland and Carlisle.
Mr. Williamson acknowledged the excellent police work. He said he wished to place on record the fact that the police had received a tremendous number of expressions of sympathy and support from members of the public all over the country “which in some measure minimizes the deep distress which we all feel at this time”.

The condition of Police-constable Archibald, of Carlisle, who was seriously injured in the shooting, showed signs of improvement today.

The man, other than the police officers, who was injured on Wednesday, was named yesterday as John Middleton, aged 24, a native of Kendal, recently of no fixed address, whose wife lives in Morley Road, Warrington, Lancashire. Mr. John Dagg, assistant Chief Constable of Cumberland, Westmorland and Carlisle, said that Middleton, who is seriously ill in hospital with wounds, had relatives in the Sedbergh area near Kendal.

The Times, Friday 12 February, 1965

1920: Housing Tenders at Oxenholme

At a meeting of the South Westmorland Rural District Council on Saturday, Major Cropper presented a report as to the housing scheme at Oxenholme. Tenders had been received, he stated, and these were so far beyond their worst fears that there seemed no other course open to them but to present them to the Ministry of Health. A representative of the Ministry had been down, and had suggested various reductions, but they were still at least 30 per cent. Above anything the Ministry would pass. At the price quoted the economic rents of the houses if erected would be £100 without rates.

Lancashire Evening Post, Monday 26 July 1920

1920: Accident at Oxenholme – Trucks Derailed – Traffic Delayed

An accident to a goods train near Oxenholme station on Thursday evening dislocated the main line traffic on the London and North Western Co`s system for many hours. A goods train left Carlisle at 1.25 on Thursday afternoon bound for Bushbury near Crewe. When it arrived at Oxenholme about four o`clock it had to be shunted to make way for passenger traffic. When the 4.20 p.m. from Kendal for the south had departed from Oxenholme the goods train was signalled to come from the loop to the main up line , the goods engine was pulling about 42 wagons. The loop line does not finally join the main line until near Oxenholme No 1 signal box at Helmside. Signalman George Mattocks saw a portion of the train pass his box , when thirty-three of the wagons had passed he noticed one of them leaving the rails to be immediately followed by four others , he at once put the advance signal against the train and the driver pulled up. Two of the wagons turned over when under the bridge but fortunately they fell to the outside and traffic on the down line was not seriously impeded. The front portion of the train was sent to Milnthorpe and a gang of men at Oxenholme shed did what they could with jacks to get the trucks back on the rails. The weight of the trucks was too much so the breakdown gang with a steam crane was summoned from Tebay this arrived about seven o`clock , but was not sufficiently heavy for the task , consequently the Preston gang was telephoned for and arrived shortly before 9 o`clock with a fifty ton steam crane. Four of the trucks which were ordinary ten-tonners were easily accounted for, but a six wheel Caledonian truck which was loaded with heavy sheet steel for ship building created greater difficulty, the load having to be removed before the truck could be lifted , by 11.30 the four lighter trucks had been placed in the sidings. About mid-night when all the mail trains had passed through the men were able to work without interruption and the local platelayers were soon at work replacing the 100 yards of permanent way which had been torn up. The damage to the line was considerable but it was hoped the dislocation of traffic would cease today. Nobody was injured , trains were delayed considerably, some being more than an hour late. The cause of the accident is not known but is believed to be due to journal on a wagon breaking as it left the loop line points. Mr Raffles the Oxenholme stationmaster and the local staff worked with the help of Mr Knights the Carnforth stationmaster ( late of Oxenholme ). The officials in charge of the Preston Gang included Mr Dingley (Crewe) Inspector Hall (Lancaster) and Mr Chatwood (Preston).

Westmorland Gazette 16 October  1920

1920: Colonel Killed – Motor-Accident on Kendal-Oxenholme Road

A distressing fatality occurred on Oxenholme-Kendal road last evening.

Mr. Arthur Wilson, of Raysholme, Oxenholme was motoring towards Kendal about eight o’clock when nearing Brookside he overtook Colonel John Thompson, who was walking towards Kendal. The night was extremely dark, and the colonel, who was apparently walking in the middle of the road was not noticed by Mr. Wilson until he was close upon him.

Mr. Wilson swerved the car to avoid the colonel, but the wing caught Colonel Thompson in the back. The colonel fell heavily on his head in the road. Mr. Wilson removed the colonel to the side of the road, and motored to Helm Chase to telephone for medical aid. Dr. Walker went out immediately, but death had taken place before his arrival.

Colonel Thompson, who was 73 years of age, was one of the tallest men in Westmorland. He was in charge of the Kendal composite company of Volunteers in the South African War, where he served with distinction, and also saw home service in the late war. He lived with his sister at The Lound, Kendal. He was a bachelor.

Lancashire Evening Post, Tuesday 16 November 1920

1871: Lightning

On Friday afternoon … a thunderstorm of great violence burst over Kendal and the district. It commenced about 2.30, and continued till six o’clock. It culminated about 4 in a terrific flash of lightning., accompanied by an almost instantaneous peal of deafening thunder. Another flash and thunder clap fully as violent followed at six o’clock, after which the storm gradually rolled away. At the Kendal railway station the electric fluid entered the room where the telegraph instrument was placed, passed into an adjoining room, and again through another door on to the platform. At Oxenholme Junction it struck the telegraph instrument, burst a gaspipe, and fired the gas, which in turn set fire to some woodwork and the wall paper. At Staveley, about four miles from Kendal, the lightning set fire to a barn, destroying a quantity of hay, and also the roof of the building.

Bedfordshire Mercury, 26 August 1871

1909: Oxenholme – Railway Mission

On Monday a successful gathering was held to celebrate the third anniversary of the opening of the Mission Hall. Numerous guests, after partaking of a substantial tea, were addressed by Mrs. Isaac Braithwaite. The chair was occupied by Mr. John Parker, who referred briefly to the work and progress of the Mission under its earnest leader, Mrs. Page. The latter in a few well-chosen and touching words, thanked the members and workers for their help and sympathy. The tables were presided over by Mrs. W. Phizackerley, Mrs. Ellison, Mrs. Chris. Dobson, Mrs. J. Parker, assisted by many willing helpers. The programme included music and recitations by Miss Wilkinson, Mr. W. Phizackerley, Master C. Ewen, Miss Black, Misses Robinson, Miss Fanny Jackson, and Mr. Parker. Miss Wilkinson presided at the organ.

Westmorland Gazette, 18 September 1909

2016: £60,000 play area opens in South Lakes village

As published by The Westmorland Gazette, Friday 28 October 2016

CIVIC DUTY: Councillor Sylvia Emmott pictured (left) testing the new play area with the Mayor of Kendal Cllr Stephen Coleman and Emma Turner of Oxenholme Play Area Development (OPAD) who helped to raise the funding. Copyright Westmorland Gazette. 23/10/2016
JON GRANGER

A new-look £60,000 play area has opened in a South Lakeland town. Excited children joined councillors for the grand opening of the new play area at Bolefoot in Oxenholme on Saturday afternoon.

The community group Oxenholme Play Area Development (OPAD) helped raise funds for the project through a ‘crowdfunding’ appeal. It raised enough money to add a ‘space net’ climbing area to the scheme, which also includes brand new slides, swings, climbing frames, seating and shelters. There was also a £25,000 contribution from South Lakeland District Council (SLDC), £5,000 from Kendal Town Council and other funding from local councillors’ member budgets, charitable trusts, leisure organisations and local company donations.

OPAD chair and mum-of-three Emma Turner, said: “It has been a real community effort and lots of people have got involved, contributing funding and giving ideas about what they’d like to see in the park. We’ve been helped by SLDC, the town council, local businesses and charitable trusts and residents in Oxenholme have also paid towards it, we even had a sweetie jar in the local shop for donations. It should be something the whole community can be proud of because they have played such a big part in making this happen. The play area will be great for young people in the village. Because of Oxenholme’s relative isolation, it is the only park that is easily accessible and it is also the only real community space that we have where people of all ages can get together.’’

Playground manufacturers, HAGS SMP, designed the new play space incorporating ideas and suggestions from consultations run by OPAD in both 2014 and 2015, for a playground suitable for youngsters aged up to 14 that is accessible to both disabled and non-disabled users. Cllr Brenda Gray, SLDC ward councillor for Oxenholme and Natland, has also supported the project and contributed £3,000 funding through her last three years’ member allowances.

Oxenholme Play Area Development (OPAD) organiser Emma Turner with her son Isaac 6, and village youngsters who celebrated the opening event.