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.

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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 The last steam engine withdrawn from service on British Rail was in August 1968.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: 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