Oxenholme Station

oxenholme junction c1912 oxed

Today, Oxenholme is the only village on the main West Coast line with a station.

Brief History

The station at Oxenholme was opened in 1846 when both the first stage of the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway and the first stage of the Kendal & Windermere Railway were opened. Initially it was known formally as ‘Kendal Junction’ but the more familiar ‘Oxenholme Station’ came into use c. 1860.

The original station building was designed by architect William Tite, better known for building the Royal Exchange in London (1840), who later became an MP and was knighted.

The station was completely rebuilt in 1881 when the level crossing was replaced by the pedestrian subway and road bridge.

Station Masters

Known Station Masters include:

  • 1850: Stephen DIXON
  • 1861: Stephen FAWCETT
  • 1864: Isaac BIRKETT
  • 1865: John Farrington HALLIWELL (1837-1868)
  • 1867: Isaac BIRKETT
  • 1871: George HODGSON (by 1881 George was a Railway Passenger Guard living at Carlisle with his family)
  • 1881-1895: Thomas MOFFATT (1851-1923)
  • 1895-1905: Henry PRESTON (1859-1947)
  • 1906-1922: Richard Atkin KNIGHTS (1870-1952) – see the Knights family page
  • 1922-1940: Robert RAFFLES (1880-1964)
  • 1940-1946: William Robert PEARS (1896-1978)
  • 19??-1954?: ? ATKINSON
  • 1954?-1957?: “Dan” ARCHER
  • 1957-1966: George STEWART (who was the last Station Master and who lived in the Station Master’s House at 6 Natland Terrace)

If you know of any others, please email us.

Refreshment Rooms

When the station was rebuilt in 1881, it included Refreshment Rooms.

Managers of the Refreshment Rooms include:

  • 1867: Mr Gosling
  • 1890: Miss Schloss
  • 1897: Robert Koster
  • 1914-1925: County Hotel Company (Carlisle)
  • 1929: Frederick George Evans

Station Cottages

When the station was rebuilt in 1881, it included five cottages.

 

With special thanks to John Bateson for information on past Station Masters.

Page last updated: 16 August 2018

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Family Service

After 20 years’ service as stationmaster at the busy Westmorland junction of Oxenholme, near Kendal, Mr. Robert Raffels has retired, with the good wishes of colleagues, and hundreds of rail-users, to Tibicar-lane, Heysham.

At the age of 60, he has completed 46 years’ railway service and has maintained a family tradition. His father, the late Robert Raffels, spent 45 years with the old Maryport and Carlisle Railway, 32 as stationmaster at Curthwaite, Wigton and Carlisle (Crown), and it was in the stationmaster’s house at Curthwaite that Mr. Raffels was born.

Altogether these two Robert Raffels spent a total of 91 years working for the railway, 63 of them in the position of stationmaster.

Mr. Raffels started his career at the age of 14 in the parcels and booking office at Citadel Station, Carlisle, and worked in other departments in Carlisle before being transferred to the District Traffic Superintendent’s Office at Lancaster in 1896. He was appointed stationmaster at Glasson Dock in 1909., and two years later took up a similar position at Southwaite, near Carlisle. He spent several years as a relief stationmaster, occupying the position, temporarily, at nearly every station between Preston and Carlisle., and 20 years ago was appointed to Oxenholme.

He has a fund of reminiscences about railway incidents and passengers. People of all nationalities have changed at Oxenholme on their way to tour the Lakes, and Royal trains have frequently passed through the station.

Mr. Raffels told a colleague that with one exception he had been on the station on every occasion a Royal train had passed through in the last 20 years. The only time he missed, he said, was when he was on leave.

One of his most pleasant recollections was being introduced on the station to the King and Queen (then the Duke and Duchess of York) when they were visiting Kendal.

His worst experience was during the snow hold-ups early this year. “I have never seen anything like it.” He said. “We worked nearly 24 hours a day and it was an ordeal I would not care to repeat.”

Railways have changed since Mr. Raffels early association with them, for when he first started at Carlisle, seven different railway companies, The L.N.W., the Midland, North-Eastern, the Maryport and Carlisle, the Caledonian, the G. and G.W.,and the N.B. all ran into Carlisle.

One of this hardworking stationmaster’s few hobbies is collecting photographs, and he has a rare collection of snaps of engines, including modern “crack” locomotives and those of a type now obsolete.

Passengers having cause to change regularly at Oxenholme will miss the big, cheery official who always had a smile and a joke for evryone.

Lancashire Evening Post 07 May 1940

1906: Presentation

Mr Henry Preston, the new night stationmaster at Holyhead has been presented with a gold watch and chain, and gold studs and sleeve links, by the staff of Oxenholme Junction and some friends. A case of pipes was also presented to him by the telegraph department at the same station.

Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald , 12 January 1906