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Windmill End halt 1957 (John Edgington)
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Windmill End Halt

1878 - 1964

This was my second visit to Windmill End, my first being aborted in frustration at not being able to pinpoint the station's location as with the majority of stops on this line, the topography today is unrecognisable from that during the 1960s. However, armed with two 1960s A to Zs and as many photographs as I could find I was pleased to locate the spot - although the results of this labour are hardly revealing due to the changes in the landscape. Windmill End opened in 1878, enjoyed a fairly inauspicious life and closed to passengers, as did the line, in 1964. However, the study of passenger usage on the line that ulimately led to its demise did provide an interesting fact about Windmill End: only 1 person a day used the station to catch a train in the direction of Dudley! Above we see the station in 1957 (photo: John Edgington) looking as if closure was imminent when in fact, a complete refurbishment of the station was to take place within a few years that was completed just in enough time for the station's closure!

 
Windmill End halt site Bumble Hole pathway
Windmill End halt site
 

Above-left is as good as it gets at track level around the station site. Here we are on what is now parkland at roughly the spot once occuppied by the station: as can clearly be seen, the embankment upon which the line stood has been levelled and all traces removed. Incidentally, the line itself became known to locals as the 'Bumble Hole line' and this is the section of the line that attracted that name: Bumble Hole Tourist Information Centre lies just beyond the foliage head. Above-right is the perspective that provides a link with the past: believe it or not, this is a very similar shot to that taken by John Edgnington above! The links are the houses running right-to-left that were all painted white in the 1957 shot (the block of four being those mostly obscured by the train in the old photograph) and, just beyond the row of houses to our immediate right is roof of the house seen immediately to the right of the platform sign in the old photograph - now having a few modifications. The comparison shows us that the photographer was standing more to the right than I was due to the now removed embankment's position.

 
Windmill End halt site towards Baptist End halt
Windmill End halt site
 

Above-left we are again looking at the station site and above-right we are looking back at where once a bridge carried the railway over Springfield Lane in the direction of Dudley. No remains of this structure exist today although some of the embankment on the other side of the road is still in place.

 
Windmill End halt embankment
Windmill End halt embankment
 

Above-left we are standing on the aforementioned embankment remains at what was the curve of the line from Windmill End to Baptist End Halt. The line of trees stretching from left to right above the new houses in across the centre of the shot marks the trackbed. Above-right we are on the end of the embankment with the site of the Springfield Lane bridge immediately in front of us looking in the direction of the station just behind the house on the corner of Windmill End/Springfield Lane.

 

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