1949 Scunthorpe Telegraph Feature

Winteringham Local History and Genealogy

Railway Might Have Made Winteringham ‘Boom Town’
by “Wayfarer” Scunthorpe Telegraph, 1949
Article kindly supplied by Andrew Snowdon

Note: This article has been transcribed to text so that search engines can “read” it.

First train into Winterton

Please note: despite the caption, this is actually the first train into Winterton and Thealby Station in 1906 ....

First regular train to Winteringham

.... and this is the first train on the regular timetable (Monday 15th July) not the Sports Special on the 13th July 1907.

Railway Might Have Made Winteringham ‘Boom Town’

Still Serves Industry and Agriculture

By “WAYFARER”

FORTY years ago the quaint little village of Winteringham, renowned as a Humber ferry station in Roman times, was on the verge of regaining its lost importance.

Through it passed the newly-constructed railway linking Scunthorpe with the Humber, and there seemed to be every prospect that Winteringham would increase in stature as a river port, railway centre and industrial community.

A man who remembers well those progressive days just after the turn of the century is Mr. Z. G. Yewdall, of Winterton, who had a large part in the construction of the North Lindsey Light Railway which extends for eleven miles between Scunthorpe and Whitton.

Mr. Yewdall was then a railway engineer and contractor’s agent, and he told me that the line, owned by a local company, was completed as far as West Halton in 1906.

A PROUD MOMENT

On July 13, 1907, the first train steamed proudly into Winteringham station with a load of passengers, and thence forward for a number of years there were three passenger trains daily in each direction between Winteringham and Scunthorpe with intermediate stops at West Halton and Winterton Thealby stations.

Another station was built at Normanby Park to serve Lysaghts Steelworks, which were constructed between 1908 and 1912, and there was a project for extending the line to Barton and Immingham, but this never materialised.

Mr. Yewdall, who had been engaged in the laying of the Isle of Axholme Light Railway, prepared plans in 1906 for a rail link between Whitton and Garthorpe over a road-rail bridge to span the Trent near Alkborough.

To this there was a good deal of opposition, and it was contended in some quarters that there would not be sufficient traffic to justify the cost.

Interest was shown however, by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company who, said Mr. Yewdall, would have been prepared to buy the North Lindsey Light Railway.

This company bought land between Winteringham and Whitton with the intention of establishing a deep-water quay, and inquiries were made by several firms which were considering building factories in the locality.

All this never came to pass, however.  The bill providing for the erection of the Alkborough bridge was rejected three times, and so today the light railway comes to an abrupt end on the waterfront at Whitton.

A sequel to this story was the construction of the road-rail bridge at Keadby by the Great Central Railway.  This was opened in 1916.

WHY SERVICE STOPPED

When the light railway came into use in 1906, Mr. S. A. Freeman, who lives in Winterton, was the station-master at Winterton -and-Thealby station, and I asked him why the passenger service was eventually discontinued.

The main trouble, he told me, was that the stations were too remote from the centres of population.

Originally it had been intended that the line should pass right through Winterton, but at that time there was a feeling in the town that the trains would take customers away from the local traders.

At any rate, the passenger service was apparently never a paying proposition and in July, 1925, it ceased to operate.

Since that time the railway has been used mainly to fulfil the needs of steel and agriculture. By this means, farm produce is brought into Scunthorpe, and ironstone is conveyed from the mines at Roxby, Thealby and Coleby.

BIG TURNOVER OF WAGONS

Mr Walter Brickell, stationmaster at Normanby Park, informs me that they have there a turnover of between 800 and 1,000 wagons a day.  Half of these arrive with raw materials for Lysaghts Works, and the other half are outgoing wagons laden with steel billets, tin plate bars and ingots.

In an emergency special trains can be run carrying workmen and supplies, and in the severe winter of early 1947, foodstuffs were taken along this line to the snowbound villages and a workmen's service was maintained for several days until the bus services were resumed.

Now in charge of the Winteringham and Whitton stations is Mr. Fred Lee, who tells me that the public still have right of access to the market wharf at Winteringham, from which produce used to be conveyed by water to Hull.

For this purpose a barge owned by Mr. Alf Barley made regular weekly trips up to the beginning of the war.

FIGHTING EROSION

The story of the fight against erosion into the south bank of the Humber is well known, and here again the light railway gave valuable service. Along it were transported thousands of tons of slag which were loaded into barges in Winteringham and used to reinforce the banks against the invading tides.

This has been largely a tale of might-have-been. The North Lindsey Light Railway, now nationalised, continues to play an important role in the commerce of the area, but Winteringham's dreams of industrial development are now only vague memories. The fate of the community was decided in those early years of the 20th century, and Winteringham remains a small village quietly reclining beside the great river.
 

 

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