At the northern end of the old Midland branch line sat Great Malvern station, a stop which was shared with the Great Western's Worcester-Hereford line. Although the mile or so between the station and Tewkesbury Junction was operated jointly, the Midland Railway built its own bay platform at Great Malvern to allow its services to terminate before heading back to Ashchurch.
Today, the station is still used by over half a million passengers a year who join the regular services to Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads and Brighton. Indeed, it is still possible to get to Ashchurch directly from Malvern today, albeit via Worcester instead of Tewkesbury.
|History||Midland Bay||Goods Bay|
|Turntable||Signal Box||The 'Worm'|
|Pigeon Trains||Imperial Hotel||Rowallan House|
History of Great Malvern Station
Great Malvern station opened in 1860. The original temporary station was built by railway engineer J.G. Ballard for the Worcester and Hereford Railway (later GWR), and lasted only two years before it was replaced by the current Grade-II listed structure. There are very few pictures of the original station, but these two have been taken from the excellent collection of Ballard's original photographs hosted by Herefordshire History. The first shows the original hut, with a rare view of North Hill, unobstructed by any houses or trees.
While this picture shows a locomotive on construction work at the southern end of what is now Platform One:
Below, we can see two shots of the 1862 Edmund Elmslie-designed station that replaced Ballard's wooden shed. Not much has changed in 45 years from this angle!
|Great Malvern Station in 1967.|
|The same perspective in 2016.|
|The front of the station in the 1970s with the old British Rail awning.|
|Looking across the station car park, also late 1970s.|
|This plaque from the foyer explains the station's history.|
#1: The Midland Bay
The first missing feature from Great Malvern station is the 'down' bay platform used by the Midland Railway for its Aschurch services. The bay ran along the eastern side of Platform Two and behind what is now the station bookshop to stop directly in front of the passenger tunnel linking the station with Thorngrove Road. After the spur was removed, the easternmost strip of the land was eventually used to build bungalows in the 1980s, while the infilled bay itself now forms the bottom half of the small car-park on Thorngrove Road. These two pictures from the Britain from Above project provide an excellent aerial view of the bay.
|'Malvern Girls' College, Great Malvern, 1921.' The bay can be seen containing two wagons.|
|'The railway station and environs, Great Malvern, 1930'|
|'Great Malvern Bay, 1948'|
|'Great Malvern Bay, 1951'|
|A longer view of the bay.|
|A similar image to the one above, taken in the late 1970s looking across Platform One to the now derelict Midland platform.|
|A much rarer perspective, taken from the eastern side of the Midland bay.|
|This is a really great angle, showing the abandoned bay platform at Great Malvern in the late 1970s.|
|The wall separating the station from what is now the lower car park (again late '70s)|
|The fence in the distance marks the route of the old bay platform access line.|
|Final Destination: The end of the bay is now the lower level of the car park.|
#2: The Goods Bay
The second 'missing feature' at Great Malvern is the old goods bay at the southern end of Platform One. The picture below shows the steps which led down to the trackside, where goods vans would be parked to be unloaded.
|'Great Malvern, Facing Worcester, 9.9.49. 40116 with Ashchurch Train'|
|'Cl 6P5F No. 5690 'Leander' on the 'Midlander' railtour at Malvern 5/10/74'|
Today, the bay is somewhat neglected and overgrown, but is still clearly visible at the south of the station. A quick tidy up would really bring this historical feature back to life.
|Overlooking the disused bay from behind Platform One.|
|The view across from Platform Two. The short loading pier is still clear below the weeds.|
#3: The Turntable
The third and final 'missing feature' at Great Malvern is the old turntable that allowed goods vans to be backed up from trains arriving into Platform Two and fed straight into the basement of the Imperial Hotel (more information below). This shot from 1949 shows a glimpse of the turntable spur, to the right of the train entering the station.
|'Great Malvern, Facing Worcester, 9.9.49'|
|The same shot in 2016.|
|The grey lineside cabinet marks the location of the old turntable. The service door is also visible, next to the 'Worm' (see #5).|
#4: The Signal Box
Another interesting feature at Great Malvern was the signal box that once stood at the end of Platform 2, sandwiched between the old bay lines and the remaining line. Pictures of this box are surprisingly rare and I am working on finding some more to display here.
|The signal box during its heyday - Manby Road school is visible behind.|