Woodford Halse Archive

Woodford Short History

End of the Railway

The arrival of the railway had been a momentous event for the village but in 1962 there was news that was to prove every bit as significant for village life with rumours that the railway was to close.

In the late 1950s, British Railways had decided that each part of their network should pay its way and that “unprofitable” lines should close. Finally, in February 1963 the first changes affecting Woodford Halse were announced with the closure of all the stations between Rugby and Aylesbury except Woodford and Brackley. This was quickly followed two months later by the withdrawal of passenger services between Woodford and Banbury (they were replaced with 4 times a day bus service). By February 1965, the decision to withdraw freight trains had been made and in May the Banbury Guardian reported that 350 staff were to be made redundant as the marshalling yards and locomotive works closed. The wagon shops closed in August and the last passenger train ran to Marylebone on the 3rd September 1966.

A few of those that lost their jobs at Woodford Halse chose to stay with the railway, transferring to Banbury or other depots. Most found other employment in factories in Daventry, Banbury or Rugby.

By kind permission of John Williams