Great Central Railway
In 1891 the three hamlets comprising the civil and ecclesiastical parish of Woodford cum Membris, had a population of 527 and by 1901 a population of 1220, in 1996 over 3000. The building of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway through the Parish and the establishment of a depot here, with a station for passenger traffic and a marshalling yard for truck loads of goods traffic. It brought hundreds of men and their families to live and work here and a housing estate of 200 houses and shops was built to accommodate them.
It turned Woodford Halse, from what had been a truly rural village, into an industrial village and brought employment for the men of a declining village. Eventually it started the hamlet of Hinton growing, by the building of the Council housing estate, Manor Road, Gorse Road and Nelson Avenue, known locally as the “New Buildings” in 1922 and it has been growing ever since.
Woodford Halse, has been well served over the years. In 1869 it had its own piped water supply, from springs on Fox Hill. Most of the present day shops were built in 1898 and can provide the basic needs of the whole village and of those around.
None of this would have happened if the Railway had not come and its closure in 1966 was bitterly resented, so much so that when the developers wanted to call a newly built small estate in Woodford Halse in the 1990s, “Beeching Close”, it met with a vigorous protest from the Parish Council and the name was dropped.