Crosshill & Codnor Station

Fig.1 A picturesque view of Crosshill & Codnor station dated around 1904

Crosshill and Codnor station was situated on the Midland Railway’s branch line, which ran between Butterley and Langley Mill.
Parliament granted permission for the first part of the line between Butterley and Ripley on the 3rd July 1884 the second phase between Ripley and Heanor Goods Junction was authorised on 25th June 1886.
Finally on 11th June 1891 an additional length of 39 chains was added to extend the track from Heanor Goods Junction to a platform south west of Langley Mill and Eastwood station.

Fig.2 Map showing the route of the Midland Railway’s branch line and the three phases of construction between Butterley and Langley Mill.

The Midland Railway had no firm plans to include a station at Codnor so in April 1887 a meeting of Codnor and Loscoe Ratepayers discussed the pro's and con's of having such a station.
The Rev William Bates, vicar of Codnor resided over the meeting and It was generally agreed that a station would be a great benefit to the local communities of Codnor, Loscoe and Denby.
The decision was made to form a committee who would contact local tradesmen in the area with the intention of gaining their support for a station.
By this time the first section of line from Butterley Station to Ripley was almost complete and work had begun on the second section from Ripley towards Codnor. 
Progress on the line had been going well until 4th April 1887 when labourer; John Kingcross of Codnor was fatally wounded whilst blasting rock to create a cutting at Ripley. 
A charge had been set in the rock and a two-minute fuse lit. John Kingcross took shelter under a headway by Nottingham Road, but was hit by a substantial piece of rock that smashed his leg. 
He was taken to Derby hospital where his leg was amputated but he died later that evening.
Incredibly just a month later and only a little further down the same cutting a similar accident claimed the life of another labourer; James Turner. Due to the similarities with the first accident the coroner contacted the Home Office to investigate the death, but it was found that James Turner had been negligent when setting the charge and had only himself to blame.

Later the same year construction of the line was made much easier with the introduction of a mechanical steam shovel, these machines had been nicknamed the “American Devil” by the navvies working on the canals and railroads, who saw them as a threat to their livelihood.
Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 3rd December 1887
The Heanor, Codnor and Ripley New Railway.
The Heanor portion of this new branch of the Midland Railway is being pushed forward with great speed. The progress made during the past month has been of marked character. Considerable assistance has been derived by the use of a machine called the “American Devil”. The machine saves at least six men’s labour and consists of a large iron scoop with drags at the mouth, which digs into the earth and causes it to fall into the scoop. Several hundred people from Heanor and the surrounding district have visited the place to witness the working of the machine.
Fig.3 Steam Excavator Nick-named the American Devil. Originally developed in America by William Smith Otis, the Steam Excavator or steam shovel was made under licence in England by companies such as Ruston Procter of Lincoln and used in the construction of many canals and railroads from the late 1860s onwards.
It is not known what type of Steam shovel was used in the construction of the Butterley to Heanor branch line but this advertisement from 1877 shows a typical Steam Shovel of the day.

The Butterley to Heanor branch line eventually opened to goods and passenger traffic on 2nd June 1890 with Crosshill & Codnor being the only intermediate station between Ripley and Heanor. The station consisted of a booking hall and single platform, but no facilities for handling goods.
There was also a signal box just to the east of the station, which controlled a passing loop on the single line.

Crosshill & Codnor Station employees.

Station Masters:
Mr G Walters Station Master 
Previously a Signalman at Bulwell Station, became Station Master at Crosshill & Codnor Station in June 1890. Moved to Heanor Station in 1891 and resigned in March 1896.

W J Tanner Station Master 
Previously a Signalman at Freeton Station became Station Master at Crosshill & Codnor Station in September 1891. Transferred to Heanor station in April 1896.

Mr Joseph Fearn Station Master 
Previousley a Signalman at Cardington Station, transferred to Crosshill & Codnor in April 1896, transferred to Heanor station in 1900.

Mr Joseph Bartholomew Station Master
Took over on 26th July 1900 after previously working as a Goods Foreman at Ilkeston Station. He later transferred to Edwalton Station in Nottingham in 1908

November 1908
Crosshill & Codnor Station put under the supervision of Heanor
1916 Albert H Glastonbury Station Master of both stations.

J Andrews signal Porter 19 Feb 1891 to 18/2/1892
Previously a signalman at Butterley then after Codnor a signalman at Luffenham.

E Burton Signal Porter 19 May 1892 to 20/10/1892
Previously a signalman at Butterley then after Codnor a signalman at Heanor

H R Harper Signal Porter 14 Dec 1893 to 15/11/1894 then worked as a Porter at Bingley Station.

J Gibbs Signal Porter 14 Nov 1895 - 1896
Previously a Signalman at Attercliffe Road Station, after Codnor he transferred to Teversall Station.

G Hunt Assistant Porter 18 Jun 1896 to 20/5/97
moved to Long Eaton station in 1898.

Samuel Hand Assistant Porter 19 May 1898 to 19/1/1899 then 14/12/1899 to 20/12/1900 Lived on Mill lane Codnor with his parents and younger brothers Harold and Leonard. later worked at Long Eaton station.

T Harley Assistant Porter between 20th June 1901 and 15th May 1902 then moved to Netherthorpe station.

Thomas H Thompson Assistant Porter between 19th June 1902 and 18th June 1903 then again between 16th June 1904 and 15th June 1905

Reginald North Assistant Porter between 16th August 1906 and 17th October 1907

George Hall Newman started work as a Porter on 8th May 1919

Fig.4 A three coach train heading towards Langley Mill drops off a passenger at Crosshill & Codnor station 1904.

Fig.5 Mr Freeman stands beside the neatly kept platform gardens 1904. You can see the wooden steps leading up to the main road and also part of the bridge that carried the Heanor road over the line.
Photo displayed by kind permission of the wood Collection,

The station closed temporarily in 1917 for three years as a wartime economy measure. The station reopened in 1920 but was never as busy as it was before the First World War. It eventually succumbed to road competition in the form of the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Tramways Company, who ran a Tram service between Nottingham and Ripley. The station was closed completely in 1926 and final authority was given for the removal of the permanent way, bridge structures and other works with the exception of the station buildings at Heanor and Crosshill & Codnor in January 1930. 

The station building was used briefly as a social centre for the unemployed during the 1930's and later as a builders yard before finally being demolished in 1972.

Fig.6 The station soon after closure in 1929. the track is still in place
but the station is abandoned and overgrown.
Displayed courtesy of the Kidderminster Railway Museum

Fig.7 This picture shows the station building in the 1930s when it was used as a Social Centre for the unemployed. The people in the picture are, Joe Calladine on the Left and Colin Spence next to him. I dont know who's cleaning the windows. Photo displayed by kind permission of Colin Spence. 

Fig.8 This newspaper image dated 24th November 1933 shows the station being used as an unemployed Social Club.

Fig.9 This picture shows Colin Spence feeding his chickens on the disused railway line in the early 1930s. The main road goes over the railway bridge and the station is on the other side. Note the advertising hoardings up on the road.
Photo displayed by kind permission of Colin Spence.

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Fig.10 This picture dated 18th April 1954 shows the station some 30 years after it closed, now being used as a builders yard and looking very sorry for itself.

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Fig.11 Location of station & route of railway line. CLICK TO ENLARGE

I have tried to illustrate in the above diagram how hundreds of tons of stone had to be used to raise the level of both Heanor Road and Waingroves Road sufficiently to cross over the new railway line. Also Pinchum lane was renamed Station lane when the new line opened


Fig.12 Aerial view of Crosshill taken about 2006 shows how all signs of the Railway line have completely disappeared. During the early 1980s both the railway embankment and the bridge carrying the farm track over the line still existed. However the Godkin opencast sight which covered some 500 acres of land between Codnor & Loscoe removed all signs of the Railways except a small section of the embankment that still survives behind loscoe dam. Also note the row of terraced cottages on station lane have been demolished and are just a pile of rubble.

The sight of the station is now used as storage by a local Salvage and reclaim business.

Further information about Crosshill & Codnor Station

Simon Swain has been interested in the history of the local railway networks for many years. His particular interest in the Butterley to Langley Mill branch was generated by looking at a picture postcard of Crosshill & Codnor station in a book. He was struck initially by the individuality of the station which then progressed into a curiosity as to where the branch which served the station started from and where it went to, and how it connected with the local railway network. From that point onward he began a comprehensive research into the line, its operational history, and its early demise.

To read Simon's comprehensive history of the line, please click HERE 

Information for this page was obtained from the following sources.

Derby Daily Telegraph 07/04/1887

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 03/12/1887

Derby Mercury 04/06/1890

Ripley & Heanor News 31/08/1951

Derbyshire Railway Stations, by Brian Lund 1999

The Heritage of Codnor & Loscoe, by Fred S Thorpe 1990

Around Ripley, by Julie Potton & Janet North 1995


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