Chambers Crossing Halte
Like the two other halts built on the Stratford on Avon to
Honeybourne line (Evesham Road Crossing
Halte and Broad Marston Halte*), Chambers Crossing Halte* was
opened on 17th October 1904 for services provided by Steam Railmotors. The
reason why the halt was only limited to Steam Railmotors was because the
platforms were only constructed to just above rail height. Again, as was the
case with the other two Halts, it closed on 14th July 1916 as a result of
wartime economy measures. The halt was located at an existing crossing (there
had been a crossing keepers house here since circa 1899) where the lane from
Clifford Chambers crossed the railway to Weston on Avon. When first opened, the
line was just a single branch line requiring only one platform which was
situated to the south of the crossing and on the eastern side of the line. The
gates were worked by a ground frame and protected by signals, the ground frame
being located on the west side of the line and to the north of the crossing.
When the line was doubled, opening for traffic on 9th February 1908, the frame
was moved to the opposite side of the line next to the keepers cottage. The
doubling of the line resulted in a second platform being built on the down side
at a cost of £75. The platform was provided with lamps and nameboards but
not shelters for passengers.
* As we have photographic evidence that Evesham Road
Crossing Halte was spelt with an 'e' we believe it is reasonable to
conclude that both Chambers Crossing and Broad Marston were similarly named.
The use of the name 'Halte' by the GWR instead of Halt is thought to be because
the GWR sought to use a description which would convey the perception that it
was not manned. Brian Bailey writes, 'One man's interpretation of the situation
is given in A Register of Halts and Platforms 1903 - 1979 by CR Clinker
(Avon Anglian Production 1979), where Clinker writes 'The use of the French
word [halte] seems to have been decided on because there was, in fact,
no suitable meaning to the English word 'halt' at the time'. He goes on to say
that the spelling was changed to 'halt' in April 1905. (It's not clear as to
whether this was just in the GWR's timetables or also on station name boards),
but he says 'It may well be that the change was made as part of a general
dislike of things 'French' which manifested itself in the early years of the
present century'. As to why the Halte's platforms were built 12 inches high,
Peter Masson writes, '1904 was at the height of the 'Railmotor and Halts' era,
when many railways opened halts and provided steam Railmotor services to them.
Some, to save money, built ground level platforms at the halts, and equipped
the passenger compartments of the railmotors with steps for access.