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Danzey for Tanworth Station

GWR Route: North Warwickshire Line

The station was opened in 1908 and being close to Danzey Green and Tanworth-in-Arden was named accordingly. Whilst the station's passenger facilities were very modest in keeping with many others on the line it did however boast a goods yard from the outset. The passenger buildings on the two platforms and the weighbridge located in the goods yard, were, in common with other stations on the line, constructed from asbestos (Eternit) sheeting fixed to timber framing. The station was approached via a short driveway off Danzey Green Lane, the latter also served the goods yard but from a separate entrance on the other side of the line. The goods yard was effectively one long siding with a corrugated goods shed and two small huts. Like all other goods yards along the route Danzey for Tanworth's goods yard was a casualty of the rising domination of road traffic and closed in 1964. The station remains open today as an unmanned halt.

Danzey for Tanworth Station in 1908

Looking towards Stratford upon Avon shortly after opening of the station in 1908 with Danzey Green Lane road bridge in the distance
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Lens of Sutton
Looking to Stratford upon Avon and Danzey Green Lane road bridge shortly after the opening of the station
Close up showing the down platform and its simple passenger waiting room located at the bottom of the steps from the passenger footbridge
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Lens of Sutton
Close up of the down platform and its simple waiting room located at the bottom of the footbridge steps
Close up showing the up platform passenger facilities which accommodated  the general and ladies waiting rooms, booking office and the gentlemen's toilets
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Lens of Sutton
Close up of the up platform building which housed the general and ladies waiting rooms, booking office etc
Looking towards Birmingham and the signal box shortly after the station was opened in 1908
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J Alsop
Looking towards Birmingham and the signal box shortly after the station was opened in 1908
Close up of the Birmingham end of the station with the crossover leading to the goods yard on the left
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J Alsop
Close up of the Birmingham end of the station with the crossover leading to the goods yard on the left

An elevated view of Danzey for Tanworth station which illustrates the rural location of the station when first built
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J Alsop
An elevated view of Danzey for Tanworth station which illustrates the rural location of the station when first built

Danzey for Tanworth Station under ownership of British Railways

Looking towards Birmingham from beneath the passenger footbridge with a British Railways DMU stop sign seen adjacent to the platform lock up
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Lens of Sutton
Looking towards Birmingham and a British Railways' DMU stop sign from beneath the passenger footbridge
View from the passenger footbridge of the building on the station's up platform which accommodated the main station passenger facilities
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Lens of Sutton
An elevated view of the station's up platform which accommodated the main station passenger facilities
View of the station's main passenger facilities from the down line platform showing the general and ladies waiting rooms and booking office
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Lens of Sutton
The station's main passenger facilities comprising the general and ladies waiting rooms and booking office
An early 1970s view of the station's main structure showing all to clearly the years of neglect by British Railways
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Lens of Sutton
An early 1970s view of the station's main structure showing all to clearly the years of neglect by BR
An elevated view of the original station building formed by utilising prefabricated modular units
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Geoff7918
An elevated view of the original station building formed by utilising prefabricated modular units

The front elevation of the up platform's main building as seen from the road entrance to the station
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Geoff7918
The front elevation of the up platform's main building as seen from the road entrance to the station
Looking towards Birmingham along the up platform with the replacement concrete passenger footbridge in the middle distance and signal box beyond
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Lens of Sutton
Looking to Birmingham along the up platform with the new concrete passenger footbridge in the middle distance
An elevated view from the passenger footbridge looking  towards Birmingham and showing the goods yard on the left and the signal box on the right
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Lens of Sutton
An elevated view looking to Birmingham and showing the goods yard on the left and the signal box on the right
View from the up platform of the basic passenger facilities located on the down platform of Danzey for Tanworth station
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Lens of Sutton
View from the up platform of the basic passenger facilities located on the down platform of the station
The station's down platform waiting room showing not only signs of corporate neglect but some vandalism too
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Geoff7918
The station's down platform waiting room showing not only signs of corporate neglect but some vandalism too

View of Danzey for Tanworth station's signal box which lay at the Birmingham end of the station on the down side opposite the goods yard
Ref: gwrdt1370
Anon
View of the station's signal box located at the north end of the station on the down side opposite the goods yard

The Goods Yard

Close up showing the buffer stops, the storage facility on the platform and the goods shed in Danzey for Tanworth station's goods yard
Ref: gwrdt657a
Lens of Sutton
Close up of the buffer stops, the storage facility on the platform and the goods shed in the station's goods yard
Close up showing Danzey for Tanworth station's signal box, the passing loop and the turnouts at either end for accessing the goods yard
Ref: gwrdt657b
Lens of Sutton
Close up of the station's signal box, the passing loop and the turnouts at either end for accessing the goods yard
A winter photograph of the weighbridge office and road-plate in Danzey for Tanworth station's goods yard
Ref: gwrdt1571
C Judge
A winter photograph of the weighbridge office and road-plate in Danzey for Tanworth station's goods yard

Miscellaneous

Ex-GWR 2-6-0 43xx class No 5370 is seen on a down freight plodding up the 1 in 150 gradient towards Danzey for Tanworth station on 25th March 1956
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M Mensing
Ex-GWR 2-6-0 No 5370 on a down freight plodding up the 1 in 150 gradient towards Danzey for Tanworth station
GWR 4-6-0 Saint class No 2903 'Lady of Lyons' is seen at the head of an up express service comprised primarily of clerestory coaching stock
Ref: gwrdt452
P Hopkins
GWR 4-6-0 Saint class No 2903 'Lady of Lyons' is seen at the head of an up express service from the West Country
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T No 6139 leaves Danzey station with the Moor Street to Henley-in-Arden local passenger service
Ref: gwrdt2839
TJ Edginton
Ex-GWR 2-6-2T No 6139 leaves Danzey station with the Moor Street to Henley-in-Arden local passenger service
The Tilley Lamp located on the concrete footbridge at Danzey for Tanworth station in the mid-1960s
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Geoff7918
The Tilley Lamp located on the concrete footbridge at Danzey for Tanworth station in the mid-1960s
View of the under bridge built on the skew carrying the Birmingham & North Warwickshire Railway over a minor road near Danzey for Tanworth
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Anon
The underbridge built on the skew carrying the the North Warwickshire Railway over a minor road near the station

A British Railways Western Region Totem Sign, coloured brown with cream lettering, displaying the station's name
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Anon
A British Railways Western Region Totem Sign, coloured brown with cream lettering, displaying the station's name

Maps and schematic plans

A GWR map showing footpaths and rights of way in relation to the Birmingham and North Warwickshire line
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GWR
A GWR map showing footpaths and rights of way in relation to the Birmingham and North Warwickshire line
Close up showing footpaths and rights of way in relation to the North Warwickshire line near Hockley Wood
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GWR
Close up showing footpaths and rights of way in relation to the North Warwickshire line near Hockley Wood
Close up showing footpaths and rights of way in relation to the North Warwickshire line near Rudhall's Reins
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GWR
Close up showing footpaths and rights of way in relation to the North Warwickshire line near Rudhall's Reins
A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Danzey Signal Box produced courtesy of the SRS
Ref: sign-diag-danzey
Signalling Record Society
A low resolution version of the Signalling Diagram for Danzey Signal Box produced courtesy of the SRS

Umberslade Hall and the bridge over its drive

According to Colin Maggs in his book Branch Lines of Warwickshire one of the bridges near Danzey was built of stone not the normal structure built in brick found elsewhere on the route. The bridge carried the railway over the drive to Umberslade Hall, and in order to secure the passage of the railway through this estate the drive had to be crossed by a bridge of three elliptical arches, built of stone in order to match the stone of the Hall.

Robert Ferris writes that the GWR Magazine of 1908 had the following article on the bridge. The bridges on the line are of the usual types, in blue brick, but the most expensive of all is, strangely enough, an accommodation bridge. It carried the railway over a disused drive leading towards a fine old house, built of local stone from quarries which have since been worked out and closed. When the line was proposed the stipulation was made that it should cross the drive on three elliptical arches of stone obtained from Derbyshire of colour to match the house. This affords little idea of the difficulties encountered in designing and building it. All arches which are segments of a circle on a line square to the abutments show an elliptical curve on the face when built on the skew, but this arch although built on the skew had to be elliptical on a line square to the abutments. In a skew bridge of which the span is anything considerable the voussoirs have to be laid as nearly possible square to the face line.

A ruled sheet of paper rolled obliquely over a ruler gives a good idea of the courses on a segmental skew arch. All these corners are curved lines, and the joints between the ends of the adjacent voussoirs themselves are curved. Even the joints of the voussoirs where cut by the skew face are curved. The curves are spirals or functions of spirals based on the circle and have all been investigated and reduced to rule. On an elliptical skew arch all this is changed, for the radius of the arch itself changes continually from a maximum at the crown to a minimum at the springing. The result is that the six faces of all stones of which the arch is built have each to be cut to a different curve, and each curve itself is constantly altering inch by inch.

Another result which costs much money is the amount of stone which must be cut to waste. This increases enormously as the curvature increases near the springing, so that in a long voussoir much more stone is cut to waste than used. An extended search has revealed no record of a masonry elliptical skew arch having previously been built. An attempt to design a suitable arch on a false ellipse had to be abandoned, because the abrupt changes of curvature were found unsightly. In flat elliptical arches, like those in question, the line of the centre of thrust passes out of the back of the arching before it reaches the springing, and meeting the trust of another arch, or the reaction of the abutment, gradually loses its horizontal component, and passes more or less vertically into the pier or abutment. In some skew segmental arches built in France this has been recognised in the design, and before reaching the springing the spiral courses have ceased and courses parallel to the springing line have taken their place.

This desirable feature has been adopted resulting in a great saving of cost and relief to the contractor compared with the original design, because the courses being straight and parallel have four plane faces, and the waste due the changing spiral course is altogether avoided in the places where it would be greatest. The parallel courses were built to a true ellipse, all difficulty in cutting to changing curves being avoided, because the one template serves for two whole courses in each arch.. Above the parallel courses the change in curvature of the ellipse is greatly reduced, and for this part of the arch an approximation of three circular arcs was calculated, which differs from a true ellipse by a very small fraction of an inch. The difficulties were thus greatly reduced, for the spiral courses became true spirals and were marked out as for segmental arches of two different radii, instead of to unknown constantly changing curves. Methods based on, but vastly more complicated than those used for segmental arches were followed.

On receiving the drawings Mr GB Sharples, the contractor's engineer, with great zeal devised methods of setting out and succeeded in having all the stones cut with utmost precision. Only one stone was wasted, and the joints are as nearly perfect as possible. This bridge is believed to be the only one of its kind in existence.

The front elevation of Umberslade Hall built in the 17th century by Smith of Warwick for the Archer family
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Anon
The front elevation of Umberslade Hall built in the 17th century by Smith of Warwick for the Archer family
View of the completed Umberslade bridge not long after the North Warwickshire line opened in 1908
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Anon
View of the completed Umberslade bridge not long after the North Warwickshire line opened in 1908
Umberslade bridge with the driveway closed off by a timber gate and with GWR & temporary wagons evident
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Anon
Umberslade bridge with the driveway closed off by a timber gate and with GWR & temporary wagons evident
Another view of Umberslade bridge with the driveway closed off by a timber gate but with no GWR wagons evident
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Anon
Another view of Umberslade bridge with the driveway closed off by a timber gate but with no GWR wagons
xx
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J Alsop
The challenge of building such a complex structure, with three eliptical arches, can clearly be seen in this view

Close up showing that GWR wagons were also deployed by the contractor in building the bridge
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GWR
Close up showing that GWR wagons were also deployed by the contractor in building the bridge
View of the under bridge built on the skew carrying the Birmingham & North Warwickshire Railway over a minor road near Danzey for Tanworth
Ref: gwrdt1420
Anon
An unidentified ex-GWR 2-6-2T engine runs bunker first over the bridge which carried the line over the drive
Some of the precision cut stone blocks completed under the watchful eye of MR GB Sharples, the contractor's engineer
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GWR
Some of the precision cut stone blocks completed under the watchful eye of Mr Sharples, the engineer
Two images of one of the elliptical arches of the bridge taken some 100 hundred years apart
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GWR
Two images of one of the elliptical arches of the bridge taken some 100 hundred years apart