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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Godalming, Surrey
A selection of photographs and postcards of a Surrey country town
Farncombe Railway Station, 1905

This is the north western facing elevation, viewed from Station Road. Whilst at first glance little has changed in the intervening years, the large canopy over the main entrance has gone, the garden on the right has become a car park and the footbridge to the down platform has lost both its roof and the windows. The massive telegraph pole on the far side of the track has also been replaced.

The card was posted in 1916 and sent to Freddie Thorpe of Surbiton by his grandmother. She noted that this was the "Front View of the Station. ... Gran lives at the back of this" so she must have lived on Summers Road.

Farncombe station was opened on 1 May 1898 and replaced Old Godalming Station a little further down the line to the south, which then became a goods depot. William Henry Pearce, who was born in 1861 in Woodbury in Devon, was the first station master. He was still at Farncombe in 1913[1]. His son, Llewellyn Reginald Pearce, was employed as a Railway Telegraphist in 1911 and in 1939 he was still working for the railway, by then as a Passenger Railway Guard and living in Woking[2].

Notice published in the "Morning Post", 28 April 1897

South Western Railway.
Principal Train Alterations,
Commencing 1st May.
On Saturday, 1st May, a NEW STATION will be OPENED
for Passenger Traffic at FARNCOMBE, situated between Guildford
and Godalming (New), and from that date the booking of passengers at
Godalming (Old) Station will cease, and be transferred to Farncombe
Station, and the Service of Passenger Trains to and from Godalming
(Old) will be discontinued. For full particulars of Train Service to
and from Farncombe, see pages 60, 61 and 62 of Time-book. Goods
Traffic will be dealt with at Godalming (Old) as hitherto. ...

By 1924 Godalming and Farncombe stations were sharing the same station master[3].

A few yards to the right of the station is a road junction and level crossing with a signal box. In 1925 this junction was the scene of a minor drama and a lucky escape when a steamroller ran down Farncombe Street towards the level crossing. The driver, having narrowly avoided colliding with a motor-lorry, steered his steamroller into a part the level crossing which had just been opened after the passenger train from Portsmouth to London had gone through. The driver was unhurt but the line was blocked for several hours[4].

William Henry Pearce, with two of his staff and several local children.

Recommended reading for train enthusiasts:
Mitchell, Vic and Smith, Keith (1985, 3rd reprint 2006) "Southern Main Lines Woking to Portsmouth", Middleton Press, Easebourne Lane, Midhurst, GU29 9AZ.

Postcard of "Farncombe Station". Published by F. Frith & Co. Ltd., Reigate, No.53238. First published in 1905 but posted in 1916
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] WHP was living at the Living in the Station Master's House on Summers Road in the 1901 census with his wife, Sylvia, and four children. The couple's youngest daughter was born in Farncombe. The family were still at the Station House in 1911 and WHP is listed in Kelly's directory of 1913 (Farncombe Railway Station, William Henry Pearce, station master). Kelly's Directory gives the opening as 1898, but this is incorrect.

[2] Information from the 1939 Register.

[3] Kelly's Directory of Surrey, 1924. The station master for both stations was Sidney J Webb.

[4] "Portsmouth Evening News", 9 April 1925. Runaway Steamroller.

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