Bude Station
The front of Bude station as photographed in the early 1960s

photograph by John Bradbeer

Bude station opened with the arrival of the L&SWR line from Holsworthy on 10 August 1898. As was frequently the case in the latter years of the building of the railways, this was not without much delay and disappointment. On 20th January 1879 the L&SWR opened its line to Holsworthy, but much to the distress of the people of Stratton and Bude, showed no signs of continuing on to the coast. In 1883 Stratton offered £1,000 towards the cost of a Bill for a 9½ mile line to be built, via Bridgerule and Stratton, to Bude, which led to an Act being passed for the building of the line on 20th August 1883. However, despite a ceremonial "cutting of the first sod" near to the proposed site for Bude station, not much else happened! The work was due to be completed by October 1891 but extra time had to be asked for in 1890, and was granted. However, come the end of 1891 there was still no progress so an Act of Abandonment was obtained on 20th May 1892.

Southern Railway publicity poster for Bude.
Reproduced by kind permission of Southern Posters - classic railway art.

Bude poster
The branch map A map showing the route of the railway from Okehampton, via Halwill Junction where the branch left the North Cornwall line, to Bude.

drawing © Nigel Brodrick

The main building and forecourt as seen from Bencoolen Road. The Station Master's garden and house are to the right, with the refreshment room, parcels office, booking hall, toilets and staff accommodation situated in the single storey section beyond. On the extreme left are the water tower and larger of the two gasholders.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Bude A view along the main platform with the stretcher box and Smith's bookstall visible beneath the canopy. To the right are the loop, signal box, engine shed, water tower, gasworks and hand points leading to the back road.

photograph: Nigel Brodrick collection

The traders of Stratton were not to be beaten, however, and tried again in 1894. On 6 July 1895 a further Act was obtained for a line to be built by the L&SWR. The L&SWR was, by this time, investing heavily in the construction of the independent North Cornwall Railway (a line it leased but never owned) and to shave £10,000 from the proposed construction costs adopted a route more or less direct from Bridgerule to Bude, avoiding the need for a costly viaduct but ignoring Stratton altogether, even though that place was then four times the size of Bude. From then on things went more smoothly with the line constructed for the L&SWR by John Aird & Co., which was later to build the West Highland Railway.
N class Nº31831 waiting in Bude's main platform for its departure time.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

Bude A similar view to that shown above, only closer to the canopy.

photograph by John Bradbeer

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This page was last updated 12 September 2008

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