NEW LINES AND NEW LOCOMOTIVE SHEDS

With the ever increasing number of new railway lines, brought the need for more locomotive depots to be built at key locations. The L.B.S.C.R. started to build Locomotive depots  on the Brighton line at the following locations; 

Horley (1838 - 1840)

New Cross (N +) (1839 - 1949)

West Croydon  (1839 -1935)

Brighton (75A) (1840 - 1964)

Lyminster (1843 - 1863)

St. Leonards (1845 - 1935 ?) (become a South Eastern shed)

Chichester (1846 - c1870)

Epsom (1846 - 1925)

Haywards Heath (1847-1872)

Newhaven Harbour (N) (1847- 1887) 

Portsmouth Town (1847 - 1891)

Horsham (Hors/75D) (1848 - 1964)

Three Bridges (3-B/75E) 1848 - 1964) 

Eastbourne (E/75G) 1849 - 1965)

Lewes (1853 - 1870), 

East Grinstead (E-G) (1855  - c1896),

Uckfield (1858 - 1868), 

Hailsham (1858 - 1880), 

Battersea (1858  - 1934)

Petworth (1859-1866)

Polegate (c1860 - 1900), 

Littlehamptom (Lton) (1863 - 1937), 

Bognor (Bog/75D) (1864 - 1962),

Bramley (1865 - 1887), 

Midhurst, (Mid) (1866 - c1955)

Tunbridge Wells (T-W/75F) (1866 - 1963)

Dorking (1867 - 1925)

South Hayling (1872 - 1894)

Newhaven (N/75A) 1887 - 1963 (Town)

Fratton (1891)

Selsey (1897 - 1935)

Couldson (North) originally known as Stoats Nest (1901 - 1925),

Norwood (75C) 1935

(..) denotes shed codes on the L.B.S.C.R. 

Other Locomotive Sheds were opened in Sussex by a rival railway companies to the L.B.S.C.R., 

the London, South Eastern & Chatham Railway opened the following depots in the County. Hastings (1851 - 1929) & Bexhill West (1902 - 1936).

The London & South Western Railway opened its own depot at Midhurst (01.09.1864 - 12.7.1925)to severe it’s own branch between Midhurst and Petersfield.

Hailsham Shed and Services 1858 - 1880
 
The locomotive shed at Hailsham was built in 1858. In the late 1850s and early 1860s there were 10 to 11 trains a day (7 Sunday). Again, all trains were “passenger” but from 1864 it was clearly stated that goods could be attached to any service. The weekday service started and finished the day at Hailsham. There was an extra train on market day (alternate Wednesdays) which originated in Brighton to take passengers and cattle; it was timetabled to run up the branch while the Hailsham train was held at Polegate.
 
From 1867 only the first two trains of the day were permitted to have goods attached. During the winter of 1866/7 a specific goods service was introduced which departed Hailsham in the early evening and returned just thirty minutes later, having exchanged its wagons at Polegate. The loco was then almost immediately allocated to the next passenger service. The goods service was short-lived, being withdrawn later in 1867. At about the same time the market day extra working also appears to have been reduced in scope to an “empty” from Polegate followed by a service train back to Polegate. By 1872 the market day service was no longer listed in the branch timetable.
 
By 1878 a two way goods service had been reinstated. The Hailsham loco started the day with a return passenger service to/from Polegate. That was followed by a return goods service. The following two morning services left Hailsham with passenger stock but on the return they were permitted to have goods attached. The last morning service was passenger only but upon arrival at Polegate, the loco was then used to work wagons between Polegate and Gosden’s Sidings. The loco then resumed passenger workings, completing a further four trips to Hailsham where it remained overnight.
 
After the northern extension of the line in 1880 there were still some “short” workings from the south which terminated at Hailsham in the old manner, and on weekdays these continued to start and end the day at Hailsham, i.e. the locomotive shed was still being used to stable a locomotive overnight. Again, two workings a day were permitted to take goods as well as passengers. Once again a dedicated goods working was introduced but as a one way shuttle; a light engine left Hailsham at 0715 and arrived back at 0825 with goods from Polegate; all outward goods either left on the through goods workings or attached to the two permitted passenger-goods workings. By 1887 the locomotive shed had closed.
 
Signalling and Station Staff
 
Census data gives some idea of the LB&SCR staff employed in the parish of Hailsham, which also included the station at Polegate, sometimes making it difficult to suggest which station a particular person worked at. At the time of the 1861 census there was no signalman and Polegate simply had a “switchman”. Although there is an unconfirmed report of a signal box from 1869 (Signalling Record Society) it was unlikely there was anything more than a ground frame. The 1871 census listed two signalmen resident in the parish, one of whom lived in Polegate and the other in Otham, which is also close to Polegate. Had a small box been provided at Hailsham at that date it would almost certainly have been a Saxby and Farmer Type 1b, such as that which used to stand at Withyham and now preserved at the Bluebell Railway.
 
Other Hailsham Parish census data were: in 1861 there were three clerks, a fitter, a driver (lived in Eastbourne Rd.), a fireman (lived near Common Pond, Hailsham), a guard (lived in Eastbourne Rd.), an inspector (at Polegate), three labourers, four porters, and two telegraph clerks (presumably Railway; both lived in Polegate). In 1871 there were two clerks, a driver (lived in Eastbourne Rd.), two fireman (presumed railway; both lived Eastbourne Rd.), a guard (Cobden Place, by Station Rd. Hailsham), three labourers, two plate layers, six porters, two station masters (one in Railway Cottage, Eastbourne Rd.; the other at Polegate Station) and the telegraph clerk who was the signalmen’s son living in Otham, near Polegate. Thus it appears that train crew were resident in Hailsham by 1861 but there is no census evidence of a signal box.
 
There are some notes on the Polegate Station staff (The Brighton Circular 14: 98), with a plan of that station, which  dates from the 1870s (The Brighton Circular 14: 168). The plan can be dated by its similarity to the 1876 OS map (NLS map) and the staff listed have common features with the 1861 and 1871 census data, but do not exactly match either; further details of Polegate station were discussed in The Brighton Circular 30: 110-129. Some of the staff attributed to Polegate in the old notes were the Hailsham train crew noted above. The notes also indicate that Polegate had a one road engine shed and one might suppose it was used in the early days when a single service ran both the Hailsham and Eastbourne branches. That 1870s plan depicted a signal box at Polegate with signal posts fitted through its roof, and distant signals of the double disc turnover design (right hand in photo of a model). It is therefore unlikely that the signalling at Hailsham amounted to anything more than a single “station signal”, i.e. a sort of early home signal but placed by convenience near the centre of the station area.

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