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Blunham Station

Blunham Station House in 1892 [Z229-4]
Blunham Station House in 1892 [Z229/4] to see a larger image please click on the image above

Blunham Station lay on the railway line from Oxford to Cambridge which allowed non-stop, if very slow, travel between the two university towns. However, the line was not all built at once but in stages by different companies. The first part to be opened was the Bedford Railway, in 1846. This ran from Bletchley in Buckinghamshire to Saint John's Station in Bedford, passing through the Buckinghamshire stations of Fenny Stratford, Bow Brickhill and Woburn Sands and the Bedfordshire stations or halts at Aspley Guise, Houghton Conquest, Ridgmont, Lidlington, Millbrook, Wootton Pillinge (later renamed Stewartby), Wootton Broadmead, Kempston Hardwick and Kempston Elstow. It was the first railway line to be built in Bedfordshire.

Blunham Station in 1976 [Z50/19/38]
Blunham Station in 1976 [Z50/19/38]

The section from Oxford to Bletchley, the Buckinghamshire Railway, opened in 1851 and the Bedford and Cambridge Railway section opened in 1862. This latter section had stations at Willington, Blunham, Sandy and Potton as well as Gamlingay, Old North Road, Lord's Bridge and Cambridge. The line from Bedford to Sandy was a single track, with loops to allow trains going in one direction to pass those going in the other. The contractor was Joseph Firbank and the line officially opened on 7th July 1862.

Blunham Station in 1976 [Z50/19/41]
Blunham Station in 1976 [Z50/19/41]

The station in Blunham was at the southern end of the village and parish from 1866 when Mogerhanger, until then part of Blunham, became an independent civil parish, the station itself being right on the parish boundary. As trains became longer the platform was lengthened in 1907. A long siding of a third of a mile led down to South Mills.

The former station at Blunham March 2007
The former station at Blunham March 2007

The line was run by the London North Western Railway from its opening until 1923 when the firm merged to form London Midland Scottish Railway Company. This became part of the nationalised British rail in 1948. The railway line closed on 31st March 1962, not quite a hundred years after it opened. The station is now surrounded by a modern residential development called Station Court but is easy to pick out in its yellow brick with red brick patterns. The former Railway Tavern nearby also survives.

Station Court October 2009
Station Court October 2009