I have received an email recounting the Bromley North of old- I am very much grateful for it.
"I remember as a five year old child lying in bed at night, we lived in Ronalds Road, listening to the shunting in the goods yard. It seemed to go on for hours as the trucks buffers clanged together. That would have been 1948. Sorry, no pics as no money for cameras in those far off days."
Funnily enough I also hear trains in the night- but not buffers, nor freight- just the screeches and electric motor noises as the 'Popper' comes in and out of Bromley North on it's late night runs.
"Amongst my very earliest memories is myself sitting in my pushchair and watching “Edward” as mum used to call the 0-6-0 shunting the coal sidings at Bromley North. Our vantage point was the footbridge at the Grove Park end of the station and sidings. That must have been from very early in the 1950s. And I must have watched the same shunting operations later on as I walked down from home, over that footbridge on my way down to watching the trains at Bromley South. An altogether much more interesting place to me in the late 1950s!"
A C Class at Sheffield Park Station, the type which shunted at Bromley North in the 50s. Displayed with Kind Permission from S.Lofting.
The above passage comes from Bryan Benn, whom I have been in contact with recently. Although the C Class was no longer there when he got his first camera, the memory serves well as a reminder of what used to be, at Bromley North and many other locations. Thanks go to him.
Bromley North Station 50 years ago, taken by Ben Brooksbank.
I have just received a kind email from Ben Brooksbank informing me that I can use his 1961 photograph of Bromley North Station, which is of course displayed above. This will be the first entry into the 'historical gallery' (coming soon) and a hope it will be joined by more photos which will help us to understand the branch as it was.
A few notes on the photograph-
It was taken on the footbridge that spans the station throat, the same from which I took my photos many years later, the amount of tracks explains 'the mystery of the unnecessary extraordinary long footbridge' which I was confronted with when I first moved to the area. Of coarse I found out through facts first but the photograph displays the answer so much better than words can.
Taken from the footbridge 50 years later in 2011 the photograph is inevitably taken to the left of the 1961 one because there is no long a goods yard.
As you can see much has changed, the goods yard was lifted in 1968 and is now a car park and small bus stabling area, in the 2011 photograph it is hidden by the trees. The EMU stabling siding (between the track between the Platform with a train in it and another EMU) was retained until it too was lifted in 1975. There are wagons in a siding as well as 2 EMUs stabled. In the extensive goods yard a steam locomotive could often be seen shunting the wagons as the right three sidings were not electrified.
Also note the semaphore signals and the new signaless gantry, the signals would be installed for the 1976 london bridge resignalling scheme, which would render the semaphores redundant resulting in their removal.
I hope to be putting more images into the historical gallery in the future.