Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Handy at Sandy (1)

Sandy is a small market town in South Bedfordshire. It was situated on the A1 Great North Road (now with a bit of bypass) and on the East Coast mainline that runs from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh.
The other railway line shown on the old map is that from Bletchley via Bedford St Johns to Cambridge, operated by the London and North Western Railway. The LNWR station was alongside the main line LNER facility and the two were joined together but originally with separate buildings.
The LNWR crossed over to the north of the station on a girder flyover, long gone. but the curve of the line is still recogniseable in the shape of the housing that used to butt up to the railway fence.
The turn off towards Cambridge is even less well defined.
There are proposals to reopen the "Varsity Line" but the route is unlikely to be via Sandy as there is now a large Secondary school and a lot of housing blocking the route towards Bedford, which curved from bottom right ...
... to top left in the above aerial view.

The present station occupies the former LNER premises although the erstwhile station master's house is permanently boarded up.
The business end of the station is attached and "next door".
There is a substantial car park ...
... and an unimposing bus stop and shelter ...
... which has the dubious benefit of electronic departure display.

Sandy has a Thameslink train every 30 minutes (Mon to Sat - hourly Sun), namely a stopping service from Peterborough ...
... via St Pancras (low level platforms), London Bridge and Gatport Airwick, terminating at Horsham.

A little further along the road is Tesco ...
... with a bus layby and a superior bus stop flag.
Just past the hallowed premises of the late Jolly Jack Cohen is a small but beautifully formed turning facility for buses.
As there is no stop "opp" Tesco, we can reasonably assume that buses of some sort turn there and wend their way back to the town's centre stop which is in the Market Place.
One of Sandy's main claims to fame is contiguous with the eastern boundary of the railway in the station area. The headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds operates from "The Lodge" ...
... a rather splendid edifice just off   the Potton Road.
The main entrance is at the lodge ...
... to the Lodge, easily walkable from the station, exiting from the up side platform.
This is not the upside-down platform but the departure point for London- and Horsham- bound trains.

This is the side where the LNWR station buildings once stood. They were  more grand than those of the main line L N E R (L N W R on the right below)!

Tomorrow we look at the buses in their more recent manifestations.

Control Tower
As the disgraced Rolf Harris would often say ...
... "Do you know what it is yet?"

And A Very Happy Ending
fbb delivered his two busted three-way points to Peco at their Beer HQ by hand on Thursday, last. In view of the exigencies of the current situation, the old bloke was not expecting a quick reply.

But through the fbb mansions letterbox yesterday courtesy of Her Majesty's Royal Mail came a well wrapped package consisting of ...
... two three-way points with new over-centre springs in all four places, all contacts cleaned and electrical continuity tested.
Note the veiled reproach in the first sentence; which fbb was expecting.

Where is that jar of vaseline? And what will fbb do with the second three-way point? Does a loco parking area beckon?

Thanks to "AB" at Peco for really outstanding customer service.

 Next Handy at Sandy bog : Wednesday 8th July 

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