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Cooksbridge

The name Cooksbridge has an interesting and original derivation as it purports to refer to the cooks who fed Simon de Montfort's army at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, although there is no definitve evidence of this! Before the railway arrived in October 1847 Cooksbridge was just a small, sleepy, rural village whose sole industry was farming. This soon changed as the arrival of the railway led to the growth of a new settlement around the station area. Today though, the village is probably best known for the world famous McBean's Orchid Nursery which was established there in 1879.
The station's heyday came and went and today it is just a sleepy station clinging on to it's existence with a minimal train service, and is only manned for a short while each weekday morning.
 
Cooksbridge The platform side of the main station building, the front of which was obscured by scaffolding when these photographs were taken. Unlike neighbouring Plumpton, much use of the station building has been made for commercial purposes with a fair sized convenience store taking a lot of it. As with Plumpton, the buildings are on the down side of the station.

photograph by Peter Richards

 
Further along the down platform a large timber yard can be seen where once there were sidings.

photograph by Peter Richards

Cooksbridge
 
Cooksbridge The platform shelter that was provided for the use of travellers waiting on the up platform. Although the fabric of the building is in a good state of repair, it is basically just a shell and does not even have any glass in the windows.

photograph by Peter Richards

 
Inside the shelter can be seen a glimpse of what the building once was, with a substantial fireplace that would have kept waiting passengers warm on cold winter days. Alas, today they have little to protect them from the elements!

photograph by Peter Richards

Cooksbridge
 
Cooksbridge The old Signalbox that served Cooksbridge so well for some 110 years. A Saxby & Farmer design that dates back to 1872, it was erected at Cooksbridge circa 1875 and was abolished on 13th February 1985 when control of the station's signalling passed to Lewes. When opened the 'box had a 14 lever frame which increased in size over the years to 21 levers.

See a more recent photograph of this 'box.

photograph reproduced from The Signalbox web site by kind permission of John Hinson

 
The station is adjacent to the busy A275 road which connects Lewes with East Grinstead. The level crossing is busy as although not many trains stop at Cooksbridge, there are many that pass through non-stop. In this photograph the barriers have just started to drop. Note that the left hand one (for the road) drops first.

photograph by Peter Richards

Cooksbridge
 
Cooksbridge With the barriers safely down 4 Cig 1848 hurries across the level crossing and through the station with the 10:00 am Eastbourne - Victoria service, not calling at Cooksbridge, on Saturday, 22nd May 2004.

photograph by Peter Richards

 
The train has cleared the station so the barriers rise again to allow the passage of the traffic on the A275.

photograph by Peter Richards

Cooksbridge

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This page was last updated 12 January 2005

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