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Lewes

The original photographs on these pages were taken in the 1960s and 1970s and are from the collection of Glen Woods. Glen is a native of Lewes having been born in Nº45 Mountfield Road, close to the station, the son of a railwayman in a railway house. Glen's father Frank worked in Lewes as a Carriage and Wagon Brake fitter before he transferred to Newhaven. Glen also went on to have a successful career with British Rail. This site was later upgraded to show 'Now and Then' scenes showing how things have changed in the years since the original photographs were taken. These have been postioned immediately after their older counterparts.

All photographs are by Glen Woods unless otherwise stated.

 
Picture of Lewes station in 1976 This shot of the Brighton line platforms was taken from the Mountfield Road bridge in 1976. Top left is the main station building that is in Station Road. On the extreme left are the offices of the newspaper wholesaler Birkbecks, next to it can be seen the sun shade of the station kiosk, then the red door that is the main station entrance with the old style red and concrete telephone boxes and the parcels office. There was a carriage canopy at one time that extended over the inset area from the kiosk to the parcels office. Rarely mentioned is that the station building was extended and this is visible in the different brickwork of the section nearest the camera. This was the cycle store.

Underneath, on platform 4, can be seen the passage way that led to the various offices at platform level. By this time there was a footbridge across the former track bed between platforms 4 and 5. The starting signal for platform 5 was just beyond the end of the ramp. The platform 7 and 8 starter, although by now having SR arms, was of LBSCR origin. Platform 8 was unique in that it was the only platform that was straight! To the right of platform 8 is the siding that was always known as under the wall by railwaymen. Originally there was a connection from this siding, at the end of the platform, to the up Brighton line. The position of the former staff crossing at the end of the platforms can be determined by the cleaner ballast.

 

15th June 2003

Slightly further towards Mountfield Road than the original, due to road widening (see later), and the restored canopy is visible on the top left. The former platform 4 & 5 has been filled in with shingle and the former platform 6 (now platform 3) has been extended towards Brighton. The semaphores have been replaced by colour light signals but the most striking thing is the increase in the foliage, in common with many of the present day views.
Picture of Lewes station in 2003
 
We are going to start our tour proper coming down the line from Keymer Junction, then backtracking a bit to approach from the Brighton lines, and finally going down the lines towards Hastings and Seaford (also formerly Uckfield).
 
Lewes Tunnel 1974 A view of the entrance to the 396 yard Lewes Tunnel at the end of platform 3, the up London line. Originally there was a distant arm on the platform starter and its position can be discerned from the black marks on the post. There were points from both the up and the down lines that gave access to No.1 platform and the Yard. Note the 12 car stop plate affixed to the signal.
Photo taken on 23rd June 1974 from the Southover Road bridge.

 

15th June 2003

The tunnel entrance has been cleared of the ivy and the semaphore replaced with additional equipment in the track associated with modern practice. Note that the rail-built semaphore signal post was retained when the colour light signalling was installed.
Lewes Tunnel 2003
 
looking south east from Southover Road bridge 1974 Also taken from Southover Road bridge but looking in the opposite direction showing (from left to right) platforms 1, 2 and 3. The West box was located where the wooden hut is on the left. On the bridge that carries Station Road over the railway it is possible to discern the canopy supports for platforms 1 and 2 , the canopy used to extend to approximately the position of the near end of the modern bus type shelter. Under this canopy was a starting signal for trains from platform 1 towards London. A single signal repeater is all that remained at that time (23 June 1974) but originally there were three, one for platform 1 and two for platform 2, the additional one on platform 2 repeating the signal that protected the junction from platforms 4/5. The two lines to the Yard used to go through the span to the left of platform 1 (where the yellow lorry is parked) and it is possible to make out the characteristic railway fencing on the dock. Above the bridge the footbridge, linking platforms 1, 2 and 3 with the main station building is visible, as is the commuter entrance/exit which was rarely used in the 1960s but was used as the bus stop for the Southdown bus service (Nº 123) from Lewes to Newhaven. Beyond the commuter entrance the top of the lift shaft can be seen.

 

15th June 2003

Everything up to the former Platform 1 has been covered in tarmac to provide a car park, it even extends beyond the other side of Station Road bridge. A striking feature of Lewes today is the massive steel fences that give the station an 'hostile' aura. Eastwoods Cement Works no longer exists and its ability to replicate the message from the Vatican, that a new Pope has been selected, is missing from the skyline.

looking south east from Southover Road bridge 2003
 
looking north west back towards Southover Road 1974 This view taken from Station Road shows Southover Road bridge. The former loop line to platform 1 has been disconnected and a buffer stop affixed. There used to be two pairs of points that led into the yard in the vicinity of the buffer stop and the ballast to the right of the platform indicates where the lines used to be.The canopy on platform 3 used to extend to approximately half way along the furthest green building to the left of the platform. These green buildings were part of Lewes Cattle Market. (23rd June 1974)
 

17th June 2003

Looking towards the tunnel on the London platforms it is pleasing to note that the former buildings of the cattle market still exist. The signal repeater that was on the far side of the shelter on platform 2 has gone. The car park has been increased in size up to the former platform 1 and foliage, again, has obliterated the view from the buildings on the right hand side.

looking north west back towards Southover Road 2003

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This page was last updated 24 December 2003

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