1935 was the Great Western Railway’s centenary and, on 29th June of that year, the company opened a halt at Rowton, about 5¾-route-miles northwest of Wellington, Shropshire. The station was situated upon the double-track line linking the latter with Nantwich, which was 26-route-miles in length and had originally opened in two stages: Nantwich to Market Drayton (eleven miles long) on Monday, 18th October 1863; Market Drayton to Wellington (fifteen miles long) on Wednesday, 16th October 1867.
A NEW HALT
The Great Western Railway announce that a new halt at Rowton, near Welllington (Salop), is to be opened on Saturday, June 29th. The halt will be served by all the local “up” and “down” week-day and Sunday trains between Crudgington and Ellerdine, and the usual cheap fares will be in operation, particulars of which are given on a handbill issued locally. [The Chronicle (Crewe), Saturday, 29th June 1935]
Rowton Halt comprised two platforms situated either side of the double-track. These were formed from mounds of earth, and their track-facing elevations were of timber construction. Each platform was host to a timber-built waiting shelter which, as the below photograph shows, were of generous proportions given how minor a stop this was. Passengers crossed the line by means of a road bridge, situated above the tracks immediately north of the platforms.
In summer 1963, the withdrawal of passenger services between Crewe and Wellington (Shropshire) was advertised by British Railways’ London Midland Region in local newspapers. Thirteen stations — including Rowton Halt — were to close to passengers; six of these would retain freight facilities. The route had already been under consideration for closure prior to the infamous The Reshaping of British Railways report published in March 1963. On and from Monday, 9th September 1963, passenger services between Crewe and Wellington via Market Drayton ceased to run. As part of the closure notice, BR remarked that alternative bus services were already provided by the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Co. Ltd, Crosville Motor Services Ltd, and the Potteries Motor Traction Co. Ltd.
The line between Nantwich and Wellington closed completely on and from 1st May 1967, when freight traffic was withdrawn from Market Drayton. It was reported in The Crewe Chronicle on Thursday, 27th April 1967, that the seventeen wages staff affected by the closure had been given the option of jobs at Stoke, Nantwich, and Whitchurch, or redundancy standard resettlement payments. Three clerical staff were also to move to nearby stations.
10th April 1957
The timber faces and edging of the halt's platforms are obvious in this southward view towards Wellington, which also includes the commodious waiting shelters. No platform lighting is in evidence, although the posts look as though portable lamps could be hooked on.
© David Glasspool Collection