Wansford Crossroads Demolition (1938)

I believe these are two rare 1938 images showing the demolition of Wansford’s Olde Mermaid Inn to enable the widening/straightening of the Great North Road / Leicester Road crossing.

Train hits Lorry at Wansford Crossing (1938)

At 1:14am in the morning, Yorkshire based Herbert Ashworth crashed his London bound Bowyer & Jackson (Dewsbury) lorry through the fence adjoining the crossing gates and bumped across the lines before bouncing off a concrete wall and rolling the vehicle onto its side across the tracks.

Despite the dramatic impact, the driver was completely unhurt and scrambled out to be confronted by the oncoming 12:40am Peterborough to Birmingham express goods train. He frantically tried to alert and stop the train but driver Fullen and his crew from Saltley impact were unable to stop in time and the impact threw the lorry across the adjoining line before it exploded into flames.

“When I scrambled out after the crash, I ran up the line to stop the approaching train”, said Ashworth, “I had just got beyond the signal box shouting and waving my arms as the train got up to me. I could see the driver braking his engine but he had no chance to pull up”.

Ashworth later claimed that his brakes had completely failed him and he was left with the choice of hitting one of the roadside houses or crashing the fence between the gates and the station.

Despite damage to both tracks and sleepers from the fire, maintenance gangs from Peterborough had the line back open by 5:30am and the undamaged goods train was able to continue its journey having earlier been backed up short of the signal box to wait it out.

Haycock Hotel, Wansford (1960s)

A lovely Walter Scott photograph of the Haycock at Wansford taken some time in the 1960s.

Haycock Hotel, Wansford

Two wonderful old Magic Lantern slides showing the stables/courtyard at the Haycock Hotel in Wansford – date unknown.

Wansford Crossroads

Looking down towards Wansford Bridge from outside the old Mermaid Inn on the right. The AA patrol man was a regular sight at the location as the staggered crossroads either side of him was, in effect, the A1 and A47 !

Wansford (c1908)

Looking north to the river bridge with the Haycock Hotel on the right hand side.


Wansford Station Cottages

A lovely shot of the old cottages that still sit alongside Wansford Station today (2013) and still look just as immaculate !


Steam through Wansford

A superb shot of a steam hauled freight powered by 4-6-0 5MT No.45324 heading west through Wansford Station in 1963.

Many thanks to the Nene Valley Railway museum department for allowing us to use this image.

Wansford – Haycock Stables (1929)

An image from June 1929 of the stabling yard behind the Haycock Hotel in Wansford.

Steam Rollers on Wansford Bridge (1929)

A steam buff’s dream as a number of steam rollers line up on the newly constructed Wansford Bridge in 1929, built to divert the Great North Road around the village and onto the route the A1 takes today.