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 Station in the Sixties

Looking back towards Wansford Station from the level crossing in the 1960s, just ahead of the line’s closure and a little longer before the site was expanded to become today’s home of the Nene Valley Railway.

Wansford Bypass

The newly opened Wansford bypass c.1929 with the old exit point from Wansford for the Great North Road still in use on the left of the image. The “art-deco” white building is the “New Mermaid Inn” which was a less than appropriate replacement for the “Old Mermaid Inn” that had previously sat in the village at the crossroads of the Great North Road and the Leicester Road (A47) before being demolished in order to straighten the staggered junction.

The “New Mermaid” saw life as a Little Chef until recently but now, in 2012, is a sorry and derelict site and sadly looking to be in its last years of existance.

Around thirty years later in the 1950s, the photographer’s son Dennis Thompson sits astride his motorbike on virtually the same spot as the image above.

This image, also from the late 1950s, is looking north over the new bridge crossing the Nene.

Images courtesy of Marcus Thompson from the Harold Burleigh Thompson collection

Colliers Garage, Wansford (1925)

Looking along the Great North Road in Wansford with the Haycock Hotel on the far right and Collier’s Garage in the distant left just before the bridge. The sign on the left says “Colliers Garage, Automobile Engineers & Agents” and, at the bottom, it advertises “Clincher Tyres” which found favour with motorists in the 1897-1925 period.

The garage buildings were demolished in 1993 with new terraced properties erected on the site ten years later.

Image courtesy of Marcus Thompson from the Harold Burleigh Thompson collection

Paper Mills, Wansford (1925)

Standing on the Great North Road as it swings right into Wansford with the Paper Mills in the background right. The image below is a Google maps street view from a similar position in 2012.

Marcus Thompson adds, “The event taking place was a cycle race called the Oak Tandem 100. As the name suggests, it was a 100 mile race where the bikes in question were Oak tandems ! I have been informed by my Father, who is now 80 and used to be in Peterborough Cycle Club in his twenties, that Wansford was the probable turn around point for the bikes, so the starting place was maybe Stevenage or somewhere close by as these races were run up the Great North Road. You can see a tandem in the picture in front of the Paper Mills Pub”.

Image courtesy of Marcus Thompson from the Harold Burleigh Thompson collection

Wansford – early 1900s

A classic rural view of Wansford with the old post office to the left. Although road traffic was primarily horse-drawn at this time, this was actually the Great North Road which twenty years later became busy enough to be diverted around the village.

Wansford Crossroads

Looking west to east along the old A47 Leicester Road where it crossed the Great North Road. This staggered junction was straightened via the demolition of the Old Mermaid Inn (out of shot near left) but became less significant when the A1 bypass was built, following today’s route.