Ropley Station
Mid Hants Railway (The Watercress Line)
The Station Master's office at Ropley - 3 Jun 2016 William Slim - Click to enlarge.

This is the Station Master's office which faces high level platform number 2 of 2 at Ropley.

The station, which opened in 1865, is an intermediate station on the 10-mile, four-station route, between Alton and Alresford.

As per other rooms in the station each room is heated by a fireplace typically burning coal.

Notice the signal levers.

They appear to control the points (switches) and signals protecting the station tracks although they are rather small, not the large manually operated levers found in many signal boxes, so they may only simulate a working signal system.

The Station Master's sitting room - 3 Jun 2016 William Slim - Click to enlarge.

This photo shows how a 1950s sitting room may have looked for the Station Master at locations such as Ropley.

Station Masters and their often large families typically lived in a house such as this which would have been part of the Station for which they were responsible.

The area you see here, along with the shop and the rooms above, originally comprised the Station Masters house for Ropley.

In 2004 the long term resident and tenant of this house moved out, having lived here all of his life. His insight into how this station had changed over the years was invaluable in ensuring that it was preserved with sensitivity and accuracy.

This particular area, the sitting room, shows how it may have looked, from the wallpaper and furniture to the little trinkets which the station master might have collected, and of course, his all-important rule book.

The house and station would have been originally lit by oil lamps as electricity only arrived at Ropley in 1955. Heating would have been by open coal fires in all the rooms, both upstairs and downstairs, and of course there was always plenty of coal around a station such as this.

No bathroom was ever provided so all washing was either done at the kitchen sink or in front of the fire in this room in a tin bath which was found hanging up in the cellar when we took over the station house. The water for washing and cooking originally came from a rainwater well near the back door and was hand pumped into a slate tank above the toilet, it was not until 1955 that mains water was connected.

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