RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY
Vol. 1, No. 43 ] SATURDAY, 26th.., OCTOBER, 1867 [ Price 1d.
THE LACK OF ACCOMMODATION AT ROUND OAK STATION
Deputation to the Directors of the Great Western Railway Company.
The want of accommodation at Round Oak Station has long been felt in the district, both by passengers and the large manufacturing firms in the locality who are in the habit of daily transmitting large quantities of coal, iron, &c., from this station to various parts of the kingdom. Architecturally speaking, the less said about this station the better. It more resembles a shanty in some backwoods of America than a station on an important line and in a populous and manufacturing neighbourhood. Unfortunately the interior is on a par with the exterior, and passengers are often put to great inconvenience and discomfort, especially in the wet weather, through the lack of anything like reasonable accommodation. It having become known that a party of directors were making a tour of inspection on the line, it occurred to several of the leading firms and manufacturers in the district to memorialise the directors with a view to something being done to increase the accommodation at Round Oak Station. Unfortunately very little notice of the visit of the directors was given, and owing to the limited time, the hastily prepared memorial was only signed by some of the leading firms. Had time, however, permitted, the memorial would have been supported by the names of nearly the whole of the manufacturers, and tradesmen of the town and neighbourhood. The directors arrived at Round Oak Station, on their tour of inspection on Thursday afternoon, when the following memorial was presented to them:-
TO THE DIRECTORS OF THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY. GENTLEMEN,- We avail ourselves of your visit to draw your attention to the bad state of the Round Oak Station, and its unfitness for the wants of the place. We respectfully submit that when it considered that upwards of 200 people pass through it daily the accommodation should be in proportion and adapted to each class of passengers. At present there is no first class or ladies waiting room, and not unfrequently the only room available (and it is very small) is so crowded that many passengers prefer standing outside the station, whatever the nature of the weather, rather than breathe the impure atmosphere. We would respectfully remind you that in our belief the iron, coal and other goods forwarded through the goods station equals, if it does not exceed, in quantity, that from any other station in the West Midland Division, and that each year shows an increase in the traffic. We, therefore, feel sure that you will think with us that the comfort of those who have much to do in a trade which yields largely to the company's income deserves your consideration. We hail as a token of better times, both for the public and the company, that your board has commenced a tour of inspection in this locality. We beg to add that if your intended visit had been known before, this memorial would have been more extensively supported. We ask you to judge the matter rather by the importance of the place, than by the memorial we have now the honour to present. (signed) Cochrane, Grove, & Co., Cochrane & Co., Hill & Smith, Hingley & Smith, Smith & Wood, Hall, Holcroft & Pearson, Westwood & Wrights, Josiah Stone, Rector, Peter Harris, J.L.Holberton, Homfray & Holberton, R.S.Casson, W.Jeffries, Henry Matthews, H.Walker M.D., E.S.Pearse, surgeon.
The deputation consisted of Mr.Wright, Mr.Henry Price, Mr.W.E.Wood, Mr.Holberton, Mr.Jeffries, Mr.Casson. Mr.Frederick Smith introduced the deputation to Sir Daniel Gouch, one of the directors.
that the object of the memorial he had the honour to present was to draw
attention of the directors to the very bad station accommodation at Round
Oak. He felt sure that if they would have the kindness to examine the
station they would pronounce it entirely unfit for this important district.
A few years since Round Oak was little known to the directors or the public,
but so rapid had been the increase in the trade of the place, that he
believed the Company would find by their returns that more iron and coal
was forwarded from this station than from any other on the West Midland
Mr.Wright replied that although it might be kept better, their object was mainly to have it enlarged.
The directors then followed the deputation into the station, and examined each room. They one and all pronounced it unfit for the purpose, and Sir Daniel Gouch informed Mr.Casson that the matter should have their best attention.
Mr.Wood, addressing Mr.Grierson said it would be a great boon to the district if a light goods station were established. At present all light goods had to be carted to and from Brettell Lane at great inconvenience to the inhabitants of Brierley Hill.
Mr.Grierson, in reply, stated that the matter had already been brought before them by Mr.Mills, but that there was difficulty in obtaining a site, but this he hoped soon to overcome.
The deputation after thanking Sir Daniel and the directors then withdrew.