Woodgate Station


As you sit at the level crossing in Woodgate waiting for the increasing number of trains to pass it is worth remembering that this was originally the main railway station for the area including Bognor Regis. We have to view the period around the 1840s to understand that the town had no railway and the nearest lines were the Ford to Chichester line which opened in June 1846.

For the residents of Bognor a train journey, if they could afford it, would have necessitated the journey to Woodgate to catch the train. Those who were rich enough would have possibly availed themselves of the regular 'fly' service to and from the station (today a taxi) but for the less well off a walk to and from Westergate was the order of the day. Of course the traffic on this country lane would have been very different to today's lorries and heavy transport.

Woodgate Level Crossing

This station was on the single line between Littlehampton and Chichester. Eventually work commenced on a new branch line leaving the main line at Barnham down into Bognor, which was opened on 1st of June 1864, and then the Woodgate station closed along with Yapton station. A newspaper report following the opening of the line in June stated that, "the omnibus journey from Woodgate (to Bognor) was a great drawback, and to accomplish this was more painful than the entire journey from London to Woodgate. Some little inconvenience will be felt by the closing of Yapton and Woodgate stations by those who live in the adjoining villages".

 

Woodgate Level Crossing

Sylvia Endacott
February 2019

©S. Endacott

(Originally published in Villages in Focus, April 2019)


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