Station / Mistley
Room of the traditional railway station was once a matter of pride for
the staff, that is when stations were staffed. Perhaps an open coke
fire in the hearth or stove in the winter, framed railway company
prints of pleasant scenes one might observe from a railway carriage
(pre-Beeching cuts), a map of the line or regional network, even a pot
plant or vase of flowers cut from the beds beside the platform. Some
stations even boasted separate facilities for gentlemen and ladies.
Manningtree Station, just inside the Essex county boundary with
Suffolk, is much used by commuters these days due to ticket pricing
being lower than nearby Ipswich; a huge car park has been built outside
to accomodate commuters' cars (is this progress?). The station
buildings are still largely intact with entrance hall, ticket office,
platform canopy, very popular bar/buffet, underpass to the island
platforms and so on. The waiting room has indubitably seen better days
with its seating and large battered table, but the fireplace is still
there and the brass fire surround boasts some lettering.
It looks as
though paint has been applied in several coats over time and possibly
the repeated rubbing of shoe soles has bared the logo. Perhaps they
were toasting their toes. The interlaced 'LNER' stands for London
& North Eastern Railway, the company which rebuilt the station.
was originally opened by the Eastern
Union Railway in 1846 but
rebuilt by the Great Eastern Railway in 1899-1901 when the present main
building was designed by W.N. Ashbee. Immediately east of the station
there is a triangle of junctions, known as Manningtree South, North and
East junctions. The main line and the branch connection from London are
double track, but the north to east curve connecting Ipswich with
Harwich is single track. Boat trains run from both directions into
Harwich Parkeston Quay Station timed to connect with sailings.
Leaving the railway and heading down Station Street for Manningtree
itself, one of the first buildings one passes is Skinners (presumably
formerly The Skinner Arms) we find another of the stray 'TOLLY
COBBOLD' signs which crop up around the Ipswich area.
And this one is the furthest away from the brewery that we know of
(albeit it's been obliterated by black paint). For more Tolly
signs see Hadleigh,
Market and Old Felixstowe. See also the Pubs &
Off-licences page and the Tolly Cobbold House
& Brewery pages.
While we're in the area, we found this down the
road (and river) at Mistley Place Park Animal Rescue Centre:
This rusty disk cried out to be included on this
As well as our Ipswich pages, there is a page
the next station down the line towards London.