Havenhouse

by Jason Liversidge

Havenhouse station, lies between Wainfleet and Skegness on what is now known as the Poacher Line. It was opened by the Wainfleet and Firsby Railway Company on the 28th of July, 1873, and was originally called Croft Bank. Initially it had a single platform that was composed of red brick, a small sliver of this original platform can still be seen just above the level of the ballast. The station was renamed and enlarged. The original platform was rebuilt, and a second platform and waiting room when the lines were doubled on 1st October 1900.

The area was, and is, sparsely populated, so the station’s main role was supplying equipment to the farms in the locality and taking produce to market. While there was a siding available for loading and unloading from the beginning, in 1927 this was expanded with a 3′ narrow gauge railway. This potato railway connected the station with Worth Farm’s fields and yard, and aided with the shipment out of potatoes, hay, corn and straw while bringing in seed potatoes and manure.

Havenhouse, known then as Croft Bank, before 1900
Havenhouse, known then as Croft Bank, shown before the line was doubled in 1900.

The station itself was built to the same design as the one at Seacroft and the design of the waiting room, which is still in use, was repeated at Wainfleet, Thorpe Culvert and Seacroft. There was a small signal box on the platform to Skegness which was operated by two signalmen.

The station lost its goods yard on 15th June 1964, the narrow gauge potato railway was removed around 1968, and, except for the signalbox, it became unstaffed on 7th October 1968. The signalbox has since been demolished, the gates removed, and the semaphore signal replaced by a light signal. All of the other brick-built structures remain and are in good condition.

Havenhouse is now one of the least used stations in the country. 106 journeys originated from the station in 2016/17, half the number that were made in 2012/13.

More Information

Websites

Books

  • Railways to Skegness including Kirkstead to Little Steeping, A.J.Ludlum, Oakwood Press
  • Firsby to Wainfleet & Skegness, Walker, Stephen, KMS Books
  • Trains to the Lincolnshire Seaside Volume 2 Skegness, A.J.Ludlum, Lincolnshire Wolds Railway Society
  • Lincolnshire Potato Railways (The) (Revised edition), Squires, Stewart, Oakwood
  • Branch Lines to Skegness and Mablethorpe, also Spilsby and Coningsby, Mitchell, Vic and Smith, Kevin, Middleton Press

Photo Collection

The Society is currently organising and uploading its photograph collection. The locomotive galleries are already available, and work has started on the stations.

New galleries will be announced in the forum as they are made available, so please check from time to time.

Use the search box below to find photos taken at or near this station.

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Header photo: Havenhouse Station taken in August 1959, photographer unknown.