From the 'Suffolk Free Press' of Thursday 3 September 1964


Boom days on Stour railway

The fine weather has brought a boom to holiday traffic and Sudbury railway station has been having its busiest summer in years. Last Wednesday's passenger traffic exceeded that of a normal Bank Holiday.

Most of these passengers made their way to Clacton, but large numbers also set off to London for sight seeing visits and trips to the zoo.

Freight traffic receipts are also believed to have gone up sharply.



Further loss in fight for survival?


Passenger link withdrawal

A double blow strikes Haverhill's rail service on Sunday. The last passenger train travels the Audley End branch line and the new winter timetable knocks out all other Sunday services.

In addition to the withdrawal of passenger services from the Bartlow to Audley End line, there will be no trains for seaside excursions or services between Shelford and Melford on Sundays.

This is regarded as a further loss to Haverhill in its fight for the survival of the Stour Valley line, which has been recommended for closure to passenger traffic under the Beeching Plan.

Although the end of excursion trains to the seaside is a normal procedure at this period, Haverhill has had two Sunday trains to and from Audley End in the late afternoon and early evening.


Passengers for these trains have been able to get into the station and book on the train, but in future the station will be completely closed.

As a result of redundancies, retirements and resignations, the staff at the Haverhill Station has been depleted by seven men in recent months.

The last passenger train on the branch line between Haverhill and Audley End will leave Haverhill Station on Sunday night at 7 p.m.

The same train will have travelled up the line starting from Audley End at two minutes past six.


Premier Travel are introducing a new bus service between Haverhill and Audley End in place of the trains. Their timetable, just out, is claimed to be the first in this country on the continental timing system based on the 24-hour clock.


Haverhill rail link goes with a bang


But it was the last one

Two local railwayman were the only people on the platform on Sunday night when the 7 p.m. diesel rail bus pulled out to make the last passenger journey on the branch line between Bartlow and Audley End.

The 56-seater train, however, was crowded with passengers - mostly railway enthusiasts. Some had travelled from London to make the final journey.

British Railways are closing the line for passenger services. Bus services between Haverhill and Audley End are being laid on as a replacement.


As the train was drawing out of Haverhill there were eight loud explosions from detonators and Driver Kenneth Brand gave an extra toot on the whistle.

Guard Ronald Cornell, of Saffron Walden, said the branch line had been busy all day, mostly with passengers taking photographs and seeking souvenirs.

One of the passengers on the last train, Mr Mick Cornish, a Sudbury teacher, who is Saffron Walden's prospective parliamentary Labour candidate said he thought the closure of the line was the 'thin end of the wedge'.


He said the loss of the branch line traffic would make it all the easier for the main Stour Valley line to be closed.

Secretary of the Stour Valley line Preservation Society, Mr Cornish said Mr R. A. Butler M.P. for Saffron Walden had promised to make representations to Mr Marples about the closure of the Bartlow to Audley End line, but he had "noticeably failed to achieve anything".