LIPHOOK STATION-Historical Notes

Oddments of history of the station and the people who have worked there.
It’s role in peace, through two World Wars, nationalisation & privatisation.

I will be adding what photos I already have on file of the station and its history.
Most of the material was gathered from research for a talk I gave some years ago to the Local History Group of Liphook U3A, of which I was leader at the time.
Please contact me if you have any relevant material that I could copy , put on the page & return to you

This page was set up in 2014 as a Google+ page  as part of the Liphook & District Model Railway club’s 50th Birthday celebrations and was transferred to this website from April 2016, where it has remained,  after the club content was  transferred away from this site, in February 2017.

Cover photo
Picture taken at Liphook Station 21-06-2009 Tornado heading north  on the up line at speed.
Picture by Andrew Bettger


Thomas Edmondson invented the card ticket, & the associated storage, dating, numbering & accounting system, whilst working for the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway as a stationmaster & by 1843 it was being used by 27 English railway companies & on some mainland European railways.
The Edmondson ticket became the de-facto world standard & was in use for approximately 150 years, only being supplanted in the UK with the introduction of computer operated ticket machines (APTIS) in the late 1980’s. 

W. H. Smith opens the first railway bookstall 
Terminus of London & Southampton Railway (later called London & South Western Railway) moved from Nine Elms to Waterloo, the current site, but not the current building.

Portsmouth Railway Co makes proposal for railway to be operated on “atmospheric” principle.

Act of Parliament Incorporated 8th July for a line from the Godalming station of South Western to Havant junction with the London & Brighton & the Fareham extension of the London & South Western and direct to Portsmouth. Length 32 ¼ miles

1855 to 1858
Construction of Portsmouth Line, by the contractor, Thomas Brassey, as a speculative venture.
1st January. Portsmouth line opens, including LIPHOOK station.
Leased & operated by L&SWR. Dispute with L&BSCR at Havant.



Brother Townsmen,

Will you tamely submit to be crushed by the great Juggernaut, the South Western Railway Company?

Will you for ever betray your own Interests by supine Indolence, now when Victory is almost within your reach? – Listen not to the coaxing of the friends of all the all-monopolizing Dictators; believe not their idle reports; attend, hear all parties, judge for yourselves.

Bestir yourselves, and like a Lion roused from his slumbers, show an early attendance THIS EVENING, in the Society Hall, that you prize the Interests of your fellow Townsmen, your Families, and the lasting prosperity of your Neighbourhood, by supporting

A Cheap and Independent Line of Railway.

MONDAY, Jan. 19th, 1846


SOURCE:  South Western Circular Oct 1993 Front Cover (Printing Style not exact to original)


Thomas Brassey- a possible Obituary
Catsfield Sussex
There is perhaps hardly a developed country in the world, which does not owe something of its progress to Thomas Brassey. The energy, character, and probity of six centuries of yeoman ancestry burst into flower in his career. He was born at Buerton, Cheshire, into a world, which travelled by coach and wagon; before he died he had seamed half the world with railways. He began by constructing the Grand Junction railway, and at a bound had three thousand men under him on the four million pounds undertaking that brought the line to London. Extending his operations north, south, east and west, he crossed the Channel, to give France her railway between Paris and Rouen, and soon had five other railways proceeding there simultaneously.From the outset he set a high standard in material and workmanship, employed the best men, and paid high wages. In France, however, in spite of his passionate protests, inferior methods and material for the great Barentin viaduct of 27 arches led to a collapse of the structure. The highest legal opinion in France was unanimous that he was exempt from liability, but Brassey, proud, sensitive, and conscientious, shouldered the responsibility at a cost of £37,000 to his own pocket.All Europe clamoured for Thomas Brassey, and he responded with railways in France, Italy, Holland, Prussia, Spain, and Austria. Speaking no tongue but English, he found foreign intercourse no impediment. He was a superb diplomatist, equally at ease and trusted by the heads of States as by the armies of workmen who worshipped him. So great was the confidence reposed in him that he was permitted to complete his railway in Austria while war with that country was in progress.Still his capacity and generous ambition were in exhausted. He extended his operations to India, Australia, and Canada, where (greatest of all his works) he built the Grand Trunk Railway. At home he was responsible for great feeders for his enterprises abroad, docks, mines, ironworks, all busy and important, and in themselves sufficient to tax the resources of an ordinary man, but with him subsidiary to the building of his railways for the outer world.His motto was punctuality, with efficient workmanship and good durable material. Immense profits accrued from enterprises so vast and various, but he continued a modest man, unspoiled by prosperity. He had 75,000 men at a time under his control, men of all nationalities, and he handled them with such solicitous fairness and goodwill that they served him with fervour and loyalty. 

We must count him a very great Englishman.


Troubles at Havant Junction

The Portsmouth line joined the London Brighton & South Coast Railway at Havant to gain access to Portsmouth. Although “running powers” had been granted, subject to arbitration, the L&SWR as operators of the line were continually rebuffed by the Brighton & decided to take the law into their own hands. They intended to force their way to Portsmouth.

The following excerpt is from The South Western Railway by Hamilton Ellis, published by George Allen & Unwin 1956

“Archibold Scott, the South Western general manager, went down with the adventuring goods train, taking a large number of navies & (Railway) policemen armed with cudgels & truncheons….

The Brighton company also had a navvy army ready, some rails lifted & its engine no 99….. chained to the diamond crossing at the Junction.
Scott captured the engine & had it run out of the way, but the Brighton defenders then tore up more rails, there was a battle between the navvies & after a campaign lasting upwards of two hours, the South Western train had to retire with the defeated, or at least, to make a strategic withdrawal, to Godalming. 

Further, the Brighton took out an injunction against the South Western for trespass.
……it was not until January 24th 1860 that following arbitration…….a South Western train reached Portsmouth via Godalming.”

There then followed what Hamilton Ellis called a “knife fight” with rates slashed & the Brighton company even running a paddle-steamer service from Portsmouth to Southampton to take passengers from the South Western’s services.

“In the end, the old working agreement of one & two thirds was resumed.”


At Opening– London & South Western Railway
1914-1923 -L&SWR under government direction (as were all railway companies)
1923 to December 1947–  Grouping-Southern Railway (under government direction throughout WW2 )
1948                 British Railways (Southern Region) (Nationalisation)
1986-1994    British Railways Network South East  NSE
                           BR sectorisation- South West Line
1st April 19942002 Railtrack/  South West Trains
2002 to 20th August 2017  Network Rail/ South West Trains
From 21st August 2017 Network Rail/South Western Railway


Timber-work- possibly light buff
From 1890
Three shades of brown, a combination of either pinkish buff  & pale stone or Pinkish Buff & Dark Brown
Canopy sides were often striped alternatively with these colours
(Pictures of Liphook from this period suggest this)

Grouping-Southern Railway – from 1923
Timber-work- Cream (stone)
Metalwork/Structural Steel-work- Light & Dark Green
Doors & metal lamp-posts – Dark Green
Signs- lettering white on green background & SR “target”

Nationalisation- British Railways- from 1948
Unchanged from SR
Signs alphabet Gill Sans –white on green background (slightly lighter green than SR.)
BR “sausage” totem replaces SR target

Colours to match the Architecture- British Rail- 1970’s
In an effort to get away from region colours the BRB Design panel instituted a range of colours that could be chosen to match the particular architecture of the station to be repainted.
Has anybody colour photos of the station at this time?
Signs were changed using a special transport alphabet in black on white background

British Rail-Network South East  June 1986-1994
Lamp-posts, digital clocks- red, other colours white & blue, but mainly applied to signage. NSE logo to station name signs and rolling stock. Main “running in” station boards wording Welcome to…

Liphook also had a special sign indicating it was in Hampshire (on the down line platform only)

Franchise South West Trains (Stagecoach)1994-20th August 2017

 Franchise- South Western Railway from 21st August 2017


From opening to a new century 
1859 Station opened
Title: Station Master
Railway described as Portsmouth & London Direct Railway “Trains several times a day to Portsmouth & London etc”
Source: Whites Directory of Hampshire & Isle of Wight 1859
Title: Railway Station Master
Source: Harrod & Cos. Directory of Hampshire & Isle of Wight 1865
1874 to at least 1891 (possibly later)
Horatio L. TAYLOR
Title: Station Master
Railway described as London & Portsmouth Direct Line
Source: Post Office Directory of Hampshire, Wiltshire & Dorset 1875
Horatio was still Station Master in the returns for the 1881 & the 1891 Census, but is probably dead by 1901
He was born in Portsmouth in 1845 & appears to have worked in Devon, possibly on the railway, where he met & married his wife Ann in about 1868. They had 2 children born in Exeter in 1869 & 1870; both daughters. They appear to have moved to Basingstoke, where they had a further child in 1872, a son Horatio Jnr. By 1874 they were in Liphook (where they had 3 further children in 1874, 1876, & 1878.)
At the time of the Census in 1881 they all lived in the Station Masters House, which is over the booking hall & office, together with Ann’s father, a nephew from Devon & a Lodger who was a Railway Clerk. That makes 11 people in 6 rooms! 
By 1901 his sons Horatio &William were working on the railway; Horatio Jnr as a railway clerk at Walton on Thames & William as an Engine Driver at Portsmouth; another son Christopher was a delivery agent for the railway company at Liphook. The lodger had become a Station Master himself at Brentford Middx.
Source: FHL Film 1341303 PRO ref RG11 piece 1241 Folio 64 Page 17
1898 to at least 1901
Title: Station Master
Source: Kellys Directory of Hampshire & Isle of Wight 1898-gives his name as Broadbent but checking of census returns gives his name as Broadbank.
He was born in 1861 in Gosport & by 1881 is lodging with a bailiff & his family in Suninghill in Berkshire & is unmarried & a clerk- (could be Railway) The Bailiff has a 13 year old daughter.
In the 1891 census he is living in Brighton Road Kingston is 30 years old, a Railway Booking Clerk & is married to a 23-year-old Elizabeth with a daughter, 1 year old. (His wife may be the daughter of the bailiff)
In 1901 he is recorded as living at the Railway Station with his wife & now two daughters aged 11 & 7. The youngest daughter was born in Surbiton in 1894, therefore unlikely that William Broadbank was at Liphook then.
Sources; 1881 Census RG11: 1891 Census RG 12/612: 1901 Census RG13/1094

1911 to at least 1915 

William STACEY 

Title: Station Master

William was born in Isleworth in Middlesex in 1863. He was previously a railway clerk at Okehampton,  and a station master in Wiltshire. He is recorded in the 1901 census as living in Idmiston with his family of wife Mary Ann, born Brighly Devon in 1864 and son William aged 8. The nearest L&SWR station was Porton on the Basingstoke- Salisbury line, so it is assumed he was station master there.  Whilst he was stationmaster at Liphook, the couples only child William Marks Stacey, born  Okehampton Devon 1883, was killed in action at Givenchy Flanders, on the 16th June 1915 aged 22. In civilian life he was a photographers assistant.

Locally it is believed that the stationmaster moved, at his request, to another smaller/less busy station. At this time Liphook was dealing with large amounts of troops from Canada on their way to and from France via Bramshott Camp 

In the 1911 census the station masters house is described as 6 rooms

Source 1891 Census- Okehampton; 1901 Census-Amesbury- Idmiston; 1911 Census – Liphook; War records; Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Transcription (Details placed on Liphook Nostalgia Facebook page 17-04-2018)


 Godalming (New) to Witley  1st June 1875

Witley to Haslemere 2nd October 1876

Haslemere to Liphook  1st January 1877

Liphook to Liss   9th July 1877
From Liss through Petersfield and on to Rowlands Castle 1st April 1878
Rowlands Castle to Havant 1st March 1878
Source: Dates from South Western Circular  Volume 17 No.6 April 2017 – Early Signalling of the  Portsmouth Line up to 1900 by Graham Bowring


The signal box, Type 2 (possibly the first of its type) which was opened on 1st January 1877, following the doubling of the line from Haslemere, still survives about a mile or so east of the station at Hollycombe where it still is in use as a signal box, but this time as part of the Hollycombe steam collection’s standard gauge light railway.
A similar type of box probably opened at Liss on the 1st March 1878
Source- Box opening dates and types as per track doubling dates


“Upper quadrant” signals were first introduced onto former L&SWR routes at Liphook on Sunday 25th March 1928

Apparently no further conversion dates are recorded on “Signalling Notices” to train crew.

It also appears that about the same time distant signals generally were changed from red arms, to the now familiar yellow arm with black chevrons. The spectacle colours were changed to yellow and green (from red and green).

The description of a yellow distant signal, with arm in the horizontal position was referred to as being “at caution” rather than “at danger” as previously.

Source: South Western Circle Monograph on the L&SWR use of low pressure pneumatic signalling by Stuart Isbister


Farnham, Haslemere & Hindhead Herald  1914.

In those days the newspaper was published on a Saturday, as were most weekly publications.

January 3rd 1914

G Gauntlett & SON
Coal & Coke Merchants
Cartage Contractors
Oldest Established Firm of
Coal Merchants in District.

Special Quotations for Truck Loads
Pantechnicon & covered trollies & Vans
For Furniture Removals
Enquiries Invited- Estimates Free
Furniture Stored

January 17th 1914

TEETHAmerican Dental Co. Liphook near the station every Tuesday. Petersfield- 19 Lavant St. every Friday & Market Wednesday
Southsea- 1 Palmerston Rd.

Converted into flats circa 2012
An upstairs room was used as the local cinema in the early days of silent movies.



Some facts on traffic through Liphook in the build up to WW1 
1914 This is an excerpt from the public timetable from 7th June 1914 until 30th September 1914.The First World War started during the duration of this timetable
(Britain declared War on Germany 4th August 1914 after Germany invaded Belgium)
The L&SWR timetable, which ran to 171 pages plus colour printed map & cover, was priced at two pence. Printed by Waterlow & Sons, who continued to print posters, leaflets & timetables for the Southern Railway & British Railways- Southern Region for another 60 years or so.
The Liphook service is listed between pages 82 & 87 under the heading of London, Epsom, Leatherhead, Guildford, Petersfield, Midhurst & Portsmouth.
There is a timetable for Weekdays & Sundays, with no special service on Saturday, as at this time, it was a normal working day.
Week-days. Up Trains -Morning
Liphook 8.02am 8.58am 9.58am 11.17am 12.20pm 1.20pm
Waterloo 9.34am 10.40am 11.33am 1.12pm 2.25pm 3.42pm
Week-days. Down Trains-Morning
Station Saturdays only Starts July
Liphook 6.51 am 7.35 am
to Petersfield only 8.20 am 8.51 am 10.49 am 12.04 pm
to Petersfield only
Portsmouth Town 7.52 am 9.21 am 9.50 am 11.49 am
All trains to Portsmouth Town go onwards to Portsmouth Harbour with connections to Ryde Pier Head (Ship)
(The trains to Petersfield only provided connections to Midhurst branch line trains)
Source: L&SWR Timetable for Summer 1914 Reprinted by Ian Allan 1967



In the period prior to & after this date the Southern Railway was running in excess of 1,000 special trains a week.These were almost equally split between troop trains & war material trains.

The local area was a giant holding area for troops & equipment in the months of build up to the invasion of Europe.

D-DAY 6th JUNE 1944.

The Mulberry harbour system was constructed in Southampton Docks.

At Micheldever, the country station that in 1937 was served by one freight train in each direction per day, ended up with seventeen sidings; an Ordnance Emergency Depot, staffed by
between 1,000 & 2,000 soldiers & a shed over 2000 ft long.
Urgent orders for war supplies for dispatch to France, received one afternoon were dispatched on the next morning’s 4am freight train to Southampton Docks & direct onto specially adapted ships with ferry type loading doors.

At LIPHOOK an Ordnance Supply unit was constructed during 1944 & connected to the Liphook station yard in the weeks following D-Day- 6th June 1944 (Connected 16th June 1944)
I currently have no information on the number of trains arriving or departing per day during the war period.

Source War on the Line by Bernard Darwin Southern Railway 1946


Sunday 30th May 1965
Royal Train  from Portsmouth Harbour to Waterloo formed of
Electric Loco 20002
Pullman Car Isle of Thanet (Brake leading) for Railway Officers
Pullman Car Aquila (Kitchen leading) -For HM The Queen
Pullman Car  Lydia (Kitchen trailing)- For Royal Household
Pullman car No.208 (Brake trailing) for Household Staff
WR Gangwayed Bogie Van No.80714.
Timed to depart from Portsmouth Harbour  Platform 1 at 14.30
Timed to pass Petersfield at 1500 & Haslemere at 15.15
Arrival at Waterloo Platform 11 at 16.10.
Train was to be crewed by Driver A.J.Mills, Second Man, A. Goodall. and Guard W.H.Horwill
Inspector A.G.Pay will travel with the Royal Train and must enter in his report the number of persons (other than Railway Officers) who travel.
Empty Workings
There was an empty train working  from
Stewarts Lane at 06.40
to Fratton timed to arrive at 08.57
This worked forward to Portsmouth Harbour at 13.00 to arrive at Portsmouth Harbour at  13.10.
There was also an empty train working from Waterloo  timed to depart at 16.30 to arrive at Stewarts
Lane at 16.57.
No details of the assisting locos required at Waterloo & Portsmouth Harbour as I do not believe there were any run round facilities at either station.
Standby Loco
A standby loco was arranged for positioning at Guildford- West Country Class No 34001 between 15.00 & 16.00 (This would of course be fully steamed and crewed ready to go if there was a failure of the booked loco).
Special opening of boxes
Rowlands Castle, Buriton, Liphook & Esher  were to be specially opened for the passage of the Royal Train and to “remain open until the “Train out of Section” signal has been received.
Information from BR Southern Region Special Working Instructions Notice no 43 AGM 1965 issued by  SD WARD Assistant General Manager 20th May 1965


One of the most well known railway crimes associated with Liphook is the assault of Rebecca Kate Dickinson by  Colonel Valentine Baker, who got into her 1st class compartment at Liphook on the 17th June 1875. The assault took place after the train left Woking.
Unable to get the passenger alarm chord to work, she resorted to opening the carriage door  and moving along the exterior foot-board,  to an adjoining compartment, to avoid the advances of Baker. The train was travelling at between 40 & 45 m.p.h. at the time. The train was finally stopped at Esher after lineside workers at Walton saw her hanging on and  by telegraphing ahead, got the train stopped.
The lady was travelling to Switzerland from Midhurst and had changed trains at Petersfield.
Baker was found not guilty of attempted rape, but guilty to indecent assault; fined £500 (equivalent to over £40,000 today) sentenced to 1 year in prison – without hard labour.
Queen Victoria is reported to have been upset and Baker was thrown out of the Army without the option of quietly resigning- the usual course at that time for an “officer & gentleman”!!
Source: A much fuller report is given in the South Western Circular, Volume 17 No.7  dated July 2017-the magazine of the South Western Circle – a well respected  UK railway historical society. The article also gives details of other serious crimes on the LSWR, including the “first murder of a woman on a British train” in 1897

  Station footbridge  linking down line platform to Up line platform installed in approximately 1910 using steel & timber construction to design used by L&SWR throughout its system at this period
June 2020 Planning permission submission to East Hants District Council by Network Rail to construct new footbridge and lifts further (southwards) from upside station buildings. Removal of existing footbridge to follow handover of new structure.
From the plans submitted it appears that clearances above rails allows for installation of overhead electrical structures.This is a current Network Rail standard. 
Sept 2021 Liphook Herald announced new footbridge was in use but the lift installation was continuing. See Liphook Community Magazine for a fine set of construction photos. The old footbridge was reported removed.

For  broader but less detailed items on historical items on the railways of Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex , but can extend to cover Southern Railway territory generally-see my Facebook Page –