Wood End Railway Station
The station serves a select residential area and many of the properties are set in wooded grounds. The entrance is along a passageway next to the house. Minimal station facilities. A request stop.
Wood End is approximately one mile north of Tanworth-in-Arden. Local interest in building a railway began in 1892 when a group of local landowners, including G. F. Muntz of Umberslade and O. Bowen of Ladbrook Park, met to consider the idea. Muntz agreed to the railway passing over his land but insisted that, where it crossed the ‘Mile Drive’ between Tanworth-in-Arden village and Umberslade Hall, the bridge must be constructed of the same stone as that used for the Hall. The bridge, with three elliptical arches, is a local architectural feature of note. Wood End station was situated on Bowen’s land, as was his condition for allowing it to pass.
Many men were employed to work with horses, wheelbarrows, picks and shovels, including steam ‘navvies’ with their own locomotives, used for removing the spoil from the banks and the 160m long Wood End tunnel.
The line was opened to passengers on 1 July 1908 and freight on 9 December 1908. Diesel completely replaced steam in 1968, but the line still enjoys the sight and sound of the ‘Shakespeare Express’ steam train during the summer months operated by Vintage Trains at Tyseley, Birmingham.
A popular local visitor attraction is Umberslade Farm Park, approximately 2 miles from Wood End station. A pleasant footpath (which can get very muddy) across the fields connects Wood End to Tanworth-in-Arden and Umberslade’s ‘Mile Drive’.
Adjacent to the station is The Warwickshire Lad pub, one of two local pubs, the other being The Bell at Tanworth-in-Arden. The village was the filming location for the fictional village, ‘Kings Oak’, from the British TV series ‘Crossroads’.
Former residents include Mike Hailwood (b.1940 – d.1981), a British professional motorcycle racer and also racing driver. Known as ‘Mike The Bike’, he is regarded as one of the greatest racers of all time. A nine-time world champion, he won 76 Grand Prix motorcycle races, including 14 Isle of Man TT victories and four consecutive 500cc World Championships.
Also, Nick Drake (b.1948 – d.1974), an English singer-songwriter and musician known for his acoustic guitar-based songs. His music received little commercial success during his lifetime but has since been widely acclaimed.
Golf course, country walks perhaps even to Tanworth.
Wood End Railway Station, Broad Lane, Tanworth-in-Arden, Solihull B94 5DS