Station Masters’ House

We are indebted to Colin Roberts for some of the following details about the railway branch line that ran from Yate to Thornbury.

The photograph above shows the house that the station master occupied in Thornbury.  During the period of about 90 years in which this line operated there were only six station masters in Thornbury:


James Brant was officially appointed Station Master on 18th February 1873 after doing the job for about six months.  He was paid £110 per year at first.  On the 19th July 1875 James’s daughter, Mary Jane married Charles Herbert Hicking from Tewksbury at Thornbury Methodist  Chapel.   The marriage certificate shows James was a station master.  The 1881 Census shows that the Station Master, James Brant was then aged 54 and was born in Manchester.   Living with him were his wife, Mary Ann, his daughter Catherine and his grandson, Thomas Hicking.  Mr Brant retired on 31st December 1887 and was living in Mangotsfield by 1901.

Charles Radcliffe Cooper.  16th February 1889 to March 1921.  Mr Cooper’s long service in Thornbury was commemorated in the name of Coopers Way in Thornbury. Read more

Philip John Cooper.  March  1921 to June 18th 1937.  Philip Cooper entered railway service in 1892 as a clerk under his father.  In 1894 he went to Montpelier, Bristol, and then to Leicester, Worcester (around 1901) and then Cheltenham.  While at Cheltenham served with the forces during WW1.  Read more about him

Ron Davis leaves Cottage web

Ron Davis leaves the Station Master’s House

Frederick Frank Loach.  From June 18th 1937 to about June 1941.  Frederick was formerly the relief clerk at Blandford, Dorset.  Frederick  Frank Loach was born in the Kings Norton area on 16th October 1908.  In 1933 he married Marion Ellen Lee in the Birmingham area.

The register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war shows that Sydney E. Loach, an omnibus driver born on 6th December 1911 was living with Frederick and Marion.  We assume tat this is Frederick’s brother because he was also born in Kings Norton area.  The register also notes that Frederick became an ARP Warden during the War.  Frederick and Marion had at least one child, Leila M. born in Thornbury in 1940.

We understand Frederick died on 28th March 1980 in Birmingham.

Ernest Hamer.  About June 1941 to October 1950.  Born 24th June 1906 in the Warrington area, Ernest Hamer entered the service of the railway 30th August 1920.  The Electoral Register of 1950 showed Kathleen and Ernest Hamer lived in Thornbury up to at least that time.  Their son, David, went to the Thornbury Grammar School.  Ernest Hamer transferred to Tavistock.

William Arthur Ernest Bray.  From 28th October 1950 to about 1956.  The 1954 Electoral Roll shows Mr Bray and his wife Winifred.  William Bray was born 30th March 1914.  After he departed the post of station master was withdrawn and Thornbury station was managed by the Station Master at Yate.  The Station House was occupied by the Thornbury Ganger, Ron Davis.

Ron Davis (Thornbury Ganger) from about 1956  to June 1966 when the railway closed.  Although not technically a station master, Ron lived in the station house with his wife, Mary Ellen, until the time they were forced to move.  They moved to Spey Close after the house, which they had rented from British Rail and which had been  bought by Northavon Rural Council in the early seventies, was designated for demolition so that the area could be redeveloped.  The Evening Post of 21st July 1979 shows Mr and Mrs  Davis leaving the house after 23 years (see above left).