Lydney Hill street Railway Crossing in 1968.
An image from an article in 'Gloucestershire Life' from November 1968.
We are particularly interested in the small white pedestrian gates to the left of the level crossing gates. These were named the Essex Gates after William Frank Essex (refered to here as WFE) who campaigned to get them installed to improve safety at the crossing. Does anyone have another photo showing the Essex Gates or know what happened to them?.
Peter Essex who is researching the Essex Gates is seeking a photograph showing them or news of what happened to them.
Peter added the following:
Minute of Lydney Parish Council meeting, 11 December 1961:- “Wicket Gates Lydney Town Station: It was reported that the installation of the proposed Wicket Gates would be undertaken shortly by the Highways Authority and on the suggestion of the Chairman it was agreed to ask the authorities if the gates could be designated The Essex Gates because of the keen interest the late Mr. W.F. Essex had always taken in this particular matter. The Clerk was asked to enquire if the gates would be of such a design as to permit access for prams in order to keep them off the main road.”
Minute of Lydney Parish Council meeting, 21 May 1962:- “Wicket Gates Town Station: The clerk reported that permission had now been given to affix inscribed plates to the Wicket Gates in memory of the late Councillor Essex and that the plates had been ordered.”
Lydney Observer, 25 May 1962:- “In memory of Mr. W.F. Essex: Only one person in 25 is using the new wicket gates at Lydney Town level crossing, said members of the Parish Council at their meeting on Monday. It was suggested that many people were unaware of the gates and Mrs. A.B. Reissner said it would be a good idea to have notices fixed to them. These observations arose in a discussion after a letter from British Railways was read. It told the council they might attach plaques in memory of Mr. Frank Essex, who advocated the gates before his death.”
Lydney Observer, 22 June 1962:- “Landmark goes at Lydney [describes the iron footbridge being dismantled]… “Recently a footway with wicket gates was constructed across the line. The gates will soon bear the plaques dedicating them to the memory of Mr. W.F. Essex, a Lydney councillor, who continually pressed for a safer way to cross the track - the wooden steps on the bridge were extremely slippery and dangerous when wet.”
Thus we now have ... motives for WFE's campaign: ... the danger to pedestrians especially if pushing prams, and now the classic “slippery when wet” in respect of the footbridge steps.
Forest Guardian, 15 March 1963, page 5:- [The larger of two photographs here, which I have not been able to scan in satisfactorily, and for which I cannot see an author given, is significant in this chronology because it shows the wicket open away from the tracks on the signal box side and the presence of an “Essex Gates” plaque can be made out, although it cannot be read in the photo. We know from later items in this note that it is such a plaque, and that the plaques on either side said “Essex Gates.” Hence a photograph published on 15 March 1963 is the earliest evidence that the plaques were indeed installed.] No record of the date of fixing the plaques has been found, and no on-site ceremony is reported in that connection.
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