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Cranbrook and Paddock Wood

Railway mapDespite many earlier proposals for railways across the High Weald Cranbrook, still "the principal market town of the Weald" in the 1890s, lacked a railway but finally got a station on the branch line to Hawkhurst in 1892. The young Holman Fred Stephens was resident engineer during its construction and adopted for future use the characteristic style of station buildings erected for it. It was on this job too that Stephens met his long-time colleague and successor, W H Austen. The railway was worked, and absorbed in 1900, by the South Eastern railway and its successors, and was closed in 1961.

Colonel Stephens at the opening on 1st October 1892
Colonel Stephens at the opening on 1st October,1892

Further reading:

Branch Line to Hawkhurst. V Mitchell and Keith Smith. Middleton Press. 1989.
The Hawkhurst Branch, Brian Hart, Wild Swan, 2000.