The day they demolished the railway station

For 120 years, Crawley’s railway station stood next to the Railway Hotel, the Brighton Road level crossing and the signal box.

It seemed to be the perfect place for a railway station to stand and, from 1848 to 1968, it served our little town well.

Original Crawley Station SUS-140730-122303001

Original Crawley Station SUS-140730-122303001

It had a weighbridge, a tunnel which allowed pedestrians to nip under the level crossing when the gates were down, and easy access to a pub. What more could any regular rail traveller want?

Even the legendary comic Norman Wisdom had been seen fleeing from its gates while dressed in a pair of shorts and a flat cap.

But, like all good things, the station’s time came to an end when it was demolished in August 1968 in favour of a shiny new station a few yards down the track.

Since then, nothing has really been done with the patch of land left behind.

These pictures come courtesy of West Sussex Past Pictures (

The old station was part of the childhoods of some members of the Memories of Crawley Facebook group.

Brenda Michael, of West Green, said: “When we first came to Crawley in 1950, we came by train and found the station ‘quaint’ but loved it.

“Whenever we went back to visit relatives in Dagenham or later on when I went to work in London and used the station on cold winter mornings there was always a roaring fire in the waiting room, which was immaculately clean and tidy and all brass work was shiny.

“Loved its character and the smell of wax polish. What a shame this old station had to go.”

Valerie Phelps added: “I am born and bred in Crawley and remember the old railway station very well.

“It was a green hut at one time and my grandfather worked for the railway at that time. Many of the houses in Albany Road and The Old Ifield Road were built to house railway workers.

“When I was a child and decided to go on walk about I used to take shelter there in the waiting room.”