Culham station first opened on 12th June 1844. Although downgraded to an unmanned station in the 1970's, it has remained in continuous passenger use since opening. This date also marked the opening of what was then the broad gauge branch from Didcot to Oxford, with Culham (originally called 'Abingdon Road') being for many years the only intermediate station on the line.
Great interest has been shown in the 175th anniversary of the opening of the line and co-ordinated celebrations and activities are being planned all along the route from Oxford to Didcot. Whilst this page is intended to reflect planned activities and sponsors specific to Culham, together with any media coverage, we include below a foretaste of what will prove to be a very full day of activities wherever you are.
If anybody would like to particiate or sponsor the celebrations in some way we would be very pleased to hear from you via ku.oc.noitatsmahluc@ofni
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Whole line celebrations day, 16th June 2019
Hopefully the weather will be kind to us all as the day promises to be filled with activities providing a never to be repeated day out for the whole family. The major centres for the day will be at Oxford and Didcot with the Old Ticket Office at Culham also hosting an open day and activities. Radley and Appleford will be participating too so visitors could start at one end of the line and visit each station on the way to the other end. A visit to any one of the venues would be enjoyable if time is restricted.
A number of activities are being looked at to take place along the whole line on the day. It should be noted that these are only tentative at present and may not take place for any number of reasons. More may also be added as the day approaches, so watch this space.
- Special trains between Didcot and Oxford stopping at each station where passengers may alight to enjoy the activities and then continue on a later train to the next station
- Story tellers based at each station, or travelling on the special trains, telling the history and interesting anecdotes relating to points along the line
- Morris dancers visiting each station, hopefully travelling by train
- Victorian re-enactors visiting each station
The site of the original GWR station in Oxford has long since been built over and the old railway line buried beneath Marlborough Road. However close by is the recreaton ground behind Whitehouse Road, and it is here that the Oxford activities will take place.
- Special vintage buses running to and from the present Oxford station
- Stalls illustrating local history
- Display of miniature steam locomotives
- Railway related guided tours
- Competitions and children's activities
Radley celebrated the 150th anniversary of the building of the railway, though Radley station itself came later, on 16th June 1994. It is hoped to repeat this very successful day in 2019.
- Display of photographs and artefacts
- Decorated station
- The book 'Radley People and the Railway, 1843-2013' available to buy
- Competitions and children's activities
The Old Ticket Office will be opening its doors to the public where they can explore the original Brunel Broad Gauge building and it surroundings. There are a few surprises waiting to be discovered.
- Costumed staff
- Victorian passengers
- Display of GWR memorabilia
- Display of model railway items in four scales from '0' down to 'Z'
- Illustrated history of Culham station, including drawings from 1843
- Free souvenir Edmondson cardboard ticket
- Coloured information leaflet and postcard to keep
- Discovery Trail sheets for children and grown ups too
- More details in the 'Culham Celebrations Diary' below
As a lasting record of the history of Appleford station, it is hoped to erect a permanent information board. Activities at Appleford will be added here as they are announced.
The Didcot Railway Centre will be the hosts for the 175th celebrations at Didcot. They will be having a running day for Father's Day too, so it will be well worth a visit. The centre can be easily reached from within Didcot station for those arriving on the planned special trains.
- Special display of photographs and archive material relating to the Didcot to Oxford branch
- Display of locomotives which operated on the line to Oxford
- Recreation of the first Oxford station in the broad gauge transfer shed
- All the normal gala day activities with engines in steam, train rides, music, refreshments and activities
- Combined ticket for travel on the special train between Oxford and Didcot and entry to the Didcot Railway Centre
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Culham celebrations diary
Sunday 14th October 2018 - Oxrail 2018
To help celebrate and publicise the 175th anniversary, the Old Ticket Office at Culham will be attending the 2018 exhibition of the Oxford & District Model Railway Club. On display will be various items of memorabilia, photographs and models from our collection, and some unique items loaned specially by ACE Trains.
Saturday 16th March 2019 - Abrail 2019
The second (and last) exhibition the Old Ticket Office at Culham will be attending is the 2019 exhibition of the Abingdon & District Model Railway Club. This will provide another opportunity to see various items of memorabilia, photographs and models from our collection, and some more unique items loaned specially by ACE Trains.
Wednesday 12th June 2019 - Media day
Today marks the 175th anniversary proper of the opening of the Didcot to Oxford branch line and of the Old Ticket Office itself. Radio, TV and Press will be invited to visit the Old Ticket Office both in recgnition of the actual anniversary of the opening and to publicise the whole line celebrations taking place on the following Sunday.
Our banner advertising the Open Day - featuring the original station Name Board
Sunday 16th June 2019 - Public open day 10:00 until 16:00
Being Father's Day provides the perfect opportunity to come and discover the history and background of the station. The Old Ticket Office will be open to the public to explore the original Brunel era features of this unique building and its surroundings.
Many items of GWR memorabilia including old uniforms will be on display, together with old photographs, historical drawings and books featuring the station.
See the old ticket office window, original tickets dating back to the 1890's, and Edmondson date punches. You can even take home a special souvenir ticket.
Using our special Discovery Trail sheets search out some remnants of broad gauge rail, see graffiti from 140 years ago and try to find the mark where a fatal shot ricocheted from the ticket counter top in 1868.
Also on display will be models of the ticket office in four scales ('Z', 'N', '00' and '0') and various items of rolling stock and engines together with model private owner wagons from both Culham and neighbouring stations.
When visiting the station members of the public are not allowed onto the old Platform 2 upon which stands the Old Ticket Office. The station itself is operational with trains passing throughout the day, so sensible care must be taken at all times to ensure one's own safety and that of others. Children should always be kept under adult supervision.
All visitors to the Old Ticket Office do so at their own risk and no responsibility will be accepted by the organisers for any loss or injury howsoever caused.
No public facilities of any type exist either at the Old Ticket Office or on Culham station itself. Free parking is available on the station forecourt, or over the line by the Railway Inn.
Due to the nature of the building disabled access is limited, however there is only a small step into the main waiting room. For anybody unable to use the footbridge it is possible to cross between platforms by means of the old road bridge. Caution should be exercised by anyone using the old road bridge as there are no footpaths and it is still open to traffic.
We are enormously grateful for the support received from several manufacturers who have either donated unique pre-production samples for permanent display in the ticket office or loaned precious items for us to include in our anniversary displays, and to all other individuals or organisations who have given their support.
Celebration at Culham sponsors
Network Rail Corporate Archive who kindly supplied high resolution scans of historical drawings and plans of Culham station
Oxforddiecast who kindly donated the first painted tooling sample of their delightful '00' scale Dean goods engine
ACE Trains who have generously promised the loan of some unique '0' gauge items for display on our anniversary stands at the Oxford MRC and Abingdon MRC exhibitions
Culham Science Centre who will be publicising the event via their intranet and social media outlets
Main sponsors of the Anniversary at Culham are:Entikera Limited - with registered office at the Old Ticket Office, trading as :
Mypictureprint.co.uk - Fine art Giclee & photographic printing, digital fine art reproduction and picture framing