Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,386 pages of information and 233,851 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Cranbrook and Paddock Wood Railway

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Cranbrook, a market town in the High Weald of Kent, finally got a station on the branch line to Hawkhurst which opened in 1892. Holman Fred Stephens was resident engineer during its construction and some of he formed his characteristic station buildings from the building erected on it.

On this, Stephens first construction project, he met his long-time colleague and successor, William H. Austen. The railway was part of the South Eastern Railway and it and its successors, operated it until was closed in 1961.

As an operating railway it was indelibly linked with the hop trade and the mass numbers of hop pickers transported each autumn for the harvest.

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