History of the Cafe
Whitegate Station was first opened on 1st July 1870 by the Cheshire Lines Committee. It closed to passengers on 1st January 1931 and closed completely on 4th November 1963.
Whitegate Station was located on the Cheshire Line Committee (CLC) Winsford and Over Branch.The six mile branch was authorised as part of the West Cheshire Railway (WCR) on 29th July 1862.The WCR became part of the CLC on 5th July 1865.
The single track branch connected to the CLC mid Cheshire line at Cuddington and was constructed so that the CLC could access the lucrative salt traffic at Winsford. It opened to good services on 1st of June 1870.
Two stations were provided on the branch ,the terminus at Winsford & Over and Whitegate. Both opened on 1st July 1870.
Whitegate Station was located in a remote rural location of little population to the east of Marton Green. The station had a two Storey brick building on the Southside of the line that included a Stationmaster’s house. Only one platform was provided but there was a passing loop that could be used by goods trains. To the east of the station on the Southside of the line there was a goods yard with two sidings. Both the loop and access to the Sidings was controlled by the ground frame located on the station platform. The yard had a small office, a weighing machine and a five tonne crane.
Passenger services were withdrawn on Thursday the 1st of January 1874 which demonstrated how remote it was. Goods service continued and it is likely that the Station would have been well used by local farmers to export produce. The CLC reintroduced the passenger service on 1st of May 1886 and then withdrew it again on the 1st of December 1888.
On the 10th of August 1891 a signal box was opened at the East End of the station on the north side of the line. The box was a CLC type CL1A. It was an all timber box with a 24 lever frame. The level of goods traffic on the line at that time must have been significant enough to require a signal box at Whitegate.
On 1st of February 1892 the passenger service was once again reintroduced. The December 1895 timetable showed six trains in each direction on weekdays only running between Cuddington and Winsford & Over. The first departure from Whitegate was for Cuddington at 8.20 am. The last was 8.35 pm for Winsford and Over. By July 1922 the passenger service had increased to seven trains in each direction Monday to Saturday with an extra train in each way on Wednesdays. However,8 years later, on Thursday the 1st of January 1931 the passenger service was withdrawn for the final time.
The signal box at Whitegate was closed on the 6th of July 1947 being replaced by a ground frame. It has been out of use as a block post since 1921.
On first January 1948 Whitegate became part of British Railways London Midland region. In the 1956 ‘Handbook of Stations’ Whitegate was listed as being able to handle coal, mineral traffic and parcels. The line continued to see good services until 13th of March 1967 and it closed officially on the 11th of February 1968.
Today the line is a route of popular footpaths and bridleways called Whitegate Way. The decking of the bridge over Clay Lane was replaced in June 2014. It was in poor condition an in danger of collapse however the original walls were retained.
Whitegate Station was opened as a Community Non For Organisation as Station House Café in July 2015 after being closed when the Ranger services moved out to other areas.It is mainly run by volunteers and provides an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to learn new skills,build confidence and provide tasty refreshments to people visiting the area.
Hot & cold food
Dog friendly covered outdoor space
Come and visit us!
Monday – Thursday : 10am – 3pm
Friday : Closed
Weekends : 10am – 3pm
We also open the cafe at other times for special events or by prior appointment.
Please call 01606 889567 for further information.