John Speller's Web Pages Frome

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge



Frome Station (pronounced "Froom") on the Wilts, Somerset & Weymouth line was designed by Brunel's resident engineer, Thomas Roberts Hannaford (b. 1819), and first opened on 7 October 1850. The line was converted from narrow to broad gauge on 20-22 June 1874. The station is noteworthy in being the last main-line provincial railway station to have retained its original Brunel-style all-over roof.

This was the station where my grandparents said goodbye for the last time when my grandfather went off to fight in World War I. He was wounded in Gaza in September 1917 and died in Alexandria two months later.

In narrow gauge days my late father remembered visiting the Frome Cut-off when it was under construction. His next door neighbor and a strong family friend was Randolph G. Pole (brother of Sir Felix of Blessed Memory), who was the GWR Divisional Superintendent. It is both sad and outrageous that since nationalization Frome (a town with more than double the population of Westbury, Wilts.) has not had a direct service to Paddington.

The station has recently been repainted in the original contrasting two-tone GWR "stone" color scheme, and has retained its old-world charm.
Interior of Hannaford's train shed at Frome. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons. To enlarge right click and select "view image"
Frome station from the west end. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Frome Station Offices. Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Side view of the station showing the apex of the roof
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