Britain From Above presents the unique Aerofilms collection of aerial photographs covering much of Britain between 1914 and the late 1950’s.

EPW061142 - Gravel pits near Smallford Lane, Sleapshyde, 1939

EPW061142 – Gravel pits near Smallford Lane, Sleapshyde, 1939

The image above shows Smallford Station in full along the Hatfield-St Albans branch line complete with train in siding and several wagons present. The humpback road bridge is clearly visible too as are many further details.

There are apparently 3 ‘Private Owner’ (varying liveries) coal wagons standing on the short siding from the running line towards the station buildings, about level with the Station House; near the ramp end of the platform, between them and the main station buildings, a black oblong shape can be seen – the cast iron ‘Gents’ (later removed after the brick-built ‘unisex’ loo was fitted in between the Station Building and the Lamp Hut).More noteworthily, a full train apparently occupies almost all of the long siding (listed as ‘Jacob Nielsens Siding’ in an appropriate railway ‘directory’) – it was most likely working full or empty coal wagons at Nielsen’s trackside facilty for unloading coal close to their greenhouse heating boiler house. with the engine at the station end of the train, in position to haul the train to Hatfield Yard.

For a closer look, visit the link below – click on the thumbnail image – and register for FREE with BritainFromAbove to be able to zoom in and appreciate the photo in all its historic glory.

Gravel pits near Smallford Lane, Sleapshyde, 1939 - Britain from Above

There are several other photos showing other parts of the line that can each be accessed via the same website. Halts, sidings and stations can all be seen, along with the surrounding area and countryside. These include, Nast Hyde Halt, Butterwick Sidings and many more historic sites of interest. The below links are to a few – each will have to be zoomed in to fully appreciate what’s visible.

Smallford Station (visible at a distance on the far right of the image):

Smallford Station (visible at a distance and in a haze):

Nast Hyde Halt (in background):

Butterwick Sidings:

There are more related to the line including Hatfield Station and St Albans Abbey as well as other historic sites in the surrounding areas. Simply search using the map on BritainFromAbove and choose your location by coordinates. This will bring up ‘nearby’ images.

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