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43825.  Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:32 am Reply with quote

Jenny's husband is clearly a wonderful man!

Census 2001 considers Newbury/Thatcham to form one "urban settlement". So, by census day, there must have been at least one direction in which the two towns were less than 50m apart. The rules on what is and is not part of a built-up area are quite complicated. For instance, if one brick of that new hospital had been laid by census day, then it's built-up. If planning permission had been granted but work not yet begun, then it isn't (unless the previous land use was also built up).

The Census 2001 population of Newbury/Thatcham was 56,513. This is subdivided into Newbury (32,675) and Thatcham (22,989). You will note that these figures don't add to 56,513 - the difference is accounted for by Greenham, which is part of Newbury/Thatcham, but not part of Newbury proper. (If you are wondering how Greenham manages to be within 50m of Newbury, try measuring towards the racecourse - racecourses are considered "built up".)

Where Newbury stops and Thatcham starts is determined by "local custom and practice". For pairs which have always adjoined (e.g. Chatham/Rochester), the boundary usually follows a road and/or river. Where they have only come to adjoin by recent development (e.g. Newbury/Thatcham), a definition will have been constructed, probably involving arbitrary straight lines.

Finally, I'm still open to offers on the railway station which cannot be accessed by road ...

gerontius grumpus
43945.  Sat Jan 07, 2006 4:25 pm Reply with quote


43948.  Sat Jan 07, 2006 4:32 pm Reply with quote

gerontius grumpus wrote:

I thought that but the station is actually at Hogsmead and this is a village so I don't think it would have 50,000 inhabitants.

44021.  Sat Jan 07, 2006 8:35 pm Reply with quote

That is a such a good answer I wish it was allowable!

I reckon it's time I gave you the real answer though - it's Berney Arms in Norfolk. It's on the route between Norwich and Great Yarmouth via Reedham, about 4 miles outside Yarmouth - the town of 50,000 or so - and is currently served by two trains a day.

The reason for the station's existence is that when the line was being constructed in the 1840s, some of the land was purchased from one Thomas Berney. He made it a condition of the sale that a station be provided in perpetuity to serve the waterside public house he owned. The pub still exists (it's called the Berney Arms of course) and there's also a windmill, but that's about it. There is mooring for boats at the pub, and a long distance footpath goes by, but there is no road nearer than 2 miles away at Halvergate.

I don't swear that this is the only such station in England, but I can recommend the pub!

gerontius grumpus
44206.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:42 pm Reply with quote

I thought it might have been a station on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, but now we know.
I'm not absolutely sure but I think the Berney Arms featured in one of Arthur Ransome's books, The Big Six perhaps.

44213.  Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:14 pm Reply with quote

Finally, I'm still open to offers on the railway station which cannot be accessed by road ...

An actual station rather than a halt then presumably. Does some (or any) building or structure make it a station?

44278.  Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:56 am Reply with quote

In the olden days, there was indeed a definition of a "station", chiefly the presence of a station master although I don't think that was the only requirement. Places where one could catch a train but which did not meet the requirements of "station" were termed "halts".

But no more. The term "halt" was effectively abolished by the British Railways Board in, I think, 1968. Since then, anywhere that trains stop in order for passengers to get on and off is a station. Any such place which does not have the modern equivalent of a station master is an "unstaffed station". Even those where trains only stop by request (Berney Arms is such) are stations.

There are, I think, two special cases of halts which still exist - IBM west of Glasgow and Dunrobin Castle in the north of Scotland. Both of these are served by normal public trains, but you need special permission to get on and off there.

I know the term "halt" is still used by many, but no longer does it have an official meaning. As for Berney Arms, it was originally a station (while Thomas Berney was alive), although it was downgraded to a halt thereafter.

None of the above applies to Northern Ireland Railways, which still has halts.


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