Naas Lane Crossing and Cottage
"The cottage (top photo) was known as Naas Cottage and was occupied by an employee of the railway company to manage and control the Level Crossing gates in Naas Lane. ... The Crossing Keeper was my Paternal Grandmother, Edith Anice Powell (nee Morse). She was born in January 1897 in Westbury on Severn. ... I have not been able to find out when she started employment with the GWR and/or British Railways who provided her with the cottage. I know she was the Crossing Keeper until her death in Stroud Hospital on 27th October 1959. Shortly after her death the gates were replaced with automatic barriers and the cottage was demolished".
"I went back to the area in the 1960’s to take photographs of the cottage but it had already gone, as can be seen from the ... photo’s. Both are taken from about the same place, the first shows the cottage in the 1950’s but from a distance. The second was taken about 10/12 years later showing the rubble ... (You are probably aware of the Accident that took place there on 1st March 1979 when a Refuse Lorry was hit at about 08.20 by an express passenger train, killing the two men on the Locomotive and the lorry driver. It is worth noting that I am not aware of any accidents at Naas Crossing while it was ‘manned’)".
"My ... question relates to the cottage and my Grandmother’s life there. I would like to find out when she started working and living there and if there are any ‘close-up’ photographs or plans of the cottage in existence. My ultimate plan is to make a model railway of that area and a diorama of that scene".
Can anyone provide any information that will help?.
Brian Gardiner added: "... Hi David Interesting to see photos of the Naas rail crossing. Can't help you with info on your relations but I do recall that a girl -can't remember her name was killed on the level crossing whilst it was manned. The story was that she tried to beat the train! I think it was about 1952-ish. I was living in Rodley Road at the time and I think the girl lived in either Harrison Way or Riddler Road".
Dave Tuffley added: "... If I remember rightly, wasn't there a young motorcyclist killed whilst pushing his broken down bike across the crossing. He was wearing his crash helmet and did not hear the train coming. Probably back in the early 1970's"
David Powell added: "... Thank you Brian and Dave for your input. I was born in Lydney Hospital in 1950 and for the first 3 years of my life my mother and father and I lived at Naas Cottage with my Grandmother, until my mother and father got, what was then a council house in Springfield Road. Despite spending about 5 or 6 years, during School holidays, collecting train numbers on Lydney station, Lydney Junction & Lydney Town (and putting half-pennies on the line for trains to flatten) my parents never mentioned an accident with a girl at the crossing. However I spoke to my mother ... and she remembers it quite clearly. Yes it was about 1952 and the girl was killed while crossing the line to go to the Pre-fabs at the end of Naas Lane where she lived. There is no mention of it in the 'List of Rail Accidents in the UK - Wikipedia' or the accident involving a motor cyclist in the 1970's, although that was long after the automatic gates were installed and the cottage demolished".
Barbara Smith added: ... The name of the young man killed was David Emery, he lived in Ridler Road".
David Long added: "... the girl's name was James from Nass Camp. There was no signal box at the crossing but there was some leavers the keeper had to use before they opened the gates. I spent a lot of time with Roy in my teens up at the old rail bridge an on the bank of the severn".
Neville Slee added: "... The young girl that died had a family name of James I can remember her at school with a strong head of red hair".
Brian Gardiner added: "... The housing to which you refer at the end of Naas Lane I knew as "The Camp" I think there were about 40 prefab buildings that were the remains of a prisoner of war camp? . Around about 1950 several of the prefabs were falling down but some still inhabited. I am fairly sure that most of the "camp" residents were rehoused in Ridler Road and Harrison Way".
David Allen added: "... as I mentioned previously I believe I am a distant relative to the lady who lived at the Naas Crossing Cottage. I remember having a b/w photograph of some older (even more distant) relatives whose surname was Schmidt. The signal box mentioned was situated back along the rail track in the Blakeney direction if I remember correctly. It was probably the operator seeing the train who 'activated' the warning bell in the cottage".
Barbara Smith added (June 2014): "... The Camp at Naas was a collection of buildings previously used as accommodation for the American soldiers based at the docks during the war. After the war was over, local families were housed there until the houses in Ridler Road / Harrison way were finished. My family moved to Ridler road in about 1955, along with my uncle and auntie, who moved just down the road. David Emery live there too".
Gina Stait added (August 2014): "... The name of the schoolgirl who was killed at Naas Crossing was Daphne James. I know she had a sister Thelma and they lived at the camp. Edith Powell was married to my mother's uncle who died of kidney failure leaving her with two sons, David Powell's father, Ernest, and his uncle Royston. Royston died in his early forties with the same complaint as his father. The Schmidt family, David Allen refers to, were originally from Germany. I was told that one of them was a photographer of the German Royal Family".
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