Snippets from the Records (2)
SNIPPETS FROM THE RECORDS – provided by Lesley Haddon
Did you know that Hathern Station, actually located in our parish, was closed around 1960 by the Beeching Axe, which was the informal name for the British Government's attempt in the 1960s to control the increasing cost of running the British railway system by closing what it considered to be under used and loss-making railway lines.
It was a reaction to the failed railway modernisation plan of the 1950s, which spent enormous amounts of money on buying new equipment, such as new diesel and electric locomotives, without first examining the role of the railway and its requirements, recognising the implications of changing old-fashioned working practices, or tackling the problem of chronic over manning. The result of this was to plunge the railway system deeply into debt. So what’s new!!
In the early 20th century there were three churches in the village, the Wesleyan Chapel on Far Lane, the Baptist Chapel, Main Street, and the Parish Church, also on Main Street. Today only the Parish Church is used for religious purposes. The Wesleyan Chapel has now been converted for domestic use, and the Baptist Chapel on Main Street demolished.
A ferry is shown on the 1771 Normanton on Soar enclosure plan but could have existed prior to this time. Its site was likely to have been selected because at this bend in the river may have been shallower and slow-flowing
The railway line opened in 1840 with a station located on the A6006 just within the parish. Bridges were built over the line. The line cut across fields, isolating farms and stopping access from the main Rempstone to Hathern Road down Far Lane and into the village. At one time it is said it was possible to take a path under the line where it meets Far Lane but this is no longer accessible.
In the past the River Soar was very important to Normanton on Soar village economy. Horse- drawn barges to the Plough Inn wharf transported coal and other commodities. Fishing would have been popular, whether by licence or poaching. As far back as 1797 it was said that the Soar was reputed to produce the best pike in England, and in 1850 eels were known to be regularly speared.