Mount Bures Community Web Site



Stour Valley Railway

The rail track runs from Marks Tey to Sudbury.
It opened in 1848 and passes through the centre of the village.
There is no halt at Mount Bures

For more comprehensive details on the Bures section of the line visit the Bures web site

Colchester and Stour Railway Engineers Report
Essex Standard and Eastern Counties Advertiser
circa 1846/48

Henry Cant aged 15yrs, charged with throwing stones at the railway

Essex and Suffolk Free Press, July 14th 1859






























Crossing Gates circa 1974
Crossing Keeper circa 1960
Crossing Gates circa 1991
Crossing Keepers 1996
Dilapidated Crossing Cottage 2014

Holden E4 (GER T26) 2-4-0
Passing Mount Bures Bank during the 1940`s

62785 was the last surviving loco of this class and can still be seen at the Bressingham Steam Museum, Norfolk.

Photograph taken 6th July 1970

Kathleen Willingham, 36 year old mother of four.

Kathleen who looks after the level crossing at Mount Bures, is fighting with British Railways to get her 91 hour week reduced.

She pulls a Signal box level typically 144 times a day and open/closes the large level crossing gates at least 48 times a day.
Even on her "rest day", Kathleen has to be on duty from 0600 to 22.30, or until such time her relief man arrives.

The relief takes over in the afternoon, because men are only allowed to work an eight hour shift.
Each week Kathleen is granted a four hour break, to go shopping.

An Eastern Region spokesman said, "The Keeper knew what the conditions were when she took the job".
Mrs Willingham, he said, "was able to do things about the house between trains and so she was considered to be only working part time"

Courtesy of Helena Wojtczak, author of "Railwaywomen"


Kathleen May Willingham

Born 7 May 1924 probably in Chelmsford

1939 Chelmsford Census records

Father:- Christopher Willingham aged 51
Mother:- Ethel Willingham aged 51

Olive Willingham Age27
Kathleen Willingham Age25 (ARP Telephonist)
Kenneth N Willingham Age1

Married 1958 to Leonard F Clist, who would have been 64
Leonard was a School Teacher and Head ARP Warden in Chelmsford
1893 -1977

Probably moved to Mount Bures Crossing Cottage in 1958. (unconfirmed)

Lived at White Colne

Died 2005, Registered at Braintree


Modern day Sprinter which has departed Bures and traversing the 1:90 gradient towards the crossing

Local information:-
During and after the War, a local "tank" loco would transport coal from March onwards to Marks Tey.
The load consisted of 600 tons of coal which amounted to 60 x 10ton trucks
On passing through Bures station they would have to climb the 1:90 Mount Bures bank passing over the level crossing then onwards to Chappel
It was not unusual for the loco to run out of traction the south side of the crossing and come to a grinding halt.

The local would reverse back to Bures station where a spare "tank" loco in the Bures yard would couple onto the rear truck
Both, would then shunt the load all the way back to Cornard.
Now with a full head of steam from both engines, pushing and pulling they would pass over the Mount Bures bank with a great gusto of steam and noise.

During the war years, munition trains also used the same path conveying bombs etc to the Chappel yard
The locomotives used, were either British or Americal 2.10.0 WD which were specifically designed for heavy goods work
American servicemen and local residents would stand by the crossing gates waving and cheering as the locomotive came up the bank and passed through the gates belching smoke and steam on full power.

Courtesy of John Cowlin

<Typical 2.10.0 loco

updated 02/02/2017