Oakley Village

Railway Cottages

Information detailed on this page is courtesy of the Bedfordshire Borough Council and / or the Heritage Gateway

Railway Cottages were built as accommodation for employees of the Midland Railway Company and, appropriately, the houses overlook the railway line, being separated by it from the rest of the village. They are not present on an Ordnance Survey map of 1883 but are on a map of 1901 and so must have been built between these two dates.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting Oakley in 1927 found that Railway Cottages were still all owned by the successor of the Midland Railway Company, the London Midland Scottish Railway. Each one was occupied by an employee or former employee.

Number 1 [DV1/C115/7] served as the template for the other five entries. It was occupied by H. Robinson who paid rent of 4/8 per week as a retired employee. Before the First World War rent had been 2/6 per week. The accommodation for him and his family comprised a living room and a kitchen downstairs with three bedrooms above. A washhouse, a store or coal shed and an earth closet lay outside along with a barn. Water came from a well. The valuer noted “Next Line” and, more tragically, “Husband very ill, will never work again, was on Railway”.

Each of the other houses [DV1/C115/8-12] was identical to Number 1. The tenants were as follows:

2. G. Booth, paying 4/8 per week;

3. A. E. Whiting, paying 3/6 per week;

4. G. Riseley;

5. J. Hulatt;

6. W. Seamarks, paying 3/4 per week.

Railway Cottages seen from Station Road March 2011
Railway Cottages seen from Station Road March 2011