The second leg of the WOW (Week Off Work) Tour 2021 occurred on a Saturday morning, 11th September 2021. I took the train to Rolleston and Fiskerton stations in Nottinghamshire, on the line between Crewe and Newark Castle. These were stations number 53 and 54 on the East Midlands Ranger Area challenge.
It was an early start for me to catch my first train from Burton on Trent to Derby, which departed at 6:57 in the morning and arrived in Derby ten minutes later. From there, I caught the Crewe – Newark Castle service up to Rolleston, which took about an hour and called at every possible station in between, all of which I had previously visited.
Rolleston railway station has barely any facilities, apart from a couple of waiting shelters and a help point. It doesn’t see many trains, with passenger numbers between 4,500 and 6,500 in recent times. It was opened in August 1846 as Rolleston Junction, with trains running up towards Mansfield until that line was closed and uplifted in 1959. The old station house building remains, but is now a private house.
A level crossing is situated between the platforms. Until recently, the gates were manually operated, but these were replaced a couple of years ago with automatic gates. There is no access to the Nottingham-bound platform via the level crossing; that entrance is located further down Station Road.
If you’ve ever watched horse racing from Southwell on TV and thought “I wonder where Southwell racecourse is?” I can tell you that it’s round the back of Rolleston station. Southwell used to have its own station, but this closed in 1959.
It was soon time for me to start walking to Fiskerton station, from where I would catch the train home. It is very close to Rolleston, just ten minutes walk down the road. However, I opted to take a more scenic route through Rolleston and Fiskerton itself. On the way down Station Road, I spotted a cute piece of artwork on a fence:
Rolleston itself must be one of the smallest settlements in the country to have its own railway station. According to the 2011 census, just 312 people live there. It is a very nice village, with its own church and graveyard. I had a little wander around it while some locals were preparing the church for an open day which was being held.
Over the road from the church, an information board caught my eye. It was for the Kate Greenaway Trail, a map of the village and the places in it which inspired the Victorian-era illustrator Kate Greenaway. She was born in London, but lived in the village as a child and returned as a regular visitor when she was a teenager after her family left the area. She was inspired by the countryside around Rolleston and the people in the village. More information can be found at the website www.kategreenawayinrolleston.com.
In my experience of visiting pretty little villages, one of the things that makes them great is having an original red telephone box. Rolleston is no exception. Theirs is an information centre, has a defibrillator and it has a drawing of an elephant.
Time was marching on, and it was time for me to do the same. The road between Rolleston and Fiskerton has no pavement, but it is a quiet country road, and I made sure to walk on the side facing towards the traffic, of which there wasn’t much, seeing as it was early on a Saturday morning. A few cyclists whizzed past me, most of whom said hello to me as they did.
Fiskerton sits on the side of the River Trent, and the properties facing the river are highly-priced, with some of them valued at over a million pounds. Looking at the view they have from their windows, I am not surprised. There were a few yachts and small boats berthed at the river, close to The Bromley at Fiskerton restaurant. Unfortunately, time was at a premium on my visit, and after a quick stop off at a small park for a little walk around, I had to head up the road to Fiskerton railway station. The next train after mine was two hours later, so I needed to make sure I was on it.
Fiskerton railway station is located about a ten minute walk away from Fiskerton itself, and also serves the nearby village of Morton. It was also opened in August 1846. It has few facilities, such as help points and a bicycle rack. Like Rolleston, it had manually-operated level crossing barriers until a couple of years ago. A signal box sits by the level crossing, but this is disused and is falling into disrepair, unfortunately. The old station house survives and is now a private residence.
I was joined on the platform by about three or four other passengers, and we all boarded the train back towards Nottingham. While I was at Nottingham awaiting my train back to Burton, I had a sneak peek at the next leg of the Week Off Work tour which is hopefully happening on Monday, when I will be riding Nottingham’s trams. The trams run overhead above the train platforms, and I was able to see them from where I was standing.
The train back was packed, seeing as it was a Saturday morning. I stood in the vestibule all the way to Burton, when I got off and walked home.
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