As you rush to catch a train, spare a moment to remember the nostalgic days of railway porters and steam trains. Carshalton would have had a head porter, assistant porter, junior porter, ticket collector and more. Their duties would include helping passengers, keeping the station clean and tidy, and stoking the waiting room fires in winter.
Meet Edwin Searle, a respected member of staff at the station. He worked at Carshalton from a young age and lived on West Street, just yards from where he served. He was born in 1863 and was married to Edith Clara.
The old photo was recently purchased by collector, Chris Pocock, saving it from possible oblivion. The image was taken by local amateur photographer and train fan, Sidney Oborne of Wallace Crescent, who as a child remembered Edwin.
Around the time of the photo, Sidney remarked “This is a portrait of Mr Searle, who sad to record, passed away in the early part of the New Year 1930 shortly after having served his time on the Railway. The writer can remember him, in his very early youth, when Carshalton had but a small wooden station”.
The newer station we see today was rebuilt in 1902. Read more about that here.
Mr Searle was still living at West Street when he died on the 8th of January 1930, aged 67. He passed away at the War Memorial Hospital next to Carshalton Park and was buried at Carshalton Parish Church. He had no children.
The photographer Mr Oborne, passed away aged 61, in 1941.
Below is the original photo that can be seen at the top of the page. The photo has been extended at the top and the bottom using AI. The technology extended the platform, and legs and put a cap on top of the wall on the left – it gives an all-round fuller picture.
With thanks to Chris Pocock for permission to use pics and for providing research, and London Borough of Sutton Museum and Heritage Service for the old photo of Carshalton station.
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