SideTracked - Sleaford Traditional Geocache
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Another in the growing series of SideTracked caches, place in or near to railway stations past and present.
This is in an occasionally high muggle area. You will need to be able to reach over seven feet to retrieve and replace the cache so come prepared! The cache is disguised but in plain view. Please ensure you are not watched, especially when replacing it! The first railway in Sleaford was the Boston, Sleaford and Midland Counties Railway which opened from Barkston Junction, north of Grantham on the Great Northern Railway main line on 16th June 1857 and on to Boston on 13th April 1859. This railway became part of the GNR in 1864 This was followed by the GNR line from Bourne which opened on 2nd January 1872 Next came the Great Northern and Great Eastern Joint Railway which opened from Spalding through Sleaford to Ruskington on 6th March 1882, and from there to Lincoln on 1st August of the same year. Finally the line to RAF Cranwell, then known as 'Royal Naval Air Service, Training Establishment, Cranwell', opened in 1917 This single track branch apparently ran at a loss: in response to a Parliamentary Question, it was revealed that, even allowing for a credit in respect of the c.15,000 tons of Government stores that were transported along it during 1924, the line still made a loss of some £3,570. Having ceased to carry passenger traffic in 1927, it closed completely in 1956. As of May 2012 the original bridge over the River Slea remains in agricultural use, with that part of the track's route (leading from the bridge to Drove Lane) commemorated on an information board. The former Cranwell station building also remains in use, as a guardhouse. Passenger services on the Bourne branch ceased on 22nd September 1930, although the line remained open between Billingborough and Bourne for goods until 1964. The Grantham to Boston and Spalding to Lincoln lines remain open. Sleaford is still one of only a few places still to have signal boxes named 'North','South','West' & 'East' around the area. With the North and South boxes on the Peterborough to Lincoln line, and then the West and East boxes are at each end of the station on the Grantham to Boston line. So if travelling from Lincoln to Peterborough on the train you would pass all four boxes.
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