When the Oxford, Worcester and
Wolverhampton Railway opened its line from Tipton to
Wolverhampton on July 1st, 1854, the stations listed en-route
were Daisey Bank (renamed Daisy Bank in 1866), Bilston and
Priestfield. The Great Western Railway opened its route from
Birmingham to Wolverhampton through Priestfield in November of
the same year, but with no mention of a station at Priestfield
occuring in its timetables.
In 1855 the newspapers carried a list of
G.W.R. Northern Division timetable amendments, which referred to
the fact that the Priestfield Station opened on the 2nd July.
Mac Dermott’s history of the G.W.R. mentions the fact that a
temporary wooden platform was erected prior to the junction of
the two railways at Priestfield, this being used to collect
tickets for the station at Low Level, as this was for many years
an open station.
It seems likely from this, that the tickets
were collected at the newly opened Great Western side of the
station. This is born out by the number of down trains that
stopped at Priestfield by the 1860s, with 22 G.W.R. down trains
stopping there compared with only 13 of the 22 up trains.
Similarly on the West Midlands section (ex-O.W.W.) 8 out of 11
down trains stopped, but only 4 out of 10 up trains.
The station had four platform faces, the
G.W.R. down platform adjoining the up O.W.W. platform and the
junction fork. The two centre platforms created a large
triangle, on which a hut was installed for the Railway Clearing
House Checker. It was his job to record the traffic passing over
each route and apportion the costs between the two companies. He
also noted the wagon ownership and usage.
Access to all of the platforms could be
obtained from the main roads, but the station was later provided
with a footbridge, probably during the early 1880s, when many
smaller Great Western stations received similar structures and
gas lighting. The buildings however, remained wooden until the
close of the station.
During the 1930s the G.W.R. were running
over 20 trains each way that stopped at Priestfield, but
services were drastically reduced during the 1950s when
intermediate services were cut on the Wolverhampton to
Stourbridge route. This change left Priestfield with only 5
trains each way during the rush hour period, compared to 14
previously. The passenger service was withdrawn completely with
effect from July 30th, 1962 and the line closed to freight in
1968. The express service from Wolverhampton to Birmingham Snow
Hill ceased in March 1967, leaving only a local service, which
continued to include Priestfield. Two years later the station
was reduced to an unstaffed halt, with a service of about 5
trains each way, finally closing on March 6th, 1972.
For sometime after closure the gas lights
could be seen burning in the station waiting room at night,
probably lit by children, until someone ripped all the piping
out and made off with it, leaving the gas to escape into the
air. The last vestages of railway track were removed in March
1984, the track running from Wednesbury to the steel terminal in
what was once the O.W.W. goods station at Walsall Street being
lifted and cut up. The platform remained, covered in weeds and
bushes, the buildings themselves having been destroyed in the
G.W.R. Priestfield Station by Michael Hale,
Blackcountryman vol. II, 1978.
Railways of the West Midlands 1808 – 1954 S.L.S.
Wolverhampton Chronicle as stated.
History of the G.W.R. vol. I.
MacDerMott Persona1 recollections.