Princetown Stationmasters

Over the 73 years the Princetown Railway operated it had several station-masters who featured occasionally in the local news. Here is a developing account of those who served at this moorland station. Click the pictures to view larger size images on this page. March 2017: I am conducting research regarding this page – updates as and when.

1883- 1904
John Higman (born Tavistock in 1851) was the first Stationmaster at Princetown. In 1891 he and his family lived at the newly, purpose built detached house on Station Road, Princetown. He was living there with his wife (Elizabeth), his daughter, Helena L. S. Higman who was a Schoolmistress at Princetown Primary School and a boarder, Richard S. Wingett who worked with John as a railway signalman.
John Higman was still in the same post and address in 1901. His boarder had moved out, replaced by his niece, Minnie Nicholas: station-master-princetown-1901
On Saturday 01 October 1904 The Cornish & Devon Post reported “After being station-master at Princetown for twenty one years – ever since the advent of the railway there – Mr. J. Higman leaves the town shortly for Ivybridge, where he takes up a similar position.” John Higman died at Tavistock in 1926. john-higman-1904
Mr Chubb became Princetown’s stationmaster in 1904 as reported in The Western Times – Tuesday 01 November 1904. “Mr Chubb, stationmaster at Lydford (Great Western Railway) has been appointed station-master at Princetown, in place of Mr. J. Higman, promoted to Ivybridge. Mr. Chubb was stationmaster at Ashton. Although Mr. Chubb has only been at Lydford two years, there have been many expressions of regret at his leaving. Curiously enough, while holding the stationmastership of Lydford, he has lived in Brentor parish, while on his removal to Princetown he will reside in Lydford parish, one of the largest in England.”
Mr James Friggens
The Western Morning News on Monday 22 January 1923 reported the death and funeral of Mr Henry Cowling the “late stationmaster at Princetown.”
Mr. John Highman
Mr Gibbon was widely reported following a lightning strike on the stationmasters house. Here The Leeds Mercury reported the event on Saturday 07 December 1929: “The house of Mr. Gibbon, station-master at Princetown, was struck by lightning during a fierce storm which raged over South Devon last night. The chimney was split to the bottom and crashed through the roof. Mr. Gibbon’s housekeeper had a remarkable escape from falling debris.”
Mr Joseph Shipton
Mr. W. Dawe
The Western Morning News
– Saturday 21 November 1936 reported the appointment of Mr C. Winsor “who has been station-master at Mary Tavy for five years has been appointed in that capacity to Princetown, and commenced his duties there on Thursday. Mr. Winsor, who was previously signalman at Totnes for seven years succeeds Mr. W. Dawe, who has been transferred to Nancegollan.”
Mr Winsor spent ten years in the post and retired in 1946. The Western Morning News – Monday 23 September 1946 reported the moment: “Retirement of Mr. C. Winsor, stationmaster at Princetown for the last ten years after 46 years service with the Great Western Railway, is announced in the September issue of the company’s magazine. Mr. Winsor was presented with an electric iron and kettle by Mr. Bolt, representing the general public.” western-morning-news-monday-23-september-1946