Wanborough Station owes its existence to the efforts of Sir Algernon West, then the tenant at Wanborough Manor He was a close friend of Mr W E Gladstone and also served as his private secretary when he was Prime Minister. Mr Gladstone and his political colleagues often met at the Manor where he himself frequently stayed, and Sir Algernon thought that travelling by rail to a station here would be more convenient for his visitors than continuing to negotiate the steep hill of the Hogs Back from Guildford with coach and horses.
Part of the land for the site belonged to the Wanborough Estate and was given by the McKibbin family, owners of the Manor. One thousand pounds was also collected by local subscription. A condition of the grant of land was that the station, though situated in Normandy, should always be known as "Wanborough" but there was a period in its history when local residents were successful in having "for Normandy" added to the name. Unfortunately two men were killed during the construction of the station.
This picture was taken before the concrete interplatform bridge was built in 1938. A somewhat curious feature is the apparently wide spacing of the track sleepers. The scene emphasises the very rural setting of the station at that time. Today housing estates hem it in except on the north which is to the right of the picture.
When the station was opened on 1st September 1891, The Surrey Advertiser of the day described it as "a handsome and commodious structure". Although control of the railway line and the station has changed many times since then the appearance of the station itself has changed very little since its opening day. There used to be a canopy over the front entrance and a signal box at the far end of the up platform, both of which have now gone, whilst the addition of the passenger bridge came just before the line was electrified.
This picture was taken at some time prior to 1915 and contrasts with the present day situation of the station being entirely unmanned. The members of staff are unidentified but the man standing on the left is holding a shunting pole and the two on the right are each holding a flag, one probably red the other green while the man in the middle is probably the Station Master, Charles Dyson.
At the turn of the century there were still many residents in the village who remembered being taken to the station as children to see the first electric train going through on 1st January 1939. There were many more who remembered the train loads of hungry and battle weary troops after the evacuation of Dunkirk, being moved in and out of the sidings while the local housewives plied them with tea, sandwiches and pies. One soldier asked a young girl, "Where are we?" When told, "Normandy", he exclaimed that that was where they had just come from!
For many years the station was a flourishing and busy concern and at one time had a staff of at least five. It handled, not only passengers, but also the community's commercial, agricultural and horticultural products including the strawberries. A siding used to run into the western end of the station yard for the use of the businesses operating from there. For sixty years a siding also connected the neighbouring Wanborough Brick Works to the railway line and trains were regularly shunted from the station so that the bricks could be loaded for transportation. The flowerbeds on the platform were a delight to the eye up until the early 1980s and several times the station won the "Best Kept Stations Competition".
The Station Master's house and station building have been sympathetically renovated by McShane construction and are now used as offices by the company. The occasional excursion steam locomotive, when routed through the station, is a very welcome sight and draws many enthusiasts to the road bridge overlooking the line.