Sadly, there is little charm left at this station, which originally opened on 9th July 1860 with the London, Chatham & Dover Railway's Faverham to Canterbury extension. Perhaps the site avoids falling into the completely nondescript station category by the retention of vintage iron railings on both platforms, the former Station Master's house (albeit in private ownership) on the "up" side, and a classic lattice footbridge. Presumably the latter will be removed at some point when a structure incorporating lifts is required, unless the fact that it also carries a public footpath can save it.

Selling was commissioned with two platforms, that serving London-bound traffic being host to the main building. This was a single-storey tongue-and-groove timber affair, featuring sash-style windows, all set upon a shallow brick base. The building's arrangement was such that it was essentially a timber version of the structure at Adisham, minus the latter's second storey. Slated pitched roofs were in evidence and the main building also sported an intricate canopy valance built to a standard LC&DR design (still a feature of Shepherds Well). On the ''down'' platform, waiting passengers were afforded a 30-foot-long timber waiting shelter. This comprised wraparound sides, a canopy valance, and was built to a standard design which came into use at sister stations at Adisham and Shepherds Well. Finally, a large property for the Station Master, two-storeys high, of creme brick construction and with sash-style windows, was erected midway along the "up" platform.

Goods facilities were concentrated at the Canterbury end of the layout, sidings flanking the running lines on either side; no doubt the surrounding fields provided a good quantity of traffic at one time. A single refuge siding, southward-facing, was evident on the "down" side, this being about 220-yards long and terminating at the end of the platform. The "up" side was a little more complicated, a single northward-facing connection with the "up" line eventually sprouting four sidings, two of which required a head shunt manoeuvre to access. The layout is illustrated in the below diagrams, but it is worth mentioning that one of the "up" sidings terminated within a clapboard goods shed. A public footpath also crossed all tracks on the level at this point.

Selling: 1872

Layout prior to addition of footbridge and relocation of footpath. Click the above for a larger version. © David Glasspool

An upgrade to the early signalling came in about 1880, when Saxby & Farmer was contracted to install one of its cabins at the southern end of the "up" platform. The signal box was set upon the platform surface and was built to the contractor's standard design of the time, comprising hipped slated roof, timber upper half, and a shallow brick base. In combination with this, the "down" refuge siding was extended behind and beyond the northern end of the platform. A trailing crossover was also installed between the running lines, south of the platforms. Other alterations in the track layout can be found in the subsequent diagrams.

From the outset, passengers had walked between platforms using a track foot crossing. This was superseded during the SE&CR era, some time after 1908, by a lattice footbridge. 80-feet in length, the footbridge was installed at the southern ends of the platforms and, in addition to use by railway passengers, it formed the course of a public footpath. The latter was the footpath which, hitherto, had crossed the tracks in the vicinity of the goods yard, but was subsequently re-routed 70-yards north to meet the bridge.

The Southern Railway re-faced the platforms' sides with prefabricated concrete, manufactured at the company's own works at Exmouth Junction. However, more significant were those works carried out by British Railways in connection with Phase 1 of the Kent Coast Electrification Scheme. In 1959, the "up" and "down" platforms were lengthened by 145-feet and 165-feet respectively at their northern ends; short extensions were also made to the south, which saw the truncation of the dock line. At the same time, concrete bracket lampposts were installed along the full extent of both platforms.

Selling: 1959

Layout after Kent Coast Electrification platform extensions, but also including those later modifications made by SE&CR. Click the above for a larger version. © David Glasspool

Selling resided on that section of the "Chatham" main line which was not subject to re-signalling as part of the 1959 electrification scheme, the accelerated timetable of which came into use on 15th June of that year. As a result, it retained its Saxby & Farmer cabin controlling semaphores and, additionally, an operational goods yard. The latter closed to public traffic on 5th November 1962 and the sidings on the "up" side were lifted. However, the lengthy "down" refuge siding, which passed behind the platform and under the footbridge, remained, as did the trailing crossover between the running lines.

By 1990, the "down" refuge siding was still in evidence, but had been cut back to the footbridge. In the early hours of Saturday, 12th March 1994, half of the “up” side timber main building — that part comprising the waiting room — was destroyed by fire, and the surviving booking office portion damaged by smoke and water. Power to the third rail was switched off from 2:20 AM to 4:35 AM, and a railway spokesman stated at the time that it was too early to say if the station would be rebuilt (ref: Faversham Times, 16th March 1994). Railtrack representatives confirmed in a Parish Council meeting in June the following year that most of the station’s buildings would be demolished, the car park extended, and that tickets would have to be bought on the train. All that remained of the main building was the brick appendix at the south, which formerly housed the gentlemen's toilets. At 17:45 on 22nd January 1995, another fire hit Selling station, this time the signal box. Arsonists poured petrol onto the timber structure, which caused extensive damage to the floor and electrical wiring, but the main body of the cabin escaped serious impact (ref: The Railway Magazine, April 1995). In the wake of the fire, a temporary measure was employed of using hand signalmen. The surviving timber cabin was removed from its brick base and transported to the preserved East Kent Railway, where it was restored and reused at Eythorne (ref: Faversham Gazetter and Times, 21st February 1996).

Unfortunately, the station's woes did not end there. A survivor of the 1994 and 1995 fires was the "down" side waiting shelter, which dated from the station's earliest years. Regrettably, this LC&DR artifact was demolished in 2009, as part of a general programme across the former South Eastern Division to provide new platform shelters at stations. The shelter of 1995 was also removed at this time, new glazed structures with curved roofs coming into use on both platforms.

Selling: 1969

Layout after the abolition of the "up" side goods yard. Click the above for a larger version. © David Glasspool

February 1959

A Faversham-bound view from the footbridge’s “down” side staircase shows, in the background, the prefabricated concrete platform extensions that were erected in the latter part of 1958 — the concrete bracket lampposts are from the same time. The Station Master was provided with a substantial two-storey-high house, as seen on the left, which was often the case at rural sites such as Selling. As per stations at Meopham and Westgate-on-Sea, the LC&DR erected a single-storey main building at Selling, seen here on the left in a very well-kept condition, complete with sash-style windows. The "down" side refuge siding is seen at its peak length. © David Glasspool Collection


The waiting room portion of the main building is that on the right in this view from the forecourt; it was this section that was destroyed by fire in 1994. The booking office formed the left-hand part of the building and, although surviving the fire, was also flattened due to smoke and water damage. All that remains of the main building today is the brick section on the far right, formerly the gentlemen’s toilets. © David Glasspool Collection


The attractive signal box, positioned at the Canterbury end of the “up” platform, was the product of well-known contractor Saxby & Farmer. Gutted by fire in January 1995 as a result of an arson attack, the main timber structure nevertheless survived to be reused at Eythorne, on the preserved East Kent Railway. The lattice footbridge, hexagonal lampshades, and SR concrete platform face and fencing complete this bygone scene. © David Glasspool Collection