Contributions help to build up picture of station’s history

Morpeth Railway Station.

Morpeth Railway Station.

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There has been an ‘encouraging’ response to an appeal for memories, stories and archive material about Morpeth Railway Station.

Greater Morpeth Development Trust (GMDT), which is hoping to get the green light to start refurbishing and remodelling the Victorian buildings later this year, launched the memorabilia initiative to try and build up a comprehensive picture of its history.

After it was opened in 1847 by the Newcastle and Berwick Railway Company, the station became a vital link in the East Coast main line network that was to transform travel by rail in the middle of the 19th Century.

Designed by the renowned architect Benjamin Green, Morpeth is now the only surviving Northumberland station from that era which continues to provide passenger facilities for modern rail travellers.

Its original cost to build is recorded as just £9,500.

GMDT recently held the first of what will be a series of open invitation events asking people with memories of the Morpeth station to add them to what it hopes will be a collection of material that could perhaps provide the basis of an exhibition to go on display in the refurbished station, or possibly a booklet.

The trust’s Karen Tweddle said that people have already contributed material relating to a major rail accident near the station in 1984; photographs of what it looked like in days gone by; plans of the station from as long ago as 1903; information about the contribution by Morpeth’s Swinney’s iron foundry to the metal work that formed part of the station buildings; and photographs of the Queen arriving at the station in 1993 on her way to opening the new law courts at Bedlington and then attending Newcastle Racecourse for the running of the Northumberland Plate.

Karen said: “We’ve had an encouraging initial response to our appeal, but we are sure there will be lots more material, memories and stories that we would love to add to our collection.”

More events will be planned, but in the meantime anyone who can help build up the collection can contact her by calling 01670 503866 or emailing info@gmdt.org

The refurbishment scheme includes the opening of a bistro cafe and offices for up to seven small businesses.