~The Railway Grown-Ups~
12th January 2013
Peter Ratcliffe and I revisit the place of many happy childhood memories. The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is a preserved line in West Yorkshire and the location for the (1970) filming of Edith Nesbit's 1905 book "The Railway Children". The line runs from Keighley to Oxenhope.
BR Ivatt 2MT No. 41241 enters Damems Station
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
Oxenhope Railway Station
Opened as the southern terminus of the Worth Valley line in 1867, it closed with the rest of the line in 1962. The line's original primary purpose had been to supply coal to the many wool mills in the valley. Oxenhope Station is located 600ft above sea level.
Old Oxenhope Lane
The first train of the day, the 09:00hrs to Keighley is provided by Railbus: Waggon & Maschinenbau M79964. Our walk leaves the railway and heads for Haworth via farm roads and fields, rather than the lineside route.
Is it an optical illusion? The house appears lopsided, but the trees and the unusually-sited lamp-post don't! Peter and I were wondering if the light comes on at night.
Church of St.Michael & All Angels, Haworth
Visitors to this website may recall the name of the church in Sheldon, last week!
The Brontë Parsonage
Reopens on Saturday 9th Feb 2013, after a period of decorative restoration. We walked down Haworth Main Street en route to the railway station.
Kings Arms, Haworth
Main Street, Haworth
Haworth Railway Station
How many thousands of children have stood on this bridge and watched steam engines blast their way under them? I think most of us take it for granted that there are steam engines to be found on preserved lines around the country. They've always been there, haven't they?
"Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice"
How many other creations, buildings, legacies etc. can you think of which would deserve such a fine, personal memorial? When Beeching, his predecessors and allies called on railways to close and lines to be lifted and scrapped; engine metals to be recycled and staff to find alternative employment, could they ever have imagined the recovery of rural routes, the thriving lives of the preservationists and the substantial economical benefits to the local economies? And so to Oakworth, next stop on the line...
Oakworth Railway Station
As seen in the 1970 film, with Station Master Perks (Bernard Cribbins).
Me at Oakworth Railway Station (hands still in pockets)
Me at Oakworth Railway Station (hands in pockets) c.1970
This photo has been shown on here on an earlier date/visit. Sorry for the repetition, but they were halcyon days, even the sun was shining.
The Worth Way (walk route) takes you to Damems via Cackleshaw and a few fields.
Looking back to Cackleshaw, a small hamlet of barns converted into fine homes.
BR Ivatt 2MT No. 41241 at Damems
Built in Crewe in 1949 and always in active service on the network, No.41241 ended up at Skipton in 1965 and was bought from there for the KWVR in 1967, arriving under its own power. The locomotive hauled the first train at the reopening of the branch line in 1968 and has become synonymous with the Railway ever since.
Damems Railway Station
Damems is said to be Britain's smallest railway station.
The Keighley to Queensbury Line (disused)
The Worth Way continues towards Ingrow West Station and then Keighley. Closed and lifted in 1965, this was the bed for the former railway line to Queensbury. Luckily a walkers' diversion is available to the left of the photo, rejoining the route beyond the puddle.
Ingrow West Railway Station
Peter is looking for a way out, maybe he's had enough! All is not what it seems to be. This building was originally located at Foulridge (Lancs., near Colne) and was bought by the KWVR. Every stone was numbered and replaced exactly to make this fine station. Ingrow East was on the other line to Queensbury and some 40ft higher up the hillside (right of photo).
Ingrow East Station (1965)
Full credit to the Disused Stations website, from whom I have gained no permission. Please don't tell over me. The Worth Way goes along the road to get to Keighley, an unfortunately, noisy and unattractive part of the walk.
Keighley Railway Station
We knew all along that a return to Oxenhope by rail was a possibility, the other options being by bus or walk a different route. It happened that the 13:15hrs service was resting in Platform 4, so we bought our tickets and boarded the four carriage, well populated train.
A Token Exchange
Is the driver giving his handbag to the man in orange? No, they are exchanging single-line tokens. Without the right one, the driver is not allowed to proceed beyond the points and into Oakworth.
Somehow Oakworth is a brighter station than Haworth, the observant will notice that they are on opposite sides of the line. This was so that the train doors on both sides got plenty of use and didn't seize up*.
Haworth Motive Power Depot
The blue and yellow train is not a steam engine. It is a Class 37 Diesel Locomotive and may be here in readiness for the "Diesel Gala", 26th - 28th April 2013. Bit early, you might think.
The End of The Line
Back where we started at Oxenhope Station.
* this is not actually true.
Walkers: Peter Ratcliffe and Me.
Time taken: About four hours over a distance of about 6.5 miles, but this includes breakfast in Haworth and much dwelling at the stations.
Route: Oxenhope, Marsh Top, Old Oxenhope Lane, Snowden's Farm, Haworth, Haworth Railway Station, Oakworth Railway Station, Cackleshaw, Damems Railway Station, Ingrow West Railway Station, roadside to Keighley Railway Station.
Weather and Conditions: Cool with weak sunshine at times.
Anorak Count: Not too many enthusiasts on the line today, they tend to head for gala events and the mainline specials.
Richard's Refreshment Review: We took breakfast in the Villette Coffee House in Haworth. A fine place for freshly-cooked food. On the way home we had a coffee in a new establishment in Colne. This may be of interest to East Lancashire locals. "About Coffee" is not a cafe, it is a coffee shop and specialises in coffees, even grinding beans for you to take away and offering Coffee Courses for those with machines and no knowledge of how to use them.
About Coffee, Colne
Most photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2013 ©
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