Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Sleeping Giant

Cutting its way through the Beautiful Yorkshire Wolds and out into the Vale of York, the York - Beverley ran for just over a hundred years.

People who find their way to this site regularly will know of my huge interest in the line. It always fascinates me to see the remains, and how they can still have a huge prominence within the communities they served (see Stamford Bridge for more on this). However the line has also left us with some much less obvious. Just near Fangfoss, one section of the line heads across the relatively flat floor of the Vale of York. To the casual passer by all it will be is large hedge line separating the fields, but to those of us in the know it is much much more. At one former occupation crossing, the crossing gate posts still survive (above). If you walk onto the trackbed and look up the line, back to York, you can see exactly where the line was.

Quietly waiting for trains to return one day maybe? Well, you never know... but the line sits there as nature has slowly reestablishes itself.

Whereas Stamford Bridge and Pocklington are still obviously railway stations, just now devoid of track, other stations have settled down into their retirement. Londesborough station is just on the edge of its adopted village of Shiptonthorpe. With no hint of the former level crossing or, indeed, any former railway boundaries it is not obvious that this was once a station serving the local area. If you know where to look, it is easy to find and the architecture is unmistakable.

Further down the line at Market Weighton, the station didn't get the same easy retirement that others received, it is long gone and very little remains of the railway at this once important junction. A new devlopment which is just near the former station, Hundson Court, makes a link to the past. However on the site of the station, houses now reside where trains once ran. There's only one building which helps the observer indetify where the line once was.

They houses which were on the edge of the station site by the level crossing at the west end of the station - the line would have passed through the scene just in front of the photographer. However for most people, it will just be a pair of rather nicely proportioned cottages and not part of the railway which was once a huge part of the town.

Just a short distance away a small sign indicates that we're are at the start of the 'Hudson's Way' to Beverley which uses the trackbed between Market Weighton and Beverley - the journey is now, of course, on foot...

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