Friday, 26 September 2014

Huddersfield Railway Station ......... what they did after building our own Liverpool Road Station

We were in Huddersfield recently enjoying the last of the summer sunshine and following Bradshaw’s railway guide.

Now I am a great fan of Mr Bradshaw and bought in to his three maps of The Inland Navigation of England and Wales which he produced in 1830 as well as his Illustrated Handbook to London which came out in 1862.

At which point I should say that the actual inspiration for the trip came from that television series based on the railway guide and given the magnificent shots of St George’s Square and the surrounding buildings we were hooked.

The station was built in 1846 received praise from both Sir John Betjeman and Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and is very impressive.

That said the interior is much smaller than you would expect from that grand frontage and the two buildings at either end are now pubs.

But it is still magnificent and has that statute of Harold Wilson who I have to admit I’d forgotten come from Huddersfield.

So for those who want to see where railway architecture went after Liverpool Railway Station was built in 1830, this is the next best place.

Our own first station was a bold statement for the new railway age but this one coming just 16 years later has all that confidence that said "the railway is here to stay" and that I like.

And  it is still a busy place with trains coming and going and a shed full of passengers travelling east to Leeds and beyond and  west to Manchester and Liverpool.

It may not have the size of Piccadilly or Victoria or that restaurant at Stalybridge but there is no doubting that we are doing serious rail travel here.

What is more you can can still get to it by train from Manchester, now that can’t be bad.

We went by car but had planned on using the train which is just how you should visit a railway station.

And that just leaves me to send you back to all those earlier stories of Manchester's railway stations.*

Pictures;  of Huddersfield Station and St George’s Square, August 2014, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

Next; that station at Stalybridge, for a pint, a pie and a view of the hills.

*Manchester Railway Station,  http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Manchester%20Railway%20Station

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