Station Name: BELFORD, for BAMBURGH

[Source: Alan Young]

Belford Station Station Gallery 2: c1905 - August 1969

Looking north over the level crossing towards Belford station c1959. The bridge cabin is beyond the crossing, and it partly obscures a rake of cattle wagons and the goods warehouse. On the far side of the footbridge the waiting shelter can be seen on the up platform.
Photo from BR / Chris Woolstenhomes collection

Looking north-west from Belford level crossing c1960. The design of the gantry supporting the signal box is shown to advantage from this angle, including the lengthy staircase leading to it from the level crossing.  Its predecessor was situated on the left where the loading bank is seen. The LNER running-in nameboard in BR(NE) tangerine livery is in an unusual position, at track level rather than on the platform owing to space constraints. The main station building, on the down platform, is obscured by the footbridge and the locomotive, a 2-6-0 Gresley K3, hauling an up passenger train. This class was built between 1920 and 1937, initially by the Great Northern Railway at Doncaster, and later by the LNER at various locations including Darlington. In total 193 were built, all but one surviving into British Railways ownership in 1948.
Photo by John Alexander from Colin Alexander's Flickr photostream

Belford signal box and level crossing gate on 2 June 1963. The bridge cabin which dated from c1901 was closed on 25 February 1962 and replaced with this sleek structure close to the south-east ramp of the down platform. The design features a glazed control tower above one end of the relay room with a wide, flat roof and sloped windows to reduce glare. A BR(NE) vitreous enamel nameplate has been fitted. The traditional crossing gates would be replaced with booms in September 1966 and the box was to close in 1990. The station building on the down platform can be seen in the distance.
Photo by John M Boyes / J W Armstrong Photographic Trust

On 2 June 1964 ‘Deltic’ D9014 ‘The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment’ races through Belford with the 1.30pm Edinburgh Waverley to London Kings Cross ‘Heart of Midlothian’. The station’s NER footbridge and Newcastle & Berwick Railway goods warehouse will be noted. ‘Deltic’ locomotives were the backbone of ECML express passenger services from the early 1960s until the late 1970s, and the final Deltic-hauled service train ran at the end of 1981; Class 43 InterCity 125 trains operated the prestige services on the route until electrification in 1991. Re-numbered 55014, the locomotive seen here was withdrawn on 22 November 1981 and broken up at BREL Doncaster in February 1982.
Photo by Dai Pickup

Looking north-west from Belford level crossing in 1965. The signal box was opened on 25 February 1962, and the traditional crossing gates in the foreground would be replaced with booms in September 1966. The great length of the gates was necessary as they swung across sidings as well as the pair of main line tracks. The footbridge and down platform are in the background, also a North Eastern Railway lock-up shed and the Newcastle & Berwick station building.
Photo by Ben Brooksbank

The down platform at Belford station is seen from an up train on 12 April 1966. A timber lock-up shed from the North Eastern Railway era (1854-1922) is in the foreground, and the Newcastle & Berwick Railway station building of 1847 is in the background behind the NER footbridge. The running-in nameboard is of LNER design; owing to space constraints on the platform it is at track level, some distance from the platform ramp. Since signage was sparse on the platform, limited to tiny nameplates on the oil lanterns, passengers intending to alight from down trains would be likely not to notice the nameboard. Perhaps the traditional announcement of the station name by a porter on the platform was a necessity at Belford.
Photo by G C Lewthwaite

Looking south-east over Belford level crossing on 14 July 1966. The passenger station is behind the photographer. The traditional-style crossing gates have closed across the road as No.62024 prepares to take an up goods train from the sidings. By this date the station’s goods facilities had officially closed. The water tank on its robust stone base stands to the west of the main line tracks, and this supplied a water crane situated directly behind the camera. Further sidings can be seen beyond the water tank. The locomotive is a 2-6-0 Gresley-designed K1 Class built in August 1949 by the North British Locomotive Company, Glasgow, for British Railways. Withdrawn in February 1967 from 52F, North Blyth shed, the loco was broken up by Hughes Bolckows, Battleship Wharf, North Blyth in May 1967.
Photo by John M Fleming / NERA

On 17 August 1966 passengers are gathering on the platform at Belford station for a northbound morning train. Apart from the people’s outfits, the scene on the station would have looked much the same at the start of that century. The fine Newcastle & Berwick Railway building of 1847 takes pride of place, with its high quality sandstone masonry, canted bay windows and profusion of self-assured chimneystacks. The two verandahs are of interest, the closer one with its prominent pillars being an extension of the roof, while the distant one is a lean-to, clasped between the two wings of the building and enclosed with glass and timber by the NER to provide greater comfort for waiting passengers. NER oil lanterns are still used, as is the case in the mid 1960s at almost all of the ECML wayside stations in Northumberland.
Photo from D K Jones collection

Looking south on 23 October 1967 from the Newcastle to Edinburgh train which is calling at Belford at 10:11. A solitary passenger has alighted and some parcels have been unloaded. Although this is the ‘Corporate Identity’ era of black-and-white British Rail signage, it has yet to make any impression here where some British Railways’ North Eastern Region tangerine coloured signs and the region’s distinctive ‘Oriental Blue’ paint on the ancient oil lanterns , the woodwork, and the modern signal box are still on display. A modest garden is maintained in the foreground. The author took the opportunity of this half-term holiday trip to Edinburgh to photograph this station and Beal, and to travel on the Edinburgh-Corstorphine branch, in the knowledge that they would close several weeks later.
Photo by Alan Young

The photographer made a valuable record for posterity of lineside structures between Newcastle and Berwick on 12 August 1969 – and his similar venture on the Harrogate-Northallerton line immediately before its closure in March 1967 can be seen on this website by visiting the Ripon page and clicking the link at the end of the article.  Here we are looking north-west at Belford from a down train in the year after the station closed to passengers. Although goods traffic ceased to be handled in 1965 some wagons are in the siding, with the disused goods warehouse beyond. The up passenger platform and footbridge are visible in the distance.
Photo by Alan Brown

Here we are looking south-east from an up train passing through the disused station at Belford which had closed in January 1968. Following normal practice following closure the running-in nameboard has been removed from its stanchions. The footbridge is still in place as is a timber lock-up shed – both being North Eastern.
Photo by Alan Brown

Click here for Belford Station Station Gallery 3:
1970 - March 1980




[Source: Alan Young]

Last updated: Sunday, 04-Jun-2017 09:36:34 CEST
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