Station: WEST MONKSEATON

[Source: Alan Young]

Date opened:

2.3.1933

Location: Entrance on the east side of the bridge over the railway on Earsdon Road (A192)
Company on opening: London & North Eastern Railway
Date closed to passengers: Temporary closure from 10.9.1979 until 11.8.1980
Date closed completely: Still open
Company on closing:

British Rail (Eastern Region) - temporary closure

Present state:

Entrance building and up platform awning are intact. Waiting rooms on platforms have been removed. Under Metro ownership concrete platforms have replaced the original timber structures, and a small awning has been added to the down platform.

County: Northumberland
OS Grid Ref: NZ336719
Date of visit:

Frequently 1960-80; 1998 & 24.3.2009

Note: The development of a residential estate adjoining the Coast Circle railway prompted the LNER to provide a new station between Monkseaton and Backworth. Building was swift: the plans and estimates were approved on 17 February 1933, and it was opened on 20 March 1933 by the Chairman of Whitley Bay and Monkseaton UDC, although work
on the entrance building did not start until the following year. The platforms were of timber, and they remained as such through the LNER and BR eras. At first the booking facilities were located on the platforms, in kiosks at the foot of the staircases down from the overbridge.

Originally envisaged as having a glazed timber overtrack structure adjoining Earsdon Road bridge, a more ambitious building of reinforced concrete was provided instead. Bill Fawcett has described it as ‘a low, sleek white essay in the "Moderne" style with horizontal window bands, and finned corners to the deep fascia’. Its layout comprised a centrally placed
passimeter booking office flanked by two kiosks, with toilets behind. Waiting rooms were on each platform; they harked back to NER practice of providing a range of windows above a wooden dado, but departed from tradition in providing windows on every side and opting for a ‘moderne’ flat roof. On the south platform - signed as ‘Newcastle Direct’ in BR times – extra shelter was provided by a canopy of generous length mounted on concrete cantilevers.

The LNER stamped their identity strongly on this obscure commuter station. The entrance fascia was adorned with the LNER’s new ‘fish’ logo at each end, with the station name in its house-style Gill Sans typeface. The same information was provided on the fascia of the waiting rooms on the platform, but using the earlier ‘diamond’ logo.

The platform signage appears to have been of an experimental type, with running-in nameboards and nameplates on the electric lamp standards incorporating the diamond, as small spikes above and below the rectangular board or plate. The (Gill Sans) lettering appears to have been black on cream on the lamp plates, and the running-in board also had black
lettering. This style of running-in board was also installed by the LNER at other Coast Circle stations, but it appears not to have been used elsewhere on the company’s system. Only West Monkseaton seems to have been fitted with the ‘diamond’ lamp plates. The electric lighting was on ‘swan-neck’ standards, and some time after the station opened the familiar ‘mint imperial’ diffusers were fitted. Only the dowdy electric train stock spoiled the modern image, but in 1937 new electric multiple units took over the service.

In January 1948 West Monkseaton became part of the nationalised British Railways North Eastern Region, then in January 1967, when the North Eastern Region was abolished it was transferred to the Eastern Region. As at Benton, West Monkseaton received BR(NE) totem name signs of the early half-flange design in the early/mid 1950s, presumably because the non-
standard LNER plates were no longer satisfactory. The LNER nameboards were in place well into the British Railways era, being replaced with tangerine vitreous enamel signs in about 1960.


The familiar 1937 electric multiple units were eventually condemned as ‘life expired’ by British Rail, and phased out over a two-year period to be replaced with diesel multiple units; the final EMU ran on 17 June 1967. The diesel units provided a slower service, and the longstanding 20-minute frequency service (calling at all stations) was reduced to half-hourly intervals, but an
hourly express service called at West Monkseaton. The new Tynerider branded services – the same old DMUs with jolly orange transfers added to them! - introduced in October 1970 restored the 20-minute interval ‘all stops’ service.

Royal Assent was given in 1973 for conversion of the route to light rail ‘Metro’ operation, and the DMU service continued as before, until the direct trains between Newcastle Central and West Monkseaton were withdrawn on 23 January 1978 for Metro engineering work to take place. From that time ‘Metro-Link’ buses replaced the withdrawn service. Newcastle could still be reached by train using the longer route via Tynemouth, but these trains ceased to run from West Monkseaton on 10 September 1979.

Less than a year later, on 11 August 1980 the station reopened on the first phase of the Tyne & Wear Metro, with trains to Tynemouth and the new Haymarket station in central Newcastle. The LNER entrance building was retained, but the enclosed waiting facilities on the platform were not. In 1999 the entrance building was tastefully restored, and the LNER canopy
on the south platform was also refurbished.

Click here for a list of sources and a Blyth & Tyne bibliography

Tickets from Michael Stewart. 1950 Bradshaw from Nick Catford. Totem from Richard Furness. Route map drawn by Alan Young.

To see other stations on the Blyth & Tyne Railway Avenue branch click on the station name: The Avenue, Dairy House, Monkseaton (1st site), Whitley, Cullercoats (1st site), Tynemouth (1st site), North Shields (B & T) & Tynemouth (3rd site)

See also Seaton Sluice and the unopened Collywell Bay branch: Brierdene & Collywell Bay

See also
Monkseaton (2nd site), Whitley Bay (1st site), Whitley Bay (2nd site), Cullercoats (2nd site) & Tynemouth (4th site)

See also
Tynemouth (Newcastle & Berwick terminus)


West Monkseaton station under construction in 1932, looking north-east.
Photo from JC Dean collection




1938 1:2,500 OS map. The station was opened five years earlier. The overtrack booking hall and waiting sheds on the platform can be seen. The new housing estate, south of the line, was the reason for the station being opened by the LNER.


1955 1:2,500 OS Map. The overtrack booking hall and the waiting sheds on the platforms are shown clearly, but the concrete awning over the west end of the south platform is not.
There was no urban development north of the station until the ‘Metro’ era; the station site is now enclosed by residential estates.

Early in 1933, seen from the road bridge to the south-west, West Monkseaton station nears completion. The ticket booths have been constructed at the entrance to each platform (foreground) and the waiting sheds are in place further along the platforms. Some of the platform lighting has also been installed.
Photo from JC Dean collection

On 2 March 1933, the opening day of West Monkseaton by the LNER, an elderly North Eastern Railway EMU enters the crowded up platform.
Photo from JC Dean collection


West Monkseaton station on its opening day, 2 March 1933. The EMU is at the down platform. Prior to the completion of the overtrack booking hall, wooden booths are located on both platforms at the foot of the staircases to issue tickets. Waiting rooms are provided on each platform. A canopy would later be added to the up platform, in front of the waiting room and extending almost to
the foot of the staircase.
Photo from JC Dean collection

EMUs pass at West Monkseaton, possibly on the opening day in 1933. The LNER has provided unusual nameboards incorporating their ‘diamond’ logo, with black print on a pale ground, and equipped with spotlights. The electric lamps (with unusual shades) have matching nameplates, not known to have been fitted elsewhere on their network. The diamond logo also adorns the two waiting rooms. One of the temporary ticket booths is shown, to be removed when the overtrack booking office was opened. The function of the smaller buildings towards far end of each platform is not known. Poster boards have been installed, and filled, at intervals along the platform. In keeping with the modern image somewhat utilitarian seating has been provided. This station (trains excepted) may have been a showpiece for all that was modern, but the LNER abandoned the ‘diamond’ logo in favour of the ‘fish’ soon after it opened!
Photo from JC Dean collection


A 1937 stock electric multiple unit, in the red and white livery which was replaced with malachite green in the early 1950s, calls at the down platform of West Monkseaton station.
Photo from JC Dean collection

The up platform of West Monkseaton in 1959. The LNER constructed the austere canopy in front of the earlier waiting room. The unusual LNER ‘diamond’ running-in board has had raised lettering added since it was installed, and BR(NE) has replaced the non-standard LNER nameplates with totems – one of the few Coast Circles stations to be favoured with them.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Looking south-west along from the up platform at West Monkseaton in June 1969.  The electric third rails have recently been removed. The station retains its LNER buildings and lamps, and BR(NE) totems have been installed.
Photo by John Mann


Looking south-west from the up platform of West Monkseaton station on 27 December 1976. A class 104 DMU stands at the down platform. The LNER installed the simple canopy on the up platform and an enclosed waiting shed on the down platform. The back of the entrance block-cum-footbridge can be seen, approached by covered stairways; it is fitted with an Art Deco clock (clearly not working).
Photo by Alan Young

West Monkseaton station, looking south-west in October 1978. A class 101 DMU stands at the down platform; at this time West Monkseaton is the terminus for trains to and from Newcastle Central, via Tynemouth, the route via Benton having closed the previous January for engineering work to convert the route to Metro operation. The up platform has been truncated.
Photo by Alan Lewis from his Flickr photostream

A Metro train calls at the up platform of West Monkseaton on 15 August 1998.
Photo by Alan Young

Looking north-east from the bridge in March 2009. A Metro train stands at the down platform.
P
hoto by Nick Catford

Refurbished Art Deco exterior of West Monkseaton station in March 2009.
P
hoto by Nick Catford

Click here for more pictures of West Monkseaton station

 

 

 

[Source: Alan Young]




Last updated: Friday, 26-May-2017 08:59:16 BST
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