No Trains Today! Alton Station, Staffordshire

Welcome to Alton

On Friday I stepped back in time visiting a pre-Beeching era railway station. My friend, Ann, and I were on our way to spend a weekend visiting Pugin-related buildings in East Staffordshire, staying at a National Trust cottage in the Manifold Valley (Peak District) and, hopefully, fitting in a country walk in the valley. More about these in future posts; but our first destination of the weekend was the Landmark Trust’s Alton Station which Ann arranged for us to visit on this changeover day.

Alton Station

First view of Alton Station was in sunshine, after the heavy rain and winds of the morning’s drive

Alton is most famous for Alton Towers the well-known theme park but there is lots more to visit at Alton as I was to find out.  The theme park occupies only part of the grounds of the Alton Towers estate owned and developed by the Earls of Shrewsbury over the centuries. The Station was built  in 1849 in an Italianate style as part of the Churnet Valley branch line for the North Staffordshire Railway (NSR). It finally closed in 1965.

Ticket Office now DR

Former Ticket Office and Waiting Room

At the station we were greeted by the three housekeepers who were busy cleaning and polishing and ‘hoovering’ and making beds ready for the arrival of the next guests that afternoon and the gardener who was raking the gravel. We were welcomed with cups of tea and they chatted as they worked, answering our questions and making comparisons with the past representation of the station when only the Station Master’s House provided accommodation. A few years ago the ticket office and waiting rooms were renovated and now provide the kitchen, a further bedroom and large dining room. The two buildings are not linked under cover, though!

Ladies WR now kitchen

The former Ladies Waiting Room is now the Kitchen

Busy Alton Station

Close-up of the framed photograph of the station in its heyday

Alton Stn2

Alton Station and disused railway track

The station

Original Landmark was The Station Master’s  House (foreground)

This year The Landmark Trust has been celebrating its 50th anniversary. As well as special events at headquaters and throughout the country they have published a beautiful history book and their work has been featured in a 6-part Channel 4 programme on TV.

New book

Every Landmark property has a copy of the book in its Library and you can read more about the telly programme here.

Long wait

No trains today, Ann. You’ll have a long wait!

 

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5 comments on “No Trains Today! Alton Station, Staffordshire

  1. micklively says:

    Great pictures. I was born just down the road.
    Beeching’s closures were vandalism.

  2. Fran says:

    What a dear little station. Thanks also for the C4 link, a series which I have missed.

  3. […] renovating the neighbouring  St Edward’s Presbytery. The Channel 4 series mentioned in yesterday’s post visited SEP in programme […]

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