This week our column has a truly stunning coloured photo of the last days of the once-proud Colne Railway Station. The dateline, Spring, 1972; the photographer, eminent lens man Colin Bean; the subject recording, the end of an era.
Yes, Colne had seen a railway station first built by the Midland Railway Company in the year 1848, however, as the freight traffic increased due to the rise of the cotton industry which, in turn, saw the passenger trains multiply as money became more available, so the original station was, in 1883, completely rebuilt and modernised.
The now updated station had seen its platforms raised and extended and facilities streamlined and the station’s frontage was now a superb example of the Midland Railway’s classic architectural style. The 1883 datestone was a superb carving of a wyvern with fearsome forked tongue and tail, this representing the mighty Midland’s emblem and which guarded our proud station’s entrance for almost 90 years.
Today, the station we knew and loved has gone, the memories never will. The wonderful summer days during the post-war years setting off to Blackpool on family holidays with our cases ready on the platform as a powerful steam locomotive comes into the station so close you can smell and taste the smoke, steam and soot from the mighty engine; boarding the still steaming train with a joy as soon we are heading, full steam ahead, from Bonnie Colne to Booming Blackpool for a week of sea, sand and sun.
Farewell old station, we remember you still.