Skip to main content

I have always been interested in railways, especially those using steam locomotives. I remember as a boy taking a 4d (four 'old pence' - for my American reader, the amazing sum of 3 cents) bus ride on an old 'blue & cream' Midland & General Omnibus double-decker 'bus, the 4 miles to Langley Mill Station on the Erewash Valley Line close to the Nottinghamshire border, in order to watch the main line express trains such as 'The Master Cutler' and 'The Thames - Clyde Express' thunder through on their way to Sheffield and Glasgow from St Pancras Station in London.

Here is a shot of Butterley Railway Station (on the old Pye Bridge to Ambergate line which closed in 1968), in the Derbyshire town of Ripley. When I was about 8, I was taken on a 'special' from here to Manchester Belle Vue station, drawn behind an LMS 4-6-0 'Black Five' locomotive, northward across the embankment which splits Butterley Reservoir, and returning late at night having had a wonderful time at the old Belle Vue Zoological and Pleasure Gardens (since demolished). Since it was after midnight, the last 'bus on the old Midland General Omnibus route from Ripley to Nottingham had LONG gone, and that meant that the family faced a long walk home to Codnor (c.3 miles)!

The Midland Railway Trust has transformed this derelict site, and despite the fact that it looks almost exactly as I remember it, the original station building is no longer there. However, an identical pattern Midland Railway station building was found at Whitwell in north Derbyshire, and has been erected on the site of the old one. Note the period wood and cast iron benches, the typical milk churns found on small Derbyshire stations, and even the period fire buckets!

The Midland Railway Ltd (one of the main constituent companies of the later London Midland and Scottish Railway Ltd) was formed at the nearby Sun Inn in Eastwood, and had its main locomotive and carriage works at Derby, so it was natural that the Trust would have chosen this site, along with the 3.5 mile length of preserved track, as its headquarters. Now trains run from here to the new station and museum at Swanwick and beyond, and there is a fine narrow-gauge extension to the hamlet of Golden Valley (where my mother was born). When I was visiting, ths station at Butterley was decked out with bunting for a visit by the much-loved 'Thomas the Tank Engine', and the place was heaving with 'small railway enthusiasts' and their guardians/parents. This made for a very happy time for all concerned.

Oh, and there has been a name change; although this facility was originally named 'The Midland Railway Centre', it is now known as 'The Midland Railway, Butterley'. Still the same wonderful history, though!

Originally posted to shortfinals on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:17 PM PST.

Also republished by Derbyshire and The Peak District and History for Kossacks.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site