Station Name: LONGHIRST
[Source: Alan Young]
Longhirst Station Gallery 1: c1906 - September 1972
Longhirst station looking north from the up platform c1906. The stately ‘Tudorbethan’ Newcastle & Berwick station building is on the down platform. Its structure – in effect semidetached houses – is apparent in this view. A recessed sheltered area for passengers is provided between the gables of the two houses. The pent-roofed stone waiting shed is seen on the up platform, and the goods shed is beyond; both complement the architecture of the station building. The NER signal box, constructed in 1873, is on the far side of the level crossing, east of the tracks.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection
1859 1:10,560 OS map. The station’s isolated position can be appreciated. A siding with a loop on the up (east) side entered from the south leads through the goods shed, which is unnamed but identified on a later map. A further siding leads to the lime depot, and another to a goods dock. The signal box has not yet been constructed.
1897 1:2,500 OS map. This new revision of the map includes Longhirst Colliery a short distance south of the station, three long terraces of miners’ cottages and a Primitive Methodist chapel and hall. A pair of semidetached cottages for railway workers has appeared on the road just west of the level crossing. Two further sidings have been added on the down (west) side of the station, entered from the south and connected to the colliery sidings. The goods shed and a weighbridge and office (WM) have been named: this was not the case on the 1859 map. The signal box, constructed in 1873, is now shown
north of the level crossing.
1922 1:2,500 OS map. The colliery buildings have been demolished with only old coal shafts, spoil heaps and the name of the settlement as evidence of the mine’s short existence. Durham Mining Museum website gives 1934 as the official date of closure. The southern terrace of cottages has been demolished but the garden boundaries of the former cottages remain. One of the terraces is now shown as ‘Aged Miners’ Home’. The siding to the west of the station has been removed, but a long siding which formerly extended to the colliery remains in place
1958 1: 2,500 OS map. The station closed to passengers in 1951 and it is no longer named, but goods traffic is still handled. The surviving terraces of colliery cottages are all identified as
‘Aged Mineworkers’ Homes’. Only the longer terrace now survives (Straker Terrace); the shorter terrace at right angles has been demolished.
In 1919 No. 732 hurtles through Longhirst station with a southbound express. This photograph of indifferent quality is included because the substantial waiting shelter on the up platform is shown to advantage, and the goods shed can be seen beyond it; this handsome structure complements the station building on the down platform.
Photo by J Watson
In 1919 No.723 hauls a southbound goods train through Longhirst. The NER running-in nameboard (cream letters on a terra cotta field) is prominent as is the signal box, also of NER design. The Worsdell-designed 4-4-0 was built at Gateshead works in November 1906. In LNER ownership it was renumbered 2377 and it still carried this number when it was withdrawn by BR(NE) from 52D, Tweedmouth shed, on 31 May 1949. The loco was cut up at British Railways’ Darlington works (North Road) the following month.
Photo from John Mann collection
Longhirst station looking south from the up platform on 14 May 1925 at 11.40am as a down express hauled by a D16/3, 4-4-0 loco passes through. On the opposite platform the ‘Tudorbethan’ architecture of the dignified Newcastle & Berwick Railway building of 1847 can be admired, built on a grand scale for a station of limited importance. At this time two verandahs are provided to shelter passengers, one clasped between the gabled sections of the building facing the platform , and another on the northern elevation. The waiting shelter on the up platform complements the main building. The locomotive was built at the Great Eastern Railway’s Stratford works in June 1909, originally being numbered 1820. Under LNER ownership it was successively known as 8820 and 2571. In BR days the loco was renumbered 62571 and it continued in service until January 1959 when it was withdrawn from 40A, Lincoln shed. It returned to its birthplace at Stratford works to be cut up the following month.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection
The station building at Longhirst in April 1977. Despite serving a modest village a mile distant and a scattering of farmsteads, a structure of generous proportions was built. Attention was given to architectural detail on all elevations of the building, and the collection of self-assured gables topped by ball finials will be noted. The porch, to the right, with its fancy bargeboard is particularly charming. On the platform elevation the formerly open verandah has been enclosed.
Photo by Alan Young
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