Station Name: WITHERNSEA

[Source: Mark Dyson]

Date opened: 27.6.1854
Location: At the end of Station Road
Company on opening: Hull and Holderness Railway
Date closed to passengers: 19.10.1964
Date closed completely: 3.5.1965
Company on closing: British Railways (Eastern Region)
Present state: Demolished, although part of Platform 3 survived. The trackbed area was and still is used as the site for a market with the station building and platform canopy in place until the late 1990's. At this time the buildings were demolished, though the site is still in use for the
market. The site of the turntable is covered by a supermarket cafe which used to be called 'The Turntable Cafe' but has now been renamed 'Trax'

The adjacent stable block from the 'Station Hotel' is the only surviving building on the site. The hotel was used as a hospital/convalescent home after 1902.
County: Yorkshire
OS Grid Ref: TA342277
Date of visit: September 1990, June 1991 & 14.9.2005

The Hull and Holderness Railway was promoted by Hull merchant Anthony Bannister with the objective of linking the industrial port of Hull with the rich agricultural land of South Holderness; parts of the South Holderness area had previously been accessible via the river Humber at Hedon and Patrington Havens, but these had begun to silt up. A secondary objective was to develop a seaside resort on the coast in much the same way as the York and North Midland Railway had begun to develop Scarborough and Whitby. The coast between Tunstall and Easington was surveyed and Withernsea chosen to be the terminus of the line and hence the new resort.

Receiving Royal assent on 8.7.1853 the line was extremely easy to construct as the South Holderness area is very flat and ballast could be extracted close to the line at Kelsey Hill near Burstwick; the line opened on 30.6.1854 with a Hull terminus at Victoria Dock station. The railway was initially completely independent and operated its own rolling stock, however it was too small to survive independently and on 1.1.1860 the line was leased to the NER which then bought the line outright on 7.7.1862. Trains began running into Hull's Paragon station via the Victoria Dock branch on 1.6.1864.

The line was constructed as a single track, but was doubled in the early 20th Century. Single line sections remained between Hedon and Ryehill and Burstwick stations and further east between Ottringham and Winestead until closure. Diesel railcars were introduced on 7.1.1957 and further cost cutting in the form of Centralised Traffic Control (automated signaling and level crossings) were proposed in the early 1960's only to be overtaken by the 'Beeching Report' of 1962 which proposed closure of the line.

The Hull-Withernsea line closed to passengers on 19.10.1964 (the same day as the neighbouring Hull-Hornsea branch) with goods services lasting until 30.4.1965. Goods services to Hedon continued until 1968.

Today several sections of trackbed are in use as a footpath/cycleway with much of the formation intact. With the exception of the Withernsea terminus, all the station buildings remain, mainly in residential use..

Click here to see a film of a journey along the branch from Hull to Withernsea in 1957.
Route map drawn by Alan Young. Tickets from Michael Stewart.

Further reading 'The Lost Railways of Holderness' by Peter Price (Hutton Press)
ISBN 0 0907033 86 5

To see the other stations on the Hull - Withernsea line click on the station name: Marfleet, Hedon Racecourse, Ryehill & Burstwick, Keyingham, Ottringham, Winestead, Patrington, Hollym Gate & Withernsea

Withernsea Station in the early 20th C
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

1891 1:2,500 OS map shows the layout of Withernsea station. The platform ios on the east side of the line with the station building oo the west of the Queens Hotel. There is a run round loop opposite the platform and a turntable at the end of the line. The 3-ton capacity yard crane iks seen to the west of the siding. A single siding is seen opposite the platform controlled by a signal box on the approach to the station on the down side. The gas works was disused by the early 20th century.
Click here for a larger version.

LNER, T.W. Worsdell designed D22 class 4-4-0 no. 356 is in the process of running round its train having just been turned on the cramped turntable a Withernsea station on 19/8/1929. This loco was originally a NER 'F' class compound which was rebuilt as a simple in 1903. By the time this photo was taken it was based at Hull Botanic Gardens whence it was withdrawn in March 1932. The 4-wheel long wheelbase van on the left is something of a puzzle. It has two stable type doors, presumably two each side, roof vents and a sliding vent in the end bulkhead. This suggests a special cattle van although the design does not conform to that normally associated with these vehicles and especially as the bodyside appears to contain no form of ventilation. Perhaps an expert on NER/LNER vans can enlighten us. The building in the left background is the Withernsea Kinema, opened in August 1916. 'Kinema' is an archaic spelling of 'cinema' although the former spelling is not entirely obsolete. Many kinemas began life as newsreel cinemas and deliberately used the 'k' spelling in order to differentiate. Long before the days of television and at a time when a large percentage of people, particularly in rural areas, could not read and wireless was still very much in its infancy, the one way of catching up with news was to visit the newsreel cinema. One could pay 'tuppence' and walk in at almost any time and watch the continually playing newsreels. The nature of newsreel cinemas was such that they became a haunt of down-and-outs who had begged the admission fee; this and the advent of reasonably technically reliable national radio during the 1920s gradually brought an end to newsreel cinemas although a few remained popular during and after the Second World War. As far as can be ascertained, however, the Withernsea Kinema functioned largely as a 'normal' cinema from its outset. The building ceased showing films sometime in the late 1950s but survives at the time of writing as an amusement arcade. Just visible in the right background is part of Withernsea's pier towers; a nice castle-like structure which once formed the entrance to the pier. Withernsea pier has long since ceased to exist and had gone even before this photograph was taken. The pier opened to the public in 1878 with an admission fee of one penny but not on its originally proposed site near the bandstand. The site on which it was eventually constructed was chosen to allow goods to be unloaded from ships and taken the short distance to the railway station for onwards transportation or vice versa. Sadly the 1196ft pier was frequently damaged by collisions with vessels and with an almost 'give up' approach had been entirely dismantled by 1905, leaving just the towers which survive to this day.
Photo from Mike Morant collection

Withernsea Station in c.1950's
Photo by Trevor Baldwin

Withernsea Station in the late 1950's with a DMU arriving at platform 3. The station master looks on.
Photo by Neville Stead

An L class 2-6-4T departing for Hull on 19.10.1964
Withernsea Station on May 2005.
Copyright photo from Nigel Mundy collection

Withernsea Station in September 1990.
hoto by Mark Dyson

Withernsea Station in September 1990.
Photo by Mark Dyson

Withernsea Station in June 1991
Photo by Mark Dyson

The surviving section of Platform 3 at Withernsea Station in September 2005P
hoto by Dr. James Fox

Mid 1950's




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