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 Saltburn Station

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Saltburn station was designed by the S&D Architect William Peachey and completed in 1862. Passenger services had begun in August 1861 but a start on the permanent building was delayed while the directors finalised their ideas for the Zetland Hotel. Their minutes imply that construction work was only just underway at the start of February 1862. It was a single-platform terminus with a trainshed identical with that surviving at Redcar, sheltering a carriage siding as well as the platform line. The platform was continued beyond the east end of the trainshed to provide direct access into the hotel, its far end being covered by a short trainshed of its own.

The station frontage is a much more assured essay than that seen at Redcar. It focuses on a well-proportioned portico, boldly articulated with chunky Tuscan pilasters and executed in pale buff brick with sandstone dressings. The windows of the central pavilion are of that Italian Renaissance form which pairs arched lights under a round one. Added distinction is provided by the spiral pattern (barley-sugar twist) colonnettes which frame the lower lights. The facing brick is actually firebrick from one of the Pease collieries near Crook; this was mandatory for facades in the new town, helping to keep business in the family but also providing a valuable visual tie between buildings.

The portico led into a booking hall with a circular office in the middle, lit by a skylight in its domed ceiling. The rear half of the office projected into a recess on the platform frontage. This imaginative layout made for good circulation, but the NER eventually found the office accommodation inadequate and spoiled things by extending it towards the front wall. Within the trainshed, the subtle polychromy of buff brick and stone seen on the facade was replaced by a more striking combination of buff and red brick, found also at Peachey's Saltburn engine shed.

The interior of Saltburn station in about 1970, by which time the far end of the trainshed roof had lost its cladding.

Traffic growth led first to the commissioning of an entirely separate Saltburn Excursion Station in 1870 and then a progressive westward extension of the main platform. Saltburn finished up with three further west-end bays, which were equipped with glazed verandahs in 1899, a year which also brought the booking office enlargement already mentioned.

Saltburn station in LNER days, with the 1899 roofs in the left background.

Declining traffic in the nineteen-sixties led to the abandonment of the trainshed, which had lost its tracks by 1971, with trains being handled at the western bays. These had lost their 1899 roofs though one had acquired a British Railways awning instead. At this stage, though Peachey's office range remained in use, the trainshed roof was falling into disrepair. The spread of 'pay trains' made the office range redundant as well but this was the saving of the building. The trainshed was dismantled but the office building was thoroughly and sensitively restored for retail use.






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© W. Fawcett, 2011