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 Selby Station

The present Selby station has its origins in the one opened in 1840 to facilitate the extension of the railway from Selby to Hull, although none of its original fabric survives. The Hull & Selby Railway left the line from Leeds about a quarter mile short of the original terminus and passed to the west of this, about 50 feet clear of the superintendent's house (formerly that of Christopher Paver). The 1848 Ordnance Survey suggests that the double track route was served by only a single platform, situated on the east side of the line and flanked by a long, narrow office range containing a booking office and waiting rooms. Access was from the north end (Ousegate) as had been the case with the 1834 station.

When the NER brought the east coast main line to Selby, the station site was extended to the west and south, and a new entrance was made from the west, offering more direct access to the town centre. The entrance range of the 1871 station was a predictably dull essay by the NER Architect, Thomas Prosser, but the platform roofing, which still remains today albeit partially relocated and extended twenty years later, shows his flair in that branch of design. It is a larger version of the platform verandah erected at Hexham station at the same time and both draw on Prosser's design for the enlargement of Durham station (1870-71). At Durham, he spanned a broad expanse of platform and circulating area with a glazed ridge and furrow roof whose valleys are carried on an unusual beam with a box-section lower member bearing open square cast-iron panels with a modest hint of Gothic decoration. Selby has conventional double-pitch roofs but these are borne on a refined version of the Durham truss; indeed the columns at Selby look more accomplished than those at Durham.

          The Up (east) platform with its 1891 office range and resited and extended 1871 roofing

The siting of the 1871 platforms made it possible to retain some, perhaps all, of the 1840 building but the construction of the new swing bridge in 1889-90 meant sweeping away the whole of the east side of the station in order to slew the tracks over. Thus the office range now seen on the east (up) side is entirely the creation of William Bell, company architect at the time. It is in the neat, functional style which has yet to achieve recognition as the true voice of the late nineteenth century, and there are discreet touches of colour in the use of sandstone springers for the gently arching lintels which are also framed by slender bands of black brick. The lintels employ precise tapering bricks, which recall the gauged brick of an earlier period and give very fine joints, in contrast to the cheaper brick of the main wall surface.

One of the earliest works in the reconstruction of Selby station was the provision of a new footbridge, built by the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company in 1889, with work on the buildings continuing into 1891. As well as the replacement east-side offices this included extensions to the Prosser entrance range, which ended up with a long range of first-floor accommodation above the booking office and refreshment rooms, with a beer cellar beneath these.

The station survived with only minor alterations until 1965, when the whole of the entrance range was demolished and replaced by the present compact one-storey building, which includes a small passenger lounge and a popular station cafe. The platform 1 roofing was, however, carefully conserved while little discernible change was made to the building on the east side (platform 2). With the diversion of main-line traffic from 1983, Selby has lost the two middle roads but retains a bay behind platform 2 for services originating at the town.

The 1965 entrance range, designed by British Railways North Eastern Region Architect's office in York







© W. Fawcett, 2011