Station History

(photo by Gordon Heywood – L&YR Soc.Coll.8618)

The original station on the present site (above) was opened by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway on 1st September 1876, replacing an earlier one situated approx. 1/3 mile further west (that site now being occupied by the Tesco car park).

The main station buildings of the 1876 structure were damaged by a fire in 1978 and subsequently hastily demolished in 1980, amidst rumours circulating at the time that an award of ‘listed building’ status was imminent.

A Booking Office was then provided for a few years in the surviving part of the buildings (later to become the Jubilee Refreshment Rooms) before the station was de-staffed in August 1985.

After closure of the ticket office in 1985, use of most of the building as a rest room and fuel store continued for a further eleven years at least, well into the nineteen nineties.

Memories of Sowerby Bridge Station

Keith Noble of Triangle has submited some memories of Sowerby Bridge Station from the time he moved into the area in 1967. At that time, of course, the impressive former station building was still intact and Keith recalls that the ticket office was on the right-hand side of the central entrance and still had extensive racks of Edmondson card tickets.

Those for London were pre-printed and each one specified travel to Kings Cross, St Pancras or Euston. A full fare day return to Manchester was 10/- (50p). There were five platform faces, including the two which are still used. Two more served a single through line accessed both from the back of the present Platform 1 and another Platform in front of what became the Jubilee Refreshment Rooms. The fifth was a terminating bay platform at the back of the present Platform 2, serving the residual service from Sowerby Bridge to York via Brighouse, Wakefield and Normanton.

“Some time in the mid 1970s, I took my son on a Saturday excursion to Devon, returning to Sowerby Bridge late at night. My wife had driven to meet us in good time and was sitting in the car in total darkness when a door opened in what became the Jubilee Refreshment Rooms. Out came a dozen or so men, each with a Tilley lamp, walking in file and in complete silence. She found it a very eerie experience, like something out of Snow White!

In October 1978, I had business in Ireland and chose to travel by train and boat. Returning to Sowerby Bridge I immediately saw something wrong and the ticket clerk wept as he told me about the fire. The ticket office was eventually reinstated and remained for a few more years in the single-storey building, (later the Jubilee Refreshment building), but without all the evocative racks.”