On track for a great station celebration
THE 150th anniversary of Marple Station will be celebrated in style today and over the next couple of weeks.
The Friends of Marple Station are holding a number of events to mark the occasion, including an exhibition, a book launch a walk and a special retro train journey.
It all kicks off today, which is the 150th anniversary of the first public train to arrive at the station in 1865, with the unveiling of a plaque and cutting of a cake at the station at 10.30am.
The exhibition of photographs, artefacts and memorabilia from historian Warwick Burton’s collection, plus a scale model of the old station, opened today at Marple Library and will be on display until Saturday (July 4).
Meanwhile Thursday (July 2) will see the launch of Mr Burton’s book on the history of the railways in Marple and the surround- ing district, from 7.30pm at Marple Senior Citizen’s Hall.
On Saturday there will be a six-mile walk from Marple Station to New Mills Central Station, also 150 years old this year, setting off at 10am, and there will also be a ‘music train’ from Manchester Piccadilly to New Mills via Marple.
Sunday will see the Friends of Marple Station team up with relatives of the author Agatha Christie – who is said to have named her famous character Miss Marple after visiting the town – as they are celebrating her 125th birthday this year.
Her grandson Matthew Prichard will be giving a talk at the station at 11am, and the friends group will also have a presence at the Marple Locks Festival, due to take place in Memorial Park between 10am and 4pm.
The final event will be a trip to Carlisle with Retro Railtours on Saturday, July 11.
Before the staion’s reduction in status and rebuilding, travellers would reach the platform through an entrance building on Brabyns Brow, which is now the site of a bus stop.
In its heyday the station was part of the Midland Railway’s main line company and included a magnificent station-master house, ticket office and various waiting rooms.
It had four platforms and a large freight area, and was operated by over 40 staff with more than 100 trains a day.
There were even sleeper trains from London St Pancras that stopped at Marple.
For more information visit the website at friendsofmarplestation. co.uk or e-mail friendsofmarplestation@ gmail. com.