Poet laureate Sir John Betjeman waxed lyrical about Huddersfield Railway Station.
Now the famous town centre landmark has been hailed as one of the best railway stations in Britain in a book by journalist Simon Jenkins.
The book, Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations, praises Huddersfield’s station as “one of the few stations fit to rank with the great union terminuses of the continent.”
It says: “Sir John Betjeman declared it ‘the most splendid facade in England.’ The main entrance presides over St George’s Square with a princely confidence, focus of what is a rare survivor of a north-country commercial town plan. Among the fountains stands a statue of Huddersfield’s son, Harold Wilson, looking as if anxious to catch a train.”
The book gives a brief history of how the station came to be built on land owned by the Ramsden family and notes it’s architectural features, saying: “The coming of the railway in the 1840s saw the Ramsdens demand that it signify its presence with appropriate pomp.
“It boasts a central pavilion, colonnaded wings and corner pavilions. Only a clock in the pediment gives away that this is a railway station rather than a grandee’s mansion.
“The pavilions are homes to two smart pubs, the Head of Steam and the King’s Head. The whole facade has been shown the respect due to a grade I-listed building. Its soft sandstone is undefiled by signage, with even the British Rail logo hidden behind the portico in sober silver.”
Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations by Simon Jenkins is published by Viking priced £25.