THE RE-OPENING of a railway station which put a village back on the map was celebrated on Saturday.
Villagers turned out for a celebration of the reopening of Slaithwaite Station in December 1982, organised by Friends of Slaithwaite Station (FOSLS).
The event featured an exhibition on the platform of photos and memorabilia of the station, which opened in 1849 but was closed and demolished in 1968.
The celebration included live music from folk musicians Gamut, Steve Harrison and Annie Dearman and the cutting of a celebratory cake by Helen Freeman, who is the great-great-granddaughter of Joseph Bray Freeman, the station master at Slaithwaite until 1901.
Guests-of-honour also included Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney.
Victoria Minton, of FOSLS, said: “We had a really good turnout throughout the day and especially the cake cutting moment.
“There was a lot of interest in the exhibition and the station’s importance to the village, jobs, leisure and culture.
“The station has increased the diversity of people coming to Slaithwaite and people are attracted by the excellent train line.
“We’re well served with great access to Manchester and Leeds.”
The station first opened on August 1 1849, to coincide with the opening of the first tunnel at Standedge, which took three years to build and cost £201,608.
In 1848 the station had two platforms and modest goods facilities but by 1900 it had grown to four platforms, a large goods shed, stables for the delivery horses, a signal box and coal drops to feed coal to the mill boiler houses in Slaithwaite.
The goods yard closed on October 5, 1964 and the station itself followed suit on October 7, 1968.
The entire station including the goods yard was demolished; the rails were taken away for scrap and the mainline was reduced from four tracks to two.
But 30 years ago, on December 13 1982, after extensive local lobbying and campaigning by some determined local residents, the station was re-opened – on the same site – but with new platforms and waiting shelters.