A CELEBRATION will be staged this weekend to mark the 30th anniversary of the re-opening of Slaithwaite railway station.
The original station was on the old London & North Western Railway line and was once a centre of passenger services and commercial freight.
It closed in 1968 but the current station, on the same site, opened in 1982, and that event is now being marked by the Friends of Slaithwaite Station.
They will be holding a birthday celebration on Platform One, from 10am to 4pm on Saturday.
The highlights will be at 11.50am when folk singers Gamut, Steve Harrison and Annie Dearman, will entertain, followed by cake cutting at 1pm.
This will be performed by 82-year-old Mary Freeman, who is a descendant of Joseph Bray Freeman, station master at Slaithwaite until 1901.
She is travelling from Norfolk to officially open the event.
There will be more musical entertainment at 1.50pm from local group, Satellites, made up of Gill Bond and Andy Burton.
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 boilerhouses in Slaithwaite.
In 1923 the LNWR was amalgamated into the greater London Midland & Scottish Railway and things continued at Slaithwaite much as before, but with a gradual decline being punctuated by World War Two.
In 1948, LMS was subsumed into the great British Railways as the whole rail network became nationalised. Slaithwaite 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.
If you look carefully the remains of the old station can still be seen. The cobbled roadway to the goods yard still leads up from Station Road and is used by passengers going to Manchester.
Further along Station Road the entrance to the old station subway can be seen and beyond that – hidden behind the trees and a stout fence – are the remains of the coal drops.
FOSLS (Friends of Slaithwaite Station) is a voluntary group that promotes the station as a pleasant and safe place for all rail passengers.
To contact FOSLS send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org