How Hunmanby Railway Station looked in times gone by

Hunmanby was a staffed station, the main business was not passengers but carrying goods by rail. The station had two railway warehouses, a separate siding and platform for moving animals. A coal yard and sidings to the brick works.

There are few photographs of the village station available on the Internet. If you have a personal photograph you would like to display, especially from yesteryear (BR old school) or earlier! it would be gratefully appreciated. 


An early map of Hunmanby, it has been suggested that the railway line is distant from the village due to the Lord of the Manor wanting to keep the railway line away from his property.  The old road from Hunmanby onto the Wolds along Garton Lane had been closed with the building of New Hill. This is clearly show, 1st turning on the left from the station going towards the village along Bridlington Street. This large rectangular piece of land, started development as a Motte & Bailey built by the Normans, and subsequently Hunmanby Hall was developed on the site with the adjoining park land. 


Below is a map of the Hunmanby Railway Station in 1926. The line from Hull to Scarborough was then owned by the London & North Eastern Railway Company. There is a short goods loop  to the small raised platform built for loading animals on the Bridlington side of the crossing. Along side the Scarborough platform is a long siding that gives access to the two goods sheds. The brick works is shown having its own separate independent rail system. This has its own Northern Eastern Railway Siding to the North of the Station, where two further sidings serve the coal yard staithes.



The picture below probably taken before the Second World War in the 1930's. Looking towards Bridlington, with gas lighting, Telegraph posts, Milk Churns waiting on the platform, and old traditional railway benches made of Cast Iron and Wood on both platforms. Point work connects the two tracks to enable shunting of goods wagons at the station..


The Yorkshire Coast Railway line became a popular destination for excursion trains. The Victorians developed the seaside resorts of Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough. Below are some old railway handbills of some of these trains, from 1939, a few months before the start of World war II. The London & North Eastern Railway Company own the railway line at this time. Thankyou to Carl Pollitt & Margaret Hey (Bolton) for donating them. Several are now displayed in the Old Station Waiting Rooms at Hunmanby Railway Station.

Peace returns 1945

The railways were important for the war effort, but suffered were in a poor state when the Big 4 Railway companies took back control. Hunmanby, like many rural railway stations, during the 'Golden Age of railways' was served by few passenger trains. Though car ownership was very low, ordinary people travelled much less than today. The railways carried most of the goods people needed and each station had a goods yard were waggon would hauled by the local pick up goods train. 


Timetable world have kindly put on the internet a copy of the last timetable for the old London North Eastern Railway Company from June 1947. Prior to the railways being British Railways 
What a difference the train passenger train service was in 1947 at  Hunmanby Railway Station
Monday to Friday 5 trains to Scarborough, and 6 Trains to Hull
Saturday 6 trains to Scarborough and 8 trains to Hull
Sunday 2 trains to Scarborough and 2 Trains to Hull
Full details at the timetable world website   (The Hull to Scarborough service is Table 108) Just 3 years after the end of World war II, In 1948, the 4 private railway companies were Nationalised. 

Link to timetable world 1947 London North Eastern Railway timetable


The opening of Hunmanby Hall Girls School in 1929, added to passenger numbers with pupils coming from across the country, their families and staff. This is a picture taken in the 1950's showing the number of pupils waiting to catch the train on the Scarborough (down) platform. Thankyou to Hunmanby Hall Old Girls Association for allowing use of their photograph.

By the 1950's Steam Traction was dated. Continental Europe, being rebuilt from a decade of conflict, was leading the way in Diesel and Electric power.  

He result on 1st December 1954 was  'The Moderisation and Re-equipment of British Railways' known  as the 'Rail Modernisation Plan'  

Link to the Railways  Archives

However losses on the Nations railway still  increased,  faced with rising competition from private motoring and road haulage. However the Yorkshire seaside towns are still busy in the summer season with excursion trains. 

This old railway hand bill below, was again kindly donated it shows an excursion train running on 2 consecutive Sundays by British Railways from Wadsley Bridge (near Sheffield) in July 1959. Thankyou to Carl Pollitt & Margaret Hey (Bolton) for donating them. One of several that are now displayed in the Old Station Waiting Rooms at Hunmanby Railway Station


This led to Ernest Marples the Minister for Transport to publish 'The Reshaping of British Railways' (more commonly known as 'The Beeching Report'  

The days of many rural branch line, village and small town station were numbered.

To give an idea of how a rural station operated on the cusp of the implementation of the 'reshaping'  these links to the Yorkshire Film archive give an idea.

The first is of Market Weighton railway station in East Riding taken in 1965 prior to and shortly after closure of the line. Market Weighton would have been around 3 times the size of Hunmanby. But the film footage gives an indication of the staff employed on the railway at that time, operation of the coal yard and a rural country station

link to Yorkshire Film Archive 

The Excursion trains and extra services being provided a times of high demand continued, as the railways were still popular taking people from the northern industrial towns to the Yorkshire Coast. (With the offer of cheaper fares by travelling at off peak times to spread demand. The posters, below, the one of the left dates from 1960 with British Railways running extra services over the Easter Holidays between York and Scarborough, below on the right,  for Easter Monday 1964 between Hull  Thankyou to Carl Pollitt & Margaret Hey (Bolton) for donating them. One of several that are now displayed in the Old Station Waiting Rooms at Hunmanby Railway Station



The second link is to Cottingham railway station, in 1973. Cottingham is on the Yorkshire Coast Railway Line, and though it has remained open, is now unstaffed. This again gives an idea of how a rural railway station operated and both the goods and passengers that were carried

link to Yorkshire Film Archive

After watching the two films, this gives an idea of the rapid change on the railways since the mid 1960's. 

A final film to suggested on the Yorkshire Film Archive is of what is now 'The Cinder Track' cycle way from Scarborough to Whitby. The film entitled 'A sentimental journey Whitby to Scarborough 1966' shows the last train on the line 

link to Yorkshire Film Archive

July 1985

These photographs were all taken in 1985, a time when many railway stations especially rural ones, were seeing building demolished and tracks 'rationalised.' While these days greater care is taken of our heritage. This link is to Network Rail’s Heritage Highlights of 2019

In the 1980's if you took a photograph one summer, the Victorian railway architecture could well have gone the following year! Thankyou to Carl Pollitt & Margaret Hey (Bolton) for donating them. Several are now displayed in the Old Station Waiting Rooms

These are the comments made regarding the photographs from 1985. Of the principle features shown, just the station house remains. Currently Hunmanby Railway Station's wooden bench that the old 'bus shelter' was built around on the Hull bound platform, is being restored by Friends of Hunmanby Railway Station, and will be put back on the platform when completed by the end of 2020.

The photograph below was taken in July 1985. The Signal Box was still in use. The view is to Bridlington of the 2 story main building on the Bridlington Platform. Note the bay window, covered entrance and clock on the
wall. This is now where a plaque has been put giving the date of the building of the station.


The photograph below, general view looking towards Bridlington


Below a similar view looking towards Bridlington


Photograph below a view of the Scarborough Line platform showing
the North Eastern Railway Signal Box and North Eastern Railway wooden waiting
shelter. Note the ground floor windows of the signal box.


Below the photograph shows the view towards Bridlington of the
Bridlington Line platform showing the main buildings, note the bay window.


Below the photograph shows the view Bridlington of the tall
North Eastern Railway Signal Box on the Scarborough platform. Note the ground
floor windows.


Photograph below the exterior view of the main buildings on the
Bridlington line side, looking towards Scarborough. Note the covered porch to
the former entrance.


Below, Hunmanby station and level-crossing, 1997. Taken by the late Ben Brooksbank. Retired Medical Scientist, keen photographer for nearly 75 years. Taken photographs, primarily of scenery and railways, in Britain and abroad, in colour since 1953 (slides, prints since 1980), digital since 2003). Lifelong Railway Enthusiast, in recent years concentrating on Closed Stations -- as well as Open ones. Several thousand photographs to offer, including over 1,000 b/w of Railway stations/remains (and 3,000+ of locomotive and train scenes) taken 1946-66); also over 8,000 more recent colour photographs, including many of Stations. Scenery and other non-railway photographs cover the same period in comparable numbers.


A great site, link to: Ben Brooksbank on geograph
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Ben Brooksbank -

January 2001

Last Days of Hunmanby's Old Signal Box, Traditional Crossing Gates and Wooden North Eastern Railway Buildings

The photographs below were taken of the old wooden station buildings and traditional signal box at Hunmanby, prior to being demolished. Thankyou to local photographer David Milburn for recording the event and kindly donating the photographs. 


Working starting on taking down the old railway station signal box on the 111th January 2001. Arriving just in time with the Crossing Gates intact. Note the old wooden waiting rooms on the Scarborough platform. (Photo thanks to David Milburn)


Old semaphore signal still standing, view towards the railway station house (Photo thanks to David Milburn)

For an interesting film from the Yorkshire Film Archive, of how a signal box operated. This at  was taken in 1963 at the busy Walton Street Signal Box at Hull. There are some great shots of the old road traffic along with how many people travelled to work by bike from this era.

link to Yorkshire Film Archive


Old crossing gates now replaced with half barrier, signal box has been demolished. The wooden waiting shelter clings on. New level access provided to both platforms suitable for access with wheelchairs. New colour light signal has replaced the old semaphore signal on the Hull platform. (Photo thanks to David Milburn)

A view onto the Scarborough platform with the new half barriers, a rear view of the old wooden waiting shelter soon to be replaced by a more modern 'bus shelter' further along the platform. New path gives level access for wheelchair users onto the platform. (Photo thanks to David Milburn)

Photograph taken from the road crossing towards Scarborough. To compensate for the shortening of the Hull bound platform for trains, marked by the fence,  an extension has been added in the far distance. (Photo thanks to David Milburn)

Winter 2005/2006

A photograph from the Winter of 2005/06 a very bleak blank canvas to work with to improve the attractiveness of the village railway station, no flowers! 

2006 to 2016

The train services through Hunmanby, had remained largely, unchanged for since 2005 with an irregular service roughly every 90 minutes. The Yorkshire Wolds Coast railway line station tended to be served Class 158, 2 car trains. These were a well designed diesel multiple unit, built by British Rail Engineering Limited, at Litchchurch Lane, Derby. Between 1989 and 1992.

The last year of the 1980's had been the turning point in the fortunes of the nations railways, especially rural lines. 1989 saw the end of plans to close 'unprofitable' railways, and an end to the uncertainty of rail reviews, looking at further rationalisation. 1982 has now been has been regarded as its the nadir, revenue down, losses at record levels and a costly industrial dispute, it was also the year of the publication of the Serpell Report.

With the world famous Settle -Carlisle Railway saved from closure, especially for rural lines they started to be looked upon as assets for the settlements they served and community involved was encouraged. The Class 158 units transformed travel on Regional Routes such as the Trans Pennine Corridor, in the 1990's. Scarborough, Hull and Newcastle to Liverpool and Manchester. They even had an on board telephone! A big move forward from the 'pacer' trains. It was the start of a better design of rolling stock to provide a viable comfortable alternative to the private car and the increasing road congestion around the large town and cities. Passenger number rose dramatically, especially on inter urban routes. When larger trains were needed to replaced the Class 158 units. these well designed trains were transferred to work the Yorkshire Wolds Coast Line were they proved very popular 

The Franchise for the Northern Rail services was run by Serco-Abellio from 2004 to 2016. Passenger numbers were not expected to grow. (The Important Inter Urban routes had been put into the Trans Pennine Franchise.) So it is to Serco-Abellio credit, that they worked the assets they had hard and took the risk to add extra services. Passenger numbers sored, but there was little money for more trains, a huge capital cost.  The first service improvement for may years, for Hunmanby, was the introduction of a year round, (rather than holiday season) Sunday train service. Passengers numbers were now rising...

2019  to Coronavirus (COVID 19)

When a New Northern Franchise was drawn up to start in 2016, instead of planning for 'no growth'. The Department for Transport wanted to expand and improve train services dramatically in the North, based on this success. It was not to be just train but also to transform the quality of service for passengers. Even Hunmanby a low use rural station would have new waiting shelters, real time information, new signs, CCTV and more modern trains, Northern Rail were to have finance set aside to support community involvement. The period between 2018 and 2020 has seen these improvements rolled out. During this period different diesel multiple units appeared on the local line. This was due to trains being taken out of service to have a complete rebuild and moving trains to different parts of the network, to plan for the increased passenger demand. Alongside this Network Rail spent several £ million on track improvement and Northern Rail contractors set to work on Hunmanby station facilities. May 2019 saw the introduction of the new hourly, 7 day a week timetable with earlier and later train. Passenger number rose sharply, estimated at around 30%, and had just settled down into the a service being provided by 3 coach Turbo Star trains, when the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic arrived.

This forms the back ground to the link below to the album of local photographer David Milburn 

link to David Milburn Album on Flickr

(and even the local Hunmanby rabbit features that helps to prune the station plants.)  . 


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