Don’t ask me about best laid plans, mine seem to change all the time! It’s one of the beauties and frustrations of being freelance! Today I’ve found myself working from the ACoRP (Association of Community Rail Partnerships) water tower cum office in Huddersfield which is part of the superb grade 1 listed station. How’s this for a place to work?
The water tower stands in what’s now a car park but in the 1960’s it was a locomotive stabling yard, complete with a turntable which was situated right outside the building.
I love Huddersfield’s architecture. Well, most of it anyway. George Square outside the station is surrounded by a selection of stunning Victorian buildings that make a fantastic backdrop for the annual food and drink festival which is held over 4 days in August.
The station’s a real community hub. Not only is it the gateway to the town, it’s also a destination in its own right. It’s most well-known for its two pubs (The Head of Steam and the Kings Head) and Felix, the station cat (who even has its own Facebook page). But there’s a lot more too – as well as having a warm and welcoming café on the island platforms which does a mean bacon teacake (as they call them in these parts) the lobby hosts a range of food providers on different days of the week. For example, on Wednesdays you can buy artisan breads from this stall. The area also doubles as an exhibition space for local artists.
Here’s a look inside the Kings Head pub on the Leeds end of the station. It’s undergone a fantastic restoration job in the past few years, which has exposed the wonderful ceiling and reopened side rooms. The work’s led to it winning a Railway Heritage award.
So, what’s not to like? Trains, food, beer and architecture. If you’ve never been to Huddersfield station before – why not pay a visit? But beware, because it’s on the Rail Ale trail it can get extremely busy at weekends – and if Huddersfield Town are playing at home it can be bonkers, so I’d recommend a weekday if you can make it.