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I’ve been meaning to blog about this for ages but never had the time. Today’s miserable weather’s put a damper on other photographic activities as it’s chucking it down here in the Calder Valley so I’ve finally found the opportunity.

Some of you may have noticed the old station building at Mytholmroyd as you passed by on the train. It’s on West end of the Leeds bound platform. What you may not have appreciated from the train is just how big a building it is! Here’s how it looked from the platforms in April 2015.

Here’s a recent view showing what it looks like from ground level. In effect it’s two buildings. The back part of the building (to the left of the drainpipe) was the stationmasters residence. The public part of the building is to the right of the drainpipe.

It’s spread over three-floors and there’s a warren of rooms inside. Built in 1874 by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, it was given a grade 2 listing back in 1984 when it was closed by British Rail. It’s been derelict for over 30 years but the friends of Mytholmroyd station have been trying to get it reopened as a community space and waiting rooms ever since 2007. It was a long process as the building is owned by Network Rail. In 2015 the station building was specifically included in the successful Arriva North Franchise Agreement, which stated that (no later than 2025) the franchise shall ” redevelop for social use redundant or under- utilised buildings at stations including Mytholmroyd and Cottingham”.

With that commitment agreed, negotiations continued with various interested parties, including the Railway Heritage Trust. The original group of station volunteers was joined by representatives from the local community and a Northern Rail director; and an application for Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)  was granted in September 2017.

The negotiations culminated in work commencing in March 2018 by Network Rail contractors CPMS who removed asbestos and made the building safe in preparation to repoint and plaster parts of the interior. Local interior designers JSB Ltd assisted with the restoration of the original woodwork, fireplaces and windows.

Northern Rail is planning to include the building within their (operational) station lease from Network Rail. The Station Partnership and CIO would have a licence from Northern – with no responsibility for building maintenance etc.

Northern are planning a public Waiting Room and toilet on the second floor with access from the station platform. They would welcome suggestions for a small trading outlet within the building that would be relevant for rail passengers and be suitable for the general community/social use concept.

Northern envisage that the operation of the building will be through a Management Board consisting of themselves, the Station Partnership together with the CIO and users / tenant(s).

Proposals include –

Second Floor – step-free access from the station platform. Welfare accommodation for Northern Rail staff. A General Waiting Room – which may include an Art Gallery and station history display. Toilet. Rooms for Railway Education project.

First floor – steps only access. Studios for local artists and office/meeting room for Station Partnership, the CIO and the building Management Board.

Ground floor – step-free access. Flexible use which could include a small trading unit, a Reading Café incorporation of a library, meeting/conference facilities including a small catering area. Secure storage area for the Station Partnership equipment including an accessible water supply.

In March 2019 the first phase of the restoration of the building was complete. In May I was lucky enough to be invited along to have a look inside. Here’s what we saw.

The tour group gather in the booking hall on the ground floor as Geoff Mitchell from the station friends group gives us a run-down on what’s been happening with the building.
Looking behind me from the last picture. The wooden structure to the right is the old ticket office. Note the original stone steps leading to the second floor. The restoration work has been done to a very high standard.
Here’s the original ticket office desk which was still in-situ. It’s been cleaned and restored.
Climbing the stairs from the ground floor.
One of the top-floor rooms that have a doorway out onto the platform. This one is on the street side of the building. You can see the way it’s changed uses over the years.
Looking to the right of the previous pictures you can see through to the other top-floor room that opens out onto the platform. Some of the original plasterwork and paint colours remain.
One of the top-floor stone fireplaces that have been lovingly restored.
Another of the fireplaces. None of us could work out what the wooden framework above had been used for.
One of the rooms in the old Stationmaster’s residence.
One of the winding staircases in the old stationmaster’s residence. This side of the building had been abandoned since the last stationmaster had departed.
Shadows and light on exposed brickwork.
The ground floor of the old stationmasters side of the building had been altered over the years with one of the walls having been taken out to give access to the exterior hoist up to the Leeds bound platform. Thousands of chickens were shipped through here in the days of the railways being a general carrier. A goods train would pull up at the platform and boxes of chickens would be loaded straight onto it. Now the lift has gone and the doorway’s been bricked up as part of the restoration.
A view taken from the yard outside where the lift used to be. The quality of the restoration work is evident.
Another relic that remained on the premises. The station safe!