Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership has been sharing stories from its station friends’ groups over the last few months. Today’s focus is on Bardon Mill.
Bardon Mill, which sits on the north side of the Tyne midway between Haydon Bridge and Haltwhistle, was one of the last stations to become part of the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway. Whilst construction began from both ends, it was not until 1837 that the Haydon Bridge to Blenkinsopp section was opened.
As with many Tyne Valley stations it is now reduced to an unstaffed location, but in the 19th and 20th centuries it was a significant goods hub, with considerable volumes of coal from surrounding pits and agricultural traffic passing through. Goods traffic at the station ceased in 1964.
The station is unusual in that all railway functions besides train dispatch took place a little remotely from the passenger platforms. The one-time Station Master’s house, which is Grade II-listed, dates from 1836, and is somewhat quirky despite displaying many formal design characteristics. The North Eastern Railway style single-storey goods shed and booking/waiting room dates from 1889, and has been attractively restored for residential use. The upside platform shelter still retains remnants from its original Newcastle & Carlisle railway origins.
From the mid-19th century until 1982 the platforms were offset, the downside (Carlisle direction) being immediately adjacent to the river and opposite the Station Master’s house, with the upside 50 metres closer to Newcastle. The platforms were made parallel when a goods train loop on the current platform site was removed.
The station was listed for closure in the ‘Beeching’ proposals, but survived due to the impending closure of a nearby colliery employing 300 men; the contention being that they would be impaired in finding employment by its demise.
Today, the station caters for both commuters and leisure travellers, and is popular with walkers as an ideal departure point Hadrians’ Wall and the Housesteads and Vindolanda Roman forts. Working with the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, Bardon Mill has a thriving station adoption group who in recent years have greatly enhanced the appearance of the station with a range of attractive floral displays.