Postcards from Lightcliffe

This postcard shows an unusual view of Lightcliffe station and was taken from the bridge leading to the Coach Road at the bottom of Knowle Top Road.  Lightcliffe was one of seven stations in the former Borough of Brighouse (elsewhere in the book you will be challenged to name the other six!) and was opened in 1850 by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.  It closed in June 1965 when local services between Bradford and Huddersfield via Halifax ceased. (A similar service between those two towns via Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Mirfield also ceased on the same day.)  The line through Lightcliffe remained open, and today eight trains an hour pass through the area. The first station master at Lightcliffe was William Highley.  One of the last was Ken Enright, a well known local figure, who played rugby for the Old Brodleians and captained Lighcliffe’s second eleven cricket team.  It was not uncommon, apparently, for him to be dropped off a local service as it passed the cricket club after he had finished his Saturday duties at the station.

What memories many local people will have of the station.  The excitement of assembly there for an annual holiday, or even setting off on honeymoon.  The society’s chairman has clear memories of his family’s annual pilgrimage to Broadstairs and, with the help of old timetables, we have been able to recreate the journey that began in, for example, 1962.  They  boarded the 7.29am, a diesel service by then, for Bradford Exchange to await the through London train.  After crossing from Kings Cross to Victoria, the party arrived in Broadstairs in time for tea!   The station was also used by the local school for the annual educational visit or day trip.  Many will recall “Pa Armo” (Mr Armitage) leading these to, for example, Chester, Newcastle, Bowness and York between 1952 and 1961.  The station also housed a wide range of goods facilities and the coal yard (now Park Close) that closed in 1966 was well used by local coal merchants.

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