On a balmy summer’s evening in July a small group of members interested in the development of local railways gathered at Battersby Station and Battersby Junction. This location was considered by early railway developers as a focal point of three locally significant railways.
The first line from Picton, and intended for Grosmont, was completed up to Ingleby in 1858. The second, linking Battersby and the outside world interested in iron, came from Rosedale in 1861. The third, linking this activity with the Middlesbrough and Guisborough Railway, arrived in 1864.
Owing to the development of this railway centre the community living at Battersby Junction was established in the 1870s and added a vibrancy to an area which was, and is, largely rural and agricultural. The thirty cottages and two inspector’s houses were built in 1877 at a cost of approximately £6000.
Passengers began to arrive in 1868, and in 1875, replacing an earlier temporary structure, the station was built at a cost of £1138-
It is not always known that the station building at Battersby Junction has the same architect as the portico at Newcastle Central Station. Nor is it always appreciated that behind the unused platform there are the remains of railway engineering reminding us how busy the Junction was. There are the foundations of the engine shed built in 1877 and closed in 1899, and also a turntable laid down in 1881 and scrapped in 1941. More visibly there is the water tank erected in 1897.
At the other end of the lane which connects the station with the road from Battersby to Ingleby Greenhow there are the crossing keeper’s houses. Opposite is the piece of land which contained the siding where farmers loaded their produce. Tragically, this is also the site of a railway accident where in November 1903 crossing keeper John Peacock was fatally injured.
Battersby Junction Walk
24th July 2014, 6.30pm