Some time ago we were given a number of photographs of Kildwick railway station (or Kildwick and Cross Hills railway station as it came to be known) by the Keighley and District Digital Archive. Amongst these was a short document written by "Brenda". Sadly, we don't know who "Brenda" is and we hope she doesn't mind us publishing her memories of the railway station on our website.
The station was opened in 1889, and was in use for both freight and passengers until 22nd March 1965. It was demolished when dry rot was discovered in the building. Notice the fine ornate gas lamps on the platform, and the three waiting rooms on the left: First Class, Ladies and General. The 'cottage' type of architecture used in the building of the station was a favourite method of the Victorian architect when designing small stations in rural areas.
When I lived in Sutton in the late 1940s, the station was very much in use and I remember being frightened to death when the steam trains came thundering in. I was OK while we were standing on the platform waiting for our train to arrive but as soon as I saw it coming down the line with all the smoke bellowing out I would press myself flat against the wall of the station buildings so I wouldn't fall on to the line and under the wheels of the train. I wasn't too happy when it finally stopped either, as then great clouds of steam would come hissing out from underneath the wheels of the engine wrapping everything in a hot, wet fog.
Me and my mother would sometimes wait in the Ladies waiting room if it was cold weather as there would usually be a fire blazing in a little cast iron fireplace set into the wall. We would sit on the hard wooden benches which were set against the wall, I would be swinging my legs since they didn't reach the floor, watching the sparks dropping from the burning coal onto the tiled hearth and looking at the posters advertising the delights of seaside towns around the walls.
Lots of tin plate adverts were fastened to the walls and railings of the station. Ones I particularly remember were for Brylcreem, which I think had a picture of Dennis Compton on it; something called Virol which I think was a kind of pick me up or tonic, where a spoonful a day would keep all manner of things away; and of course Bovril, bearing a drawing of a steaming mug of the drink on it and a happy looking cow's face beaming above it and out at you.