Return trip to former glory for station

Wansford Station in years gone by
Wansford Station in years gone by
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A historic Victorian railway station will be brought back to its glorious best after years of being left derelict at the side of the tracks.

The 171-year-old building at Wansford station had been left empty and deserted for more than 15 years.

But now Nene Valley Railway have bought the building, and will now redecorate and renovate the station.

It is hoped it will be used as an educational site in the future.

Jerry Thurston, from Nene Valley Railway said: “It is perhaps surprising to find out that until last week the Nene Valley Railway didn’t own the gorgeous 1845 built Station building that sits on platform three at their Wansford Station near Stibbington.

“This is because the station was closed and the building sold off even before the Beeching cuts of the 1960s hence it didn’t come with the track-bed when the NVR was formed in the 70s.”

In recent years the building had belonged to the Hutchinson family who were thrilled to be able to facilitate the sale as their late Father John Hutchinson had always intended that the building would one day return to ‘Railway ownership.’

Mr Thurston said: “Although it is particularly noticeable for its excellent original appearance - back in 2010 the building was classified by the Victorian Society as one of the top ten they would like to see restored - the structure hasn’t escaped the ravages of time unscathed and the railway’s short term plans for the building includes working with the Conservation Officer from Huntingdonshire District Council to establish a primary strategy.

“This will include the identification of critical and immediate work needed to establish a strong base from which to continue with the restoration

“The second phase will involve the detailed work to bring the building back to as near original as possible. Getting this absolutely right will be an expensive process and the railway are already underway with raising funding.

“The eventual plan will be to apply for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant which will allow the railway to achieve the maximum educational potential from the site.”

The original station and location was known as Sibson and building work commenced in 1844. The builder was Mr Thompson of Barnack and was to George Parker Bidder’s Georgian design.

In 1846 the line was absorbed into the London & North Western Railway and the name of the station was changed to Wansford. But eventually the station was to see a train service from Stamford, a line built under the auspices of the Marquis of Exeter, later taken over by the Great Northern Railway.

During the construction of the station and laying of track, a Roman kiln was discovered, and the site is recorded as being of archaeological interest.