Yorkshire nostalgia: Rail bequest leads to picture request

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A bequest of family photographs has inspired a remarkable research journey at the Wensleydale Railway as a recent donation of family photographs has sparked a fascinating journey of discovery, enabling staff and volunteers at the Railway to piece together the story of one of its stations, Finghall Lane near Bedale.

The photographs were kindly donated by Mrs Jane Stringer, who, having inherited them from a family friend, got in touch to find out if they would be of interest.

They date from the late 1880s through to the 1930s and depict the station in its heyday, with its beautifully-maintained flower beds and five staff including Station Master, George Metcalfe, who ran it from the mid 1890s until just after the First World War.

“This is a real glimpse into the past for us, given that few people had access to cameras until well into the twentieth century,” said Virginia Arrowsmith, heritage education officer. “And it’s also really valuable resource for us to share with schools.”

An on-going research programme into the history of the Wensleydale Railway welcomes information from anyone who has a family connection with the railway or can help to piece together its story over the last 150 years.

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