History Articles - A Busy Little Station On The North East Line

For six years I wrote a short history article in the monthly parish magazine, The Pelican.  One of the articles is shown in the column opposite.

Articles can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate title from the index below.

If anyone has any old photographs or parish information which they would like recorded (for present and future generations to share) then please get in touch with me.

    John Davison (Website Co-ordinator)
           Telephone: 01670 760609
      Email: jdavison26@btinternet.com

63   Dec 2011 We'll Weather the Weather
62   Nov 2011 Alan's Ackl'n Appearances
61   Oct 2011 Ackl'n Marriages 1913-14
60   Sep 2011 Old Photographs Required
59   Jul 2011 A Tower With A Tale To Tell
58   Jun 2011 A Well Kept Secret
57   May 2011 Fishy Business
56   Apr 2011 Acklington Warrior Stone
55   Mar 2011 The Church of St John
54   Feb 2011 Deep and Chrisp
53   Dec 2010 For Whom The Bell Tolls
52   Nov 2010 Which Village?
51   Oct 2010 A Pilot's Memories
50   Sep 2010 Acklington Black Poplar
49   Jul 2010 Street Names
48   Jun 2010 RAF Memorial
47   May 2010 Crowning Glory
46   Apr 2010 Badminton Club
45   Mar 2010 Murder On The Train
44   Feb 2010 Guyzance Tragedy
43   Dec 2009 Acklington Park
42   Nov 2009 Dye House (Part 2)
41   Sep 2009 Dye House (Part 1)
40   Jul 2009 History Making Heads
39   Jun 2009 Acklington Main Street
38   May 2009 James Raymond Smith
37   Apr 2009 The Age of Steam Trains
36   Mar 2009 Fred Wilson
35   Feb 2009 Guyzance School
34   Dec 2008 Acklington W.I.
33   Nov 2008 Lych Gate
32   Oct 2008 Village Hall Disaster
31   Sep 2008 Summer Crowds
30   Jul 2008 Spot The Differences
29   Jun 2008 Sunday School
28   May 2008 National Finalist
27   Apr 2008 What's in A Name
26   Mar 2008 Railway Inn
25   Feb 2008 Osprey
24   Dec 2007 The Guyzance 10
23   Nov 2007 Bowls Club
22   Oct 2007 Village Harvest
21   Sep 2007 Wedding Bliss
20   Jun 2007 The Other Acklington Artist
19   May 2007 The La'Well Tree
18   Apr 2007 The German Spy
17   Mar 2007 The Winter of 47
16   Feb 2007 Les Birkett's Memories
15   Jan 2007 Railway Station
14   Dec 2006 Jane Chapman
13   Nov 2006 Witches
12   Oct 2006 Jack Taylor
11   Sep 2006 Black Ralph
10   Aug 2006 School Photographs
09   Jul 2006 Pig Killings
08   Jun 2006 Village Hall Disaster
07   May 2006 Cricketers
06   Apr 2006 On Yer Bike
05   Apr 2006 Cricket
04   Mar 2006 Mailbag Robbery
03   Feb 2006 Storm of 1886
02   Jan 2006 Football
01   Dec 2005 Help Required

A Busy Little Station On The North East Line

Readers are probably aware that Acklington Station was once an extremely busy and thriving railway station. The station itself (including goods shed and staff cottages) was built in the late 1840’s. Both the station and goods shed are now private houses and the cottages are long gone. But I would like you to imagine the time when this station was at its most popular. Imagine how hectic the station was when Acklington had an airfield with a permanent staff of around 800 men, and the base was also a training ground for many other airmen who were posted for a month at a time. This resulted in special arrangements having to be made for transit and accommodation and certainly kept the staff at the railway station on their toes. In addition the station was the railhead for Amble, Radcliffe and Broomhill, serving the coal mining area. Acklington was also a centre for anglers from the Newcastle area who fished for salmon and trout in the River Coquet. Furthermore, Acklington was selected as the headquarters for the Coquetdale Federation of Homing Societies, so the station handled considerable pigeon traffic in season. Add to the business already mentioned that from the weekly cattle mart, when much of the livestock was brought in by rail, then you begin to get an idea how busy Acklington Station once was. It seems in those days that the station master, clerk, porters, signalmen and other staff had very few idle moments. When their duties were finished they would combine to work on the station garden and took a fierce pride in the appearance of their workplace. None of the people concerned owned a greenhouse but they managed to raise numerous plants in an old cabin at the station where they were lovingly tended until such time as the bleak Northumberland atmosphere mellowed sufficiently to enable them to be arranged and displayed on platforms and station premises. The place was usually immaculate and it was no surprise that Acklington Station regularly won annual competitions for being the most attractive and colourful station on the North-East line. Finally I must give mention to a particularly interesting railway employee who lived in one of the cottages. I don’t know what his proper name was but everyone called him by his nickname which was “Tunkle”. Tunkle had a vegetable patch at the side of the line and in it (apart from his vegetable plants) he placed a scarecrow with a large bright silk hat on its head. The drivers and firemen on passing trains couldn’t resist numerous shies with suitable lumps of coal, trying to knock the elaborate hat off this poor Aunt Sally. This was Tunkle’s deep scheme of obtaining coal for nothing… and lo and behold, the scheme succeeded very well!

John Davison 01670 760609