Sledmere and Fimber Station

The station opened as Fimber and was renamed Sledmere in March 1858 and then Sledmere & Fimber in May 1859. The station served the Sykes estate in Sledmere and Sir Tatton Sykes at Sledmere House once had a private waiting room but he gave up exclusive use of the room in 1860 on the condition that it was refurbished and furnished to ‘first class’ standard. This later became the ‘ladies waiting room’ when the station was improved in the 1890s with a timber ‘general waiting room’ being provided to the east of the main station building. At the same time the platform was raised and lengthened leaving a small section of the original low platform in front of the main station building.

A small lockup warehouse for parcels was provided in 1876, it was larger than others on the line that were built at the same time. The goods yard was the largest and busiest on the branch with eight sidings running across level crossings at both ends of the yard, two sidings served a cattle dock, one served coal drops and one served a substantial two storey brick grain warehouse which was built at the request of a local grain merchant who built drying kilns close by. A signal box (the only one on the line) for controlling access to the sidings was provided on the platform. The goods yard was also provided with a crane, weighbridge and weigh office.

Freight handled a Sledmere included coal, fertiliser, barley, wheat, oats, milk and timber. Sledmere also handled a large amount of livestock and the Sykes Stable used the station twice a year for transporting horses to the races at Newmarket.

The station was used by Queen Victoria in the 1880s and on 6th July 1948 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth traveled by train to the station when they stayed at Sledmere House, the line was closed to all other traffic for the day. When the Royal passengers left the train for their overnight stay the royal train was shunted into a siding and a rail removed to stop other trains accidentally crashing into it.

After closure the general waiting room was resited to Fimber cricket ground where it saw reuse for many years as a pavilion before burning down, the remaining station buildings and the grain warehouse were left empty and gradually deteriorated until the site was completely cleared in 1978 and redeveloped as the Fimber Picnic Site with a tea room, car park and toilets. Much of the area is wooded but the course of the track through the yard and station is grassed although little evidence of the station remains. There is an interpretation board with some information about the station in the car park.

Our thanks to Nick Catford of the excellent Disused Stations website for permission to reproduce this information.

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