Richard Alder

A written account by Richard Alder who has fond memories of a holiday at Castle Howard Station Platform Cottage in 1958.

Quarry Cottages

Richard Alder's younger brother and the stationmaster's son Neil sitting on the Castle Howard Station sign.
Source: Richard Alder Collection

It was almost our last family holiday before we went our own teenage ways, and a good one. I spoke to my younger brother and he particularly remembered falling out of a tree behind the station house garden! We both remembered that the stationmaster was Mr. Hollins, and my brother palled up with his son Neil, hence the adventures in the trees. (there is a photo of them sitting on the station sign). And he remembered Mrs. Hollins' cooking, wonderful cakes etc. I remember the chickens running about by the level crossing, always expecting one to be reduced to blood and feathers.

My fondest memory is of the trains, especially at night. I suppose they still do that trick of being heard as they approach from Malton, then going silent round the bend, and suddenly exploding into the station with a roar. Very dramatic when you are lying in bed a few feet away, especially with hiss of steam and glow of the fire!

I think the big train of the day was the 'Scarborough Flyer', which we would sometimes stay to watch, but I don't remember what time it came through.

I assume we were there for a fortnight, probably early September, in 1958. We did day trips to York, Scarborough, and Whitby, and visited Castle Howard which I remember had lost its dome after a fire. Otherwise we wandered about the countryside, but my brother also remembers that the river was a barrier in one direction, although very nice. We walked through conifer wood above the station house, I remember the sound of the wind in them, I can't recall how far we went.

We were not a railway family at the time, but my father had work contact with the London freight depots, so as kids we had private trips to the major loco sheds. 

My father ended up working in a railway freight depot for a few years before retirement, and my elder brother joined the railway at 18 in 1960, and has just finished with it at 67, after a life as a civil engineer on Midland and Southern railways.


Mr Grant, Kirkham Abbey Station

The Platform Holiday Cottage in 1958.
Source: Richard Alder Collection

Mr Grant, Kirkham Abbey Station

A sketch of Castle Howard Station by Richard Alder at the age of 13 during his holiday.
Source: Richard Alder Collection