Waking a Sleeping Beauty

When Scruton railway station was closed in 1954 no-one imagined that it would be effectively abandoned by a succession of owners for the next 50 years and left to become derelict and overgrown. Newcomers to the village have been surprised to learn that there were railway buildings under the mountain of ivy that had overwhelmed them so effectively.

Scruton StationRemoving the camouflage has been the pride and privilege of a group of Scruton volunteers who were inspired by the developments on the Wensleydale Railway line to believe that Scruton station could be brought back to life and revealed to become once more the neat and pretty station of her heydays.

Putting in the hard graft has been the (relatively) easy bit, and Scruton volunteers have so far put in excess of 300 hours; knowing how to progress further is a little harder. In Scruton, we’re not short of ideas, but we are short of knowhow, and we seek the advice and experience of readers of this newsletter on what to do next.

In order to be ready for the Wensleydale line to expand eastwards towards Northallerton, Scruton station needs a lot of expert tender loving care.

What we have revealed are two quite delapidated buildings but an informal survey (by a conservation architect) pronounced the buildings in better order than they deserved to be after so many years of neglect. The first objective is to make the ticket office and waiting rooms weather-proof before another winter, and to refurbish damaged windows and woodwork. Putting in the hard manual graft of clearing the ivy and foliage was within our capabilities - rebuilding and refurbishing an old building is not - and we need some professional help, and that needs money!

If anyone has been in the position of approaching the various funding bodies and can give us the benefit of their experience, I would be very glad to hear from them. Is there anyone out there who has a connection with Scruton village or with our station? We might need your support!

I am pleased to say that WRC is encouraging Scruton Parish Council in this project but – understandably – their efforts are concentrated on bigger projects, not least acquiring access to Northallerton. Once that line is open, it’s important that Scruton station graces the line and provides an extra point of interest for leisure travels, and a real convenience to commuters.

If you have any information, or know anyone who does, please let me know. Janet Crampton, Chair of Scruton Parish Council Greenways, Scruton, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL7 0QP 01609 748321 / 07789 653196 janetcrampton@btinternet.com

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