A ticket from 1962

Many people used to buy postcards as cheap holiday souvenirs. Indeed, I was not averse to this but in those train spotting days of the early 1960s I sometimes bought train tickets. OK, they don’t have pretty pictures but they still bring back memories – this time of a brief holiday to the north of England back in June 1962.

We came really close to Scotland and I needed proof – and what better than a railway ticket. We must have stopped at Penton and I bought a cheap ticket – a return to Riddings Junction.

image002Everything about that ticket is right in terms of style, but wrong in terms of some information on it. First of all, it is headed LNER. That’s the London and North Eastern Railway which had ceased to exist when British Railways were nationalised in 1948. Secondly it announces itself as third class. Third class had been abolished in 1956.

I recall the ticket seller persuading me to buy this ticket precisely because it was historic.  I had asked for a single. It cost me 1/6 (7½p) which was more than I usually paid for a souvenir ticket, but this one was rather special. The fact that Riddings Jct has had to be hand written is a good indication that people didn’t travel to that station. This is hardly a surprise if you look at a modern map.


I do not know precisely where the junction station was, but we can see Riddings Farm and Cleugh and nearby two closed railways diverge. The old main line from Carlisle to Edinburgh headed west and the next station was Penton. The line over Liddel Viaduct was a branch to Langholm. Once over the viaduct, the train was in Scotland. There’s a distinct lack of buildings around Riddings. The station was built, not to serve any community but rather to allow passengers to change from one train to another.

The old main line was the infamously closed Waverley route. There’s little doubt this should have survived and indeed, long lengths of it are being rebuilt now as a proper, rather than a heritage railway. The Borders Railway will be 35 miles long on the northern part of the line. Sadly, it won’t reach this area.

This, at least, makes my ticket a historic item in all respects because it now covers a section of line which closed in 1969 as well as being issued under the name of a defunct company and class


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