Gilsland to Greenhead

Gilsland and Greenhead are in Northumberland. They are both close by Hadrian’s Wall and about a mile and a half about. I was there on what was a very adventurous family holiday in 1962. Up until then I had never left the south of England and the previous year had seen my first trip outside the home counties.

1962 was at the peak time of my railway mania and I needed to prove I had been places by buying tickets. Often it was a platform ticket but smaller stations often didn’t issue them so I got a cheap ticket – like this one from Gilsland to Greenhead.

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Now I find that ticket interesting now for all sorts of reasons. First of all it is a 3rd class ticket and that class had ceased to exist on 3rd June 1956 so although the ticket was issued in 1962, it had been printed long before. But it was printed only from 1948 when British Railways came into being. The price had been hand altered as well from 5½d to 6d which is 2½p in present money.

But also making it interesting is that, presumably, 625 people had bought such a ticket before me. One wonders why that number of people wanted to make that single journey. Maybe they were people visiting forts on Hadrian’s Wall. Gilsland is close by Birdoswald Fort and Greenhead is by Magnis Fort.

Sadly, both stations were closed in 1967 although the line, between Newcastle and Carlisle still exists. There is a campaign to reopen Gilsland station

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