PASSENGERS in Yate are in for a treat this weekend as the town’s station celebrates a milestone anniversary.
Yate Train Station was reopened 25 years ago this month having been closed in 1965 in a raft of closures known as the Beeching Axe. It is believed the station was one of the first in the country to be reopened, on the former Bristol to Gloucester line, after a popular campaign led by local councillors and backed by the then district authority Avon County Council.
Yate Town Council, which played an active part in the reopening in 1989, is hosting a party at the station this Sunday, May 18 (12noon-3pm) to celebrate its silver jubilee.
Town councillor Chirs Willmore said: ““Thankfully Cllr Mike Drew (Lib Dem, Yate north) was in the right place at the right time to get the money. Dodington Parish Council was also very helpful in getting the station reopened.”
She added: “It was one of the first in the country to reopen due to a campaign by Yate and Dodington parish councils.
“I think we should be doing something to mark it.”
The event will include a vintage railway display, miniature railways and a heritage tent detailing the station’s history with memories and artefacts.
Baroness Susan Kramer, the Minister of State for Transport, will be making a visit to the station and a vintage bus will be running from Yate Shopping Centre to the event.
Wickwar Brewery will host a beer tent and afternoon teas will be served while a brass band plays and there will be charity stalls and a special anniversary cake will be cut.
A station at Yate was first opened in July 1844 when trains headed south along the original route via Fishponds to reach Bristol. A connection was later laid in to link the line with the Great Western Railway's Badminton Line from Wooton Bassett to Patchway, now the South Wales main line, but the new link left the older line as an underused flying junction.
Nowadays, the station serves the main Bristol to Birmingham line between Bristol Parkway and Cam and Dursley and is operated by First Great Western. In 2007 it was ranked as the 1104th most-used station in the UK.
David Hardill, community heritage officer at Yate Heritage Centre, said: “This is a major community history event to mark the history of the station and we envisage it will attract a wide range of people on the day.”