Yate Train Station celebrates 25 years since reopening

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

TWENTY five years of train travel in Yate was celebrated in style at the weekend.

Dignitaries, former councillors and railway workers joined members of the public to help mark the 25th anniversary of the reopening of Yate Train Station at a family fun day on Sunday.

Organised by Yate Town Council and the Friends of Yate Station, the event included miniature railway displays, a vintage open top bus, charity stalls and a heritage tent featuring memories and artefacts.

Town councillor Chris Willmore said: “It was a great day.

“We had officers from what was Avon County Council who came up with the money to reopen the station attend, and railway officers at the time come along.

“There were a lot of members of the public there too, some of whom were involved in the opening and brought along memorabilia, and the Wickwar Brewery tent did well. It was a really nice atmosphere.”

Transport Minister Baronees Susan Kramer arrived on the first train to Yate on a Sunday, at 12.30pm, and was greeted by Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire Thomas Frost, Yate mayor Cllr Wully Perks and town councillors.

“One of the most amusing parts of the day was when we all lined up on the Gloucester-bound platform to meet her,” added Cllr Willmore. “But the first people off the train were a hen party with the hen in fancy dress.

“I know Yate is a welcoming town but it doesn’t normally line up lots of dignitaries to welcome home hen parties.”

A giant cake replicating the station, designed by Sarah Collins from the friends group, was cut to mark the silver jubilee since the town’s station reopened following a public campaign.

The station, the on the Badminton Line from Wootton Basset to Patchway, was closed in 1965 in a raft of closures known as the Beeching Axe. In 1989 it became one of the first in the country to be reopened, on the former Bristol to Gloucester line, after the campaign led by local councillors and backed by the then district authority Avon County Council.

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