CRUDEN BAY HOTEL, STATION & TRAM
(Updated 6th September 2010)
Cruden Bay Hotel. This must be a model used in the design of the building!
From a post card. Showing the hotel and grounds in their peak condition. A tram stands outside the main entrance.
Remains of the outer, rear, buildings close to the main road. The foundation to the front is that of the Hotel reception room.
The decorative tramway poles and overhead wire fixtures. Those
on the line too and from the station were less ornamented.
The building on the right was the laundry.
No 1. Old picture found on the internet
The tram is looking a little 'weathered'. It is sporting the LNER logo, which came about at the regrouping of the railways in 1928.
No. 2. During renovation at Grampian Transport Museum. 2002
The finished tram in 2003 (Grampian Transport Museum) in excellent renovation
No. 2 at Hatton, that was used for the renovation.
CRUDEN BAY STATION
(A Sir Malcome Barcley Harvey Picture)
A Boddam to Aberdeen train at Cruden Bay Station (1904-1906). The front two coaches are for Aberdeen, with, I expect, the rear two coaches
terminating at Ellon. The more I see and learn of this branch it is obvious that the railway was built to a very high standard.
1905. A couple of objects in the photo above this one tells us that this isn't the same train as I first thought. In the upper photo the advert outside the signalbox is
higher up on the fence and for a different advert. Likewise, there is not a tram trailor van standing in the spur behind the signabox. However, this photo remains an
excellent study of how the station looked in it's early days. There are 10 people in the picture including the signalman and the next figure along (in uniform) is either
a Porter or the Station Master. This photo is so well detailed that if it wasn't for the people you could think that it was a pencil drawing.
Interesting view of the layout at Cruden Bay station. Showing the platforms after the fire in the 30's. Apart from the lack of any up platform buildings there is no station canopy
on the down platform, the footbridge has also gone and the signaling has been rationalised. There is an old (not so much so, back then) passenger coach used as a store on the
platform. Overhead poles and a four-wheel trailer van are seen in the yard. However, there doesn't appear to be any catenary wire suggesting that the tram service was closed
down at this time.
As there were no wires into the run-round spur and the tramline wasn't connected to the main goods yard track I wonder how they got the wagon onto the tram! I have since learned
that the trolly pole was long eough to reach over two tracks, so keeping contract with the power supply while shunting the loop. The van is standing in the same spot as described
in the upper photo, behind the signalbox, which helps to place this photo in it's proper perspective and proving how run-down the station and yard had become. I can't make out any
catenary or telegraph wires and wonder if the line had been closed when this photo was taken. However, it could simply be photo degration. The pair of tracks in the yard show a very
clean surface; therefore freight was still using the siding.
In front of the wagon is a short run-round loop for the trams to run round trailer wagons. The Stationmaster's House is on the right and the goods shed just visible to the far right. A
signal post can just be made out beyond the station as the track runs into the cutting just beyond the viaduct. I find this layout interesting in that the viaduct seems to have been no
longer than the present day remaining piers dictate and the embankment from the station to the viaduct must have had a bridge opening for the road to run below.
The station road and tramway ran past the station master's house and followed the insideof the railway land along the edge of the field up past Station road then followed Aulton
Road, where it crossed to the eastern side and again followed the field up to the main road then crossing it before entering the Hotel site. A housing estate stands on most of this road
Guessing where the tram passengers would join and leave the tram! There is shallow cutting up by the main station yard road. As I wouldn't expect pasengers to be carried through
the run-round loop or up to the stop block, I would think that there is a gate in that shallow cutting directly in front of the station buildings. Anyone know different?
This montage of the 1930's picture and one taken in September 2008 gives an idea of how the railway fitted
into the very empty 2008 scene. N.B. This is a replacement photo from the previous one, showing more of
the goods shed than the previous one. This has also shown up where the points on the straight goods track
towards where the goods loading platform were. I say 'where' as it looks as if the points have gone but you
can make out the wooden flooring where you would stand to pull the points and where the point rod went
below and fixed to the left hand side of the points. You can also make out the stump where the point lever
had been, to the right of the wooden flooring.
Below: Cropped closer views
The curve to the viaduct is a little more clear and you can just make out the three arches of the viaduct. However it is impossible to make out where the road
bridge was just off the end of the platforms. You can just make out the bridge that went over the cutting, with a signal post to the left. From this close-up it
is obvious,that there are no catanary wires for the trams. On the far left towards the stop block of the tram line is a wheel of some sort that appears to be on
the rails but isn't possible to make out what sort of vehicle goes with it. Another anomily that caught my eye is what looks like a stop or break along the up
platform, between the tram pole and the telegraph pole. It's difficult to make out whether it is something lying on the plaftform or if perhaps in the latter
days there was only a single line through the platform and that an extension was made to bring the platform closer to the track for alighting.
A closer view of the tram trailor van, which I expect had been standing here for some time and up to final
closure. Whatever became of it? There appears to be a barrel and some sleepers stacked up on the run-round tram
loop line. It's still difficult to make out that object lying on the up platform, or possible width extension to match up
with the single line. Another unrecognisable object shows up just to the left of the wagon, and beyond, and stands
somewhat like an old fashioned post box.
Showing the relation of the tram line coming in from Station Road and curving past the station house towards the loop and onto the stop block just out of sight.
The fenced off section is probably where Hotel passengers joined and alighted the trams, where they would then walk along the concourse path to the waiting
room and platform. It is interesting that the tram track appears to have ran through a low cutting past the house, which would have acted as a barrier. On the far
right is the Goods Shed. From this view it seems obvious that there had been two tracks. On the right of the main track that went inside the shed you can just
make out the rough ground where the nearer track had been lifted. This track terminated outside the shed. You can also follow the curve where the points would
have been, to the right of the first telegraph pole on the left. As the goods yard was on one side of the station goods trains for boddam would have had to back
out onto the mainline then run northwards. Trains coming from Boddam would have had to run past the station into the cutting towards Hatton then push back
into the goods yard. Slain's Castle is seen in the far background between the house and shed! I would love to see the original print or negative of this photograph,
which would have much finer detail than this book print.
Slainte Castle through the 200mm zoom lens in Sept. 2008
An Ex GNSR passenger coach lies decaying near Hatton. Possibly one of the coaches seen on the trains in
the old photos of Cruden Bay station above.
With grateful thanks to Alan Mitchell, author of 'Tales Of The Buchan Line' for use of his photographs on this page.
AN EX GNSR COACH AT CRUDEN BAY
This GNSR coach is near Cruden Bay and is in quite good condition. It could quite easily be renovated
(Author known as Silversurfer)
An Ex GNSR Boddam branch passenger coach at Port Errol, Cruden Bay. (John McKintyre)
6th September 2010
With thanks to Philip Plumbe in Australia, who kindly sent a photo of an envelope with the Cruden Bay Hotel marking on it. It is from a letter sent by his Grandfather to his Grandmother on the 8th
of July 1905. Philp's grandfather worked for a railway company in England and got to travel around the U.K. quite a bit.
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