OLD MELDRUM STATION (2002)
The Station building and much of the platform is still in good condition. The colour scheme isn't quite GNSR but the building
is safe and at the time of this photograph was in discussions with the Deeside preservation group for sale and reconstruction
on their line. My thanks to the office staff who kindly allowed me to to look around the station and yard to take these photographs.
I Had Passed through Old Meldrum a number of times over the years since leaving Aberdeen but had never stopped to enjoy the town or search out what had become of the station sight. In August
1999 while on annual leave I decided to deliberately take the bus to Old Meldrum and spend an hour or two looking around.
The bus stops virtually in the center of the town, which has a pleasant group of granite buildings. The main road enters the square passing the Meldrum Arms Hotel and bar, which has a statue of a
sailor, just outside.
The station was about half a mile south west of the town on the road to Inverurie and Huntly. I recall working into the station with the goods and whisky train and shunting in the yard. There was a
clear view westwards to Benachie and the line was an easy one traversing the floor of the valley towards Fingask Platform and Lethenty where there was a connection with the local distillery. A
turntable on the main running line allowed wagons to be turned 90 degrees and moved in and out of the distillery.
The line continued on a sweeping curve until it met the junction with the Inverness- Aberdeen mainline just short of Inverurie. Sadly there is little to be seen of the trackbed alignment once beyond
the present station sight. Likewise, from Inverurie, apart from a bridge about quarter of a mile beyond the old junction most of the trackbed has been ploughed back into fields.
As a trucking business occupies the station sight and is well fenced off, I had to find the nearest office and request permission to look around and take pictures. As it turned out the office was in
fact the original wooden G.N.S.R. station building which was still in excellent condition, albeit in a light blue and white colour sceme. The chap in the office couldn't have been more helpful and
friendly and allowed me to look around until I was satisfied.
A walk around the sight showed the Goods shed to be in equally good condition and used as a repair shop for their trucks and vans. The goods platform was still well formed although partly
hidden by discarded junk. However I was able to get up onto it and take a couple of shots, one looking towards Benachie and another showing where the line went off towards Inverurie.
Luckily as most G.N.S.R. platform were built with granite stones, providing no one deliberately lifts or damages them they will stand forever. For the same reasons the passenger platform is in
excellent condition, with the station building giving a good sense of what it was like when trains used the station. Standing part way up the platform I was able to look westwards and picture the
scene when I took a B&W shot from the loco (a Class 8 Shunter) looking towards Benachie. This was back in 1ate summer of 1964 and the memory came flooding back. The only things missing
were the tracks and the train. I took a shot somewhere approximate to my original B&W one in the hope of having a "Then & Now" recording on the scene.
Having gone back to the station building to thank the staff for allowing me to look around. It was interesting to go into the building, which still oozed 'railways'. It was a surprise to be told that
if I had turned up the following week I would not have been able to se anything of the station building and goods yard as the complete sight was being demolished and completely new buildings
erected. I expressed my concern about the station building but was considerably relieved when told that the building had been bought by the Dufftown Railway Society and was to be rebuilt
somewhere on that line. Likewise, just inside the door there was a fine B&W 'framed' print of a train on the line. I asked what was to become of it and they didn't really know. All I could suggest
was that they take good care of the picture, as it would disappear very quickly during closure and demolition. I took a shot of it just for the record.
As it had taken me virtually 35 years, to the month to return to the station sight. It was with much luck that I had arrived within a few days prior the station sight being completely demolished and
being able to stir up a few memories of how it was back then rather than have been, disappointed looking at a completely different scene.
The west end of the platform has decayed, while on the left, the goods platform is still in a good state of preservation.
The Goods yard and platform looking west. The Goods shed is in use for truck servicing
The station was moved from it's original site to the Deeside Railway Goup's station at Crathes and is now in use.
hat this intersting building was used for, perhaps an office and store! Inside the station entrance hangs this very nice B&W photograph of a steam freight arriving in the passenger platform in 1954, which the 350
shunting loco and train still did in 1964 when I worked there. I trust that this photo has been preserved and/or is going to the Deeside location.
To Page 9
Link: The Royal Deeside Railway Web Site
Link: Bonaccord In Preservation (Bill Reid).