Reminiscences on Ossett in the 1960's when there was a railway station and memories of a couple of events when the line closed.
Mike and I, first arrived in Ossett in 1959 when the town still had a railway station. Newly married, we moved into a new small bungalow on Spa Croft Road which was called Lynda Avenue in those days. In 1961 our firstborn arrived and we had a beautiful large carriage built pram for her - no folding buggies then. A trip to Wakefield to visit family therefore involved a journey on the train so I would push my pram up Manor Road and along Station Road to the railway station. A journey of possibly a mile. There was usually two or three of us with prams and when the train arrived, the guard would help each of us to lift the pram and baby into the guards-van and off we would go on the ten minute journey to Westgate Station in Wakefield. The return journey was a similar arrangement.
It was at this time that a new road from Queen's Drive into town was being developed and as our little bungalow in Spa Croft Road became too small for our growing family, we bought a larger house on the new road which is now known as Towngate. However, before the road could be completed, the railway bridge which carried the line no longer in use had to be demolished. So one Sunday morning the Army arrived to blow it up! Our house was the last one before the bridge so we were told to leave the property and large army lorries were placed all around the house to protect the windows, etc. After watching the explosion from afar we returned some time later relieved to find the house still standing but the railway bridge was no more.
Many of the old station buildings had still not been demolished and The Centre Players, the new drama group in Ossett, needing to raise funds got permission to hold a barbecue and dance on the 19th August, 1967 in the old goods yard buildings. It was a great space and had a glass roof so seemed ideal even if it was raining. Everything was arranged, caterers, the bar, chairs and tables when it was noticed that the vandals had broken a lot of glass in the roof and large pieces were falling down on the space below where the barbecue was to be held! Several members of the group then had the precarious job of going up on the roof and removing all the loose glass to make it safe and cover the area with tarpaulins. I seem to remember that we didn't make any money but it was all good fun and a "last fling" for Ossett Railway Station before it was gone forever.