Derby Friargate railway station

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Derby Friargate railway station
Derby Friargate Station was the main station in Derby on the Great Northern Railway Derbyshire Extension popularly known as the (Derby) Friargate Line.

History

Present day

Handyside Bridge
Today little remains of the station except Andrew Handyside & Co's impressive bridge over Friargate, although a careful observation of the area where the pretty station once stood, will reveal other interesting details. For example observing the remaining arches attached to the south side of Friargate bridge on the right side, will reveal a boarded up arch, the inside of which contains the original staircase that ran up to the central island platforms. Now vanished is the canopy that provided passenger access to the station, which was situated directly adjacent to the boarded up arch. Whilst today it is impossible to access this, a walk round the other side of the arches and up onto the old platforms themselves, which can still just about be observed, (having survived but now in a much deteriorated state), will reveal the boarded up recess where this staircase ascended.

Station site
Once up onto the old station site (which may be dangerous in some areas and should be explored with extreme caution), the atmosphere is eerily peaceful and one is able to walk right up to Handyside's bridge, the crossing of which is impossible having been fenced off for safety reasons, and look down the old route towards Chester Green, much of which has now been filled with office blocks and new housing developments. Walking away from the bridge and back down the old route of the line towards Mickleover can be seen the awkwardly steeped bridge taking the line under Uttoxeter Old Road and where the main line and sidings once stood is now an industrial estate. From here the route approaches the site now occupied by Sainsbury's and there are still some signs of the existence of the old railway, such as a disused bridge over where the line once stood. Further along and a bridge carrying the old Kingsway part of Derby outer ring road can be observed, although today it only carries a little used pavement. Next the line crosses the line of the A38 and climbs through a deep cutting to a summit at Mickleover tunnel. Neither end of the 464-yard tunnel is visible, having been hidden beneath spoil since 1982. For further information about the route of the line and its history see Great Northern Railway's Derbyshire Extension.

Friar Gate Bridge Restoration
In late 2007 many members of the public and people with local businesses near Friar Gate railway bridge have noticed the poor state of maintenance of the bridge. Several letters appeared in the local paper about this issue. An on-line petition was set up for people to show their support for getting the council to restore the bridge. The bridge was sold by British Rail to Derby City Council for a pound in the 1960s. The transaction was carried out on the promise that the bridge should be maintained in good condition in perpetuity.

Memories of Friargate Station
Published in 1998, the book Memories of Friargate Station by local author Susan Bourne, chronicles the station from its early days until its demolition. It also looks at the people who worked there.

"Underneath the Arches"
The Flanagan and Allen song " Underneath the Arches" may be about the bridge. According to a TV programme broadcast in 1957, Bud Flanagan said that he wrote the song in Derby in 1927, and first performed it a week later at the Pier Pavilion, Southport.

Preceding station Disused railways Following station Breadsall London Midland Region of British Railways (Derby) Friargate Line Mickleover

Building Activity

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    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com