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found this old letter

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I found this old letter and I just wondered if it could be of any use to anyone .IE time table and so on .please read brings back a load of memories to me .When I left school at 15 in 1960, the Station Master, Mr Dickson, gave me a job as Junior Porter. I earned £3.10s a week as a Junior Porter. The Station Master earned £23 a week.

The Junior Porter covered Carfin Halt where only two trains stopped going to Edinburgh and three to Glasgow. 

I remember as a boy the two porters at Holytown – Peter Sommerville, a lovely old soul who had a limp and who lived in houses next to the café. His mate was Harry McCarron who lived in Wrangholm Drive. As I grew up, these two porters became my friends. Four clerks also worked at the station, 2 on each shift, and 2 junior Porters. In total there were 9 employed including the Station Master.

In those days Holytown Station was very busy. It was the top station in the country for parcels. Parcels were sent all over the world from Millards, Hoover, Lamson Paragon and many other works in Carfin Estate, also from Howden’s works next to the Old Police Station. Pigeons were sent away – a profit-making venture for the station.

A Railway van delivered parcels to Newarthill and all local destinations.

During the summer months, trains, all jammed packed to Portobello, Ayr, Saltcoats, Ayr and Lanark races, etc. departed from Holytown.

The station had a water pump at both ends of the platforms. The trains all stopped for water. I remember well stocking the big blazing fires to keep the pumps from freezing in the winter. The platelayer’s bothys (huts) near the station where they sheltered as they kept the points clear of snow in the winter. They always had big fires and were roasting hot. They played a big part in the railways, keeping the points from freezing so that the trains could run. What lovely memories. 

Everyone will remember the shop (Menzies) in Holytown Station. Mrs Bimbi was the manageress. The shop was well used as there were train connections to Motherwell as well as into the city. The train for Motherwell sat in the dock. In the waiting rooms there were huge welcoming fires for the passengers while waiting for their trains.

I remember the old railway houses next to the white gates and signal box at Station Road, and also a lovely old Station Master’s house. 

When Mr Dickson retired at 65, he had to give up his Station House. They gave him a house in George Street, New Stevenston, but he died 9 months later.

They demolished the old Holytown Station about 1972 and built another one, which closed about 1987.

Mr Beecham has a lot to answer for.

Robert Dick.

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...Mr Beecham has a lot to answer for...


Stick to the recommended dose, and you'll be kept nicely moving, instead of a runaway situation.


Since the station not only survived the Beeching era but was renewed, I propose that it will have been a rational response to falling rail borne traffic that led to closure. The once numerous passengers now motoring to and from their destinations, the freight movement probably now on trucks leaving Chinese factory gates. Where rail traffic has held up or grown since the Beeching era, extra stations have been built and come into service.

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