SideTracked – Chester-le-Street
Flanders and Swann Slow Train event No 9
A geocaching meet-up between 1.30pm and 2.15pm on Saturday 17th August, outside the station. This will be a themed event - it would be good to see if we can return cats, porters and milk-churns to the station. If you can provide any of these, please bring them along for a photograph. However this is not essential!
This is the next in a series of SideTracked events based on the song Slow Train by Flanders and Swann. Written in 1963, the song laments the closure of many stations and railway lines under the Beeching cuts of that era.
"No churns, no porter, no cat on a seat,
At Chorlton-cum-Hardy or Chester-le-Street
We won't be meeting again, on the Slow Train."
Chester-le-Street station in 2005.
(Photo by Mick Garratt, cc-by-sa 2.0)
Chester-le-Street is one of several stations mentioned in Slow Train that remains open, having escaped the closure threat. It opened in 1868, with the start of passenger services on the line, which was originally part of the North Eastern Railway. This became part of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), one of the "Big Four" railway companies, between 1923 and 1948, when it became part of British Railways. It is not clear why this station survived the Beeching Axe.
The town of Chester-le-Street has a long history, with great religious significance, as it was the original seat of the Bishop of Lindisfarne, before relocating to Durham in the 10th century. In the industrial age, the town became important for coal mining.
The event will allow like-minded cachers to meet up to chat, discover and swap trackables.
Related web pages:
(Background images - Donald Swann and Michael Flanders in concert, 1966; disused track near Dunstable Town station in 2006, copyright Nigel Cox, CC-by-SA)