Info & History
On this page you will find comments and
memories on Victoria station that have been sent in to me. I think this
page could be built up as a library of interesting bits of historical information
along with personal thoughts.
If you'd like to add something please post on the chat forum (I'm no longer adding to this page).
article in Railway Magazine, 1966 by John Clarke
Some memories of Nottingham Victoria
Greetings . I remember Nottingham Victoria Station well! My garndfather`s shop was run by Oscar Shrive, situated on top of the north tunnel out of the station yard , being on the corner of Huntingdon Street and Woodborough Road. He said that when the express passed through the tunnel, the shop used to shake.
We would often walk from Milton Street to Glasshouse Street, over the station lines, and I can remember vividly seeing a green coloured steam locomotive standing at a platform.
Duirng W.W. II, my mother was a child, and had a bedroom with a good view of the marshalling yard at the station, being able to watch all the shunting that occured during the night time.
We were walking along Milton Street one day, when my mother pointed to the big doors at the front of the station, and told me it would all be closing soon. A great loss when it closed.
Did you know that in the 1940s, there were debates in Nottingham, among the council I suppose, about building a shopping complex over the marshalling yard? This was recorded in my mother`s diary from that time.
I came across the ex-GCR system purely by accident when I was working as a tyre fitter on a farm in ruddington, and was immediately intrigued by this 'main looking' railway line. Further research revealed a little of the history, and I've been hooked ever since. I can remember living in bingham as a child and frequent 'shopping' trips with my mother to Nottingham, disembarking at Victoria, and the multitude of 'foreign' engines arriving and departing there. It appears that Sir Edward Watkins dream wasn't so far-fetched after all, and his 'London Extension' was by far the best engineered line to the capital, as was proved by the difficult time experienced by the demolition contractors! Keep up the excellent work, and I look forward to re-visiting your site in the not-too-distant future.
Roy Spencer (50)
My first encounters with Nottingham ‘Vic’ came as a child in the late 1940’s,
when family visits
to relatives took us onto the footbridge, which ran from Glasshouse St to
This elevated walkway was sited immediately over the cavernous station beneath,
and the sounds and smoke, which rose up, formed powerful (if somewhat intimidating)
of the goings-on beneath. Certainly a precursor to my fascination with the
station, which remained through until it’s eventual lamented closure some
20 years on.
Regular visits, as a teenager, ensued during the 50’s.
Access via the elegantly decorated booking hall….sited beneath the clock
tower base….led to the station over bridge with it’s flights of steps
leading downward to the major pair of platforms. These were both of exceptional
width and length, easily accommodating the many passengers awaiting their
‘Master Cutler’, ‘South Yorkshireman’ or the ‘Bournemouth’.
A3 Pacific locomotives (on secondment from the East Coast Main Line),V2’s
and B1’s dominated these workings………..late running, very much a rarity.
Each of these main platforms had dual-tracked bays at either end, primarily
for more local traffic to such northern destinations as Derby and Pinxton,
and southbound to Grantham.
They were also effectively island platforms as many workings, both freight and local passenger, were routed ‘around the back’.
As I recall, the northern bay on the southbound platform was invariably used
by a variety of station ‘pilots’ – awaiting calls to various duties.
Indeed a fond memory is ‘footplating’ a B1 in this bay, on a freezing winter
evening, which was then called upon to assist an ailing A3 on the ‘Cutler’.
My excursion on the loco’ then included a reverse from Mansfield Road tunnel, onto the errant
Pacific – prior to it’s eventual departure.
Continuous through freight traffic was dominated by the infamous ‘Windcutters’,
the Annesley-Woodford coal trains, running straight through the station at
seemingly great speed, thus causing further entertainment on the elevated
Milton St walkway !
The persistent smell of steam locomotion which pervaded the whole station
area had the daily addition of the Grimsby-Whitland fish train which, due
to it’s sometimes lengthy wait for remarshalling, provided further powerful
aromas……remaining long after it’s departure.
In the late 50’s the former GC system, of which the Vic’ was – arguably –
the most attractive reminder, came under the control of British Rail’s London
Midland Region. The cynics who had known the Vic’ in better times were correctly
fearful of it’s eventual demise. So it was that the progressive running down
of it’s services virtually guaranteed the closure in 1966.
The famous old station remained very much ‘in situ’ until the end of it’s working days.
But then a rapid destruction ensued to accommodate the shopping arcade replacement.
It remains a sad irony that one of the last major railway stations to be
built in England became one of the first [with the exception of some wall
retaining brickwork] to disappear.
To those fortunate enough to have known the Vic’ in it’s heyday, it’s memories will remain.
The walk from today’s Emmett Clock down to the Department Store within the
precinct hardly compares with the journey via the Booking Hall, then down
onto the station platform.
I remember visiting Nottingham
Victoria in 1964, the place was huge and there were few passengers around
but a whole succession of slow steam hauled goods trains (they may have
been carrying coal but Im not sure) rumbled through going south.
My father worked for BR and
he worked from Colwick then later on Victoria. My main memories are on
school holidays walking to Daybrook railway Station and getting a £0/0/5d
return ticket to Victoria Station. The journey took about 1hour it went
under mapperly tunnel known as Jona's tunnel I don't know if that is how
it is spelt but that is how it sounded. Then on to Gedling Station then
down a very steep incline I believe it was 1/49 which is steep for a railway
especially on a bend. From there onto Netherfield I cannot remember whether
or not is was Colwick & Netherfield or not then. Then from there onto
Victoria Statoin. Sometimes we would walk through Nottingham to the Midland
Station and watch the trains on both lines the Central line going over
the top of the Midland via High Level Station gone has well I'm sorry to
Other memories are the early 60's waiting
for a train with my parents and brothr and sister we were either going
on holiday or sometimes to a pigeon show as my father was a very keen pigeon
fancier. It did not matter where we were going it was always exciting to
be travelling by train waving out of the windows at everybody and watching
field after field go by. In those days everyone waved back at you and it
made it as if you new them slightly and that made it special has well.
A little bit of remembrance fo you Nick but unfortunately
it cannot be verified not by me anyway, just something I remember my father
saying. He told me some years back that the Victoria Station was not to
close the same as Daybrook. Daybrook was supposed to go to single line
working because of Mapperly tunnel and Victoria Station was supposed to
go to 2 lines running under the now Victoria Centre to make it similar
to Birmingham. But the details and operation of the said plan was left
in the administrative hands of the good old Midland line personel. Of course
the outcome was easy to predict, would you leave a line open that in the
end could or would close yours in those dangerous days of the mid sixties
when lines were fighting fo customers and closing all over the place.