I have several mates called Richard, and the one who lives in Selby is seldom seen because of his demanding job. We meet up when we can, usually at a halfway point between Sheffield and Selby.
Recently we agreed to rendezvous at Knaresborough, which has a good train service via Leeds, and we met on the railway station where I’d noticed a coffee shop as I arrived.
It’s apparent that Knaresborough Railway Station is itself a destination.
We parked ourselves in a sunny bay window at The Old Ticket Office, which is exactly what its name suggests. We’d much to catch up on and stayed on for lunch – excellent hot and cold sandwiches made to order. Indeed, we’d have stayed on in the afternoon if they hadn’t closed at 2.00pm, so we had a further cup of coffee at the Mitre pub across the road.
Richard questioned why a small town like Knaresborough has a such frequent train service, and I suggested the present-day answer is that it provides Knaresborough and Harrogate with a link to main-line services at Leeds and York, just as Barnsley railway station gives its locality access to Leeds and Sheffield.
The Beeching Plan envisaged closing the line through Knaresborough, but Barbara Castle, as Minister of Transport, subsequently reprieved it in 1966.
In 2019-20, before the pandemic, the unstaffed Knaresborough station served over 400,000 passenger journeys and it’s been promised electrification at some undetermined future date.
Its Grade II listed buildings are an attraction in their own right.
We’ve agreed to return to Knaresborough sometime to look at the town.