Friends chuffed with new station facilities

The unveiling of the new interpretation board at Great Ayton Station.

The unveiling of the new interpretation board at Great Ayton Station.

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A remote North Yorkshire railway station is getting back on track thanks to a council grant.

Great Ayton Station is on the single track rail line between Middlesbrough and Whitby.

The section between Nunthorpe and Battersby was originally built to take material from the mines in the Great Ayton area.

It is now used by local residents to get to Middlesbrough and beyond and by cyclists, walkers and tourists exploring the area.

Hambleton District Council’s Small Grant Scheme has enabled Moor Sustainable CIC on behalf of the Friends of Great Ayton Station to install two new secure picnic benches after their previous one was stolen, an interpretation board giving the background of the station and new signage to help the many visitors find their way to the village.

Caryn Loftus, Friends of Great Ayton Station co-ordinator, said: “Without the funding from Hambleton District Council, which was match funded by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, we wouldn’t have been able to make the improvements to the station area.

“The picnic benches are already being well used by individuals and groups of all ages.”

The interpretation board was officially unveiled on Friday 14 October by June McCleave, great-granddaughter of William Chappelow who was station master at the start of the 20th Century.

There are 10,000 users of the train annually to and from Great Ayton and it is hoped by improving the facilities will attract more people.