Exhibition on Ripon’s railway past at library

Southbound train taken from North Bridge by James W Hague. (Supplied by James Rogers)
Southbound train taken from North Bridge by James W Hague. (Supplied by James Rogers)

An exhibition of 30 photographs entitled ‘Ripon to Harrogate by rail’ is being held at Ripon Library until Saturday, February 21.

The majority of the photographs were taken in the 1950s by James W Hague.

James Rogers, who has organised the exhibition, said: “Hague took numerous photos of railways in the Ripon area at a time when the railways were part of the everyday scene. With the passing of time his photographs have become an important historical record of a long vanished era.

“He also made copious notes of trains that passed through the city. He is well known in railway circles but he is practically unknown in his home city. Indeed very little is known of him.

“It is known he was a bachelor and lived at Wensley Place, North Road, Ripon, and died in 1982. I understand he was involved in the production of the Holy Trinity Church magazine.

“In taking his photos he usually travelled to each location by bicycle and often included his bicycle in his photographs.

“He appears to have lost interest in railways when goods trains between Leeds and the North ceased to run via Ripon in 1959, and diesel locomotives began to replace steam. Photographs taken by him after 1960 are rare.”

Anyone who can provide additional information about James W Hague can contact Mr Rogers by email at James.rogers37@ntlworld.com or by telephone on 01423 889953.