Thursday, July 28, 2022

The last days of Leicester Belgrave Road station

Writing about Leicester's Willow Brook, I promised to tell you more about Leicester Belgrave Road station. This was the Great Northern Railway's terminus in the city.

Though regular passenger business never amounted to much, Belgrave Road was famous for the holiday trains that left there for Skegness and other East Coast resorts.

These lasted until 1962, and the last freight train ran in 1969. This was when the oil depot at Belgrave Road closed - a link with the Midland main line had been put in so trains could reach it from there and the rest of the GNR line closed.

When the Belgrave Road site was eventually cleared, a Sainsbury's supermarket and other stores were built there. The Sainsbury's has since been closed and demolished. The dull picture above, which I took on Saturday, shows some of the 1970s buildings still on the site.

A 2019 Leicester Mercury article looked at the plans for the site, but there's no sign of anything happening yet.

But forget all that and look at the photograph below.

It shows one of those late-1960s workings to the oil depot starting on the journey back. And it also shows what an enormous site this was.

The station itself is in the distance on the left-hand side of the photo, with the goods warehouses further to the right. 

And the b&m store in the photo above is halfway between the station and the camera and the Willow Brook may be marked by the tree in the distance on the far left of the photo.

Photo © Nigel Tout.

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