The last train to Pickering pauses at Forge Valley Station. G5 No.67273 is at the rear of the train.

Last Train to Pickering

Saturday 3rd June 1950

This is an article which appeared in the Scarborough Evening News on Friday 9th June 1950, six days after the last train ran the length of the Forge Valley Line.

Village mothers will face new pram problem on shopping trips.

British Railways engine number 67273 puffed quietly out of Scarborough station at 6.40 p.m. on Saturday with two coach-loads of passengers and the last trip over the section of line that has linked Scarborough and Pickering for 68 years had begun.

Although Pickering councilors have objected to the close down of the Scarborough-Pickering service, British Railways held to their recent decision on the grounds that the service was not paying its way.

There was an unofficial ceremony on Platform 7 of Scarborough station on Saturday, when a small crowd gathered to watch the departure of the 6.40 and wave goodbye to the 100 villagers aboard.

Sixty year old engine driver Bill Douthwaite, of Malton watched the track he had known so well for the last ten years, while in the push-pull engine at the rear of the two coaches young Bill Nelson, of Malton stoked the fire and sounded the whistle.

Mr. Charles Greenwood, an 81 year old Seamer resident, recalled the day, some 68 years ago, when he rode as a boy on the first train on the line. Mr. Ernest Wellburn (75) of Sinnington, had similar memories, and both he and Mr. R. Hardwick, of Pickering, retired station masters, deplored the closing of the line. “What about the youngsters and the mothers with prams now?” they said.

In one compartment, Forge Valley mothers had a bone to pick too. Mrs. C. Hunter, of East Ayton, with her four month old daughter Carol, wondered what she was going to do about her perambulator when she came into Scarborough next week to shop. The buses, she said, were not so keen to carry prams, and besides, it was more comfortable to take baby on the train. Mrs. J. Jennings of West Ayton, making the journey as a token ride for her husband, who was in hospital, said she would miss having a train to wave at in her line-side home, Burton House.

Fog-signals cracked along the line as the last train to Pickering traveled down the track, and one by one the stations between Seamer and Thornton Dale closed down. At the little village stations small crowds of people cheered the train on, workers in the fields waved, motorists at the crossings waved, and everybody in the train waved back. As engine 67273 steamed into Pickering a small crowd gathered to shake the driver’s hand and welcome the passengers.