Friday, September 10, 2010

Spalding railway station

click photo to enlarge
Our modern obsession with "bigger is better" seems to impact on just about everything. Take railway stations. Our great London termini of St Pancras, King's Cross, Victoria, Waterloo and Euston are known across not only the UK, but the world (at least in the sphere of architecture and transport buffs). And our major town stations such as those at York, Bristol, Edinburgh or Manchester, are quite widely recognized. However, when it comes to the many stations in our small towns, miniature architectural gems that date from the 1840s through to the 1880s or thereabouts, there is much less recognition. And yet, they were often built to high standards using local materials, frequently sought to add a noteworthy structure to the area, and often exhibited the "house style" of the commissioning company. Some plunder the historical pattern book - Tudor, Gothic, French Renaissance and Georgian are quite common. All have served railway users well down the years.

In recent decades the cost of maintenance and the changing needs of railway companies and the travelling public have led to the destruction of some of these fine buildings. Others have found alternative uses, for example as shopping centres. Today's photograph shows one such station, at Spalding in Lincolnshire, that has been under-used by the railway in recent years, but which is being adapted to form a "community hub" centred around a station of a very different kind -  South Holland Radio. The yellow brick, asymmetrical, Italianate building was design by the architect, John Taylor, and dates from 1848. It has been knocked about a bit over the years, but still makes a fine sight with its bracketed eaves, tall chimneys and arched windows and entrances. In summer and autumn when hanging baskets and tubs of begonias festoon the facade, as seen in my image above, it looks particularly attractive.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.4mm (26mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On