Updated 20 July,2007

By Alastair Buchan:

And now down to the "HBF" (Hauptbarnhof, the Main Railway Station) in Harrogate with car full of boys in his Austin A40 for refreshments and pick up the papers. As he entered the station cafe he would ask rapidly "Tea, coffee, cocoa, whisky and soda, Double Diamond, gin and bitters or are you a Mackeson type?". Refreshments usually consisted of an APIAB (Apple Pie in a Box) and a revolving orange drink that came out of a transparent cooler with a paddle device.

Charlie's anecdotes and phrases stick in my mind to this day. He used to recite all the railway stations from one end of the country to the other and repeatedly recall his WW1 flying days with youthful enthusiasm. We always listened patiently as if we were hearing it all for the first time! Dare we do otherwise? NO.

Harrogate's first railway station, Brunswick, was the end of the branch line of the York and North Midland Railway and the first train arrived at Brunswick Station on 20 July,1848. This station was situated on the site where Trinity Church now stands, close to the Prince of Wales roundabout and some distance from either High or Low Harrogate. When the new line of the North Eastern Railway entered Harrogate via a cutting through The Stray, Brunswick was closed and the first train into the town centre station was on 1 August,1862.

"The Station Square, Harrogate",
Max Ettlinger & Co Ltd, London EC and New York,
postcard of Harrogate Series 1098, 'The Royal Series'
postmarked Knaresborough, July 27,1910, and posted to New Zealand
"I am spending my holidays here, it is such a pretty place. I went to take the waters one evening, they were simply awful. Lily & Janice are going to Scotland on Friday & Flossie is going to Eastbourne with Mothera fortnight later. I am going to Knaresbro tomorrow. Much love to all.
The spire at centre-right is that of the Market Hall that burn down in 1938; the replacement Market Hall was then demolished to accommodate the Victoria Shopping Centre.

In this postcard and the following one, the Station forecourt is seen with the railings and trees surrounding it. The Victoria monument is isolated on its own traffic roundabout.

"The Station Square, Harrogate",
B&R Ltd, Liverpool, postcard, postmarked Harrogate, 10 August,1915.
The church on the left would appear to be Harrogate Baptist Church
in Victoria Avenue; the Station Hotel is on the right.

Harrogate Railway Station in the 1950s.
Plastichrome postcard from Colourpicture Publishers Inc, Norwich

By Kevin Cheeseright:

He loved his trains and to prove the point, one of the lads in his class would always mention a train or a railway line and Charlie would "digress" for the rest of the lesson. He was a walking timetable. From about 1966 onwards he, and a group of the boys, used to collect the Ticket Inspector (a Mr Delimass *) from the London Pullman every night and take him home. All this because Charlie wanted a particular seat facing forward on the Pullman - a seat that he could have booked anyway. It must have cost him a fortune! Charlie argued that he need to run the car every night anyway (an Austin Cambridge, that many boys used for their own purposes - a very generous man).

( * variously referred to as Mr Delimaas, Mr Dilemas and Mr de Lomas - the latter being Spanish for Hill)

"LONDON & NORTH EASTERN The Harrogate-Edinburgh Pullman"
Raphael Tuck 'Oilette' postcard no.3570 in Famous Express Series
after an original painting by Jennie Harbour.
Postmarked Staffordshire, 24 June,1932

Harrogate Station was largely demolished in 1964/65 and replaced with the now-to-be-expected dismal and uninviting bits of concrete.

"Greetings from Harrogate",
a postcard by E T W Dennis & Sons Ltd, Scarborough
postmarked harrogate, 15 July,1981

By Ian Clark:
Joe Stelmach and I were probably the last boys to accompany Charlie on the traditional evening Pullman run to the Harrogate Hauptbahnhof (railway station) for refreshments e.g. Bovril and an APIAB or Kit-Kat. We met the train and gave the guard, Mr Chatfiel or Mr de Lomos *, a free lift back home - he must have thought we were mad! Anyway, Joe and I did this trip almost nightly for goodness knows how long. We were about 16 if I remember and well, had other things on our mind like girls and bikes, though not necessarily in that order. We plumped up the courage to give a couple of other boys the opportunity of carrying on the tradition and informed Charlie of our thoughtful decision!

( * variously referred to as Mr Delimaas, Mr Dilemas and Mr de Lomas - the latter being Spanish for Hill)

He took the news rather better than we expected, fully understanding that it was unfair to stop others from enjoying free refreshments each evening. Then, as we left Charlie's room he summoned us back and said "Thank you for you help" and then let fly with "but if either of you ever leave this building without my permission you're FORRIT do you hear, FORRIT - now get out"

We cried laughing once we were out of earshot - it was truly funny from a distance.

Photo by Tony Eden, c1954

The side platforms for Wetherby or Leeds trains at Harrogate Station.
D49/2 "Hunt" Class engines built for the LNER in 1934.
62753, "The Belvoir" and 62759, "The Craven".

A newspaper article in 1999, recalling some facts about Norwood, said:

"Mr Cass was a railway enthusiast, who liked to meet parents, pupils or visiting dignitaries arriving in Harrogate railway Station. On occasion, if the train was late, the top hatted stationmaster suggested to Mr Cass that he would send an engine out to see if it could be of assistance!
Mr Cass also allowed the Harrogate Model Railway and Experimental Railway Society to use the cellars at Norwood College, so doubtless railway allusions often figured in the headmaster's speech."
Charlie had met up with Mr Mark Haddesley, a member of the club, and when the subject of model railways was mentioned, apparently Charlie jumped at the chance of offering the club members free use of the Norwood basement for their layout. A OO gauge layout was made in the basement, even to the extent of cutting small apertures in some walls to allow the track to go from one room to another. This arrangement lasted for about ten years and came to an end in 1971. When this account was relayed to me, the Railway Club member, Mr R Prattley, said, "We went up to his study and there was a huge inflated weather balloon!"

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