On 26th October at the Poplars Church (old Golden Ball) Worksop Archaeological and Local History Society (WALHS) was visited by Denis Hill, who gave an interesting talk on how the Mansfield to Worksop railway opening in 1875 influenced the development of Worksop and the smaller towns and villages on the way to Mansfield before connecting to the existing railway from Mansfield to Nottingham.
A new line was initially promoted by three railway companies – the Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire, The Midland and the Great Northern – to serve the new North Notts coalfield. Getting a route through the Dukeries avoiding all the stately homes to the satisfaction of influential ducal landowners proved very difficult until the Newcastles and Portlands saw money in the development of the coalfields and got involved themselves.
After many years of wrangling, the Midland Railway’s plans were chosen by Parliament and a new line opened in 1875 with a modest passenger service of three trains a day from Mansfield to Worksop, and three trains from Mansfield to Sheffield via Shireoaks.
These were soon followed by trains of coal, stone, sand, timber and general produce such as fresh fish for the locals to sample for the first time.
Passenger services improved over the years, but trains were infrequent between Worksop and Nottingham until 1964 when Beeching cuts saw them withdrawn, leaving Mansfield the largest town in England without a station.
Freight services remained, even after the pit closures, and in 1998 an hourly passenger service between Worksop and Nottingham on the newly titled Robin Hood line was introduced. This has been a great success.
There is no meeting in December and the meeting in the New Year will be on 23rd January, at 2.30pm, which will be an Old Worksop afternoon.
New members and visitors who are interested in local history are always welcome, paying just £3.50 per visit, or to be a member costs £6.00 per year with £3.00 per visit. Car parking is available at the rear of the venue.