Catch the spirit of the ‘The Railway Children’
Remember Mr Perks and the emotional ‘Daddy, my Daddy’ from the1970 film ‘The Railway Children’? If you do, then Oakworth Station is the place for you. The station between Damems and Haworth was used as the main centre for the still-popular 1970 Lionel Jeffries-directed version of E. Nesbit’s novel and the film’s spiritual presence is everywhere.
Besides being one of the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s principal intermediate stops Oakworth’s Edwardian-style station has been guaranteed a place in cinematic history from its ‘starring’ role in the Lionel Jeffries 1971 classic film version of Edith Nesbit’s book, ‘The Railway Children’.
And Oakworth Station remains a ‘must see’ destination for any ‘Railway Children’ buff! The station building with its open fires, Edwardian-style booking office and period advertisements conjures up the hopes that Bernard Cribbins’ character ‘Mr Perks’ is still at work and that Roberta (Bobbie) will still be waiting for the steam to clear to speak those memorable lines: “Daddy, my Daddy!”
Now, 42-years later Oakworth will return to its place on the silver screen as the sequel to that all-time classic film so beloved by generations of families, ‘The Return of the Railway Children was released in 2022.
The KWVR persuaded the filmmakers to keep the name of Oakworth for the station in the 1970s film, with dramatic consequences for the railway. Money earned from the making of the film was insignificant compared to the passenger revenue generated after its release. Passenger numbers boomed.
So that you have enough time to soak up the station’s atmosphere and ‘The Railway Children’ ambience, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway has introduced a brand-new tea room in the former goods shed while there are guided tours to make sure you don’t miss anything! And, if you have some energy left you can take the Railway Children’s footpath to Haworth – it’s a walk of a little more than a mile but easy going!
Oakworth Station opened for business on 15th April 1867 and closed to passengers by British Railways on 1st January 1962. It re-opened its doors when the preservationists took over the branch line on 28th June 1968.
Oakworth station has been a winner of the ‘Best Restored Station’ competition many times. During the autumn of 1983, an outbreak of dry rot was discovered in the entrance hall and both the woodwork and plaster had to be hacked out and replaced. Unfortunately, the rot had spread through virtually the whole of the original building, resulting in extensive, and expensive, repairs. After the remedial attention, the framed portrait of Queen Victoria, still to be seen today, was securely back in its place over the fireplace.
The five-ton crane still exists in the goods yard, and livestock could also be dealt with using the dock. The last animals to be unloaded on the dock were horses for the Disney film ‘Escape From The Dark’ just after the Railway re-opened. Until 1956 the station boasted a passing loop and a signal box situated at the Keighley end of the station but the reduction in train services, as well as the decline in goods traffic, led to both being removed
After the signal box closed, the station continued to be manned for the level crossing using the remaining signals from a small ground frame at the Haworth end of the platform. The crossing keeper will operate these signals whenever a train approaches or leaves the station.
The KWVR acquired the keys to Oakworth Station in 1965, three years after the line had been closed. On opening the station, it was found just as it must have been left. There was even a half-full bottle of ink and a large round table in the middle of the office had been tipped over, presumably in disgust.
Things you can do at Oakworth station
Sit a while and enjoy a nice cup of tea outside the station’s new Tea Hut. Enjoy the spirit of a proper country station and the open spaces of the Worth Valley, as well as top-quality teas, snacks & confectionary.
- Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream
- Tasty Cake
- Proper Ground Coffee
- Speciality Teas
The Tea Hut will be open on running days between 21st October and 2nd November, then will re-open in March for the Steam Gala.
Our knowledge volunteer guides will take you on tour around Oakworth Station and the Goods Shed.
Now you can take a peek behind the scenes, including one of the best examples of an Edwardian-style booking office, the goods sheds and level crossing workings!
The ‘Railway Children’ Walk
Oakworth Station is one of the main features on the six-and-a-half-mile, which starts and finishes at Haworth Station car park. The walk takes you to views of the key points used during the 1971 ‘Railway Children’ film as well as through some of the outstanding Worth Valley scenery.
Please be aware that the walk is not suitable for the less mobile, wheelchairs or children in pushchairs, while the south Pennine weather conditions make it advisable to wear stout shoes or boots.
QUICK STATION INFORMATION
- Level access
- Small Free car park
- Booking Office
- Level Crossing
- Tea-Hut (opening 16th July)