Following his attendance at a special Drumhead Service in Manor Park commemorating lost local soldiers in the Great War and organised by Glossop British Legion, the Duke made his visit to the Station.
FoGS Chairman, Neil Williams accompanied Northern Rail’s Glossop Line Manager, Theo McLauchlin with Natalie Loughborough, Northern Rail's Customer Services Director, gave him a short tour of the station. Opened in 1847 by his ancestor the 13th Duke of Norfolk he was also able to see the more recent improvements that have taken place.
AN HISTORIC PLAQUE IS UNVEILED
Before leaving the Duke unveiled a plaque marking the historic link to the Howard family's building of the station by the 13th Duke of Norfolk in 1847. The iconic lion standing proudly over the station's frontage is now explained! In his speech the Duke made everyone laugh when he said the original cost had been £10,000 to build the station but the 13th Duke later sold it to the Sheffield, Ashton under Lyne and Manchester Railway Company and got his money back! Neil, from FOGS, spoke of the Duke's vision in creating Glossop Central station thus ensuring Glossop was connected to the main line just over a mile away. And with the station now 167 years old it continues to do its job and, currently passenger figures, approaching 800,000 annually are the highest in its history!
Accompanied by Natalie and Theo the Duke was shown the Poetry Platform where the current display commemorates The Great War. Like many families The Duke lost relatives in this period (Poems selected by Penny Greenwood/display by Paul Marsh).
Moving across to The Embankment Garden he was surprised to hear how this was tended when Neil explained that a little band of FoGS' gardeners had been doing work between 6am and 9am before he arrived! Natalie advised the Duke that the early start was necessary to meet the safety regulations issued by Network Rail.
He was then shown the Waiting Rooms with their displays where he met Norma Creedy and Doreen Ball whose paintings are currently on show in the Art Gallery. The tour concluded with a look inside the new Twig cafe where the Duke met owners Lee and Mike.
Other guests at the event included The Mayor and Mayoress of High Peak, Councillor Alan Barrow and his wife Sue, the leader of High Peak Council, Caitlin Bisknell, County Councillors Dave Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh, Chair of The High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership. Also inattendance was Borough Councillor Jean Wharmby whose support of work done at the station goes back over 8 years.
Before he left he was presented with two gifts; a specially created framed montage of historic station pictures, made by Paul Marsh and in a "book" (which deceptively was a box!) was a sample of Bunty Gibson's renowned rocky road cake! A selection of poems written by pupils at The Duke of Norfolk Primary school was also given to the Duke by Caroline England and her daughter Charlotte.
FoGS would like to say a big thank you to Neill Manchee from Glossop British Legion for his help in arranging this visit and to Anthony Wright from Glossop Historical Society for support and advice. Our thanks to Natalie and Theo for attending, after a very busy period for Northern and, as always, for the unique support that Northern gives. And finally, of course our sincere thanks to His Grace, The Duke for being a most amenable and interested guest.