Bangor rail station
For two years, from May 1848, this station was the terminus of the Chester & Holyhead Railway. Completion of the Britannia Bridge in 1850 enabled the Irish Mail and other trains to continue to the port at Holyhead. The station and the depot once located to the south were hemmed in by hills at either end, through which railway tunnels were driven.
The main building, east of the current entrance, was designed by Francis Thompson, the railway’s architect. The building’s form and ornamentation are perhaps best appreciated from the platform opposite. Thompson had first worked with Robert Stephenson, the railway’s engineer, in the late 1830s during construction of the North Midland Railway. For this he designed the spectacular Midland Hotel in Derby, among other buildings.
The current booking hall at Bangor and entrance to the footbridge were built by the London Midland & Scottish Railway in 1927 as part of a programme of improvements and expansion of the station.
During the Second World War, children were evacuated from Liverpool and the Wirral to Bangor as the government feared for their safety from air attack if they remained at home. In the couple of days preceding the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939 and for a few days after, trains brought nearly 2,000 children and their teachers to Bangor station. It fell to the Women’s Voluntary Service to find a home for each child. Some householders volunteered to have an evacuee billeted with them, but when not enough accommodation could be found the authorities used compulsory powers to make homeowners take in children. After Merseyside suffered heavy bombing in May 1940, Bangor station saw even more evacuees arrive in the city.
In 2011 the former depot was cleared and a car park created on the site, cementing Bangor’s position as the main railhead for North-west Wales.
With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum, Llandudno
Postcode: LL57 1LZ
Other RAILWAY HiPoints in this area:
Britannia Bridge - originally a tubular bridge by Robert Stephenson
Penmaenmawr station - still has its original Chester & Holyhead Railway building
Felin Fawr workshops, Bethesda – base of narrow-gauge Penrhyn Railway, now partly restored
Thanks for Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales for agreeing to host these barcodes, in support of the HistoryPoints project