Network Rail items find new audience at Kidsgrove Railway Station

A new railway heritage display was opened at Kidsgrove Station on Friday 31 January by Kidsgrove Town Mayor, Councillor Amanda Cartwright.

Stoke-on-Trent rail and canal campaigner Jon Honeysett MBE has donated framed railway heritage items for Kidsgrove Station customers to enjoy. Passengers waiting for a morning train at Kidsgrove already have the luxury of being able to sit in comfy seats and enjoy a hot drink and a snack courtesy of A Spotter Tea. They now have the opportunity to find out a bit about the history and development of the station and local rail network in the 20th century. Items include British Rail network maps from 1948 and 1960, a 1960 timetable and a photo of a steam train at Harecastle signal box.

Jon Honeysett was made an MBE in 2012 for his services to rail in Kidsgrove. He was recognised for championing the campaign to reinstate the “stopping service” from Stafford to Manchester. An hourly train service between Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester, stopping at Kidsgrove, was reintroduced in December 2008 along with the launch of hourly trains between London and Crewe, also serving Kidsgrove. Both new services were welcomed by the community as being hugely important ways to stimulate the North Staffordshire economy, bringing people to the area and help residents win jobs in the cities. Jon is passionate about the importance of good transport links and the role they play in the attractiveness of an area. A keen boater, he has also forged links between the Inland Waterways Association and Kidsgrove Town Council, to focus on the area to the north of Harecastle Tunnel and around the junction of the Trent & Mersey and Macclesfield.

Mr Honeysett said, “Maps help people, particularly the young, to understand their railway history. Donating my maps to Kidsgrove Station is one way my generation can inform future generations and help them appreciate the need to maintain and expand our green transport mode – railways – and ensure that other local modes e.g. roads, cycle ways, pathways, and canals, have a modern transport ‘hub’.”

Jon Honeysett, 77-year-old RAF veteran from Talke Pits, is also involved with North Staffordshire Pensioners’ Convention and is a member The Spitfire Society.

Donna Adams, Community Engagement Manager for East Midlands Railway said: “The donation of maps by Mr Honeysett is very generous for all generations to enjoy. They will take pride of place at the station and create many thought provoking discussions about the local area for many years to come.”

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