SCRCA structure 231285: Hellifield Station - Bookstall & Newspaper Kiosk

SCRCA Location Introduction

W.H. Smith operated a bookstall & newspaper kiosk at Hellifield Station for more than seven decades. It was located on the 'Up' platform, beside the entrance to the Ladies Waiting Room.

It is likely that the kiosk first opened for business at the same time as the station (1st June 1880). Photo A of the default image was taken shortly after that date and the kiosk is clearly visible.

Books, newspapers, magazines and postcards were sold to customers via the counter, and many W.H. Smith outlets also operated a lending library service. For at least half a century, boys were employed to walk up & down the station platforms carrying trays of merchandise and selling direct to passengers on the trains. One of these boys can be seen in photo B of the default image.

The kiosk was also used to fulfil bulk orders for despatch via passing trains. In an article entitled 'Dent in the 1950s' (serialised in the FoSCL Journal during 2010-2011), Rodney Hampson (the Station Master at Dent between March 1952 and September 1955) recalls that:

There were some practical local arrangements, not found in any printed instructions. Newspaper parcels from W.H. Smith's platform bookstall at Hellifield came out on the 0810 train. Freddy Spratt, efficient manager (and sole member of staff), sent out daily bundles, some to locations like Helwith Bridge, Selside and Blea Moor, hurled from the train by the guard. ... Dent's share of the newspaper delivery was the daily parcel for Cowgill Institute. This contained papers and magazines for many of the Cowgill residents. The regular drill was for the 'Institute papers' to be taken down the hill by whoever was going, usually the coal merchant, sometimes a taxi driver. The package was put in the spacious window sill, inside the Institute, opened up by the first caller, and the individually addressed papers finally delivered by whoever was passing the address - it all worked.

Photo C of the default image shows this later kiosk (which was located on the same site as the original). The photo was taken in March 1948 and a note on the reverse of the original print states "removed & scrapped 5/1/56". This event almost certainly marks the end of W.H. Smith's bookstall & newspaper business at Hellifield.

Montage: W.H. Smith bookstall & newspaper kiosk on Hellifield 'Up' platform.

Key details from the Location Record

Location Type
Other Railway Related Location
Location Variant
Exterior walls - Timber
Assessment status
Current Use(s)
Shown on a land plan?
Construction / installation period
3: MR operational phase (1st Jan 1877 to 31st Dec 1922)
Distance from London St.Pancras
231 miles (chains not estimated)
Position relative to running lines
This location is NOT visible from nearby publicly accessible land.
Accessibility (ease of access)
Protection Category
Not Applicable - demolished or relocated
Geographic Location
  View this location on mapping. or on aerial imagery.

Image Gallery

Tips: To view a larger version of an image, click on its thumbnail (i.e. the small image). To view the acknowledgements and notes associated with an image, click / tap on the image title.


Errors and omissions
Reasonable efforts are being made to ensure the accuracy of the information obtained and uploaded as part of the SCRCA Project. However, it is possible that a few errors will have crept-in. If you notice any such errors, we would be grateful if you would bring them to our attention using the SCRCA Project Contact Form. The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and the members of the SCRCA Project Team do NOT guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in this database. If you intend to use and / or act upon any of this information, you are advised to verify its accuracy BEFORE doing so.