These notes were made as part of a quest to answer two seemingly simple questions:
1) Why was Appleby Station provided with a passenger footbridge in 1901 (25 years after the line opened for passenger use, but more than 90 years before the other 'large' Settle & Carlisle Railway stations received theirs)?
2) What exactly was the 'mishap' / 'shunting incident' that befell the footbridge less than a year after it was installed (and what were the implications for the bridge)?
The second question was quickly and easily answered (see Newspaper accounts - 2), but the first remains something of a puzzle. The research results for the first question are reproduced in the next section and there's a summary & analysis towards the bottom of the page. In both cases, the research findings to date are documented in full below.
Tuesday 21 December 1880, Penrith Observer (Corporation of Appleby meeting report):
An adjourned meeting of the Michaelmass Head Court of the Corporation of Appleby was held at the Moot Hall, on Saturday afternoon. The Mayor (Alderman Pearson) presided, ...
THE APPROACHES TO THE STATION.
The MAYOR said they would remember that on his election he had promised to use his best efforts for improving the footpath running through the field called 'Lady Guards' to the Railway Stations. He had anticipated that the Midland and North Eastern Railway Companies would help to effect the improvement, and he had written to them for that purpose. The Midland Company had replied that they didn't see their way to assist them, and he had not yet heard from the North Eastern Company; but he had no doubt that both Companies would eventually subscribe something. He would propose that the Corporation should head a subscription list with £5, and he would endeavour to obtain the required sum, which he thought would not amount to more than £30 or £40. He had waited upon Mr. Little on the subject and pointed out to him the plan of improvement he proposed to adopt, and that gentleman very handsomely gave him permission to take what land was required. He proposed to start from Dodson's slate yard, and follow the hedge bounding Mr·. Shepherd's garden, with a foot-path seven feet wide, which would be fenced and railed on the other side; and if they get sufficient money he would place two lamps on the path. - Mr. NANSON: Do you think that is a better plan than going from corner to corner of the field? - The MAYOR: Yes, a great deal; by filling up the bottom we shall get a much easier gradient than at present, and the existing path is quite dangerous. - Mr. NANSON: It is the most important footpath we have, and certainly requires improvement. - The members of the Corporation present considered that the plan proposed would effect a great improvement; and Mr. DAWSON having seconded the Mayor's proposition, the vote of £5 was unanimously agreed to.
Tuesday 04 October 1881, Penrith Observer (Corporation of Appleby meeting report)
The annual meeting of the Corporation of Appleby, for electing a Mayor of the Borough for the coming year, was held at the Moot Hall yesterday. . The present Mayor (Alderman Pearson) presided, ...
The Mayor said that before he vacated the chair he wished to make an explanation to the Court. They would remember, that on his election as Mayor of the Borough he had promised to endeavour to get a footpath made up Lady Garth, and they might think he was a better promiser than a performer; he would, however, tell them what had been done in the matter, and they would judge for themselves as to the manner in which he had endeavoured to redeem his promise. He had anticipated that the Railway Companies would co-operate with him in providing a better approach to the Railway Stations, than that which now existed, but, after considerable correspondence, they declined to help him in the matter. He then thought he would endeavour to raise the amount required, £40, by subscription, and having communicated with Mr. Little, Lord Lonsdale's agent, for permission to make the footpath, that gentleman, on behalf of the Earl, generously offered to place the ground required at his disposal. He (the Mayor) then at once commenced to solicit subscriptions, and he had not been out more than an hour and a half before the amount required was promised to him. The work was then begun, but it appeared that someone had informed Mr. Little that the inhabitants of the town were dead against the scheme, and the work was no further proceeded with. They would thus see that he was not to blame in the matter. (Cheers.) The Mayor added that he had received £9 of the promised subscriptions, and, if the scheme had to be taken up again, it would be used for that purpose; but if not, he would return it to the parties from whom he had received it.
26 January 1886, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
PROPOSED IMPROVEMENT OF A ROADWAY
Mr. COUSENS moved that the watercourse in Garbridge Road be laid with 15-inch pipes, and a footpath formed on the top if it, and that grates be put in on the other side to carry the water across, so as to prevent floods from cutting up the road, as at present. The Midland Railway Company, he said, had made a road from their goods yard, and the carting therefrom had been diverted into the Garbridge Road, which was now in a very unsatisfactory state. As they were all aware, there was a broad watercourse on one side of the road, and the roadway was so narrow in places as to render it dangerous for two traps to meet. He thought, therefore, that something would have to be done, and the sooner it was done the better. Mr. Cousens then gave measurements of the width of the road and the watercourse at various points in its length of 175 yards, and he estimated the cost of the proposed improvement at about £30. - Mr. GRAHAM: It seems to me that this would be a large expenditure for the benefit of a few, and there is a good road from the station at present without this. I quite agree that the adoption of the motion would effect a great improvement, but there has never been an accident on this road, and there are other places in the borough which stand more in need of immediate improvement. (Hear, hear.) - Mr. PEARSON thought that the estimate was too low; besides making a footpath wouldn't widen the road. - Mr. ATKINSON said he quite endorsed every word Mr. Cousens had said, and he considered the road very dangerous in its present state. - Mr. Alderman SANDERSON quite agreed that the proposed improvement was necessary, but there would be a great cry out if the Authority did this work and left Lady Guards as it was. He thought they had better tackle the latter first. - Mr. HOGG: Is Lady Guards a public footpath? - Mr. Alderman SANDERSON: Yes. - Mr. CHATTERLEY considered there was sufficient room for two lorries to pass. - Mr. COUSENS: What, in ten feet? - Mr. COWLING gave an instance in which his own trap had been upset by a passing cart. - Mr. ATKINSON then seconded Mr. COUSENS' motion. - Mr. CHATTERLEY moved that the Midland Railway Company be asked to overlook the place and do the work, as it was more to their advantage than that of anybody else. - Mr. McCONNAL suggested that the question be referred to the Streets and Roads Committee with the instructions to get a proper estimate out, and that in the meantime the Midland Railway Company be asked to contribute towards the improvement. - Mr. PEARSON moved that the road be put into proper repair, and that the consideration of Councillor Cousens' other suggestions as to covering the watercourse, forming a footpath and kerbing same, be postponed for the present. - Mr. GRAHAM seconded this amendment. - Alderman SANDERSON, in supporting the amendment said he thought the Garth Heads Road and Lady Guards were much more important matters with which they had to deal, and when they went in for the expenditure of sums of £30 and £50 they were dipping deeply into the pockets of the ratepayers, and the consequences would be that they would have to borrow money. The MAYOR agreed that it would be unwise to deal with this road piecemeal. They would have to tackle the Garth Heads Road and borrow money for it, and it would be well to do the work now proposed to be done at the same time. - Two or three members remarked that the Garth Heads Road was a private road, and Mr. PEARSON said: Let the owners of property do that work; it was estimated to cost £750. - Alderman SANDERSON: Oh, no, you are about £500 wrong there. - The MAYOR said he believed Mr. Watson's estimate did not exceed £300. - Some considerable further conversation took place in regards Lady Guards and the Garth Heads Road, a strong opinion being expressed by some of those present that the cost of making the latter road good would devolve upon the owners of the property which would be specially benefited by the improvement. Mr. Pearson''s amendment was then put to the meeting and carried by a majority of ?[2 or 3]. The meeting then adjourned for a fortnight.
Tuesday 09 March 1886, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS
The MAYOR moved that the street and roads Committee should consider and pronounce upon the needed improvements. There was the pavement in the Market place and the High Wiend which needed relaying. Another path was needed for the opposite side of Main Street similar to the one existing. There was also the footpath in Lady Garth, and the road at the top over the Banks and the road leading from Garbridge to the Midland Station. He thought if these improvements were carried out visitors would perhaps be induced to come to the town. Of course there would be considerable expense. Some people thought the Corporation ought to proceed at once in order to give work to the unemployed, but they could not do that as it would take a little time to get the necessary sanction and to borrow money. - Mr. PEARSON said these improvements would add to the rates. - It was pointed out that the rates would be little or not at all affected as the borrowed money could be spread over a number of years. Commissioners would have to come down to examine into these improvements. - Mr. SANDERSON said they might as well get consent to all the improvements at the same time, although they need not all be proceeded with at once. Some conversation followed respecting Lady Garth, when it was decided that the Town Clerk enter into communication with Mr. Little (Lord Lonsdale's agent) to ascertain if his lordship would make the road.
Tuesday 30 November 1886, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE MIDLAND RAILWAY CO. AND THE PUBLIC.
Some time ago application was made to the Midland Railway Company for permission to affix a bracket to the retaining wall in front of their station at Appleby, and the TOWN CLERK now laid before the Council a written agreement which he had received from the Company, in which it was stipulated that the Corporation should pay them 5s. a year for the easement. - Mr. COUSENS remarked that the proposed lamp was not for the benefit of the people of Appleby, but for the convenience of passengers going from one station ot the other (Midland and North-Eastern), and on the motion of Alderman WHITEHEAD, seconded by Alderman DINWOODIE, it was unanimously resolved that the offer of the Midland Company be not entertained.
A GREAT DESIDERATUM.
Alderman SANDERSON asked whether any movement had been made in regard to the making of a subway under the Midland Railway at the top of Clifford Street, and on the line of the ancient footpath. Mr. ?COUSENS said that he had seen Mr. Garrett not long ago on the subject, and that gentleman had pointed out certain improvements which the company might undertake, but said nothing with reference to the subway. - Alderman SANDERSON suggested that the Council should pass a resolution calling on the North-Eastern Railway Company to compel the Midland Company to make the subway. It would be beneficial to the Midland Company themselves, as the present means of getting from one platform to the other, by crossing the line, was dangerous. - Mr. HOGG concurred, and said the company might make a convenient approach to both platforms by means of the subway. - After some further conversation, the subject dropped.
Friday 17 December 1886, Carlisle Journal (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
APPLEBY TOWN COUNCIL. - A meeting of the Council was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening, under the presidency of the Mayor. - A letter was read from Mr. Grattan, stating that the Corporation might now erect a bracket lamp on the wall bounding the Midland Railway station at the top of Clifford Street without charge. It was unanimously resolved that a letter, signed by the Mayor and Town Clerk, be addressed to the North Eastern Railway Company, drawing attention to a much-felt public grievance and inconvenience in the diversion by the Midland Railway Company of the public right of way at the head of Clifford Street, and asking the North Eastern Railway Company to require the Midland to make a subway under their railway on or near the line of the ancient footpath.
Tuesday 21 December 1886, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
A LONG STANDING GRIEVANCE.
The Committee recommended the Council to cause to be addressed to the North Eastern Railway Company a letter similar in terms to the draft now submitted, requesting that Company to require the Midland Railway Company to make a subway under the Midland Railway at the head of Clifford Street. - A letter setting forth the grievance was authorised to be sent to the Railway Company.
Tuesday 18 January 1887, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE MIDLAND SUBWAY.
In reply to the Mayor the TOWN CLERK said that, with the exception of a formal acknowledgement of the receipt of his letter, he had not yet received any reply from the North Eastern Railway Company in reference to the making of a subway under the Midland Railway at the top of Clifford Street.
Tuesday 15 March 1887, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE MIDLAND SUBWAY.
A letter was read from the general manager of the North-Eastern railway stating that the directors, having regard to all the circumstances, do not see their way to call upon the Midland Company to incur the expense which the construction of a subway under the railway would involve. - In reply to a question the MAYOR said that the Corporation had no power to compel the Midland Company to make the desired improvement, and, after some conversation on the subject (in the course of which the existing inconveniences, and the dangerous level crossing at the Midland Station were referred to), it was resolved, on the motion of Mr. Alderman WHITEHEAD, seconded by Mr. MC.CONNAL, that a letter be written to the directors of the Midland Railway requesting them to make the desired subway.
Tuesday 10 May 1887, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE LADY GARTH IMPROVEMENTS
The TOWN CLERK read the following letter from the Local Government Board:-
Local Government Board,
Whitehall. N.W., 15th April, 1887.
SIR, - I am directed by the Local Government Board to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 12th ultimo, containing the observations of the Town Council of Appleby upon the memorial which has been addressed to the Board by the Ratepayers' Association of the Borough of Appleby, in reference to the proposed loan for works in connection with the improvement of the footpath across Lady Garth's field. The Board after further considering the application of the Town Council for sanction to the loan in question direct me to state that it does not appear to them that, with the information at present before them, they would be justified in according to the application. It does not seem to be clearly established whether the path is a highway repairable by the inhabitants at large or not, and, assuming that the path in question is a highway, the decision in the case of the Queen v. Platts seems to show that it is requisite that a Certificate of Justices, or Order of the Quarter Sessions, should be obtained in the first instance to authorise the diversion of the path, which appears form the plans to be intended, before the Board could grant their sanction. I am, &c.,
ALFRED D. ADRIAN, Assistant Secretary.
To Wm. Hewitson, Esq.
Alderman SANDERSON said the Council didn't want to divert the path; they only wanted to make a short branch from it. - The MAYOR: Prima facie the footpath is a highway; no one can show anything to the contrary. I don't see what further evidence we can give in support of our contention, the matter was fully explained to the inspector (Mr. Smith). After some further conversation the subject dropped, and the improvement of the footpath is apparently as far distant as ever.
THE PROPOSED MIDLAND SUBWAY.
It will be remembered that some time ago application was made to the Midland Railway Company requesting them - for the greater convenience and safety of travellers - to provide a subway under their line at the top of Clifford Street, and the TOWN CLERK now read a reply from the Company stating that they did not see their way to incur the expense which the work would involve. - In the course of a conversation which followed, the dangers of the present level crossings at the Railway Station were strongly commented upon, and an opinion was expressed to the effect that the Company would probably be able to "see their way" to secure the stable door after the horse has been stolen.
Tuesday 01 November 1887, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
From the minutes of the above-mentioned Committee it also appeared that the Town Clerk had been directed to write to the Midland Railway Company and inform them that the Authority requires them to keep open the ancient footpath leading from Bongate to the High Street and beyond, where the same crosses their line of railway, by placing proper turnstiles or gates in their fences, covering the signal wires, and removing the building which is now being erected on the line of this footpath.
The Town Clerk was directed to wrote to the Midland and North Eastern Railway Companies, and point out that the bridges carrying the pubic roads within the Borough over their lines are in want of surface repair.
Tuesday 08 November 1887, Penrith Observer (report of speeches at the 'Banquet to the Mayor of Appleby'):
There had been a good deal of correspondence with the Midland Railway Company in reference to the footpath from the old stone bridge to the North-Eastern Railway Station, and on the Roman road which had now been blocked-up. They had tried to get this restored by means of a subway, but had not succeeded...
Tuesday 16 September 1890, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
Mr. GOWLING suggested the desirability of making a footway, by means of sets, from the bottom of Lady Garth to the Bridge End. The road was more used than any other in the town, and it was very disagreeable in wet weather. He also suggested the desirability of extending the footpath on the other side of the road to the Bridge End. - It was resolved that the matter be referred to the Sanitary Committee.
Tuesday 17 February 1891, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE THING NEEDED.
Mr. T. WILSON gave notice that he would move at the next Council meeting, that for better the protection of passengers having occasion to cross from one platform to the other, the Midland Railway Company be asked to make a sub-way or erect a bridge at Appleby Station. (SEVERAL MEMBERS: HEAR, HEAR.)
Tuesday 17 March 1891, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE THING NEEDFUL
Mr. T. Wilson moved "That for the better protection of passengers crossing from one platform to the other, the directors of the Midland Railway Co. be recommended to construct a subway or bridge connecting the platforms at Appleby station." He said the motion spoke for itself, and therefore it was not necessary to say much in support of it. He thought they would all agree that the sooner the travelling public have better facilities for approaching all parts of the Midland Station without danger to life or limbs the better it would be for everybody. (Hear, hear.) The knowledge of some narrow escapes by passengers at the level crossing was his reason for calling attention to the matter, which he considered of the utmost importance, and which demanded immediate attention.
Alderman HEELIS seconded the motion. The question was not altogether a new one. The Council had already tried to get the company to re-open the footway to the North-Eastern Station which they had blocked-up. If Mr. Wilson would add that to the motion he would be better pleased. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. T. Wilson said he would be pleased to do so.
Mr. Graham thought there was greater need for it now than ever.
The motion was carried unanimously.
Tuesday 21 April 1891, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
SUBWAY AT THE MIDLAND RAILWAY STATION
The TOWN CLERK, in reply to a question as to what had been done in the matter of the subway at the Midland Railway Station, said he had written to the Company acquainting them with the resolution passed at the last meeting, and also pointing out that there had been a great many narrow escapes from accidents at the place in question, and that it was much more dangerous now that the Company had extended their platforms. He had received a reply stating that his communication would be considered at an early date.
Mr. Wilson - When did you get that letter?
The TOWN CLERK - Shortly after I wrote.
Mr. Wilson - Perhaps there has not been a meeting of the directors since then.
The TOWN CLERK - Even if there had been a meeting of the directors they would not deal with the matter at once.
Tuesday 19 May 1891, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
Mr. T. WILSON asked if anything had been done by the Midland Railway Company with regard to the Town Clerk's letter drawing the attention of the Company to the necessity for providing either a bridge or subway to the station at Appleby?
The TOWN CLERK said he had not received any communication from the Company.
Alderman HEELIS said the crossing was more dangerous now than before.
The Town Clerk was instructed to write, asking for a reply to his former letter.
Tuesday 16 June 1891, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
SUBWAY AT THE MIDLAND STATION
In answer to the MAYOR, the TOWN CLERK read a letter from the Midland Railway Co., stating that they had considered the application of the Council for a subway at the station, and had instructed their engineer to prepare an estimate of the probable cost. As soon as that was done, the company would communicate their decision on the matter.
Alderman BELL - That's looking at it in a sensible manner.
Mr. J.S. RIGG said only a subway was mentioned. Nothing about a bridge.
The MAYOR thought they should try to get the subway. A bridge should be treated as a thing of the past.
MR. J.S. RIGG asked if it would not be as well to approach the North Eastern Railway Co. with a view to getting them to make a road right through to their station.
Alderman BELL thought in the present state of affairs it would be unwise to mention it.
Tuesday 05 January 1892, Penrith Observer (news item):
A NARROW ESCAPE AT APPLEBY. - On Saturday evening several persons had a narrow escape at the Midland Railway Station, Appleby. An express train dashed through the station at full speed just as they were about to cross the line. Mr. R. Bowlerwell suffered so severe a shock that he was obliged to proceed to his home in one of the busses plying to the station.
Tuesday 16 February 1892, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE PROPOSED SUBWAY AT THE MIDLAND RAILWAY.
The TOWN CLERK read a letter from Mr. E. A. Heelis containing an extract from a letter of Lord Hothfield to Mr. Heelis, in which his lordship stated that he had written to the chairman of the Midland Railway directors with regard to the construction of a bridge or subway at Appleby Station, and had received a letter from him of which a copy was enclosed by Mr. Heelis, to the effect that when next the directors visited Appleby they would consider the question of putting up a bridge to connect the up and down platforms, as to which his lordship suggested that it ought to be ascertained when the directors were coming, so that they might be met by a requisition from the town. The Town Clerk also reported that he had written to the Midland Railway Company asking when the directors proposed to visit Appleby, and had been informed that the date was not yet fixed. It was resolved that the following members of the Council shall form a committee to meet the Midland Railway directors and endeavour to bring about the construction of a subway to connect the station platforms: Aldermen Bell and Warton, and Messrs. Graham, Hogarth, J. S. Rigg, and R. Rigg. - Mr. COUSENS asked if the committee appointed to meet the Railway Company had received instructions as to what was wanted by the Coporation? Were they going to ask for outlets to the railway? He considered there ought to be outlets at each end, so that passengers to the North-Eastern Station might go direct from Clifford Street, instead of having to go by the present round-about way. - The MAYOR: That is assuming they make a subway. - Mr. COUSENS: Yes, I think it would be well to suggest that the company make a subway and outlets each way as well. The MAYOR: Do you suggest that a subway would be preferable to a bridge? Mr. COUSENS: Yes, certainly. - Mr. GRAHAM: The committee know very well what they are going to ask for, whether they get it or not. - Mr. Hogarth: The committee have not met since their appointment, but they are going to try to get the subway and the outlets at each end, instead of a bridge. He thought it would be as well, however, if the committee could meet at an early date to discuss the matter. - Mr. J. S. Rigg thought it would be as well to add, as a rider to the original proposition, that it was desirable to have outlets at each end. - Alderman HOGG: That is simply asking them to grant what people have a right to demand. - Mr. J. S. Rigg dissented from that view. He thought the time had passed when the people could have claimed a passage there. - Alderman SHEPHERD drew the attention of the Council to the authority that was given to the committee. In his opinion it was limited to asking for a subway between the two platforms. That being the case, it would be open to anyone, arguing from the other side, to say that the corporation had abandoned the idea of outlets, and simply asking for a subway between the platforms. He thought that they should add the rider respecting the outlets to the proposition. It might do good, and certainly could do no harm. - Dr. ARMSTRONG did not think they would ever get the two outlets. - Mr. HOGARTH thought it would be as well to add the rider. Mr. DIXON said he was of the opinion that the subway and outlets had been asked for from the first. - Mr. R. RIGG said he felt confident that nothing had been asked for at the last meeting of the corporation except the subway. - Alderman SHEPHERD proposed that the company be asked to provide outlets to the subway, if such subway be made. - This was seconded by Mr. R. RIGG, and carried. - The minutes of the Sanitary Committee were then confirmed.
Tuesday 19 July 1892, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE MIDLAND RAILWAY STATION.
In answer to a question by the Mayor, the TOWN CLERK said he had heard nothing more from the Midland Railway Company with regard to the subway, which the Company were asked to make under the lines at Appleby Station. - The MAYOR said it was time something was done in the matter. The Company seemed to ignore requests of the Corporation altogether. - Dr. ARMSTRONG moved that the directors of the Midland Railway be asked to give attention to the request of the Corporation at the earliest opportunity. - Alderman SHEPHERD seconded the proposition, and said the want of attention to the matter on the part of the Company was very regrettable. It had been pointed out to them several times that now they have lengthened the platforms the difficulty and danger of crossing the line was all the greater.
Tuesday 16 August 1892, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
APPLEBY TOWN COUNCIL.
A meeting of this Council was held on Wednesday evening.
... Resolved that application be made to the County Council to have Clifford Street and Garth Heads Road from its junction with the North Eastern Railway Company's road to its junction with Clifford Street, declared a main road.
... The Town Clerk was directed to write to the North Eastern Railway and ask if they will now improve that portion of their Station Road which lies between Battlebarrow and Garth Heads Road with a view to it being taken over by the Town Council.
... Resolved that the Town Clerk prepare, for signature by persons interested in the matter, a memorial addressed to the Midland Railway Company urging the construction of a subway to connect the up and down lines of their railway at Appleby Station, and that such subway should have an outlet into Clifford Street at one end and into the North-Eastern Station Road at the other end.
The Town Clerk had prepared a memorial accordingly, which he read at the Council meeting as follows:
"To the Chairman and Directors of the Midland Railway Company. - We, the undersigned persons residing or otherwise interested in Appleby and its vicinity, respectfully beg to urge the absolute necessity for connecting by means of a subway, the up and down platforms at your station at Appleby. At present persons having occasion to pass from one platform to the other are under the necessity of crossing over the lines at considerable inconvenience and no little risk, especially when, as is frequently the case, both the up and down lines are occupied by trains at the same time. We feel certain that unless some provision of the kind is made a serious accident there, sooner or later, is inevitable. We further request that for the convenience of passengers travelling by your line, or going from your station to that of the North Eastern Railway Company, or from the latter station to your station, and the public generally, the subway be formed with an outlet into Clifford Street on the one side, and the North-Eastern Station Road on the other side."
The memorial met with the cordial approval of the Council, and the Town Clerk suggested that the members present should sign the memorial, and instruct him as to the steps to he taken for further signature. - This was accordingly done.
Tuesday 16 August 1892, Penrith Observer (editorial):
RAILWAY IMPROVEMENTS WANTED AT APPLEBY.
It is high time pressure was brought to bear on the directors of the Midland Railway to make alterations at their station which was again talked about at the meeting of the Appleby Council on Wednesday. The Council ask that a subway be constructed to connect the up and down platforms, with the additional advantage of having an outlet to Clifford Street on one side and to the North-Eastern Station Road on the other side. Such an arrangement would of course mean the expenditure of a considerable sum of money, but to a wealthy corporation like the Midland Railway it would be a mere bagatelle. But beyond that consideration there is the important one of public safety. Those of our readers who have frequently travelled along the Midland Railway, and had to make Appleby their changing place, must have been struck with the danger which they and other members of the public incurred in crossing the line. They had either to jump down on to the metals on one side and climb up on the other platform, or else walk a long way round to either end of the platform, although in the latter case they did not run any less danger of being cut down by a locomotive. At certain times of the day the risk of getting from one side to the other is by no means slight, long trains occasionally occupying both the up and down lines. The Midland directors are not usually difficult to manage in the way of getting necessary improvements made about their property, and it is to be hoped that they will not wait until some dreadful accident happens before making an alteration that is very seriously needed. And while the subway is required for the safety of the travelling public, its form is also a matter of more than local concern. The express from Penrith to Appleby at noon, and which returns to this town in the evening, is a great public convenience, but that is the only train going or returning from the Midland station. Passengers by all other trains needing to go north or south have to change stations, and it is no slight inconvenience to have to go by the present route. The provision of an outlet on to the eastern side of the Midland line would be the means of saving time and strength, and would add to the obligations of the local public to the directors of the railway.
Tuesday 20 September 1892, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
It was resolved that the Chairman, the Mayor, Alderman Hogg, and Councillor Dixon, be appointed a committee to consider and report upon the steps to be taken to improve the Station Road from Battlebarrow to its junction with the Garth Heads Road.
Tuesday 22 November 1892, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
The Surveyor reported that the road repairable by the Midland Railway Company under the railway bridge at Drawbriggs Road was in a bad condition, and it was resolved that the Town Clerk should write to the Midland Railway Company calling their attention to the matter.
Tuesday 20 December 1892, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
The Town Clerk reported that he had received a letter from the Midland Railway Company's engineer, who stated that he was unable to find that the Company was responsible for the maintenance of the road under the railway bridge at the end of Drawbriggs Lane, and that they had never repaired it. It was resolved that Alderman Hogg and Mr. Nixon be appointed a committee to assist the Surveyor in obtaining information as to how far the old road at the point in question was diverted by the Railway Company, and that when the information was complete, the Surveyor report to the Council.
Friday 17 July 1896, Carlisle Journal (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
The Surveyor submitted plans of two alternative schemes for opening out Pembroke Street into the Midland Station premises, together with en estimate of the cost, and it was resolved that the Town Clerk forward tracings of the plans to the Midland Railway Company and ask their views on the subject. The Mayor suggested that as they were on the subject of the Midland they should again represent to the Company the danger the level crossings at the Appleby Station, and suggest that they should, without any further delay, erect a footbridge connecting the two platforms. A resolution to that effect was adopted, together with an intimation to the Company that in the event of no notice being taken of the application, the Council will apply to the Railway Commissioners to compel them to provide safe means of communication between the two platforms.
Tuesday 21 July 1896, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
STREETS AND PATHS.
The TOWN CLERK read a letter from the Westmorland County Council to the effect that the ?£120 agreed upon would be paid to the Corporation as soon as the county surveyor had given his certificate of the due completion of the work referred to. - It was resolved that application should be made to the County Council for a grant towards the extension of the footpath on the Sands from the Grapes Inn to the Station Road corner, and also for an additional grant towards reforming the carriageway in Boroughgate from Bridge Street corner to the Town Hall, and towards the cost of the proposed new footpath on the east side of the road there. - The surveyor submitted plans and two alternative schemes for opening out Pembroke Street into the Midland Station premises, together with an estimate of the cost, and it was resolved that the town clerk forward tracings of the plans to the Midland Railway Company and ask their views on the subject. - Mr. DIXON asked if application had been made to the Midland Company. - The TOWN CLERK said he had written and that he'd received a reply that the matter should have their attention. - Yes, we know what that means. (Laughter.)
THE DANGEROUS CROSSING AT THE MIDLAND STATION.
The MAYOR suggested that as they were on the subject of the Midland the should again ?represent to the company the danger of the level crossing at Appleby Station, and suggest that they should without any further delay erect a footbridge connecting the two platforms. Since application had been made some four years ago to the company he had conversed with the chairman on the subject, and that gentleman suggested that if the company erected a bridge the public would not use it. That might be so if the bridge were put up at one end of the platforms, but if erected somewhere near the middle he (the Mayor) had no doubt the public would avail themselves of it. He suggested that if the company took no further notice of the Council's request they should apply to the Railway Commissioners, and he was ?quite sure they would require the company to put up a bridge, on account of the great danger to which the travelling public were at present exposed, one or two instances of which he had himself seen. - Several members of the Council here ??? the Mayor's remarks as to the danger of the present crossings, and after some discussion the MAYOR moved that application be again made to the Company to erect a footbridge over the line and intimating that in the event of no notice being taken of the application the Council will apply to the Railway Commissioners to compel the Company to provide a safe means of communication between the two platforms. - The motion was seconded by Mr. SANDERSON and carried unanimously. - The MAYOR added that the company could put up a bridge for £290.
Tuesday 18 August 1896, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
A MUCH NEEDED IMPROVEMENT.
The TOWN CLERK said he had received a letter from the Midland Railway Company with regard to the provision of a sub-way or an over-bridge for the convenience and safety of passengers wishing to cross from one platform to another at the Appleby Station. The letter stated that the Railway Company did not consider that the circumstances justified them in incurring the outlay involved in carrying out the work suggested. - The CHAIRMAN said he thought the Council would be unanimous in differing with the opinion expressed by the company. He thought they ought not to allow the matter to rest. - The CLERK said the Mayor strongly advised the Corporation to apply to the Railway Commissioners. - Mr HEELIS moved that the matter be brought to the attention of the Railway Commissioners, and also the Board of Trade. - Mr. CHATFIELD seconded the motion, and it was carried unanimously.
Tuesday 22 September 1896, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
The town clerk reported that he had written to the Board of Trade and Railway Commission in regard to the danger to persons crossing the line from one platform to the other at the Midland Railway Station, and that the Railway Commissioners had pointed out that if the Council were advised that the railway company had contravened the Traffic Acts through not providing the work referred to, and it was desired to bring the matter before the Railway Commissioners for their decision, the mode of doing so was to make a complaint in a form prescribed by the general rules in force under the Railway and Canal Traffic Act, 1888.
The MAYOR said that with regard the Midland Railway he thought they would get more by applying to the Board of Trade. It was true that Board had no power to compel the railway company to do the work, but at the same time they could make it very unpleasant for the company if they refused to carry out the suggestions offered. If would never do for them to let the matter rest, because he did not believe the station was safe as it was.
The TOWN CLERK said the Board of Trade simply acknowledged the receipt of the letter from the Council, and stated that it should have their attention.
The MAYOR said he would write to the Board of Trade on the matter.
Tuesday 24 November 1896, Penrith Observer (under 'FACTS AND GOSSIP OF THE WEEK, LEAVES FROM NORTHERNER'S NOTEBOOK):
There is a very common phrase that nothing less than the killing of a director would cause some companies to introduce reforms at certain points on their lines. Probably when such an event happens at Appleby the Midland Company will condescend to either make a bridge or a subway at their station: evidently nothing less than a serious accident, with a heavy bill for compensation, will bring the change.
Tuesday 15 December 1896, Penrith Observer (Local Intelligence):
THE PROPOSED BRIDGE AT THE APPLEBY MIDLAND STATION. - In view of the action of the Appleby Town Council in regard to this matter a prominent official of the railway company yesterday pointed out to our Appleby correspondent a return of the Board of Trade for the six months ending June, from which it appeared that during that period nine persons had been killed and 14 injured crossing the line at railway stations, and of these seven were killed and eleven injured at stations where there was either a subway or overbridge, thus apparently bearing out the chairman of directors' remark to the late mayor (Lord Hothfield) that passengers will not use these means of communications when they are provided.
Tuesday 20 March 1900, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE MIDLAND SUBWAY QUESTION AGAIN.
A PETITION TO THE RAILWAY DIRECTORS.
The Sanitary and General Purposes Committee resolved that a memorial to the Midland Railway Company be prepared for signature by the public, asking the company to provide a subway connecting the two platforms of their station at Appleby.
The Town Clerk now produced the document, and on the completion of the reading the Mayor congratulated Mr. Hewitson on the way in which it had been drawn up. The petition pointed out that there is only one entrance to and exit from the Midland Station, on the down platform, and continued: There are no other means of reaching the up platform than a level crossing over the lines of railway, which are formed by planks - which in wet weather are greasy and slippery - filling the spaces between the lines of metals. This mode of crossing is a most dangerous one, as it not infrequently happens that both sets of rails are occupied at the same time, or that while a train is standing in the station on the up line, or has just left, and passengers are crossing over to and from such trains, sometimes round by the front of the engine, an express or other non-stopping train passes through the station, or shunting operations are proceeding on the other line. It has long been considered by the public to be an ever present source of danger. Many accidents have been narrowly averted, and many persons have suffered severely from shock to the nervous system consequent upon narrow escape from serious injury. Of this abundant and indisputable proof can be produced. One fatal accident has happened at this crossing, namely to a lad proceeding round the front of an engine on the up line; and though it may be said that he was a trespasser, yet the same thing might just as easily happen to a person having bona fide business at your station. The danger is much increased by the very exposed situation of the station, especially in the times of the high winds which sweep down from the adjacent hills. Moreover, apart from the actual risk to life and limb, it is in times of heavy rain inconvenient and dangerous to health, in the case particularly of ladies and invalids, to have to walk so far along the platforms exposed to the weather. We respectfully submit the forgoing to your Board, and pray that you will remove the existing danger, and merit the gratitude of your customers by the provision of a subway to connect the two platforms.
Tuesday 20 March 1900, Penrith Observer (under 'FACTS AND GOSSIP OF THE WEEK' by 'NORTHERNER'):
The residents of Appleby are a long suffering lot of people, or they would not have borne so patiently the dilatoriness of the Midland Railway Company. The Derby directors have never been too kindly disposed towards the little town, and concessions have invariably been a long time in making their appearance after being asked for. It must be fully ten years since I first heard of the proposal to make a subway at the station, so that travellers need not risk life and limb crossing the metals from one platform to the other but nothing has been done. The Town Council on Wednesday evening had another try, and if the directors can resist the beautifully got up petition, and the strong arguments adduced by Mr. Hewitson, they are past hope. The next step - in case of failure now - should be an appeal to the Board of Trade.
Tuesday 01 May 1900, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
MIDLAND RAILWAY SUBWAY
The Mayor reported to the Sanitary and General Purposes Committee that the memorial to the Midland Railway Company to construct a subway to connect the two platforms of their station at Appleby had been had been numerously signed, and that he now proposed to forward it to the secretary of the company, and send copies to the chairman and the general manager.
Tuesday 17 July 1900, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE MIDLAND STATION DANGERS
The Mayor said some time ago a memorial was got up asking for either a bridge over or subway under the Midland Railway at Appleby Station, and he had received a letter from the general manager stating that the directors after fully discussing the matter had given instructions to their engineers to erect a footbridge between the platforms. ...
The Mayor: This matter, as you know, has taken a good deal of working for years. We have made applications several times, and I think it would be only right for us to ask the public to use the bridge when it is erected.
Mr. Rig: There are plenty of people who would never think anything of stepping from one platform to another at Penrith, but here it is different. ... He said they must all feel very grateful for the concession, considering the various accidents which had occurred and the narrow escapes they had all witnessed. The company had been slow in the matter, but it was evident that the directors had at last recognised the pertinacity of the Corporation.
Tuesday 17 July 1900, Penrith Observer (editorial):
The townspeople of Appleby are grateful even for comparatively little things, nor are their representatives slow in expressing gratitude. For a long time - certainly for ten or a dozen years - an agitation has been proceeding intermittently in order to bring the Midland Railway Company to a sense of the dangers run by their customers owing to the dangerous crossing at the station. Occasionally there has arisen cause for belief that the directors were recognising their responsibility, and would ere long make good the defect. Just as often the expectations were falsified, but the most recent effort by the Town Council has ended in success. On Wednesday evening at the monthly council meeting, the Mayor announced that he had received a letter from the company acknowledging receipt of the town's memorial and intimating that the footbridge would be erected in due course. Everyone who has used the up line at the station has long been painfully aware of the very serious risks involved, especially in winter, or during a storm of rain or snow. The wonder is that life has not been lost thereby long ago. The Corporation passed a vote of thanks to the directors, and also to the Mayor; the latter was well deserved, but the company are only doing now what should have been carried out when the station was built.
Tuesday 20 August 1901, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
BRIDGE AT THE MIDLAND STATION
A letter, received by Mr. R.E. Leach, was read from the Midland Railway Company stating that their engineer had been instructed to erect a footbridge at the Appleby station, and that the work would be commenced at once.
Tuesday 05 November 1901, Penrith Observer (from a report of the speeches at the annual 'MAYORAL BANQUET AT APPLEBY'):
Then the Chairman had done excellent work by sheer persistence in connection with the Midland Railway Station. Everyone knew the danger of the level crossing there, but it was only after years of badgering that the railway company had at last commenced to put a bridge over the line. (Applause). The next thing they should go for was a better service of trains north and south. (Hear, hear).
Tuesday 17 June 1902, Penrith Observer (news item):
At ten minutes past five on Friday a serious mishap occurred at the Midland Station, Appleby. A goods train was being shunted through the station, and amongst the wagons was one conveying a crane, the jib of which had not been lowered. The train was going fairly fast, and the jib of the crane catching the iron bridge connecting the two platforms, brought it down across the line, leaving only the side supports standing. There were also two wagons thrown off the metals. The staff were soon at work, and quickly had the derailed vehicles put to rights again. The line, however, was blocked, and it was some time before the portion of the bridge which rested on the platforms and one of the wagons of the train was drawn across to rest on the down platform, and thus leave the up line clear for traffic. The trains, however, were considerably delayed. The 5-20 down express did not pass until 6-50 and the up train, due shortly after five o'clock passed at 6-45. The 5-27 to Carlisle left at 7 o'clock, and the 5-35 slow and 5-55 express for the south left at 7-25 and 7-30 respectively. A breakdown gang from Carlisle arrived during the evening, and both lines were clear when the 6-55 slow from the south left for Carlisle at about 8 o'clock. The bridge was only erected last November. There was no one injured, the bridge being clear of traffic when the accident happened.
Saturday 14 June 1902, Cumberland & Westmorland Herald (news item):
Some portion of the debris fell upon the railway and the remainder crashed down into the street below.
Tuesday 22 July 1902, Penrith Observer (Local Intelligence):
AN IMPROVEMENT AT APPLEBY
A long needed improvement is being made by the Midland Railway Company at Appleby, A footpath is being opened out on the high side of the railway bridge for easy communication with the North Eastern Railway. It would have been better if the path had been made to follow out the lines of the track which was there before the Midland Railway was made, but the North Eastern will not allow this, as they claim the ground. Nevertheless the path in progress will be a great benefit to travellers between the two stations, cutting-off a considerable space of ground, and two hills which now have to be traversed.
Tuesday 19 August 1902, Penrith Observer (Appleby Town Council meeting report):
THE SUGGESTED MIDLAND SUBWAY.
Mr. Rigg asked if it was an opportune time for the Corporation to ask the Midland Railway Company to construct a subway under their line at the station, as the present bridge had met with an accident. It would prove a great convenience to the people of Appleby. - Mr. Steadman said they had been asked before, but took no notice. - Mr. Rigg agreed, but said that no harm would be done for the asking, and it could not place the Council in a worse position than at present. - The Chairman and Alderman Graham expressed the same views. - The Town Clerk suggested that the Mayor be asked to wrote to the Company instead of the Council. - Mr. Rigg at once fell in with this suggestion, and said if anything could move the Midland Railway Company it would be the facile pen of Mr. Heelis. He therefore put the suggestion in the form of a motion. - Mr. Weber seconded, and the motion was carried.
Tuesday 25 November 1902, Penrith Observer (Local Intelligence):
In place of the footbridge which was knocked down by the crane at Appleby station, in June, a new structure was erected on Sunday. Mr. Page, Derby, superintended the operations, with Inspectors Tudor (Carlisle), Sulley (Appleby), in attendance. The new erection is slightly higher than the last one.
A quick glance at some of the later contemporary accounts transcribed above suggests that the answer to question one (Why was Appleby Station provided with a passenger footbridge in 1901?) is simply:
- "The level crossings were dangerous and the footbridge provided passengers with a safer means of crossing between the 'up' and 'down' platforms."
However, when the transcripts are reviewed more thoroughly and the matter is given a bit of thought, it becomes clear that this answer is neither complete nor wholly satisfactory. The key points are as follows:
- Before the arrival of the railways, it seems that there had been "an ancient footpath" linking the Roman road and "the old stone bridge". (See Figure 1: the bridge crosses the River Eden and links the town centre with 'The Sands'.)
- The "ancient footpath" formed the most direct walking route between the town centre and the North-Eastern Railway Station. (The probable alignment of this footpath can be seen in the first of the three map extracts in Figure 1. In the two later maps, Clifford Street seems to follow the same alignment.)
- When the Midland Railway was built, the maps suggest that it may have blocked the original alignment of the upper part of this "ancient footpath". If it did, the alternative route would involve a slight (but almost certainly irritating) deviation down the Midland's station drive, then up the road via the Midland's underbridge (Bridge SAC/237) to reach the North-Eastern Railway Station. (Compare the first two maps in Figure 1 and see Images 1 & 2 below.)
- There is also a road route between the town and the two stations, namely Station Road (which was owned by the North Eastern Railway Company). However, it was apparently dangerous (due its steepness, tight bends and muddy surface) and it is clear from the maps that the "ancient footpath" would have been the shortest route.
- The Corporation of Appleby and its successor Appleby Town Council seem to have encountered considerable difficulties when attempting to 'improve' the Lady Garth section of this "ancient footpath" (04 October 1881) and in establishing its status as "a highway repairable by the inhabitants at large" (10 May 1887).
- In this part of northern England, the North-Eastern Railway runs broadly east-west, whereas the Midland Railway runs broadly north-south. As the two stations are relatively close to one another (much closer than at Kirkby Stephen), this provides an extremely useful opportunity for 'connections' (even if the two railway companies might have preferred this not to be the case).
- When the Midland Railway was being planned / built, there was talk of a joint station with the North-Eastern Railway and this would have made cross-network connections much easier. However, the joint station never came to fruition (almost certainly because of inter-company commercial rivalry).
- Walking between the two stations would have been time consuming and (if the statements in the Council reports are accurate), muddy, dark and unpleasant (due to the poor condition of the roads and footpaths and the lack of lighting). It would also involve losing - and then having to regain - a significant amount of height (see Images 1 & 2).
- Appleby Town Council seems to have been remarkably slow to 'improve' the condition of the roads and footpaths linking the town with the railway stations.
- A lack of money seems to have been a constant issue for the Council (no surprise there), but there also seems to have been a view among Council members that the railway companies had plenty of money and that the railway companies would or 'ought to' fund some or all of the highway-related works.
- Appleby Town Council apparently saw no contradiction between expecting others to pay for improvement works on the grounds of 'safety' (e.g. the provision of a subway / footbridge at the Midland station), while being loathe to spend Council funds on safety-related work to improve local footpaths and roads (e.g. the improvement of Garbridge Road, 26 January 1886).
- Walking across operational railway tracks on the level is - and always has been - dangerous. That said (and to deliberately play Devil's Advocate), crossing roads on the level is also dangerous. As is getting out of bed (and even staying in bed). The key factor is (must be) the absolute and relative levels of that 'risk'. However, this does not seem to have been discussed / considered by the Council. This key principle of risk assessment is, however, specifically referenced by one of the railway company directors (15 December 1896).
- Compared with Settle and the other S&CR stations, there is an increased level of risk at Appleby due to the presence of the junction and the presence of the two separate yards (one at each end of the station). This is likely to have increased the number of train movements through the station. However, these issues are not explicitly mentioned in any of the reports reviewed to date.
- On the other hand, the analyses in David Jenkinson's "Rails in the Fells" (Peco Publications, 1980) suggest that, during the period in question, the levels of passenger and freight traffic were significantly lower at Appleby than at Settle.
- Also, unlike at Horton-in Ribblesdale, Dent and Kirkby Stephen, the lines of sight along the mainline at Appleby are not significantly restricted (and train speeds around the junction curve would have been relatively low). However, poor weather conditions, darkness and stationary trains can all obstruct the view at any station and this risk factor is mentioned in some of the reports.
- The use of Appleby for two-station 'connections' would have increased the level of risk (and this is frequently mentioned in the reports). Connections may have increased the total footfall at Appleby, but perhaps the most important risk factor is that people in a hurry tend to be less cautious (and this applies whether the person is hurrying for a first train, rushing for a connecting train, or simply keen to get home (or out of the foul weather).
- If the level crossings at the Midland Railway's Appleby Station really were exceptionally dangerous, where are the details of all the 'near misses', injuries and fatalities (see footnote 5)? Surely the most persuasive argument would have been to list and analyse these and to compare them with other locations, as the railway director appears to have done when defending the Midland's position (15 December 1896).
- The point made by the railway director (15 December 1896) is almost certainly valid and it remains true today: human beings tend to take shortcuts, negate safety features, etc. and ignore 'rules' designed to help keep them safe (unless legislation is in place and there is a belief that it will be enforced, but even then...).
- With regards the 'motives' of Appleby Town Council, the extracts transcribed above suggest that its initial priority was to seek the reinstatement (and improvement) of the 'ancient footpath' as a relatively direct walking route between the town and the North-Eastern Railway station. As time went by, the issue of passenger 'safety' gradually became the Council's primary focus when seeking to justify the creation of an additional means of crossing the Midland Railway.
- Although many of the points listed above were mentioned by the Town Council at one time or another in connection with its request for a subway or footbridge across the Midland Railway's tracks, the key points were not all made at the same time. Prior to March 1900, it seems that the Council repeatedly failed to make a strong case for the provision of a subway or footbridge, either on the grounds of safety, or on the grounds that the railway company had blocked a 'right of way'.
- The petition raised on 20 March 1900 seems to have been the first time that the Town Council combined a significant number of these points into a single coherent argument. That petition seems to have done the trick as a footbridge was erected the following November (1901) - see Bridge SAC/236A, although it is not clear if additional pressure was (also) brought to bear (e.g. Board of Trade, Railway Commissioners, political, 'old school network', etc.).
- The most puzzling aspect of this story is that there is a road underbridge a relatively short distance to the north of the footbridge (Bridge SAC/237 - see Images 1 & 2). The available evidence (Penrith Observer, 22 July 1902) suggests that the second station entrance was created in July 1902 (shortly after the recently installed footbridge was accidentally demolished). One can't help but wonder why the Midland Railway didn't create this entrance earlier as doing so would have addressed the Council's 'safety' concerns and significantly reduced the need / justification for a footbridge / subway (at least from a railway safety perspective).
- One of the most important factors in this story was undoubtedly the persistence and dogged determination of key members of Appleby Town Council after it took over from the old Corporation in November 1885. This is evidenced by the sheer number of reports extracted above and by the time period that they cover. It is also specifically mentioned in the 05 November 1901 extract. Could it be that the Midland Railway simply got sick of receiving letters from Appleby and that installing a redundant footbridge might have seemed like a small price to pay for a bit of peace & quiet?
- Or perhaps the clincher for the Midland Railway Company was the inclusion of the following phrase in the Town Clerk's final petition (20 March 1900): "One fatal accident has happened at this crossing, namely to a lad proceeding round the front of an engine on the up line; and though it may be said that he was a trespasser, yet the same thing might just as easily happen to a person having bona fide business at your station."
- Whatever the reason(s) for Midland Railway Company's change of position, Appleby got its first passenger footbridge in November 1901. Unfortunately, it was knocked down again just seven months later thanks to some careless loading and shunting and the replacement was erected in November 1902 (see Image 3).
 The contemporary newspaper accounts transcribed above are the result of a methodical and extremely time-consuming search of the online database of the British Newspaper Archive (BNA). The information contained in these extracts is sufficient for the current purpose, but they do not form a complete record of every relevant local newspaper report. A manual review of every page of every relevant title was precluded by time & budget constraints and the BNA's digital index has significant limitations (due to the print quality of the original newspaper sources and the digitisation & optical character recognition processes used).
 With one notable exception (15 December 1896), these newspaper accounts only tell one side of the story as they are written from a local perspective (primarily that of Appleby Town Council and its members). To gain a more rounded picture of the issues and events, a comprehensive search of relevant Board of Trade records and surviving Midland Railway Company records would be required. However, that is a task for another time (and perhaps another person).
 If maintaining the 'ancient footpath' was such an important issue for Appleby Town Council, why was it not addressed through legal channels when the railway alignment was being surveyed and the plans drawn-up?
 These extracts do not relate to the 'ancient footpath' linking the town centre and railway stations, but they are indicative of the attitudes of, and the often fraught relationship between, Appleby Town Council and the railway Companies with regards rights of way.
 Throughout this research project, the author was expecting to find a significant number of newspaper reports relating to accidents and 'near misses' involving users of the level crossing(s). However, only two specific references were found (05 January 1892 and 20 March 1900). If the figures quoted by the 'prominent official of the railway company' in the report of 15 December 1896 are accurate, one can't help but wonder how the Company justified the costs associated with installing and maintaining this footbridge.
[*] Figure 1: The three map extracts used in the map-montage are from the Ordnance Survey County Series (originally printed at 1:10,560 scale) and these digital versions were sourced from the National Library of Scotland's map images collection (https://maps.nls.uk/index.html) on 11/9/2022. Each map extract has been edited (to convert it to greyscale and increase the contrast) before being added to the montage. The resulting map-montage is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence Licence - see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0.
The additional text on this page is © Mark R. Harvey, 2022.