'A place where happiness and sadness mix every day' - celebrating 150 years of Sheffield's train station
150 years of train travel in Sheffield has been celebrated with a birthday party at the city’s railway station.
Passengers, long-serving employees and railway bosses gathered on the station’s concourse on Friday to mark the occasion with balloons, cake and goody bags.
The station was first opened on February 1, 1870 as Sheffield Midland station, welcoming its first trains from the nearby towns of Chesterfield and Rotherham.
An article from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph from the day it opened described crowds of spectators, packed trains and even a brass band.
Since then the city has seen great changes, including the creation and destruction of Sheffield Victoria station, but still sees around 10 million passengers a year.
The current head of East Midlands Trains, Will Rogers said he was ‘proud’ to recognise the continued importance of the station to the city.
He said: “Sheffield station gives a sense of civic pride and it is clear how important it is to the city.
“You can go back 150 years to see the response of the community to the railway, and you can look here today and see how many people are still using it.
“It is really nice to recognise the contribution our staff have made to the railway over many years and give them the opportunity to lead the celebrations.”
Also at the event was Peter Kennan from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, who said the city was ‘fortunate’ to have such a wonderful asset.
He said: “I think more about what has happened here over those 150 years. As well as business and the economy I think a station is also about people.
“People have left to go to war from here and come back to their families having survived.
“In 1982 I met one of my friends on the station here who was off to the Falklands War and he said ‘I might see you again’.
“It makes you realise there is so much sadness of people leaving and so much joy at people arriving.
“It is a place where happiness and sadness mix every day.”
The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, February 1, 1870
As early as four o’clock in the morning, numbers of people wended their way to places where they could to obtain a view of the first train from Sheffield and were apparently much gratified by the momentary sight afforded them by the fast train.
At seven am the church bells rang out a merry peal, which was renewed as each train stopped at the station during the day.
The Barlow and Holmesfield brass band also aided their harmony to enliven the proceedings.
At nine o’clock upwards of 100 persons took tickets for Sheffield and each succeeding train was well patronised.
During the day the station and its approaches were thronged by persons from every part of town and neighbourhood, who watched apparently with the greatest possible interest, the express and other fast trains as they rushed past.