Victorian Heyday

The railways were in their heyday in Victorian times. Malton station must have been a busy place since not only was it on the York to Scarborough line, but also the point of interchange for Driffield, Whitby, and Thirsk branches. Malton was served by 3 lines: York & Scarborough Malton & Driffield Malton & Whitby

Abolition of the Turnpikes

THE ABOLITION OF TURNPIKES IN YORKSHIRE - An influential meeting of the magistrates and gentry was held at the Talbot Hotel, Malton, on Tuesday (the Rev. Edward Day, of Norton, presiding) to consider the question of the abolition of turnpikes as between York and Malton, and Malton and Scarborough. The formation of railways has so greatly reduced the traffic upon those once crowded roads that the toll-bars are now felt to be unrequired. After a discussion, a division took place upon the motion to discontinue the toll-bars on the 1st September next, which was carried by a slight majority. After that date, therefore, the roads will have to be maintained by the several parishes through which they pass. The only roads in the district in which toll-gates are not condemned is between Malton and Pickering. (Yorkshire Gazette 18th March 1865)


Not surprisingly with such a new phenomenon, there were accidents. In February 1854, a seven year old boy was crossing the railway at Norton Bridge when he was knocked down and the carriages passed over him. 'One of his arms became crushed … and his head frightfully fractured.' The newspaper report concluded with an observation 'We trust that the railway authorities will adopt some further precautions by which parties may be effectually prevented from being on the line at the time when trains are approaching this dangerous crossing.' [1]

In August 1854 a porter at Malton Station was in a serious accident which sadly left him crippled for life. On Aug 25th last month, Edward Harrison was on the platform when the evening 9.10 train arrived from Driffield. For some unknown reason, Harrison the ported decided to get onto the tender of the engine whilst it as still in motion. He missed the step and his foot was caught between the wheel and the edge of the platform crushing and tearing his foot. He was attended at home by Messers. Jones and Mennell, surgeons and Dr Wright but unfortunately amputation of his foot was necessary. A man in his prime disabled for life! [2]

In 1865, Mr. Thomas Sturdy, a well known cattle dealer and drover, when crossing the line to go to some sheep, was knocked down and killed. Both legs and one hand were cut off. 'The deceased seems to have been so intent on his business that he did not notice the approaching engine in front of which he stepped.' [3]

Albert Henry Evans, railway clerk, 15, attempted to board a train when in motion. To save himself trouble of walking a few hundred yards jumped on a train passing through Malton station but missed his footing and fell under the carriages. His left leg was broken in three places. Had his leg amputated by Dr Hartley but died from shock [4]

A Bradford gentleman attempted crossing from one platform to the other and was unaware of the approach of the Scarborough express. He was stepping up to the platform when he missed his footing. One of his feet was cut off and his ribs crushed in, and was dragged on the line some distance. He lived for 15 minutes and was removed to the refreshment rooms to await an inquest [5].

  • [1] Yorkshire Gazette, 18 February 1854
  • [2] Malton Messenger, 2 September 1854
  • [3] Yorkshire Gazette, 11 February 1865
  • [4] Driffield Times, 25 May 1895
  • [5] Driffield Times, 23 June 1883

Station Location

There was strong feeling about a report that the station was to be in Norton rather than Malton, and a public meeting was held in Malton to explain the outcome of a meeting between Earl Fitzwilliam, Mr. Copperthwaite (town bailiff) and Mr. Hudson of the railway company, in London [1]. Three options had been looked at, station in Malton, station in Norton by the bridge, station across the river in a field and with bridge and approaches erected to link to the town at Earl Fitzwilliam's expense (£4000). A station in the town was rejected as being too expensive and would occasion delay. It was reported that Earl Fitzwilliam had chosen the Norton option.

Mr. Sewell spoke at the meeting and made a case that with the station in Norton, it would prosper at the expense of Malton, and therefore it would be to Earl Fitzwilliam's benefit to have the station in the field across the river and invest in the bridge and approaches, and that investment in warehouses would more than compensate for the costs of the bridge. The meeting concluded to re-approach Earl Fitzwilliam and to raise £1,000 by subscription.

The matter was not easily decided, and on Thursday, the 25th of July, Mr. Alderman Hudson attended at Malton, and had an interview with several of the gentry of the town and neighbourhood, at which we understand it was agreed that the Station should be in the bone mill and brick-yard field, in the occupation of Jonathan Booth, and Co., and belonging to Robert Bower, Esq., of Welham, with a bridge over the Derwent, and a communication thence into Yorkersgate, the centre of the town of Malton. This arrangement appears the best calculated to please all parties, though, as it happens always in such cases, some persons are dissatisfied with it. Preliminary operations have already commenced, and in a short time we expect a start in earnest will take place [2] it would appear that there was still uncertainty, and in late September 1844, Earl Fitzwilliam came to Malton to see the progress of the railway construction and examine the options for the station for himself [3]. I have not found reference to when the final decision was made, nor how the costs were met - but we do know that it was built in the field across the river and that a new bridge and street were constructed!

  • [1] Yorkshire Gazette, 30 March 1844
  • [2] Yorkshire Gazette, 3 August 1844
  • [3] Yorkshire Gazette, 5 October 1844
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Railway Crossing and Bridge

The road leaving Malton for Norton was known as the Scarborough turnpike road. The railway crossed this and it is probable that there were gates and a crossing here from the earliest days of the railway, together with a gate-keeper. The earliest evidence I have of this is a report of a suicide on Christmas Eve 1849. [1] A young man named Skelton, engaged in some conversation with the gate-keeper and then jumped in front of the train, 'which passed over him, severing his limbs, and scattering them about the line in various directions.' The question of delays at the crossing was discussed at a meeting of Norton Urban District Council in July 1900 and the possibility of a footbridge hinted at [2] The new iron bridge over the Derwent at Malton was opened for foot passengers on Thursday. In a week the footbridge is expected to be ready for general traffic. The whole of the old wooden bridge has now been removed [3]

  • [1] Bradford Observer, 3 January 1850
  • [2] York Herald 25 July 1900
  • [3] Driffield Times, 28 January 1871

PARTIAL FALL OF A NEW BUILDING. - On Tuesday last, an accident occurred at the New Luggare Warehouse in the course of erection near to the Malton Eailway Station; fortunately no person was near a the time, or the consequences might have been of a most serious nature. The very severe gales which prevailed on that day beat so violently against it that the osuth-east side of the building, about 100 feet in length, fell in with a terrible crash; five or six of the workmen employed on it had, only about a minute before, gon from under it, and escaped without injury, else nothing could have preserved them from a most horrible death.

Malton Messenger, 13 December 1856


Maltonians were keen to take advantage of the new form of travel but there were also people who wished to have a day trip to Malton. This excursion was for the day after the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary.

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  •  No 1

    No 1

  •  No 2 1905

    No 2 1905

  •  No 3 1912

    No 3 1912

  •  No 4 February 1905

    No 4 February 1905

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