Groudle railway station

Groudle railway station

Groudle Station is the first official stopping point on the Manx Electric Railway and was the original terminus of the line during 1893, its first year of operation. The station retains its original canopy building with small ticket office which has been out of use for many years. It also boasts two electric lights on ornate brackets, its own post box (the railway held the contract until 1975 for mail collection) and a plaque unveiled by the Lieutenant Governor Sir Laurence Jones in 1993 to mark the centenary; in large concrete letters embedded in the station's sloped lawn, the name of the station is spelt out and there is a crossover here for short runnings that sometimes occur in conjunction with services on the Groudle Glen Railway which is a short walk from the station. The station was refurbished in 1993 for its centenary, with surfacing of platforms and landscaping being created at this time. Similarly, it was repainted in 1996 for the centenary of the Groudle Glen Railway.

Opposite the station is the Groudle Hotel, which in more recent years has become the "La Casa" restaurant. In early 2008 the hotel, which was designed by the renowned architect Archibald Knox was closed and the building placed on the market for sale. The building itself was considerably overhauled and renovated in 2000 when pains were taken to retain original features such as "Legs Of Mann" in the cornice work, reinstatement of stained glass windows, and replicating of the original hanging "pub" sign which bore the name Groudle Glen Hotel despite the change to "La Casa" that occurred at the same time. In readiness for the summer season the station also received a cosmetic makeover in February 2008 and some major work to the overhead lines nearby.

The station, depicted in many postcards of the era, was once a hive of activity, with its own gift shop incorporated into the entrance to the glen, to the right hand side of the hotel. It also features an archway declaring the name of the glen, the extant one being the fourth version to appear here. The original archway was constructed of what appears to have been "knotted" timber (in a similar style to that used in the existing booking office at Derby Castle and bore the legend "Groudle Glen & Sea Lion Rocks"; this was replaced with another similar arch at some point, before the third one was installed. This features on many contemporary photographs and was significantly taller than its predecessors, being of criss-cross metal construction and simply declaring "entrance" at the top. This version survived until 1979 when it was cut from its base (the stumps are still in the ground where this once stood) and it is not known what fate befell it. The current sign is of simple timber construction declaring "Groudle Glen" carved into the horizontal top piece and features traditional hand-painted signs for the Groudle Glen Railway on each of its pillars.

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