Friday 18 September 2015

Great Railway Stations Number 11: Wemyss Bay

Wemyss Bay station was built by the Caledonian Railway in 1903 to connect with the ferry service to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. It’s the terminus of a line that runs from Glasgow Central. Behind a rustic exterior with half-timbered gables, a fine glazed canopy extends over the concourse and platforms in a splendid ensemble of elegant curving steelwork. The ticket office occupies a central rotunda from which the lofty glazing arcs over the concourse. Access to the pier is via a gently descending covered walkway perfectly integrated with platforms and concourse. Much overdue and no doubt expensive renovation was underway at the time of my visit in June curtailing the views along the platforms and cluttering the site with security fencing and scaffolding. By next summer the station should be restored to its full glory for another twenty years. Accounts of the station in its inter-war heyday report teeming throngs of Glaswegian day-trippers enroute for sorely needed recreation on the Isle of Bute – scenes that are very unlikely to be ever repeated.

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