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Report - Butlins Filey Station

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I visited here a while ago, but as it's only a small place didn't post anything up. Now there are a few more people in North Yorks I thought they might be interested.

On May 10th 1947, Lord Middleton, Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire opened a small branch line off the London and North Eastern Railway Company’s Scarborough to Hull line. Actually there were 2 small branches, a North Curve and a South Curve. They formed what train spotters fondly refer to as a “pubic triangleâ€Â, though it’s more politely known as the Butlins Filey Triangle, and the branch as the Butlins Filey Branch. They formed a north and south link to the Butlins Filey holiday camp railway station, that served only the Butlins camp. Trains could enter forwards, then reverse out on either branch to continue their journey.

Butlins advertised their week long holidays, for a weeks pay as including the price of the rail ticket. No doubt due to negotiations between themselves and the railway companies. The result was that every Saturday thousands would arrive at Butlins holiday camps by train.

At Filey there were just long terminus platforms with no buildings other than a ticket office. The disembarking passengers were then loaded onto a “road train†and ferried under the main road (A165) through a privately owned and constructed subway. The road train must have been fairly large, or there must have been a number of them to cope with a full train load of holiday makers.

Anyhow, as car ownership increased more and more people came to the camp by car and inevitably the station finally closed with the last train running on Saturday 17th July. Since then it has reverted to mainly agricultural use and storage. The Butlins holiday camp kept going until 1983 when it was closed and sold off. As this is a favourite part of the country for me I thought I’d have a look to see if anything remained.

After parking up I walked along the road looking for any signs of it, but it’s mostly thick hedges and farmland. I was about to give up (a real bugger since I’d driven 2 hours from Leeds) when there was something that touched a memory from a photograph.

Behind the road side hedges is a staircase that looks like it hasn’t been used in many a year.


All the platforms are still there, though winter would have been a much better time to visit. I’d never thought that all the vegetation would have covered most of it. The only things to see are really the concrete lamp posts, with the tannoy speakers still attached.


However, this wasn’t the objective. If you follow your nose and negotiate the mounds of earth then there appears to be an opening in the vegetation. This is the object of our devotions on the trip.


Inside, the private subways are all still intact. They have been infilled at the holiday camp side but are otherwise untouched. It looks like a whole lot of fittings from the bathrooms of the camp were dumped there sometime after the closure. They are all sanitary fittings, bath panels, cisterns etc. It’s an odd little leftover remnant of the history of the area. I liked it. Plenty of info available for those willing to look for it.


You can hear the cars overhead, and the campers in the caravan site, all blissfully unaware that they are only yards from the holiday camp toilet graveyard under their feet!