Excerpt: Over the last two centuries countless ghost stories have been told on a dark cold winters evening, many of these have had a railway station as their location. This little tale is no different to them except in one detail, this story is a true tale. How do I know?
As someone once said ‘Because I was there’. The rambler who seeks sanctuary from the freezing fog was myself.
I myself am now eighty three years old and I had to put this story down on paper before I die.
What follows are the events (as I remember them) that happened on a cold winter’s night in February 1963.
The line now stood abandoned, Lord Beachems axe had fallen some fifteen years since. Where the majestic old steam engines once ran up and down the branch line linking Hull to Hornsea only a footpath and cycle track now remain. The occasional hiker or cyclist now traversed the once busy line, only the station’s remained such as the old Victorian station house situated half a mile from the village of Old Ellaby. The warm inviting light shone out from the windows into the fog bound darkness of that February night.
The building had lain empty for many years, the only inhabitants included the nocturnal creatures of the area, and the occasional vagrant. Nine months previous, a retired doctor and his wife had bought the building. His worsening heart condition had forced him into an early retirement, but at fifty five he needed a new project and this was it.
Where there were once waiting rooms and ticket offices now there stood living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, all the modern comforts and all done at his own hand. Both the interior and exterior were styled on the Victorian era, a tribute to the original builders of the line. Although the medical profession had taken him into its sphere, he always had been a fan of the Victorian engineers and the railway builders most of all. Men like Stephenson and Brunnel had always been heroes to him.
Doctor Majester and his spouse, Catherine were in the midst of hosting a dinner party to celebrate the finishing of the final part of the redevelopment. Two guests sat at the table, Ian and Karen Hanson who were old friends of the hosts. Much merriment had taken place during the evening so far and throughout the meal. Most of the conversation had been spent on nostalgia and their collective salad days.
Now the meal was over, the two men both held a large glass of brandy in one hand and a cigar in the other while the women sat over two steaming cups of black coffee.
“You’ve done a marvellous job on this old place.” commented Ian Hanson. His florid face looking around the maroon painted walls. Silhouetted profiles hung on the walls as well as the framed images of steam engines hanging down from the picture rail. A grand father clock stood in the corner of the room was stricking ten o’clock.
“It cost a fortune,” said Catherine, as the last chimes died away, “he had to have genuine 1880’s fixtures, fittings and well, everything. Taps, Door handles, you name it.
“It all looks so new though.” Karen added not really knowing what to say, Victoriana was not her strongest suit.
The brandy-laden houseguest was the first up from the table, loosening his belt discretely as he crossed the room. He came to rest by the hearth, turning his back to the fire, he felt the heat prickling on the backs of his legs. Turning to retrieve his glass off of the mantle piece Ian’s eye was taken by one of the numerous objects sitting above the fire. Next to the carriage clock sat an old Acme Thunderer whistle, now heavily tarnished with age. Picking it up he examined it in the closest detail. It was obviously old, but the original pea was still in tack, “What’s this old man.” He asked his old friend.
“Oh just something I found in what’s left of the chippings’ outside.” For some reason unknown to the other three assembled dinners, the doctors manner had turned somewhat cold and distant. His attention seemed to be taken by the window leading directly out onto the platform.