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Stunning photos show Nottingham’s lost Victoria Station in all its splendour

todayFebruary 12, 2022 1

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Now more used to the rumble of shoppers than the thunder of locomotives, Nottingham’s Victoria Centre was once of course home to the city’s busy Victoria Railway Station.

All that remains today of this once-grand location is the old station clock tower that proudly stands at the main entrance in Milton Street.

But echoes of the terminal still resound strongly in many people’s hearts, despite the station closing in 1967.

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Much of this is down to just how elegant the structure was.

Built in a Renaissance style and constructed from the very best-quality red-faced bricks and Darley Dale stone, the three-storey building oozed Victorian splendour.



Sunlight cuts through the smoky interior of Nottingham Victoria Station in this photograph from around 1950.

Through a joint venture by the Great Central and Great Northern Railway companies, the station opened to surprisingly little fanfare in the early hours of May 24, 1900.

Originally dubbed Nottingham Central, its name was soon changed to Nottingham Victoria as the opening coincided with Queen Victoria’s birthday.

It served the city on the main north-south Great Central line from London to Sheffield and beyond.



The newly-opened Nottingham Victoria Station in 1900.

Victoria was also the eastern terminus for the Friargate Line from Derby.

The new station was ambitious in scope, with some £473,000 (£61m in today’s money) spent on the 13-acre site in the city centre.

Its construction meant some streets had to be completely demolished, with around 1,300 houses, 24 pubs and even St Stephen’s Church in Bunkers Hill, removed.

The very first service to call at the line was a Great Central express from Manchester bound for Marylebone that pulled in at 1.12am. Curious onlookers only had to wait a further quarter of an hour before the second train rocked up – a Great Central Express travelling the opposite way.

Tunnels at each end of the station’s excavated area allowed trains to reach the platforms.

The northern tunnel terminated near the Forest Recreation Ground, with the southern one eventually emerging at Weekday Cross before tracking the line of the modern-day tram over Nottingham Station.



Victoria Railway Station and the Victoria Station Hotel, 1930
Victoria Railway Station and the Victoria Station Hotel, 1930

Commuters would get their tickets in the booking hall from one of the seven ticket-issuing windows, three apiece for the Great Central and Great Northern and one for excursion traffic.

Leading from the booking hall was an iron overbridge that spanned the platforms, interlinked by four broad staircases.

A tiny footbridge at the end allowed commuters onto the island platforms at the southern end.



The former Victoria Railway Station clocktower now forms part of the Victoria Shopping Centre
The former Victoria Railway Station clocktower now forms part of the Victoria Shopping Centre

Following nationalisation in 1947, the writing was already on the wall for the city’s main line station.

The whole Great Central route was run down by diverting services away from it in the 1960s, and with the advent of the motor car, passenger numbers inevitably fell away.

Sure enough, years later amid stern opposition, the run-down Victoria saw its last passenger train leave on September 4, 1967.

Work then began on the Victoria Centre, which opened its doors in 1972.

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The rise and fall of Nottingham’s Victoria Station

Fascinating photos really bring its history to life17:32, 12 FEB 2022The newly-opened Nottingham Victoria Station in 1900.1 of 21This 1927 photograph looks east along Burton Street towards Trinity Square and Mansfield Road. Holy Trinity Church is on the right (now demolished), with Victoria Railway Station top right. (Image: Nottingham City Council, courtesy of Picture Nottingham)2 of 21Sherwood Foresters pictured at Nottingham’s Victoria Railway Station before boarding trains. The photograph was […]

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