Cleckheaton railway station

Cleckheaton railway station

Cleckheaton railway station was a railway station serving the West Yorkshire town of Cleckheaton, England, until it was closed in the Beeching era, which saw the closure of many minor lines and stations around the United Kingdom through the 1960s. It has the distinction of being the only British railway station to have been stolen.

The station was originally constructed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, which was absorbed by the LNWR in 1922 and subsequently the LMS in 1923 at grouping and finally to British Rail on nationalisation. It served traffic from Heckmondwike, Low Moor (near Bradford) and Mirfield. The Mirfield line opened in 1847, Low Moor in 1849. [ [ Lost Railways Yorkshire] ] The last passenger train working was the service from Bradford on 12 June 1965 arriving at Cleckheaton at 11:21 and the station closed to freight traffic some four years later.

In 1972 a Dewsbury man appeared at Wakefield Crown Court; in the words of the prosecution counsel "what the case really comes to is that this man last August in effect stole Cleckheaton station". [Body, Geoffrey: "Railway Oddities", Tempus, 2007 ISBN 978 0 75244399 7] [ Spenborough Guardian] ] "Man denies theft of railway station", "The Times", 25 April 1972, p. 3.]

British Rail had contracted for the clearing of the site in August 1971, part of the deal being that the contractors would sell and retain the proceeds from disposal of the materials and scrap. On arrival, they discovered that the station and most of the material were already gone. It transpired that the man had been contracted by another firm to clear the site, had been advanced a sum for hire of plant, and had spent three weeks clearing the site. Subsequent efforts to trace the second firm failed, and the court found the man not guilty, deciding that he had been duped and left significantly out of pocket. The case is given as an example of the extension of the Theft Act 1968 to cover goods forming part of a property. [Storey & Lidbury, "Criminal Law", Willan Publishing, 2004 ISBN 1843921006, p. 166]


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