Design
Weather Stations
Clocks
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Caring for Historic Railway Buildings along the Line
The Settle and Carlisle
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Ribblehead
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The clock at
Kirkby Stephen
before restoration
Apart from its proximity to the viaduct, Ribblehead station is probably best
remembered for two features - its historic role as a church for monthly services
and as a weather reporting station for the Met Office.
Securing the new clock at Ribblehead station
This page gives details of the Trust's work on smaller projects relating to the Settle to Carlisle Line please use the three bottons here to jump to the area that interests you.
Station Clocks
Weather Stations
When the restoration work was completed in June 2000, the idea of reviving both
these traditions gained momentum.
Whilst the former was relatively easy to organise and eventually materialised
as a carol service held every December, the latter required more consideration.
An approach was made to the Met Office, at the time based in Bracknell, with a view to restoring Ribblehead as an official weather reporting station. A Met Office representative took the time to visit the site and consider our proposals. Unfortunately,
a number of factors rendered the present site
unsuitable for Met Office purposes, such as the
presence of trees and overhead wires.
There the matter was left to rest until the idea was resurrected Settle - Carlisle Enterprise Network,
which in April 2004 and paid for an automatic weather recording system. The weather station equipment and software were integrated into an internet reporting system allowing information to be accessed online anywhere in the world, and was particularly useful to people wanting to go walking in the area.
The live web page for Ribblehead's Weather Station
After working well initially, the system became more
and more unreliable and a replacement was sought.
The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line (FoSCL)
offered to fund a replacement and linked up with mylocalweather.org.uk, an online network of
independent UK weather stations.

The result was the purchase and installation in Spring
2008 of a state-of-the-art Davis Vantage Pro system,
which updates a wide range of meteorological
observations online every 6 seconds.
Details of the current conditions and past records, together with a short range forecast, can be found on the Ribblehead weather station website. Please use the buttons to the right if you would like to go there now.
The weather can be harsh in winter on the
Settle - Carlisle Line
A Weather Station
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The Design Guide
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As part of the restoration and conservation of the various station buildings on the line it soon became clear that a ‘design guide’ was needed to ensure consistency and authenticity. This sets out the agreed standards and procedures for all aspects of building work, from the shape of the bargeboards to the colour of the paint. Indeed, it is probable that the Midland Railway had its own Design Guide in the 1860s, as (almost) all of the stations, station masters’ houses, workers’ cottages etc are highly standardised.
With ‘railway time’ helping to standardise timekeeping across the country, the clock became synonymous with the railway in transforming Britain the during the 19th century. A clock became a familiar feature at virtually every station throughout the land.
When the Midland Railway built its Settle-Carlisle extension its
station clocks were supplied by William Potts & Sons, world-renowned clockmakers of Leeds. A pendulum clock was fitted in each stationmaster’s office and this drove a reverse shaft and the external slave dial. This is the clockface and hands that you can see on the S&C stations today.
Inevitably, as the line was run down over the years, the original clocks were not maintained and one by one they ceased to function. When all but two of the stations became unstaffed halts in 1967 most of the clocks disappeared, leaving ugly scars on the walls of the station buildings. Appleby was the only station that retained its original complete clock in working order.
When the Trust began work on restoring the station building at Kirkby Stephen, the remains of the clock were restored and provided the inspiration to extend the idea to other stations along the line.
A successful fundraising appeal raised over £10k and resulted in five new clocks for Horton, Ribblehead, Dent, Langwathby and Lazonby. Each was a faithful, high-quality reproduction of the original clock, though electric drive had to replace the clockwork mechanism.
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The waiting room at Kirkby Stephen
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All images on this website are courtesy of the SCRT, Tony Freschini, Geoff Bounds, Martin Firth and Andrew & Rachel Griffiths of ImageRail
Copyright (C) 2010
Registered Charity No 702724
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