The heritage of a Grade II listed bench at Scarborough railway station has been protected by a Network Rail project that will make sure that it can be enjoyed by passengers for years to come.
Reported to be the longest in the world, the unique bench is 139 metres long and is fixed to a retaining wall at Scarborough railway station, which is managed by TransPennine Express. The construction of the bench is thought to date back to 1883, when the Grade II excursion station was constructed by William Bell for the North Eastern Railway to accommodate high numbers of tourists visiting the coastal town.
Under a £14,500 project, Network Rail workers replaced all of the nuts and bolts which keep the bench together and painted all of the cast iron supports. Work also took place to replace the timbers in the seat and backrest of the bench. The replacement timber is a specialist type of pine timber, called Accoya, which is sustainably sourced and gives a life span of 50 years.
All of the work was carried out carefully to make sure the heritage was preserved, and listed building consent was sought and accepted.
Craig Hall, programme manager for Network Rail, said: “This is a unique bench and we really wanted our restoration work to do it justice, so that it can continue to be enjoyed by visitors and residents for years to come.
“We’re really happy with the results, which is testament to the hard work and dedication of the teams who carried this out.”
Mike Drewery, TransPennine Express’ station manager for Scarborough commented: “Scarborough railway station is steeped in history and we are very proud to be the home of the longest railway bench in the world.”