Approach to Newcastle Station
Photograph: E. de Mare (1960s)
Source: RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection
Newcastle Central Station is one of the great railway termini of Britain. Unlike most other large cities in the country, Newcastle has only one main station. Competing railway companies were encouraged to share one building by the Newcastle developer Richard Grainger. The station, built between 1845 and 1850, served the York, Newcastle, and Berwick Railways, rails radiating out in all directions from its glass sheds.
This photograph, dating from the 1960s, reveals the importance of the station as a transport hub, and the great vision of Grainger. The entrance to the station from the east, at first sight this appears to be just a tangle of lines. Looking more closely, however, the graceful curves of the rails possess a certain beauty; well used, they shine in this shot. Rail remains king of transport: the long snake-like set of carriages is pulled by a steam engine, just as it had been in Victorian times.
Black and white film seems made for such an elemental shot. But how exactly did the photographer Eric de Mare take this?