Last week marked 50 years since the opening of Stevenage railway station, and we've been through the Comet archives to look back on its opening.

Until the current station opened in 1973, Stevenage was served by a railway station on Julians Road that was built in 1850, during the Victorian era.

The pictures below show the station as it began to be demolished, and Tom Pearce, station foreman, waving to one of the last trains to stop at the old station.

The Comet: The old railway station in Julians Road.The old railway station in Julians Road. (Image: Comet)

The Comet: Tom Pearce at the old Julians Road station.Tom Pearce at the old Julians Road station. (Image: Comet)

After moving to the new station, Mr Pearce became a 'senior railman', and dealt with inter-city trains which were stopping at Stevenage for the first time.

Clive Titmuss, relief clerk at the Julians Road station, told the Comet in 1973: "I've been working at the old station on and off for seven years and I think the new station is a great improvement.

"It is far more modern with more facilities and will provide a better service for the public.

"In about a month, when all the finishing touches have been made, I think it will be really great."

The Comet: Stevenage railway station while it was under construction in 1973.Stevenage railway station while it was under construction in 1973. (Image: Comet)

This picture was taken in March, and shows the new railway station under construction. The project cost £620,000, with a "sizeable contribution" made by Stevenage Development Corporation.

The accompanying article described it as "ultra-modern" and said it "will make the day shorter for commuters travelling from Kings Cross each day".


While the station opened in July, it was not 'officially' opened until September, when Shirley Williams MP came along to do the honours.

Passengers were encouraged to come along with the promise of "souvenir platform tickets" costing three pence, and they could even travel to London and back on a special ticket costing 40 pence.

Speaking at the opening, Shirley Williams said that she could "see a great renaissance of the railways", and predicted that in 2000 people would be "thinking about how to expand the railway system, not run it down".

Fifty years on from her words, Cllr Myla Arceno, the mayor of Stevenage, was on hand to unveil a plaque marking the station's anniversary.

The Comet: Cllr Myla Arceno, the mayor of Stevenage, with her son and consort, John Arceno.Cllr Myla Arceno, the mayor of Stevenage, with her son and consort, John Arceno. (Image: Stevenage Borough Council)

She was accompanied by Cllr Lloyd Briscoe, who had also attended the opening in 1973.

He said: "Since it first opened in 1973, the station has always been important to the town and will remain at the heart of our future economic prosperity.

"As someone who was honoured to attend the original station opening, I was delighted to help mark its 50th Anniversary and I’m sure we’ll still be celebrating its vital contribution in another half century.”