Vintage railway signs will once again welcome passengers to Kintore when the community’s new £14.5 million station opens next month.
They were unearthed after spending more than five decades gathering dust in a farmer’s shed.
And they will be joined by a number of original benches which have also been painstakingly restored.
Kintore Railway Station first opened in 1854 and was an important stop for the community before its closure in 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts – a major restructuring of Britain’s railways.
Now, construction of a new station for the Aberdeenshire town is almost complete, and it is hoped the first passengers could be using it by October.
When the original Victorian-era station was shut down, many of its original fixtures were sadly lost to time.
But thankfully collectors of Aberdeenshire’s heritage have come forward to help reflect its history in the new development.
Last year, local farmer Raymond Sharp rediscovered two of the former station’s signs in his shed.
He had saved them from being thrown onto a bonfire more than 55 years ago.
In 2018, a bench from the old station was discovered and secured by Aberdeenshire Council and Nestrans at an auction in Montrose – followed by a second discovery of another bench in the possession of a Kemnay resident who donated it to the new station project.
Now, after careful refurbishment, the signs and benches will have pride of place at the all-new Kintore railway station.
Robert McGregor, strategic transport officer for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “We’re delighted and it’s been an exemplary project in terms of partnership working between Aberdeenshire Council, Nestrans, Network Rail, Transport Scotland, Scot Rail and the contractors BAM Nuttall.
“The benches will be placed in a new community garden that Network Rail has commissioned, and will overlook the platform, serving as a really nice view point.
“One of the signs will be situated on the platform under the footbridge, so it’s almost like it’s returning home.
“We’ve yet to find a location for the other one but we think it will be somewhere around the entrance to the station.”
The signs have been restored with the original white and French/sky blue colours, to represent the original British Railways Scottish Region style of the 1950s and 60s.
They were brought back to life by the Inverurie and District Men’s Shed.
Refurbishment of the benches were carried out by Lethenty Cabinet Makers, and the men’s shed, with financial support from Kintore Community Council.
Aberdeenshire Council paid particular thanks to Bernie Oates from the men’s shed, “whose individual skill and dedication to the restoration of both benches and signs is a marvel to behold”.
Accurate colour-matching advice for the benches was supplied by rail historian Keith Jones, of the Great North of Scotland Railway Association.
East Garioch councillor Martin Ford said: “The historic benches from the former Kintore station have been beautifully restored.
“The two old Kintore signs, probably originally from the signal box, also look great in the 1950s colours.
“The opening of the new Kintore station is a significant event in the history of the town, and will be greatly welcomed.
“The new station is necessarily of the standard modern type, and is essentially the same as other new stations – but the signs and seats, almost certainly all at least 100 years old, create a tangible link with the former station.
“These items were present in Kintore then, and are unique to Kintore now.”