Tam's Tall Tales
- Ballater Station Devastated by Fire
Ballater Station Before the Fire
Graphic © Shaun Ferguson via Wikimedia Commons
Queen Victoria's Railway Station for Balmoral to Be Rebuilt
Royal Deeside is one of the most glorious parts of Scotland and it is a dreadful shame that its historic railway station has been devastated by a fire.
The former station at Ballater, 10 miles from Balmoral Castle (graphic here of the castle via Wikimedia Commons ), was a unique and delicate timber relic of the steam age. Opened in 1866, it was remodelled 30 years later to welcome Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Balmoral Castle remains a favourite country retreat for the Queen and the rest of the royal family. They use it as a base for most of the summer.
A local said:."The fire brigade were on a hiding to nothing, with a high wind and wooden buildings 160 years old. It was just devastating to watch. I am born and bred in Ballater. It is so sad to see something like that, a bit of history going up in a puff of smoke."
The fire burned out of control for four hours. About 50 firemen from five stations battled through the night, and saved part of a museum on the site. They were unable to save a royal waiting room designed to host the tsar.
Fortunately some artefacts survived. A replica of Victoria's train carriage was intact (graphic shown here is © Nigel Corby via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page, along with a horse-drawn carriage on loan from Balmoral. So, too, was a figure of the queen, dressed in mourning for Prince Albert, and, beside her, still pristine in his ghillie's kilt and jacket, John Brown, her beloved manservant.
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