MEMORIES 342 suggested that the gentle arc at the top of this 1962 picture of Crook showed the route of the Deerness Valley Railway. Raymond Brownson and David Armstrong were among those who wrote to tell us we wrong.

The gentle arc is that of the Bishop Auckland and Weardale Railway which opened into Crook station – which is just off to the right of the picture – in early 1844. The line had to climb up a steep gradient from Howden-le-Wear, and early engines needed help from a rope that was attached to a stationery engine at Low Thistleflat.

Initially, passengers seem only to have been able to call at Crook on Thursdays, which were market days in the small town.

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In 1846, the Weardale Extension Railway was built out of Crook, up the Sunniside incline, into Tow Law. This incline, too, was rope worked.

Crook was a busy station, particularly before the advent of motor buses. In 1911, it issued 108,952 passenger tickets.

Crook’s railway era came to an end when the line from Bishop Auckland was closed to passengers on April 8, 1965, and the station was demolished a couple of years later.