I was dusting today to avoid editing a report on an S&DR branch line of 1830 (done now I’m pleased to say) and this little pink lustre ware cup was one of the lucky ornaments getting some very rare attention. It reminded me why we set up The Railway Station Shop.

The caption below the black and white photo says Barnard Castle. However locals will realise that the photo is not of Barnard Castle, it is of Middleton in Teesdale railway station with the village beyond (should’ve gone to Specsavers.) The cup was made in Germany.

These little souvenir pieces of pink lustre ware were common around the 1900s. Everywhere offered this china for sale – country houses, bridges, convalescent homes, churches, towns and villages. I have no idea how many were mis-labelled.

We think that if people travel to visit the place where the modern railway network was started, then they should be able to buy souvenirs made in that place. How silly and unsustainable is it for someone from Germany to visit a heritage railway in the NE of England (and please do visit us) and take home a souvenir, made in Germany?

And that is how the Railway Station Shop was born.

Postscript – most of Middleton in Teesdale station is now sadly demolished and so this cup is a rather nice record of how it used to look.