AN ORIGINAL British Railways 'totem' sign has been unveiled at Kents Bank station on the opening day of a new library specialising in books devoted to railways. 

More than 60 guests assembled at Station House outside the historic Kents Bank station on January 19 for the grand opening.

Chair of Network Rail Lord Hendy and mayor of Grange-over-Sands councillor Roger Handley also marked the opening by unveiling the original British Railways ‘totem’ sign for Kents Bank station, which is on the Furness Line between Barrow and Lancaster.

It was rescued at auction by friends and supporters of the Station Library, with over £2,000 raised to buy, transport and put up the sign.

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An opening ceremony also took place in the new Railway Library itself where a plaque was unveiled to mark the official opening.

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The library has over 3,000 titles of books devoted to railways and has a particular emphasis on social history, local and rural railways. It is said to be the first of its kind in the country.

Paul Salveson, a retired railwayman who runs the library, welcomed the guests with the help of trustees John Kitchen and Linda Nuttall.

In attendance on the cold but sunny day were Community Rail Network, Northern, Network Rail, British Transport Police, Railway Heritage Trust, Westmorland and Furness Council, Friends of Kents Bank Station and Foreshore, Furness Line Action Group (FLAG), Cumbrian Railway Association, National Railway, local residents and many other rail groups.

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Guests enjoyed a traditional Lancashire Hotpot and vegetarian chili with several guests bringing along books to donate to the library.

“It was a day to remember,” said Mr Salveson, who is also current occupier of the Old Station Masters House at Kents Bank.

“We’ve got some more events planned in the future including a monthly series of talks.

“Next is ‘Railways in the Lake District’ by historian Martin Bairstow on February 14 at 2pm.

“The next library open day is February 10 from 11am to 4pm."