Former royal railway station destroyed in blaze ‘may be lost forever’

INFERNO: Flames leap from the roof of Ballater's old railway station.
INFERNO: Flames leap from the roof of Ballater's old railway station.

A KEY figure behind the £1 million revival of a Victorian railway station which was destroyed by fire has said a part of history may be lost forever.

Paul Higson was showing Prince Charles around the restored Old Royal Station in Ballater in 2002 when the royal suggested it would make a good location for a replica of the carriage used by his great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

Paul Higson.
Paul Higson.

The carriage went on to become a major visitor attraction for the area.

But the station – including several businesses based there – was destroyed by fire when a blaze took hold of the building.

Paul said the blaze is unlikely to have left much of the historic station for rebuilding.

He said: “I was devastated to hear the news, and saw the coverage. I only know from the reports, but apparently 95% of the building has been destroyed, and it was an entirely wooden building.

“It is maybe not even a case of rebuilding, because there might be nothing left to rebuild. It will be starting from scratch.”

Paul said the news that firefighters managed to save the replica of Queen Victoria’s carriage was a “small consolation”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60yzdqUAcME

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