Historic newspapers found in North-east train station’s walls

Contractors rebuilding a North-east railway station destroyed in a fire have discovered historic newspapers hidden in its walls.

The B-listed Ballater Old Royal Station was engulfed in a massive blaze on May 12, 2015. More than 50 firefighters battled the flames at the wooden station for six hours and, although a great deal of the Victorian building was destroyed, the emergency services were able to save a royal carriage and part of the royal waiting room.

The building had been used by VisitScotland for 15 years as a visitor centre, restaurant, museum and shop.

Aberdeenshire Council is currently carrying out a £3 million redevelopment of the site to transform it into a community facility and square. And staff working on the ambitious project have revealed a secret stash of newspapers from 1900, which were found within its walls.

The 117-year-old papers are in remarkably good condition despite the disastrous fire.

Janelle Clark, Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr Area manager, said: “They may have been left there for posterity because it was 1900, the turn of the century, or it could have been put there by workmen as part of insulation, it’s really anyone’s guess.”

The papers have now been restored and it is hoped they could be put on display at the station when it reopens next year.