Belfast Telegraph

Battle for access to Belfast's 'forgotten' war memorial at old train station

By Rebecca Black

It's only been visible from the top of a double-decker for almost 60 years, but now a campaign is under way to access a war memorial that once stood at the old York Street train station.

The cenotaph was erected at the station to commemorate railway staff who lost their lives during the First World War.

The terminus, which dated back to 1848, officially closed in 1992 to be replaced by Yorkgate station.

The only trace remaining today is a maintenance depot still in use.

Translink said a service is held at the memorial every Remembrance Day and that access can be granted by prior arrangement.

However, there are calls for it to be accessible all-year round.

North Belfast man William McQuade said it would be fitting 100 years on from the end of the Great War.

He believes it could be made accessible simply by removing a small section of wall, and has even offered to fundraise to cover the costs.

"It's right at the wall at the York Street city-bound stop, so if you are on a double-decker bus you'd be able to see the top of it," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"With this being the centenary year it would be a lovely gesture to give it back to the people of the area."

Mr McQuade has written to the chief executive of Translink requesting a meeting.

Former Coronation Street actor Charlie Lawson also lent his voice to the campaign.

A previous request for the war memorial to be moved to a site on the Shore Road was unsuccessful.

Translink said: "This war memorial was originally erected by the Midland Railway Company at York Street station to commemorate railway staff who lost their lives in the Great War. When the station underwent redevelopment, it was moved to Carrickfergus.

"During work at Carrickfergus in the early 2000s, the war memorial was moved to York Road engineering facility, where it remains. Every year on November 11 (or the Friday before if it is a weekend) a remembrance service is held at the cenotaph. This event has always been open to the public to attend.

"We have also made the cenotaph available for wreath-laying ceremonies during recent parades relating to the First World War. People can view the war memorial by prior arrangement as it is located within a working engineering facility."

Belfast Telegraph

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