Ledger discovery affords a glimpse of Victorian travel

Builder, George Thorne, with the ledger.

Builder, George Thorne, with the ledger. - Credit: Greater Anglia

Builders unearthed an ancient ticket ledger from when March rail station opened over 130 years ago. 

The ledger, dated April 1885, contains entries of all the passenger luggage and parcels sent from the station. 

Contractors discovered the ledger when they removed some rotten woodwork and it fell through from the disused loft space. 

They also found another ledger, a series of British Rail Red Star consignment notes, and a record card, dating from 1989 and three small log books from the 1800s. 

Ledger discovered at March rail station 

Ledger discovered at March rail station - Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia plans to display the ledger – known in the 1800s as a ‘Day Book’ - in the new station buildings once the redevelopment work is complete. 

Great Eastern sack

The amazingly well preserved Great Eastern Railway sack might be a unique survivor of the hundreds of thousands that were produced at Stratford in the 1800s. It proclaims on both sides in red ‘ Great Eastern Railway - No.1877 – Ely Station’ overprinted in black with the words ‘Saw Dust’ and ‘Condemned’. - Credit: Greater Anglia

Customer service manager Anita Stuart said: “We couldn’t believe it when the contractor showed us the ledger. It was like finding hidden treasure! 

Local historian Mike Lamport said: “These fascinating items all reflect the pivotal nature of March station to the area.” 

The glorious days of steam at March station 

The glorious days of steam at March station - Credit: Greater Anglia

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March station is undergoing work to remodel the entire building with the creation of an open-plan ticket hall and waiting area, new toilets and an extended car park.