02 June 2023
Northern, alongside Yorkshire Coast Community Rail Partnership to honour courageous ticket collector with blue plaque.
On July 11, 1941, Ernest Barker, a heroic railway worker saved lives by battling a fire after a bomb hit Bridlington station yard close to a train carrying ammunition. His brave act was carried out after an unexpected raid by a German bomber caused devastation on nearby Hilderthorpe Road.
Five people died as blasts destroyed buildings. But just a few hundred yards away another bomb was close to causing more carnage. Bridlington railway station yard was hit – and a fire broke out on a train carrying ammunition. Barker ran to the scene and fought the blaze as his colleagues worked on the fires nearby. The fire was extinguished, saving the lives of people in nearby buildings. He became one of the first people to receive the new George Medal. Ernest's story has come to light thanks to the research of local historian, Richard Jones.
Tony Baxter, regional director at Northern said: “This is a wonderful way to pay tribute to a local hero and the heritage of Bridlington station and we are delighted to be a part of this community project.”
Northern has also published a map showing the locations of the other historical sites across its stations – perfect for passengers looking to explore more of the train operator’s network. Often hidden in plain sight among the hustle and bustle of the station environment, some blue plaques celebrate railway heritage while others commemorate historical figures and unsung heroes – and there is even one honouring a fictional sleuth.