Blaydon is renowned through music and the song 'Blaydon Races' written by George (Geordie) Ridley of Gateshead. It is known worldwide and is sung whenever Geordies get together.T he song describes the journey from Newcastle to Blaydon to enjoy the races held on Blaydon Hill. The places and people detailed in the verses were real at the time (1862). George is also remembered for his other great Tyneside song “Cushy Butterfield”.
Blaydon Station was opened in 1835 as the eastern terminus of the then railway to Hexham. By 1839, further construction created the east-west Newcastle & Carlisle Railway (now the Tyne Valley Railway). Blaydon was an important station on the line with a signal box, engine shed, extensive goods yard and most of the trains stopped there.
Use of the station declined in the 1960’s following re-development in the area, the new dual carriageway that isolated the station from the town centre and a reduction in the number of trains stopping. Blaydon Station was reprieved from the Beeching cuts by Barbara Castle MP, Minister of Transport but by 1969 had become an unstaffed halt, which suffered from vandalism and, sadly, gained the reputation of being “Britain's least attractive station”.
During recent years, the station has seen vast improvements with an increase in the number of passenger services calling at the station. In 2018, the provision of a new step free entrance improved accessibility to the platform 1 (trains to Newcastle). There is easy access from the station to The Keelmans Way – a popular cycle and walking route between Wylam and Central Gateshead and Newcastle.
In 2020, thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Blaydon Station and support of train company, Northern, colourful murals were installed on the platform walls.