Updated 07/05/2012

Latest News

We are delighted to be suppliers for prints by Richard Piccaver who visited the station to meet Quaker last year. His railway cats drawings are iconic and it is hoped that he will be producing a print including Quaker in the future. If you would like to learn more about Richard's work, please visit his railway cat websiteQuaker recently posed for some new photographs on our station platform - some of which are shown below.

Quaker at her cheeky best enjoying the Spring sunshine at KSE after a day of showers and high winds. 

Quaker the station Cat now has her own blog and she would like to invite you to read it to learn more about life at KSE. Quaker's blog 

Old News 2011

Quaker's fame is spreading and she has had a number of high profile visitors following the article in 'The Cat' magazine. She was mentioned in dispatches in the Northern Echo for her survival over the winter when volunteers recreated the 'Snowdrift at Bleath Gill' episode by digging a snow tunnel to allow her ingress and egress to the station. In May, she was visited by Rieko, a Japanese author who write books on cats. After much coaxing, she was photographed in a variety of poses and features in Rieko's new book on railway cats. This weekend, she was visted by Richard Picaver, the artist who is famed for his series of railway cats prints and, after further persuasion, she appeared from under the Buffet car for another photoshoot. Quaker doesn't know what to make of the Stainmore 150 preparations, but is very pleased to have volunteers on site every day as it ensures she is fed frequently. She is a very shy cat and unlikely to appear spontaneously during the event, but she will be watching from a secure vantage point to appear on the platform once the crowds have died down.

Old News 2010
We are pleased to report that the KSE Station Cats have recently featured in an article in 'The Cat' - the quarterly magazine published by 'Cat's Protection' - the UK's leading cat welfare charity (please see further details towards the bottom of this page). There is an excellent photo of our beloved 'Rabbit' who is still greatly missed. The article has resulted in a rail enthusiast, 'June R', who unfortunately did not provide her address, most kindly sending us a number of cat health / welfare items - many thanks June. 'Rabbit' has also featured once more in the latest 'Jack' book - 'Jack the Station Cat and the August Day'.

The one and only 'Miss Quaker' is currently in fine form. Much of Wednesday was spent on the northern embankment supervising Phyllis, whilst yesterday, she was treated to some of Derek's shepherd pie which went down very well and resulted in her retiring for a good snooze during the afternoon.

Background

'Rabbit' went missing from the station in November 2008 having shown increasing signs of kidney failure. Her last day at the station was a very happy one and, despite an extensive search, we failed to locate her remains. She had been an ever present part of the volunteer workforce at KSE since the start of the project and was treated like a member of the family.

To commemorate 'Rabbit's' life, we have dedicated a table in our disabled-access picnic site to her memory. The area is a suntrap and we are sure 'Rabbit' would have approved. 'Quaker' has already been spotted sunbathing on several occasions and the site is proving to be a popular extension of the Buffet car seating area on sunny days.

Rabbit

We estimate that 'Rabbit' was at least 17 years old when she died in 2008. She was at KSE when SPL bought the site in 1997. She was very keen to appear in any publicity shots that we had. She has appeared in the 'Northern Echo', on BBC Television, the BBC Radio Cumbria Website and local newspapers. Her greatest triumph was as a character in the 'Jack the Station Cat' book: 'Jack and the Midnight Mice'.

'Rabbit' had her own food cupboard in the mess room and all donations are gratefully received. This cupboard has been taken over by 'Quaker' who received excellent training in the role of a station cat from 'Rabbit'.

 

 Quaker

This cheeky black and white character appeared on the Darlington platform. Having overcome the loss of 'Rabbit', 'Quaker' has now taken on the role of senior station cat, but is still a little bit shy with strangers. She is an excellent 'mouser' and likes to let everyone know when she has caught one. She is a very different character to 'Rabbit' and does not like being picked up, but does like being stroked. She spends a lot of her time on the underframes of the Gresley coaches.

 
 Marmalade

This was the latest member of staff in the cat division at KSE. He was very friendly, but a little bit unsure of 'Quaker'. He used to sleep on the old railway desk adjacent to the buffet car at the south end of the Darlington platform. He took up residence in the Croglin Castle Public House at the entrance to the site but has since moved away. 

 

Not all cats are as lucky as 'Rabbit', 'Quaker' and 'Marmalade' and find a home and as much affection. Cat's Protection is the UK's leading welfare charity, re-homing and reuniting 55,500 cats and kittens a year through its nationwide network of 29 adoption centres and 253 volunteer-run branches. They promote resposible cat ownership through education and information and run comprehensive neutering programmes involving 150,000 cats every year. 'Quaker' and 'Marmalade' are happy to support this charity. If you want to know more, please click here.

The album below contains a number of photos of 'Rabbit' & 'Quaker' at work and at play:

 

Back to Home page

We are pleased to report that the KSE Station Cats have recently featured in an article in 'The Cat' - the quarterly magazine published by 'Cat's Protection' - the UK's leading cat welfare charity (please see further details towards the bottom of this page). There is an excellent photo of our beloved 'Rabbit' who is still greatly missed. The article has resulted in a rail enthusiast, 'June R', who unfortunately did not provide her address, most kindly sending us a number of cat health / welfare items - many thanks June. 'Rabbit' has also featured once more in the latest 'Jack' book - 'Jack the Station Cat and the August Day'.

The one and only 'Miss Quaker' is currently in fine form. Much of Wednesday was spent on the northern embankment supervising Phyllis, whilst yesterday, she was treated to some of Derek's Shepherd's Pie which went down very well and resulted in her retiring for a good snooze during the afternoon

Like all good stations, Kirkby Stephen East is home to a number of cats, the oldest and longest serving of which was 'Rabbit' and we have a young cat called 'Quaker'. There was also third cat called 'Gresley' who is no longer at the station. A rather elegant ginger tom who has been given the name 'Marmalade' visits ocassionally - he wears a blue collar and likes being picked up. 'Quaker' has decided that she owns the station and tends not to let 'Marmalade' into the building.