World’s first Ticket Office?
Or is it?
The building stands at the Stockton end of the first passenger railway line which can no longer be seen. It’s plaque suggests that it was the world’s first passenger railway ticket office. But nobody can actually be sure. Many historians believe that tickets would have been sold at inns in the same way that coach tickets were sold, or perhaps even on the train itself. The first machine printed railway ticket didn’t appear until 1837.
So is this really the first ticket office in the world? Well, probably yes to some extent. It was located at the end of the line amongst the various stockyards and merchants that populated this end of the busy port. Perhaps it sold passenger tickets but almost certainly it was used as an office for ticketing and cataloguing the various goods that were carried by the new invention. Tickets for cargo that were carried swiftly by the train then loaded onto vessels for transport around the rest of the UK and beyond.
Whatever its actual function, the building was almost certainly erected as part of the first railway development despite it now seeming to be out of place from the buildings surrounding it.