The S&DR commissioned a merchandising station in 1826 which was ready for use in 1827. It was located on the line just west of the Skerne Bridge in Darlington. In 1833 when a new Goods Station was built across the road, it was recognised that they needed to formalise and improve on the passenger offer. The merchandising station was partly converted to provide a cottage on the lower floor and a shop, booking office and waiting room above (TNA RAIL 667/298). The dedicated passenger station came into use in November 1833 with the dwelling house and shop being let to Mary Simpson at £5.p.a. in return for which she was to ‘keep the coach office clean and afford every necessary accommodation to coach passengers’ (ibid). Mary Simpson is the first instance of having a woman named as an employee of the S&DR.