Lydiate/Maghull – Their former Cheshire Lines railway stations

A close up of Lydiate Signal Box

I have blogged about the isolated former Lydiate railway station before but to recap it was not even in Lydiate Civil Parish but just over the border in Altcar Civil Parish off Carr Lane*. It closed on 7th January 1952 and all trace of it has effectively gone. Interestingly though Lydiate does have a Station Road which joins Southport Road adjacent to the Scotch Piper Pub and does eventually lead to the former station.

Lydiate Station sat on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway and the tracks were lifted after June 1960. The station site is still accessible though as it is on the Trans Pennine Trail/Cheshire Lines Path and the station site is one of the access/parking points on the footpath/cycle path. Here are a couple of signs that have been placed on the station site:-

I bet there are folks still around who can recall getting the train from Lydiate Station to Southport or indeed Liverpool. Indeed, when I moved into Sefton Lane, Maghull in 1968 an elderly couple next door would tell me of their travelling by train from the former Sefton and Maghull Station on the same line. That station has also gone now although the platforms were still there in 1968 – it’s all now part of Sefton Lane Industrial Estate. Then around 1970 I met a chap called Jack Petty who taught at Ormonde Drive Secondary Modern School (now Maghull High); he was my form teacher. He told stories of using the railway after the war to get from his Southport home to work in Maghull and how he was often the only person on the train and the station staff at Sefton & Maghull made him a brew each morning when he got off the train.


*Altcar Civil Parish was split as a consequence of local government reorganisation in 1974 and the part in West Lancashire is now called Great Altcar Civil Parish – The part in Sefton Borough is called Little Altcar Civil Parish and its the most southernmost part of what most folks will think of as Formby.

Lydiate – Chesire Lines train passing signal box – the back story

A few months back I published the photo below which had been given to me by a Maghull resident who used to live in Lydiate as a child.


We did not know much about the photo but some detailed detective work by Trevor Booth has brought the photo to life so to speak. This is what Trevor has deduced from it:-

The loco is number 5862 and is an LNER (ex GCR) D6 class 4-4-0. It was built in Dec 1898 by Beyer Peacocks of Manchester.

Lydiate - Cheshire Lines - a closer view

Lydiate – Cheshire Lines – a closer view

The two lamps on the front means that the train is classed as an express passenger.

Just to the left of the Loco chimney can be seen a signal. This is a standard CLC upper quadrant signal (which means that when the signal is ‘off’ showing clear the arm moves upwards as opposed to the lower quadrant type like the one the train has just passed at the back of the train). This pattern of upper quadrant signal was introduced by the CLC in 1929 although it might have been a year or so until this particular signal was installed here as they were usually only renewed when the previous signal was life expired or required repositioning.

The loco at this time was allocated to Brunswick shed, Liverpool and was withdrawn from service there and cut up at Gorton works, Manchester in July 1933.

I have a CLC system timetable for September 1931 which shows a (previously) withdrawn express to be reinstated in June 1932. This train (the only express on a weekday) departed Southport Lord St at 13:15 and passed Lydiate at about 13:35 arriving at Warrington Central at 14:20.This train had probably run in previous years and the time would fit in with the angle of the sun on what appears to be a very warm summers day.

I think that the picture was probably taken a year or two earlier as by 1931/32 Lydiate signal box was not open in the afternoon (but obviously is in the picture) but might have been open a year or two before.

Therefore I think that it’s most likely that the picture was taken in 1929/30/31.

If I turn up any thing that dates it more accurately I will let you know.

Just for the record the signal box is painted in standard Cheshire Lines colours which were;

Corner posts, framing, stairs, doors and ironwork = Medium Oak Brown.
All planking = Dark Buff.
Window frames = White.
Name board = Black with White letters and surround.

I see that in this case the stairs (and window frames) are Dark Buff with only the hand rails Oak Brown.

It’s amazing what can be deduced from an old black and white photo. Well done Trevor.

The second photo is now also amongst my Flickr shots at:-