Bootle – Landmark Gas Works set for demolition

Bootle Townscape

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/demolition-sludge-filled-gasworks-set-14484171

The Liverpool Echo has news of the proposed demolition of the former gas works off Bootle’s Marsh Lane on its web site – see link above.

I worked overlooking this gas works for many years and took the photo above from my high vantage point workplace (The Triad) a few years back.

It looks like the demolition process is going to be troublesome and lengthy for the residents who live in the surrounding streets.

It’s rather sad to see such a landmark in Bootle being torn down. It was once connected to the railway network and the remains of bridge abutments can still be seen on Hawthorne Road.

Previous postings of mine mentioned this site, here’s a link back to them:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/02/03/bootle-gas-works-and-surrounding-area/

Click on the heading photo to enlarge it.

Bootle Gas Works and surrounding area

Some time ago I posted an article about the former Langton Dock Branch railway. Here is a link back to that article:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/05/09/the-bootle-gas-works-branch-railwaylangton-dock-branch-midland-railway/

And a further posting showed the tunnel under the Liverpool Southport railway line, then and now:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/11/18/bootle-railway-tunnels-before-and-after/

This branch railway also served the extensive Bootle Gas Works, some of which remains adjacent to Marsh Lane. The railway connection with the gas works, which came off the Langton Dock Branch, is long gone (just like the Langton Dock Branch) although traces of both can still be seen. Here is a shot of the Gas Works site and surrounding streets as it looks 2015:-

rsz_bootle_townscape

Recently I came across an excellent modern day reproduction of a map of the north of Bootle dating back to 1906. Here is a scan of the part of the map that shows the area associated with this posting:-

Bootle 1906

Click on the map and photos to enlarge them.

The map, Bootle (North) 1906, is part of the excellent series of reproduction maps produced Alan Godfrey Maps which are available to purchase.

Things have certainly changed. The gas works is now much smaller and the land it used to occupy to the north seems to await another use (although I would guess it will be in need of significant remediation considering its former use), whilst the land to the south of Marsh land is now an office block and car park.

A final up close shot of the present day gas works with its rather old gasometers:-

rsz_bootle_gas_works

The 2 photos above are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Bootle – Railway tunnels before and after

I have posted before about former Langton Dock Branch (see link below) that closed a long time ago and for which there is little evidence of it existing these days as you get close to the docks.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/05/09/the-bootle-gas-works-branch-railwaylangton-dock-branch-midland-railway/

But under Bootle Strand Station there is a tunnel which once took this branch under the Liverpool – Southport Line. The tunnel was tall as the line was in a very deep cutting. Recently I came across an old photo of the tunnel in its original guise, so I went to take a photo of the same location now. The differences are considerable.

Gasworks Branch Bootle

rsz_bootle_former_railway_line

The cutting is gone – its been filled in. The tunnel is still there – well at least the top part of it as it is now a pedestrian walk-way from the Strand Shopping Centre to the new(ish) ASDA store. The bridge visible in the old photo, through the tunnel, is that of the one that once took the Langton Dock Branch under Stanley Road

How things change.

The photo’s are amongst those on my Flickr site at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

World War 1 in Bootle

I have previously posted photo’s of the wall-art in the former railway tunnel of Bootle’s Langton Dock Branch which is now a pedestrian walkway under the present Bootle New Strand Station. See link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/05/09/the-bootle-gas-works-branch-railwaylangton-dock-branch-midland-railway/

This is the last of my shots of the wall-art but considering it is the 100 anniversary of the start of WW1 in 2014 I thought it appropriate to give this final shot the individual consideration that it deserves.

rsz_wallart_on_former_railway_tunnel_-_bootle_4

This photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

The Bootle Gas Works Branch Railway/Langton Dock Branch (Midland Railway)

The remains of this long gone branch railway are still visible in various places not least of which is the former tunnel that took the branch under what was Marsh Lane Station but is now Bootle New Strand Station on the Merseyrail network.

The trees in the foreground mask the now pedestrian tunnel which runs  under the the first carriage of this Merseyrail Electric Unit which is sat at New Strand Station

The trees in the foreground mask the now pedestrian tunnel which runs under the the first carriage of this Merseyrail Electric Unit which is at at New Strand Station

This former branch is probably a mile or so south of the North Mersey Branch (and travelling east to west like it) which I posted about on 2nd May.

The tunnel is now a pedestrian link under the present railway/station which gives access to an ASDA Superstore. What drew my attention to it was the wall-art on the tunnel walls and I posted a piece with a photo from that wall-art associated with the Borough of Sefton being 40 years old this year on 29/03/2014. I would add that the tunnel has been substantially filled in so the ground level you walk on through the tunnel is much higher than the original trackbed.

There are quite a few depictions of things associated with Bootle life on the tunnel walls and here are a few more shots of the wall-art.

rsz_wallart_on_former_railway_tunnel_-_bootle_1

rsz_wallart_on_former_raqilway_tunnel_-_bootle_3

rsz_wallart_on_former_railway_tunnel_-_bootle_2

An internet search about the old branch threw up an interesting web site which carries photo’s and some description of the efforts made by people to access these long closed tunnels, where this may still possible. The link below gives details.

www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1533982

The former Midland Railway built branch line left Langton Dock and headed directly inland in an easterly direction, travelling under the Southport – Liverpool Line, under Stanley Road, under Marsh Lane and then under Hawthorne Road. Various tunnel/retaining/parapet walls can easily be seen on Marsh Lane and where the line passed under Hawthorne Road. A high vantage point allows you to trace much of the line further east where it was in a cutting between houses and businesses. The parapet walls where it passed under Southport Road are still in place for example.

A fascinating point here is that the line passed under Marsh Lane, not across it at an angle, but following the same line as Marsh Lane for a fair distance. Marsh Lane from Litherland Road to Hawthorne Road is in effect a long unseen viaduct as the closed railway tunnel is still below it.

Here are a couple of shots of the remaining blue engineering brick parapets:-

This Southport Road looking east with the line being in a cutting both sides of the over-bridge

This is Southport Road looking east with the line being in a cutting both sides of the over-bridge

e shots of the remaining blue engineering brick parapets etc.

This is Hawthorne Road looking east with the former line being in a cutting until Hawthorne Road.

This is Hawthorne Road looking east with the former line being in a cutting until this point.

Some of the photos in this posting are amongst my Flickr photo’s at
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/