Liverpool Exchange Station – Long gone but not forgotten

Liverpool Exchange Station 1977, class 502 EMU’s in platform 5, for Ormskirk, & platform 7, for Southport

This is the second of my postings using the historic photos of Anthony Graham, who has given me permission to showcase them. The first posting concentrated on Maghull Station, this time I’m looking back at Liverpool’s former Exchange Station which was lost in the late 1970’s

Liverpool Exchange No 1 Signal Box in June 1976

Liverpool Exchange No 2 Signal Box in April 1977

Here’s a detailed account of No.2 Signal Box from Anthony:- ‘Opened as Liverpool Exchange “A” box, with a temporary layout, on 12th December 1886, the box was a Railway Signal Company structure with a 168 lever RSCo frame. It originally controlled platforms 1 to 5, on new land, whilst Tithebarn Street station was demolished to make way for platforms 6 to 10. Platforms 6, the middle siding and platform 7 were added to the box on 23rd February 1888, platforms 8, 9 and 10 being added for the full opening of the new station on 2nd July 1888. The lines were named “Roads 1 to 11” on the signalling diagram, No 7 Road, the middle siding not being named as such until 25th May 1946. There were also five loco release ground frames bolt-lock released from the box. These were at the buffers end between platforms 2&3, 4&5, 6/Middle Road/7 and 8&9. A turntable siding and two carriage sidings were provided on the west side of the line, a turntable and two sidings were provided north of platforms 3&4 and four carriage sidings were provided north of the station, on the east side. In 1919 the west side turntable was moved to Sandhills (later known as Bank Hall) engine shed. The loco release ground frame between platforms 4&5 was replaced on 30th November 1924 with a 2 lever LNWR SK80 frame, the other loco release ground frames were removed between 1921 and 1937. On 25th May 1946 colour light signalling was brought into use on platforms 4 to 10. Much of the equipment was from the cancelled Preston North and South power box scheme of 1940. At this time the box was renamed Liverpool Exchange No 2, with the nearby Liverpool Exchange “B” box becoming Liverpool Exchange No 1. At the same time platforms 1 to 3 became known as “A Group”, 4&5 became “B Group”, 6/Middle Siding/7 became “C Group” and 8 to 10 became “D Group”. Platforms 1 to 3 received colour light signalling in 1948. On 26th April 1959 No 1 carriage siding on the east side was disconnected. Most of the levers were renewed in 1965 with BR-manufactured L&Y pattern levers, these were identical to the original Railway Signal Co levers except for a different type of gravity catch block at floor level. On 5th March 1967 platforms 1 to 3 were disconnected, together with the remaining three east side carriage sidings and one of the two sidings north of platforms 3&4. The loco release ground frame between platforms 4&5 was disconnected on 26th November 1972. Platforms 8 to 10 and the west side carriage sidings were disconnected on 6th May 1973 and quickly removed to allow construction of the new underground railway beneath them. The slow lines to Sandhills were disconnected on 16th December 1973, except for a short section of the up slow between No’s 2 and 1 boxes, this was retained as a shunting neck. The last train ran on 29th April 1977, but the box remained manned whist signalling equipment was disconnected over the next two days, the box still being manned until 07.00 hours on 2nd May 1977.’

Photo taken from Liverpool Exchange No 1 Signal Box in 1976 looking towards Exchange Station, a 6 car class 502 EMU is departing for Southport.

Photo taken from Liverpool Exchange No 1 Signal Box in 1977 showing track removal/lifting on the up slow line.

My own 2015 shot of the sign for the underground Moorfields Station, which replaced Exchange, with the retained facade of the old station in the background

And to close this posting an interesting piece of history about the old station subway which had, until now, passed me by:-

Liverpool Exchange Station Subway circa 1993

The Liverpool Echo takes up the story via an April 2019 article on its website – www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/secret-underground-tunnel-uncovered-city-16169509

Liverpool Exchange No 1 Signal Box interior in June 1976.
Levers 74 to 78, prepared for controlling the reversing siding at Sandhills, were never brought into use. The opening of the reversing siding was deferred and eventually connected to the new James Street Power Box on 1st May 1977.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Liverpool – Poshest pub toilets in England get listed

The BBC has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-51397915

I’m grateful to Keith Page for bringing this to my attention not least because I’ve just finished re-reading Bill Bryson’s wonderful book Notes from a Small Island.

‘And so, soon afterwards, I found myself, like all fresh arrivals in Liverpool, in the grand and splendourous surroundings of the Philharmonic, clutching a pint glass and rubbing shoulders with a happy Friday-evening throng.’

Liverpool and its bucket fountain – seems there’s good news as it gets ‘listed’

Liverpool’s bucket Fountain – Photo credit English Heritage

The BBC has the story on its website – see link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-50851709

Quote from BBC article – ‘A moving water sculpture, a Victorian chemist shop and a World War Two observation post were among hundreds of historic places protected in 2019. Here’s a look at some of the most eye-catching.

There were 553 new protected historic buildings and sites on the National Heritage List for England in 2019, including a vertical spinning tunnel, a lido and a Turkish bath.’

I’ve blogged about it previously – here’s a link to my most recent previous posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/08/21/liverpools-famous-bucket-fountain-still-needs-to-be-saved/

With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting

Liverpool – 1957 – A brouchure from when the City’s last tramcar ran

This 40 page illustrated booklet was printed by Tinlings of Liverpool a well known printing company of the day.

I was lucky recently to pick up a copy of ‘The First Sixty Years’ booklet which describes itself as ‘A pictorial record of the Liverpool Corporation Passenger Transport undertaking issued on the occasion of the last tramcar running in Liverpool on the 14th September 1957’

It’s a fascinating read and is well illustrated with photos of the trams, buses and indeed the people who worked for the Corporation’s Passenger Transport Department up until that date. Now, of course, passenger transportation in Liverpool is a Merseyside County-wide/City Region operation run by Merseytravel.

Liverpool’s last tram as depicted on a postcard *

I was interested to see the illustration below from the booklet of a tramcar that ran from Aintree to Aigburth until the 1930’s:-

What’s really good news is that two former Liverpool Corporation trams are alive and very well. One is easily accessed at Wirral Transport Museum in Birkenhead (it’s known as a ‘Baby Grand’) and the other (Liverpool Streamline Tram 869) is at the National Tramway Museum in Crich, Derbyshire. Both are in working order having been fully restored and the one at Wirral Transport Museum (Taylor Street Birkenhead) is regularly out on the track to and from Woodside Ferry Terminal on Museum open days.

‘Baby Grand’ Tramcar 245 at Woodside Ferry Terminal.

Liverpool Tram 869 at Crich Tramway Village, Derbyshire.

* The tramcar was bought by the Seashore Trolley Museum of Kennebunkport, Maine, U.S. and shipped via Boston, Massachusetts in 1958. As of 2017, it was at the back of a shed at the Museum, and in poor condition. – source Wikipedia

Liverpool – The sad end of the Binns Road Meccano Factory

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/how-liverpools-meccano-workers-were-17323473

This fascinating story of the last days of the Meccano Factory is a significant part of the recent history of Liverpool.

The Frank Hornby Trust was set up a few years ago to celebrate the life, work and products of world famous toy maker Frank Hornby. He lived for most of his adult life in Maghull on Merseyside in two houses – The Hollies on Station Road and Quarry Brook which is now the 6th Form building of Maricourt High School. The first English Heritage Blue Plaque erected outside of London was placed on The Hollies at the request of Maghull Town Council, who then put a plaque of their own on Quarry Brook.

Michael Portillo with Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French as seen on TV.

The Frank Hornby Experience is Maghull’s very own museum showing many Meccano factory products. It’s located within Meadows Leisure Centre on Hall Lane in Maghull and is accessible, free of charge, whenever Maghull Library is open. The Frank Hornby Experience is curated by trustees of the Frank Hornby Trust.

So whilst the loss of the Meccano factory was keenly felt back some 40 years ago the Frank Hornby Trust has done what it can to ensure that Maghull’s most famous resident and his products (and the products of his successor companies) are on display for present and indeed future generations to admire.

Liverpool’s Lime Street Station in the 1940’s in model form

Liverpool Lime Street Station today

The link below is to an incredibly detailed scale model of Liverpool’s Lime Street in the 1940s. It depicts scenes and buildings of the time and is owned and created by John Holden. This particular video of it was on from a display at Glasgow Model Rail Exhibition 2017

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws1OFbMdKFw

The model is the product of many years work by John Holden