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.

Memories…….

*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 Station – Closed 7th July 1952 but still open for walkers, cycles and horses

From Cheshire Lines Railway Estate Plans. I understand Cheshire Record Office holds them.

Now part of the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail its hard to believe that Lydiate once had its own railway station on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway.

www.disused-stations.org.uk/l/lydiate/

Disused Stations Site Record has the info’ and a couple of interesting ‘then and now’ photos on Lydiate’s long lost railway station – see link above, which was not even in the Civil Parish of Lydiate but in Altcar.

Here are a few additional photos I have also come across/purchased/taken of the old station.

Lydiate Signal Box

Lydiate – Chesire Lines – a closer view

A close up of Lydiate Signal Box

The Valentine family on Lydiate Station 1939

Site of Lydiate Station – Cheshire Lines

Present day signage information at the old station site.

Click on any any of the photos to enlarge them

Thanks to Antony Graham for the historic site plan at the head of this posting

Old Ordnance Survey Map of Liverpool in 1958 – Maghull & Lydiate & the Cheshire Lines Railway

I came across an old Ordnance Survey map of Liverpool the other day in the most unlikely of places – Bewdley Station on the Severn Valley Railway. The map was published in 1961 but in reality the last full revision of it was in 1958. Oh, and it was sold for Five Shillings & Sixpence.

Having scanned the Maghull/Lydiate section of the map it is worth looking at not least because it shows that the Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway was still active as far north as Altcar. Here’s that part of the map:-

Maghull 1958

Click on the map to enlarge it.

Sefton and Maghull, Lydiate and indeed Altcar & Hillhouse Stations are all noted as closed – denoted by the white circles. Open Stations are red circles as Maghull Station is denoted on the Liverpool – Ormskirk Line.

Maghull and Lydiate were much smaller communities back in the late 1950’s but this posting is not the place for another rant about building on high grade agricultural land.

But back to the Cheshire Lines Railway. As many will know the line from Aintree to Southport closed in July 1952 but rail access from Liverpool was retained up until 1960 to serve private sidings on the Altcar & Hillhouse site.

Interesting to see how much this part of Liverpool’s northern commuter belt has changed in less than 60 years.

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.

rsz_lydiate_signal_box_2

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

Lydiate Signal Box – Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway

A while ago I blogged about a photo that I had just purchased asking if anyone knew those pictured outside Lydiate Signal Box. You can see my original post by clicking the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/03/14/lydiate-signal-box-who-are-the-bystanders/

I have had two leads since then and a new photo.

Silva Bradbury has been in touch from Maghull and she thinks that two of the people could be her Grandfather George Peet and a chap called Arthur Hunter. Both she tells me were plate layers working on the Cheshire Lines.

The new photo that she generously let me scan (an old postcard) is below and it looks to me to be much latter than the original one I published in my previous posting. It’s probably from the 1940’s or early 1950’s just prior to the railway closure? Here it is:-

Lydiate Signal Box

Lydiate Signal Box

I was also contacted by Trevor Booth who has an interest in the Cheshire Lines Committee. This is what he said to me:-

I’ve just been looking at your picture of Lydiate signal box. A cracking photo which I’ve not seen before. I have a long interest in the CLC and it’s great to see pictures like this. There is only 1 possible name I can put on the picture and this depends on the approximate date it was taken. It looks to be c 1900-1914 on what I assume to be a Post Card? If so then information from trade directories of this period give the name of the Station Master (stood in front of the corner post of the box with a beard) as follows.

(These are the dates of the trade directories the names appear in,)

JWV Taylor 1887,1891,1895
James Harlow 1898
John Roberts 1901,1905
Harry Harlow 1909
Thomas Potter 1913
John Smith Kennerley 1924

Lydiate station would have been at or very near the bottom of the Station Master’s ladder of promotion so before coming here as SM he would probably be a Clerk at another station on the CLC.

Let me know if you can decide which one it is and I will see if I can find out from my notes where (if anywhere) he went next although they are not comprehensive and have quite a few gaps.

My thanks to Sylvia and Trevor. We seem to know a little more than we did before but there are still some mysteries to solve as Sylvia did not recognise any of the names listed above.

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

Altcar and Hillhouse Station

Altcar and Hillhouse Station

This follows up a number of previous postings about the long-gone railway from Aintree Central to Southport Lord Street which closed well before Mr Beeching had a hack at Britain’s railways.

This station, on the old Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, was between Lydiate and Mossbridge Stations. It opened in 1894, closed for a couple of years during the First World War (along with a number of other stations along this line) and survived until the line was closed in 1952. Rail access was still retained until 1960 to serve private sidings on the Station site.

The photo above was taken in June 1959 when a railway enthusiasts special was run.