Lydiate – Remembering its long lost railway station

I’ve blogged before (in 2013 & 2017 see links below)* about the long lost Lydiate Railway Station which was actually not even in the Civil Parish of Lydiate but in Great Altcar Civil Parish. Indeed, it was a fair step from Lydiate Village Green. But the reason I’m returning to this subject now is that to my great delight the photograph collection of former BR employee Neil Reston which was recently passed on to me has a couple of photos of it. Here they are:-

The first photo is dated 28th February 1960 and the second one March 1960 which indicates that the remaining track was removed in March 1960.

* tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/11/28/lydiate-station-cheshire-lines-committee-southport-extension-railway/

* tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/03/29/lydiate-station-closed-7th-july-1952-but-still-open-for-walkers-cycles-and-horses/

And as a comparison here’s what the site looks like now:-

Lydiate Station site looking north December 2020

Lydiate Station site looking south December 2020

Click on the photos to enlarge them. I wonder who the person is in the first photo?

Another isolation cycle ride – Lydiate, Maghull, Netherton circular

Farm access bridge over the former Cheshire Lines Railway between the former Lydiate and Sefton & Maghull Stations.

My exercise as we all try to keep safe is solo cycling around the East Parishes part of Sefton Borough and into West Lancs and South Sefton.

One of my recent rides (on a glorious Sunday morning) was from my Lydiate home down the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail from the site of the former Lydiate Station down to the site of the former Sefton and Maghull Station, then on via Old Racecourse Road to regain the path at Meadway. From there through Jubilee Woods to the new Brooms Cross Road and into Netherton joining the A5036 cycle path at Copy Lane and back into Maghull via Switch Island, the A59 (Northway) and local roads and lanes back home. It was 9.5 miles in total.

I took a few photos along the way and here they are:-

I spotted this sign on a tree right next to the farm bridge in the lead photo above. It seems to be part of a trail by Altside Scouts but I’ve not seen any of the others.

Looking north from a bridge over the River Alt. Sefton Church can be made out in the background.

I wonder what the back story is to this road nameplate just off the Northern Perimeter Road in Netherton?

Commemoration boulder at Switch Island

A closer look – It’s Maghull’s very own Cliff Mainey now living in retirement in Maghull’s Gainsborough Avenue.

The road works which have been driving local folk around the bend at the Alt in Maghull. Still more to be done as the junction is upgraded.

I hope I can keep going with my solo cycling around our local lanes, roads, tracks and cycle paths during health crisis. You never know I might detail more of my rides……….

Talk on the Cheshire Lines Extension Railway at The Atkinson, Southport

I attended what turned out to be a packed out talk about the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, which ran from Aintree Central Station, through Sefton & Maghull & Lydiate Stations and on through rural West Lancs to terminate at Southport Lord Street Station. The talk was given by Keith Hick on 13th February and when I say packed out I mean it! The studio at The Atkinson seats 260 we were told and they had to put extra chairs out to accommodate everyone wanting to hear and see it. Seems there are many railway enthusiasts in and around Sefton Borough:-)

Closed now since 1952 the line was never profitable but there were people in the audience who clearly still recall it. I’ve blogged about the line many times and one of my postings was about Lydiate Station signal box – it’s accessible via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/08/01/lydiate-signal-box-southport-cheshire-lines-extension-railway/

Keith Hick is a wonderful story teller and the huge number of photos that he produced brought out many which I had not previously seen despite my having a big interest in the line for many years. He also brought along a beautiful steam engine nameplate:-

The plate is from Ex-LMS rebuilt Patriot Class 4-6-0 No 45527 ‘Southport’. Here’s a link to photo of the loco and more information about it:-

www.warwickshirerailways.com/lms/lnwra3630.htm

All in all a great and well received talk by Keith Hick, indeed the staff at The Atkinson told us it was the largest audience they had ever had for a local history talk.

Note: Peter Kendrick advises me that Lydiate Station was demolished (probably by Rainfords) in May 73.

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.