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The loco at this time was allocated to Brunswick shed, Liverpool and was withdrawn from service there and cut up at Gorton works, Manchester in July 1933.

I have a CLC system timetable for September 1931 which shows a (previously) withdrawn express to be reinstated in June 1932.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.

Lydiate Signal Box – Who are the bystanders?

rsz_lydiate_signal_box

This is the former signal box of Lydiate Station on the old Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway which closed even before Beeching got his regrettable hands on our once great network of railways.

But even I realise that this line served far too many sparsely populated rural communities to survive and I have commented before about how far away Lydiate Station was from Lydiate Village Green – a long way!

I recently purchased this photo and am wondering who the people in the photo may be. They are most likely Lydiate folk and there may be people living in Lydiate now who are related to them. I would love to hear from anyone with any ideas about the folks in what seems to be a staged undated photo.

Southport Lord Street Station – Cheshire Lines

www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/southport_lord_street/index.shtml

I have recently posted about Aintree Central Station (02/12/13) together with Sefton & Maghull (22/11/13) and Lydiate (28/11/13) Stations. Aintree was the starting point for the long gone Cheshire Lines Extension Railway to Southport. Here, via the link above, we have the holiday town destination of Southport Lord Street Station.

This fascinating site has some good photos and accurate historical facts.

We will have a look at the other stations between Lydiate and Southport in a future posting.

Lydiate Station – Cheshire Lines Committee (Southport Extension Railway)

rsz_lydiate_1949

The photo above was probably taken in the late 1940’s. It’s a long time since Lydiate had a railway station, 7th January 1952 in fact, and it was hardly close to the Village Green as was so often the case in rural England. In fact it was quite a way from inhabited Lydiate well down Station Road (and Punnell’s Lane) which joins the main drag (Southport Road) through present day Lydiate. Or put in a different way Lydiate is in modern day Merseyside, the station site is in modern day West Lancashire! The station was never within the Lydiate Civil Parish boundary.

As is well documented elsewhere the Cheshire Lines Extension Railway which ran from Aintree through to Southport was hardly a huge success, so much so that its closure was well prior to that man Beeching who decimated our railway network in the 1960’s.

There is no sign of the station now although the Cheshire Lines Path (part of the Trans Pennine Trail) lets you walk the former track bed of this long lost railway from Maghull (Sefton Lane) through to Ainsdale. From Ainsdale into Southport the track bed is now the Coastal Road but it long straight sections and sweeping curves give it away as being a former railway line.