Sefton, West Lancs & Liverpool – Old railway photos in the locality – Maghull

Maghull Signal Box in 1968

I’m delighted to have the permission of Antony Graham to use his historic railway photos in my blog postings about railway matters in the locality of the heading of this posting. I hope you’ll enjoy the photos and stories surrounding them over the coming months…..

I’m starting off with a location which is very well known to me as I lived in Maghull for 33 years and was involved in the campaign to try to save the former Maghull Signal Box from demolition in 1993/4 whilst I was Mayor of the Town.

The Signal Box in 1993 – It closed in February 1994.

And here’s a write-up that Anthony published with the lead photo on his Flickr page which details the history of the Signal Box:-

‘Constructed in 1875, the box was opened in 1876, being inspected on 15th May of that year, and was a Saxby & Farmer type 7 structure with a 19 lever Saxby & Farmer 1874-pattern Rocker & Gridiron frame. A gate wheel was also provided. The box initially controlled the level crossing, a crossover and connections to a down refuge siding and up goods yard. In 1884 a ground frame was added to control an additional connection from the up main to the up goods yard, this was bolt-locked from Maghull box. On 16th November 1896 the lever frame was relocked with L&Y tappets, a new L&Y gate wheel was probably added at the same time. On 29th June 1909 a new, 28 lever, L&Y frame was installed and a second crossover was installed north of the station, for the new EMU service to turn back. A new up bay platform was added and a railmotor service, that had previously run from Aintree to Ormskirk, now started from Maghull, connecting with EMU services to and from Liverpool. In 1911 the railmotors moved to start/terminate from Town Green, when electrification reached that station, full electrified services reaching Ormskirk in 1913. It is not known if the up bay platform was used after 1911, but the connection to it was not disconnected until 13th September 1942. The ground frame and its connection to the up goods yard were removed between 1949 and 1952. The down refuge siding was disconnected on 15th December 1963 and disconnection of the up goods yard took place on 18th June 1964. On 18th June 1967 the north end crossover was also disconnected. Manned Controlled Barriers replaced the level crossing gates on 31st July 1977, the gate wheel being replaced by a barrier pedestal. The box closed on 10th February 1994. There are no surviving Saxby & Farmer type 7 signal boxes.’

And here are some inside shots of the Signal Box:-

Maghull Box Interior 1969 Signalman Frank McLoughlin

Maghull Box interior 1969

Maghull Box Interior 1976 – Relief Signalman Stan Parker

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Maghull’s lost signal box – I’ll return in future postings to other railway locations which Anthony photographed in the area. But to close, my own photo of the last track plan for Maghull Signal Box which is presently displayed within the permanent Frank Hornby Experience exhibition within Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre & Library:-

Please click on the photos to enlarge them

Merseyrail – A cab-ride from Liverpool Central to Ormskirk in 1990

A Merseyrail train passes the former Maghull Signal Box @1990. The last track plan, from the now demolished box, is now on display as part of the Frank Hornby Trust’s exhibition area within the Town’s Meadows Leisure Center – Copyright Noted HSG

Take a while to sit back to look at this video on You Tube, it’s surprising what has changed since 1990 just using Maghull Station as an example:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuqL1P8l6B4&feature=player_embedded

Maghull Station in 1991 looking south – the old semaphore signals are of course long gone – Copyright Noted HSG

At 17 minutes and 25 seconds on the video the train passes the former Maghull Signal Box (removed in 1994) and straight after the former Station Master’s House which was then falling into disuse and subsequently dereliction – see photos below – but it is rising from the ashes once again and being rebuilt as part of a new housing development on land behind the Liverpool bound platform.

Maghull Station Master’s House in July 2006

Maghull Station Master’s House May 2019

It is said that world famous toy maker Frank Hornby who lived in two separate houses in the Town, both close to Maghull Station (The Hollies & Quarry Brook), may have used Maghull’s station buildings as inspiration for his model buildings as he regularly took the train from his local station.

With thanks to Mike Penn for the lead to this posting

Maghull Signal Box

www.flickr.com/photos/87851292@N04/8667387443/in/photostream/

Have a look at this Flickr posting – see link above – from an Ex British Railways Signalman. There is some useful historical detail about the box with the photo.

It bit the dust in 1994 during my year as Mayor of Maghull. I am sad to say that the campaign to save it, which I backed, failed but I was presented with the last track plan used in the box (see photo below) and it presently rests in a storeroom of Maghull Town Hall.

8179430928_6f89e16131_z

And below is a sad shot of the box being demolished from the excellent ‘I grew up in Maghull’ web site:-

Maghull Signal Box being demolished - 1994