A look back at the Mersey Railway

Oh, I do like a bit of railway history especially if it involves Nottinghamshire or Merseyside. So imagine my delight when Phil Rimmer shared some very interesting photos with me regarding the Mersey Railway which he found and purchased on a stall at the National Model Railway Exhibition at Alexandra Palace about 5 years ago. Interestingly, Phil’s grandfather Thomas, on his Dad’s side, was once Station Master at Southport and with a name like Rimmer a Southport connection is of course no surprise.

Well here goes with the photos, with any copyright issues being noted where I know them. Any background that other railway enthusiasts can fill in will be most welcome of course.

Mersey Railway No.13 Brunlees at Rock Ferry

The hand stamp on the reverse of this photo says Mr F Dean of St Annes on Sea so it could be his copyright?

Mersey Railway No.6 Fox. This is an old postcard noted as F Moore’s Railway Photographs

Mersey Railway EMU entering Birkenhead Central on train from Rock Ferry 15 May 1956

The copyright for this photo is noted as Rail Archive Stephenson (Photomatic) N431

A postcard noted as F Moore’s Railway Photographs.

Phil has given me this note associated with the photo above – The reference to Broughton Colliery on the wagon is interesting. This might have been taken on the Birkenhead-Wrexham line. There was a coal seam under the River Dee with mines at Broughton and Mostyn on the Welsh side and at Burton and Ness on the Wirral side.

6851 as N0. 15 BND Dk 23-09-23

There are no notes on the reverse of this photo other than noted in the caption.

So there you have it, these Wirral Railway photos and postcards were brought together and framed by a person unknown possibly many years ago. They were rescued by Phil who has another railway connection with Merseyside – ‘My grandad’s Father was a waggoner, moving goods between Birkenhead and Liverpool Docks by horse and waggon, using ferry then tunnel. Grandad told me that goods trains did sometimes use the closed Seacombe branch but I’ve never read that anywhere.’

Do Mersey Railway historians out there have any background information to share or do they have any input with regard to Phil’s oral family memories?

Note – Click on each photo to enlarge

Whatever happened to the last LMS Class 503 ‘Wirral’ Unit?

The only surviving Class 503 ‘Wirral’ EMU was at the Electric Railway Museum in Coventry but that closed not so long ago meaning the rolling stock in the care of that museum had to found new homes. Merseyrail’s Class 503 now has a home at the former Hornby Factory in Margate of all places. The link below has the story :-

www.railadvent.co.uk/2018/06/class-503-train-arrives-alongside-steam-locomotive-bittern-at-former-hornby-site-in-margate.html

Quote from the article linked above:- The Class 503 trains were built in two batches. The first batch was built in 1938 by Met-Cam and BRC&W Co., their use was on the newly electrified route between Liverpool Central and the Wirral Peninsular or Rock Ferry via the Mersey Railway but run by the LMS. The second batch was built in 1956 to replace the original Mersey Railway stock. The one preserved today is from the earlier LMS stock, all were withdrawn from traffic in 1985.

Merseyside – Where to see (or in some cases not see) its preserved Locomotives and Rolling Stock – Posting 3

v0_large

My previous 2 postings on this subject are available via the links below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/07/07/merseyside-where-to-see-its-preserved-locomotives-and-rolling-stock-posting-1/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/07/25/merseyside-where-to-see-its-preserved-locomotives-and-rolling-stock-posting-2/

This posting is about three further locos two of which, like posting No. 2, are also in the care of NML (National Museums Liverpool) but which are sadly not on public display. The third is and was the subject of a previous posting of mine.

First is Cecil Rakes (see photo above), a condensing steam loco built for the underground Mersey Railway. This is what NML has to say about it:-

www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/collections/transport/item-269092.aspx

v0_large

Second is a Mersey Docks and Harbour Board steam loco known as MD&HB No.1, this type of loco was often referred to as a ‘Pug’. This saddle-tank (see photo above) locomotive worked on Liverpool docks from 1904 until 1966. Here is what NML has to say:-

www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/collections/transport/item-269050.aspx

And here’s an OO gauge model of sister engine No.7:-

MD&HB Pug

It has to be unfortunate that these locos are not on public display, indeed I have long held the view that Liverpool lacks a proper display about its dock railways that were so extensive and important to the Port.

Vulcan

And that 3rd loco? It’s the former Vulcan Works shunter at Newton-Le-Willows (see photo above) and here’s a link to my previous posting about it from July 2014:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/01/vulcan-steam-locomotive/