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Iron Gate Farm
25-Aug-2011, 06:10 PM
Post: #51
 
You're correct. Would the line going through Todd Lane Junction Station be the one using that level crossing? If so, I'm assuming the trains came through Lostock Hall. There was a bridge over the railway on Todd Lane South, just after it made a turn towards the crossroads at Brownedge Road, which I'm thinking must have gone east towards Blackburn - maybe the same line that crossed the old A6 at Bamber Bridge?


Frank

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.
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26-Aug-2011, 01:02 AM
Post: #52
 
Frank, sadly several of the railway links that you mention disappeared long ago, mainly in 1968 I think, so your questions are about the history of how it used to be. The line through Todd Lane Junction was the Blackburn to Preston line, and it did indeed pass over the Brownedge Road level crossing. The westbound line from Blackburn divided at Bamber Bridge (crossing the A6 as you state), one direction going to Preston as described above and the other direction going under the Todd Lane South bridge that you mention to Lostock Hall station, and on from there via Ormskirk to Liverpool. There was also a curve linking Todd Lane Junction to Lostock Hall, which provided the route from Preston to Liverpool. That curve crossed Brownedge Road under "Red Bridge", adjacent to which was the bungalow that I grew up in. A map of that fairly complicated part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway is reproduced in the historical section of the Wikipedia article on Preston railway lines.
The drastic changes in 1968 resulted in the disappearance of all the above links except the Blackburn-Lostock Hall part. Westbound trains from Lostock Hall now join the main north-south railway line, either northbound via Farington Curve to Preston, or southbound to Leyland and beyond, with no longer a direct line to Liverpool via Ormskirk. At that time all the platforms on the East Lancashire side of Preston Station, which we used to reach by walking down Butler Street, also disappeared. You can see the existing rail links by using Google Maps.
It's a long time since I last visited these railway places, and there are other knowledgeable people in this Forum who might be able to add more details or correct my account.
Jack
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26-Aug-2011, 04:35 AM
Post: #53
 
Jack:

I have a couple of old OS maps of the Leyland area, but not those further north, so the Lostock Hall area railway lines sren't on the ones I have.

As I remember, the layout around Preston was quite complicated. Not only was there the Lostock Hall junctions, but there were two other lines that crossed the Leyland-Preston road on bridges around Middleforth. One was just north of the Middleforth Fire Station and the other one was nesxt to the Bridge Inn where the road made a 90-degree turn at the old pedestrian bridge across the Ribble. I never rode trains on those lines, but I'd assumed one was Preston-Liverpool and the other one Preston-Southport.

Most of my train rides were either Leyland to Blackpool North, when I was in school at Blackpool Technical College or Chorley to Salford/Manchester Victoria when I was at RCAT Salford. In my final year, we lived in Bamber Bridge and I used to take the Ribble X-60 service from the Hob Inn to Salford.

In retrospect, it's not really surprising that the railways had degenerated into such a mess. Unfortunately, Dr. Beeching used a machete when a scalpel may have been more appropriate. Many of the lines he closed have been resurrected, but there are a lot of them that were converted to roads, like the road from Leyland to Preston through what used to be the Southport line (I think). I know there was a station on Cop Lane where the road now follows the old railroad right-of-way down to the "Triangle".

Compared to what we have here in the Pacific Northwest of the US, you folks have got it pretty good. Between Seattle - the largest city in Western Washington - and Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia, there are two trains in each direction each day. It's about as far as Manchester to London and it takes almost 4 hours!!

By comparison, there are about 20 daily flights beetween the two airports, even though they're less than 200 miles apart and you have to go through all the TSA screening bulls--t and check in earlier than you would have to leave if you drove!

From where we are, SeaTac airport and Vancouver airport are almost the same distance. Going to Vancouver, we have to go through the border. Going to Seattle we have to go though the downtown freeway mess. Swings and roundabouts. The choice depends on the departure times and the fares. We like to fly into MCR to avoid the zoo that LHR has become.

Honestly, we don't fly anywhere now because of the obnoxiousness of TSA and the discomfort of airplanes. Motorhome travel is slower, but you're much more in control. When a bridge is built from New England via Iceland to the UK, we'll come over. Might be a while!

Frank

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.
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26-Aug-2011, 01:16 PM
Post: #54
 
There's an excellent book by Gordon Biddle called 'The Railways around Preston' It was published in 1989 by Foxline and is well worth a look, having a detailed map of all the lines with their opening and closing dates. It should be available anywhere in the UK on inter-library loan. The reference is ISBN 1 870119-05-3.
By way of illustrating the complexity of the lines around Preston, there is a photograph of a Blackpool to Newcastle train going south past Preston shed. It was then routed through Preston station, round the Farington and Lostock Hall curves, coming back through Preston 14 minutes later on its way north. You couldn't do that with a Hornby Dublo - or could you ? Bet there's someone out there who could!!
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27-Aug-2011, 02:57 PM
Post: #55
 
Black Five -I am almost sure that the signal box must have been moved to the other side at some stage, as when we went through that gate towards Iron Gate we looked directly up at the chap in charge -in fact I was allowed up there once or twice -probably against the rules though, but George White was in my class at St James.
His family lived in a cottage just back from the box. Again I have the niggling thought that his home stood slightly back from the signal box
One cottage has now been done up on that side and I think it's called 'Crossing Cottage' -or something similar.
Where the girl in white is standing in photo 2 is exactly where my dad used to pick me up to have a short ride on the pillion of his motor bike.
We used to let off our fireworks on that spare land.
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29-Aug-2011, 11:45 PM
Post: #56
 
Lynne, I'm glad you have confirmed that the level-crossing pedestrian gate was on the same side as the signal box - that's how I remember it too. You also added the detail that the signalman at the time was George White. I was never privileged to climb up into the signal box; perhaps I had blotted my record by some foolish misdemeanor with the gate. The only signal box I remember being allowed into was the one at Preston Junction, when that was still the station's name.
Wilko, thanks for reminding me about Gordon Biddle's book, which I had forgotten that I have. It contains lots of memory-stirring photos of lines and stations in the district. As you know, the circuitous route through Lostock Hall for reversing the direction of trains at Preston was used on occasions that required it. One day in the 1940s the Royal Train was routed that way, perhaps on a journey between Balmoral and the Fylde Coast. Of course the operational details were only disclosed to a few railway employees. My Dad told me the approximate timings, and I watched from the embankment near Preston Junction. I got a glimpse of the King gazing absent-mindedly (I suppose) from a window seat.
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30-Aug-2011, 05:07 PM
Post: #57
 
Reading through the page I have just seen a post that says you can look through Trade Directories of Preston and Districts in Leyland Library. I know that both great-grandparents on my fathers side were Bakers but also my Grandmother used to have a shop on Ward Street, Lostock Hall but dont know the years and sold home made ice cream (to a secret recipe she paid £100 for an awful lot of money then)so it would be amazing if I could find something
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31-Aug-2011, 04:27 AM
Post: #58
 
Margaret:

Which one was Ward Street? My wife's folks had very good friends (Walter and Nellie Parkin) who ran a haberdashery in the street that was hit by the German bomb and I thought it was Ward St. When I was an apprentice at EE-Warton, one of the people I worked with was named Peter Ward. His folks ran the pub that was on the flat street alongside the first of the two bridges over the railway, coming in from the Leyland side. He was a top-class racing cyclist who was invited to compete in the Tour de France a couple of times.


Frank

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.
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01-Sep-2011, 07:56 PM
Post: #59
 
You're right Frank,
In the 1950s the Ribble Valley CRC held its meetings in the bowling hut behind the pub and Mrs Ward provided the goodies for our Xmas bashes.
I don't remember Pete riding in the TDF but he certainly rode in the Tour of Britain with his club mate and one time winner, Bill Bradley.
In a club run over Jeffrey Hill I decided to pretend I was in the TDF and riding up the Tourmalet. I 'attacked' and had at least 100 yds over the 'peloton'. To my consternation another rider appeared from nowhere, spoke a few words of encouragement, and rapidly disappeared into the distance. It was Pete Ward who just happened to have his young son riding on his cross bar!!
Feeling totally humiliated I disappeared into the back of the bunch and hid for the rest of the run.
Derek
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01-Sep-2011, 11:27 PM
Post: #60
 
Interesting stuff from "O'er t'bridges"!
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