Tuesday, 18 May 2010

ABC Wednesday - Railway Station

A red danger sign on the gate and the semaphore signal is straight, stop, danger, risk.
The station seems empty, just one man and his dog
Oh here is the ticket office, I wonder if I have the requisite change
Well really, there is nobody resident here
A girl relaxing and texting on this sunny and radiant day.  Lets roam down the platform and have a look in the signal box.
Remarkably two are pulled out, a train must be due.
But what is this no rail track, just a little family group taking refreshment, the rails have been removed.
A railway station frozen in time, as this notice explains.  How many stories are told of ghost trains but not even these run here.
Go round the back of the station house by the roadside
and with Victorian confidence the date is emblazoned above the door, 1866, the 1st October to be precise, when this railway opened to serve the Wirral.  A peninsula jutting out south of Liverpool with the River Mersey on one side and the Welsh coast and the River Dee on the other.

The line declined after WW1 when the main users became the rural community and secondary school pupils, with a further reduction in traffic as the Neston Colliery closed  in 1927 it became uneconomic, but remained open for the local communities and day trippers to the seaside of Parkgate and West Kirby. The increase in road use and further decline in passengers saw the service withdrawn in September 1956 but it continued to be used for goods vehicles until May 1962 when it finally closed and Hadlow Road was - redundant.  In 1964 the demolition gangs moved in.

But this is not a story with a sad end for in 1968 the Hooton West Kirby Branch was chosen to be part of Britain's first Country Park.  There are now over 400 Country Parks in England alone, accessible green spaces near or within towns and cities. The railway station was preserved in 1950s condition. The old railway line is now replaced with a 12 mile cycleway and footpath
Popular with horse riders too.
Walkies anyone?

Run over to the ABC Wednesday meme for more words starting with the letter R


ChrisJ said...

Such an amazing coincidence! I bet my husband and I rode on that train in the late 50's. He was from Liverpool and we loved to go out to the Wirrall. In addition to which I used to teach in West Kirby!

Tumblewords: said...

A delightful post!

photowannabe said...

A perfect tour of the Railway yard. It looks like a delightful place to visit.

Manang Kim said...

A very informative post. Thanks for sharing!

ABC Wednesday

Carol said...

Nice series of photos...great choice for R day.

Hildred and Charles said...

I always loved trains and do miss the small railway stations, - so many of them have been preserved as art centres, and this is good. The little story of your railway station is a nice remembrance.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute to the railway. The history of sites like this are a fascinating walk through the past. Our state has commemorated an old railway by making it a hiking/biking trail that stretches across the state!

Q said...

This was so very interesting! A perfect way to say and show ABC R! A remarkable post!
We have a rails to trails my husband and I ride our bicycles on. It is lovely and so flat!

Jay said...

That was a great post! Took me back to my childhood .. although 1952 was a little before I was born. I do remember travelling on steam trains as a London child though.

What a beautifully preserved station. And it's a great idea to incorporate it into a country park - we have one of those here, with a steam train line passing close by, and a mini train for the children inside the park, but our station is nowhere near as well preserved. It fell into disrepair and had to be restored.

jabblog said...

That was a lovely trip round the railway station. Our local station has been turned into a beauty salon though the rail line is still in use.

Roger Owen Green said...

There's a touch of RED in the majority of the pictures.

"Railway station" reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound."

ROG, ABC Wednesday