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Blackpool Central and the Railways of the Fylde


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Guest LNER Tom

Evening Gents

 

I have been recently posting in a thread associated with Blackpool in the UK Prototype Questions, but now figured this might be better suited here.

 

Although I now live in the wonderful Yorkshire Dales, from birth until the age of 19 I lived in Blackpool. I can't say I was sorry to leave (now 25), but the 1950's and 60's is an era I have always been fond of even if more drawn to the Eastern Region.... ;) In my mid teens I did some research into the Railways of the Fylde, always being drawn to Blackpool Central.

 

Today as most of your will know, there is hardly anything left of Blackpool Central, the original toilet block was really all that was left, and that went in 2009..... the land which Blackpool Corpertation did a deal with BR on....hasn't really been developed other than as a car park.

 

My father isn't a train spotter, but knew Centra welll from being a Barrow Boy in the late 40's...I just wish he had had some interest in the Railways.. :rolleyes:

 

Anyhow, I have possible plans of modelling an area of the Central part of Blackpool at some point in the next 10 years. After being pointed by members in the other thread I have found some very good books on the subject, mainly being the Journey by Excursion books by Stuart Taylor.

 

Anyhow figured, as being someone who never saw any of this, it would be interesting to here peoples memories....did any of you spot in the Fylde area?

 

Anyhow I figured it's far better being discussed here, than in the direct questions thread.

 

Cheers

 

Tom

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Hi

 

I do not remember the central station other than fleeting memories when i was very young, but do remember the area not long after it was closed, the embankment between mereside and central was a much used short cut by foot or by bike or many years. I remember the old peel bridge before it was demolished to build the M55.

 

I remember Blackpool south when it was a much bigger station and also saw the flying scotsman there one summer around about 1978. Blackpool South had a vey large Model railway and shop in the old booking hall which was called platform three.

 

I also remember Blackpool North before it was demolished and replaced by Finefare supermarket.

 

Sadly all I have are some memories, no photographs i am afraid.

 

Regards

 

TNT

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I think there has been a thread on the Blackpool area before - I vaguely remember seeing lots of photos by "Arthur" about 6 months ago.

Maybe do a search to see if you can locate it.

If you can't find it, I'll add a few notes of my own although I only visited the area a few times it was magical - it's excursion traffic was a world wonder.

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There is a chapter in 'Lost Railways of Lancashire' by Gordon Suggitt about Central Station, including a splendid overhead photo from the 1930's. In the text he mentions that on Saturday 18th July 1936, 656 trains passed Kirkham en route to/from Blackpool.

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Guest LNER Tom

Thanks for the info chaps

 

I do find it a crying shame of what has happened to South, from being a fairly big Junction station (similar size as Poulton) and now it's nothing more than a single platform at the end of a long siding. :( That's very interesting about a model railway/shop being in the old booking hall.....wonder where thats gone now.

 

The Marton Line seems a real shame that it's gone....the most direct route into Blackpool, interestingly due to the M55 and the Yeadon Way, if you look on google earth above Blackpool, it almost looks like the Marton line is still in place :lol: and with the Yeadon Way in place, it does let us imagine what it was like with the Railway towering above the roof tops.

 

 

Hi

 

I do not remember the central station other than fleeting memories when i was very young, but do remember the area not long after it was closed, the embankment between mereside and central was a much used short cut by foot or by bike or many years. I remember the old peel bridge before it was demolished to build the M55.

 

 

What year was the M55 built.....so I'm guessing the area where Tesco and Glasdon are now, were quite rural with just the track bed in place?

 

 

I think there has been a thread on the Blackpool area before - I vaguely remember seeing lots of photos by "Arthur" about 6 months ago.

Maybe do a search to see if you can locate it.

If you can't find it, I'll add a few notes of my own although I only visited the area a few times it was magical - it's excursion traffic was a world wonder.

 

I did do a search some weeks back but only found the questions thread on Bloomfield Road, which Arthur K posted some of his pictures in which was very helpful, so I would be very interested in what you have to say on that matter....post away :)

 

I will be heading back to my home town next week, and intend to get some photos around Rigby Road, Bloomfield Road, and Waterloo Road, I know no infrastructure exits but some photos of the skyline and the general layout of housing around the area will be very similar.

 

Thanks

 

Tom

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Hi

I have lived in Blackpool and Fleetwood since the early 1990's and am also fasinated by the stuart taylor books (thought there was to be another but so far not appeared). I have been trying to figure out where on the M55 the marton line would have appeared ie which part of the m55 becomes the old trackbed.

Travelling down the M55 I look for where the trackbed could have been in the fields but there is nowhere obvious for it, any ideas anyone?

mark

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Guest LNER Tom

Hi

I have lived in Blackpool and Fleetwood since the early 1990's and am also fasinated by the stuart taylor books (thought there was to be another but so far not appeared). I have been trying to figure out where on the M55 the marton line would have appeared ie which part of the m55 becomes the old trackbed.

Travelling down the M55 I look for where the trackbed could have been in the fields but there is nowhere obvious for it, any ideas anyone?

mark

 

Hi Mark

 

This is only a guess, but if you get Google Earth up, I think it helps....we know the Yeadon Way is the old track bed... I think this continues onto the M55....then before the M55 crosses the Blackpool North Line, the Central line slightly branches off from M55 and can be seen where it joined at Kirkham Junction....sadly nothing is left of the fast line flyover.

 

I might be totally wrong but I think thats how it works...real shame that for most of it, the M55 takes dominance :(

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HI

 

 

 

 

 

The M55 was built between late 1973 till 1975 from memory. Preston New Road A 583 crossed a small bidge called Peel bridge in the middle of what is the motorway start/ bridge roundabout junction. We used to ride bits of fibreglass down the inner edges pf the slope under the bridge to where the rail lines used to be. All the kids were very upset at the demise of peel bridge and our cresta run!. We held a protest for about 20 minutes until our mums called us for tea lol :). Anyway the new motorway bridges were much faster and longer.

 

Glasdon was there at the time, and there was an old lane up the side of it which was a large traveller encampment for as long as i can remember. Tescos, sits on the site of a large gas works complex that was closed before my memory begins, we used to play in the old factories. As you say beyond that to the south was quite rural. We used to travel along the embankment to go fishing, there were two good ponds in the fields near by. You could walk along the enbankment past the back of the dairy, The bass charington depot and daintee sweet factory and round the back of St georges school up to where there was a brige over by the Welcome inn. From there on to the junction of Watson road, St annes road and marton drive, which had a very big Steel Girder Bridge with FERNOD written across it. and a slope down to watson road park on one side and palatine school on the other. The embankment then dropped down then in a right hand curve to meet warterloo rd station and join the line that follows the coast through salwick and ansdel. You could then walk along a much wider stip of waste land, under waterloo bridge to Bloomfield rd and under the bridge that used to be at the side of the football ground. From there it turned into semi tarmac, very wide strip, where the coaches used to park when Blackpool was a much busier place. Past the old Blackpool Borough rugby league ground / dogtrack on your right, over rigby road with the tram depot on your left, over chapel street and eventually followed by the police station on the left , with the old toilet block on your right and coral island to your front.

 

Unless they have resurfaced, you can still see the old platforms at central where they just filled in the "holes" between where the tracks used to be.

 

Do not know what happened to the old model ralway but it was big, I think it was 8p for entrance for kids , I seem to remember that because I could then afford either a pack of quavers or 8 mojos with the tuppence change. From memory the layout was at least 100 ft circumference and had ,multiple levels that meant as a kid of about 4 ft ish I could not see over the other side of the display making like a mountain in the centre.

 

Hmm, the memories :)

 

Regards

 

 

 

Kal e

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Hi

 

 

 

Just checked the google maps sat view, and yes yu can see the old platforms, they are grey and the cars tend to park on them, the black areas are where the lines used to be.

 

Yeadon way follows the path of th railway very well, but it was odd to see some of the country lanes like chapel road now lost in urban growth, it was a very different enviroment in my youth.

Regards

 

 

 

Kal

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Guest LNER Tom

Thanks Kal

 

Quick question.

 

You mention the Gas Works being on the site of Tesco, were they connected at all to the Two large gasometers in the area?

 

Cheers

 

Tom

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You mention the Gas Works being on the site of Tesco, were they connected at all to the Two large gasometers in the area?

 

 

 

Hi yes they were, the whole are between chapel road which no longer reaches clifton drive and glasdon was gasworks. I think olympic way is the end of where chapel road used to be. the old buildings pretty much covered the information centre, petrol station and carpark to left of tescos. The right hand boundry of the gasworks is what is now between the end of the tesco building and matalan. an old lane that i mentioned carried on south there as far as the railway, continuing langdale road over clifton drive and up the east side of the tesco building.

 

 

I also found this site while looking, but you may have already seen it:

 

http://www.disused-s...tal/index.shtml

 

Regards

 

 

Kal

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Is stuart Taylor still alive? Greg Fox told me about a meeting with an author writing a manuscript covering the line through Leyland and said he had passed away the following day.

 

I made enough rail trips to Blackpool Central in my youth, afterall it was a popular destination for people living around Manchester in the 1950's. Endless queues to the toilets were a result of so many passengers arriving there in non-corridor coaches at a time when rail fares were a snip . As an aside, we also went by coach in the early 1950's. I use the term coach loosely, as some were late 1920's single deck buses painted cream to look like coaches. Others had a fishtails.

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Hi, Yes, Stuart is very alive and well, and still enjoying himself on footplates from time to time.

 

I know he had put together alot of information on various lines, however the last time i chatted to him he mentioned that with some of the photographers passing away he had found it harder to get permission from some of the families.

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Guest LNER Tom

Hi, Yes, Stuart is very alive and well, and still enjoying himself on footplates from time to time.

 

I know he had put together alot of information on various lines, however the last time i chatted to him he mentioned that with some of the photographers passing away he had found it harder to get permission from some of the families.

 

That's a real shame regarding gaining permission from photographers families. I'm finding Stuart's books fantastic research, Part 3 on Preston to Blackpool via the Marton line, in that it very much shows how the fast line was...now hidden under tarmac and Part 4 dealing with Central Shed and the line along the coast very helpful too...superb pictures and some great track plans. Stuart's writing very much gives you a feeling as if you are there in 1960 ;)

 

Am I right there is a book on the Blackpool North and Fleetwood line too?

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Guest LNER Tom

I know Central closed in 1964 (sacrilege) but I have seen footage of a Black 5 being turned on the Bloomfield sidings turntable in around 1967 (not the turntable by the sheds) so I'm just wondering, when did the approach lines to Central go....and when did the Fast Marton line close?

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Hi

 

The fast Marton line closed in 1967 from Beeching, however the closure of Central was against his advice, he actually wanted the North station closed.

 

Local councillers wanted to make a fast buck from the prime real estate, so argued its closure instead. However other than a few arcades, a carpark and a police station the land was never used in the "big plan" they claimed to have had.

Regards

 

 

 

Kal

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Guest LNER Tom

Hi

 

The fast Marton line closed in 1967 from Beeching, however the closure of Central was against his advice, he actually wanted the North station closed.

 

Local councillers wanted to make a fast buck from the prime real estate, so argued its closure instead. However other than a few arcades, a carpark and a police station the land was never used in the "big plan" they claimed to have had.

Regards

 

 

 

Kal

 

Hi Kal

 

Yes indeed, I knew about Beeching wanting to close North....good old Blackpool Corperation :rolleyes: and as you say..... the land has had very little done with it......it clearly divides the landscape still like it did when the Railway was there.

 

Regarding Central's approach lines...did they last until the late 60s/early 70s?

 

Cheers

 

Tom

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I did do a search some weeks back but only found the questions thread on Bloomfield Road, which Arthur K posted some of his pictures in which was very helpful, so I would be very interested in what you have to say on that matter....post away :)

 

Tom

 

I have lived here in Lytham St. Annes since 1952. I that time I took many photos from about 1960 cvering Blackpool and the Fylde. Not many at the Blackpool stations but lots elsewhere.

 

They can be found here. Page 2 onwards

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?app=forums&module=forums&section=findpost&pid=58254

 

Arthur

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Am I right there is a book on the Blackpool North and Fleetwood line too?

 

Yes you're quite right, I know because I ended up with 2 copies! :huh: (don't ask) A fabulous series of books!

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Guest LNER Tom

Yes you're quite right, I know because I ended up with 2 copies! :huh: (don't ask) A fabulous series of books!

 

Don't suppose you fancy selling one tombus! :P

 

I am on the look out for one as it happens, if it's anything like the quality of the other two I have :)

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