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Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: Stegga] #317382
8th May 2009 7:44pm
8th May 2009 7:44pm
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chriskay Offline
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With this topic in mind, when I visited Wirral last Thursday, I took some pictures of station sites now long closed. In most cases, virtually no evidence remains. I’ve made much use of one of the definitive books on the subject: “Railway Stations of Wirral”, details in Stuey’s last post

Working from Chester, the first is Upton-by-Chester, where the A5116 crosses the line, between the Dale camp & the hospital. As I remember, the name boards used to say “for Chester Zoo”. With the housing developments nearer to Chester, the station closed in 1984 & was replaced by Bache, nearly ½ mile nearer Chester. In the pic, you can just see Bache station in the distance. As you can see, the platforms remain.

The next station was Mollington, just after the viaduct crossing the valley with the Shropshire Union Canal in it. It can be reached from the A41 by turning off at the top of Backford Hill, down Station Rd. (naturally)! It closed in 1960. Its isolated location meant it was never busy. The station house, now privately owned, is very fine. The shield over the door carries the motto “Virtutis Praemium Honor” which translates as “Honour is the Reward of Virtue”. Among other attributions, this is the motto of the Millington family; Millington / Mollington; wonder if there’s a connection.

Between Capenhurst, still open, & Hooton there was Ledsham, at the junction of the A550 (the Welsh Road) and the B5463 from Little Sutton. Of this, only the Station Master’s house remains. You can see it in the picture on Page 18 of “Railway Stations of Wirral”. As at Mollington, expected development of the area didn’t happen & the station was never busy. It closed in 1959.

It was between Capenhurst & Ledsham that the line was made 4 track. There was a signal box there called Ledsham Junction. It is assumed that the 4 track ended here to save the expense of a second viaduct across the valley. As you travel in from Ledsham to Birkenhead the evidence of the 4 tracks is still there in the bridges with disused arches.
“Railway Stations of Wirral” contains some fine pictures of the stations, in particular, one of Birkenhead Town.

I suppose mention must be made of the upstart stations, Bromborough Rake, opened 1985 at the time of electrification and Eastham Rake, 1995. These are obviously useful commuter stations, but have no place in the History of a line which dates back to 1840, just 10 years after the Liverpool & Manchester, the first intercity passenger line.

A station which has totally disappeared was between Rock Ferry & Birkenhead Town. It was called, first, Lime Kiln Lane (later St.Paul’s Rd.) & in about 1855 the name changed to Tranmere. It closed a few years later; it was probably too close to Rock Ferry. Incidentally, it’s worth noting that there was never a main line station at Green Lane.





The last site I visited was Storeton, on the Bidston - Wrexham line. It’s on Station Rd, between Storeton & Barnston & it was originally called Storeton for Barnston. A school friend of mine worked there in the ticket office. It had a booking office at road level, the same as Upton; picture on page 59, Railway Stations of Wirral. It was built out over the tracks & didn’t project into the road at all. You can see the change in the brick wall where it used to be. I was able to get down to where the Wrexham bound platform used to be to take another pic.

An interesting thing to see from the bridge is an expansion joint in the continuous welded rail. It’s called a Brogden Joint (thanks, Pinzgauer). I’ve never seen one before.


A station worth a mention, although not in Wirral, is Waverton, the first station out of Chester, on the line to Crewe. The original station was ½ mile to the East of the later one. It opened in 1840 & closed in 1898 when the new station opened. What happened was this: the Duke of Westminster, (family name Grosvenor), who was the richest man in England, (he owned most of Mayfair & Belgravia; the current Duke still does), had his family estate at Eaton Hall, a few miles away on the river Dee. Because it would be more convenient to him & was close to one of his private drives, he had the station moved, at his own expense & re-built in the grand style. He probably kept his own private train there for his frequent visits to London. The building on the Crewe line is well preserved; there was an identical one on the Chester side which burned down. The goods depot is well preserved too, but could do with a lick of paint.

Cheers, Chris.

Attached Files
Upton-by-Chester.jpg (799 downloads)
Upton-by-Chester
Mollington 1.jpg (806 downloads)
Mollington 1
Mollington 2.jpg (800 downloads)
Mollington 2
Ledsham 1.jpg (788 downloads)
Ledsham 1
Ledsham 2.jpg (790 downloads)
Ledsham 2
Storeton 1.jpg (799 downloads)
Storeton 1
Storeton 2.jpg (785 downloads)
Storeton 2
Storeton 3.jpg (772 downloads)
Storeton 3
Waverton 1.jpg (767 downloads)
Waverton 1
Waverton 2.jpg (767 downloads)
Waverton 2
Waverton 3.jpg (764 downloads)
Waverton 3
Brogden joint, Storeton station.jpg (756 downloads)
Brogden joint. (no, not that sort of joint)!!

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Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: chriskay] #317398
8th May 2009 9:04pm
8th May 2009 9:04pm
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woodchurch
Stegga Offline

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The Lime Kiln Lane station on St Pauls Rd was between Rock Ferry and Green Lane stations not Green Lane and Town Station. A friend of mine who has an interest in Wirral railway History pointed this station out to me last year, i knew nothing of it. Evidently, there is still visable brickwork that shows that there was a station there, noticable only if you know what yu're looking for. I haven't been down there but intend to have a mooch some time.

Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: Stegga] #317434
8th May 2009 10:08pm
8th May 2009 10:08pm
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chriskay Offline
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chriskay  Offline
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Originally Posted by stegga
The Lime Kiln Lane station on St Pauls Rd was between Rock Ferry and Green Lane stations not Green Lane and Town Station.


Please re-read my post. There was never a main line station at Green Lane. Lime Kiln/Tranmere was between Rock Ferry & town.


Carpe diem.
Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: chriskay] #317444
8th May 2009 10:26pm
8th May 2009 10:26pm
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oxton
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Nice photos thanku for sharing them

Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: purfek] #319403
16th May 2009 2:21am
16th May 2009 2:21am
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 131
Leasowe, Wirral
BigBadStuey Offline OP
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BigBadStuey  Offline OP
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Leasowe, Wirral
Trying to get an order in which the stations all closed (to passengers, completely in brackets), so here's what I've got so far that are Wirral-based:

1844 - Grange Lane (Birkenhead)
1857 - Lime Kiln Lane/Tranmere
1862 - Rock Lane
1872 - Leasowe Crossing
1878 - Monks' Ferry (1967)
1915 - Warren
1945 - Birkenhead Town (1961)
1951 - Storeton (1964)
1954 - Caldy, Kirby Park & Thurstaston (all 1962)
1955 - Burton Point
1956 - West Kirby (Joint), Heswall, Parkgate, Neston South & Hadlow Road (all 1962)
1959 - Ledsham
1960 - Liscard and Poulton & Seacombe
1967 - Woodside

Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: BigBadStuey] #319457
16th May 2009 11:42am
16th May 2009 11:42am
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shropshire
chriskay Offline
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Hi, Stuey; this raises an interesting question: where does the Wirral end? I don't really know & although I wouldn't consider Upton-by-Chester to be Wirral, I've always thought of Mollington as still Wirral. What do you think?

Cheers, Chris.


Carpe diem.
Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: chriskay] #319511
16th May 2009 3:46pm
16th May 2009 3:46pm

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excellent information guys smile thanks for sharing thumbsup

Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: chriskay] #319564
16th May 2009 7:41pm
16th May 2009 7:41pm
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 131
Leasowe, Wirral
BigBadStuey Offline OP
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BigBadStuey  Offline OP
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Leasowe, Wirral
Well I was wondering whether to include Mollington (and Rifle Range Halt) myself, I guess I've always personally considered the boundary of Wirral to be somewhere around Neston/Hooton area but then I'm 26 and never knew of a Cheshire-administered Wirral, I think it's a topic in itself. For those curious though Rifle Range Halt closed in 1954 and Mollington on 1960. At the same sort of latitude as Mollington you have a small branch with Birkenhead Junction/Chester Golf Club Platform (Halt)/Connah's Quay Shotton (approximately a 1923 closure), Sealand (1968), Saughall (1954) and Liverpool Road (Chester) (1951).

Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: BigBadStuey] #319626
16th May 2009 9:20pm
16th May 2009 9:20pm
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Posts: 683
Wirral
uptoncx Offline

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Where is Wirral? First, you must define what you mean by 'Wirral':

If you mean The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, an administrative area created on April 1st 1974 (I always thought a very apt date), then Wirral only extends as far the Borough of Neston and Ellesmere Port.

If you mean The Wirral Peninsula, then it is the area of land bounded by the Mersey and Dee estuaries, the Irish Sea and the Deva Spillway.

If you mean The Hundred of Wirral, an administrative area created in 1086, it originally extended as far east as the River Gowy. Picton, Wervin, Upton by Chester, Mickle Trafford and Guilden Sutton were transferred to Broxton Hundred.

[Linked Image]

Wirral Hundred at the time of Domesday

1. Wallasey
2. Meols
3. Greasby
4. Upton
5. Noctorun
6. Great Caldy
7. Little Caldy
8. Landican
9. Prenton
10. Thurstaston
11. Thingwall
12. Storeton
13. Barnston
14. Heswall
15. Poulton Lancelyn
16. Gayton
17. Thornton Hough
18. Leighton
19. Raby
20. Hargrave
21. Eastham
22. Hooton
23. Great Neston
24. Little Neston
25. Hadlow
26. Netherpool and Overpool
27. Ness
28. Great and Little Sutton
29. Ledsham
30. Stanney
31. Puddington
32. Capenhurst
33. Shotwick
34. Lea nr Backford
35. Croughton
36. Picton*
37. Saughall
38. Wervin*
39. Mollington
40. Upton by Chester*
41. Mickle Trafford*
42. Blacon
43. Guilden Sutton*

*latter transferred to Broxton Hundred

Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: uptoncx] #319707
17th May 2009 7:17am
17th May 2009 7:17am
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shropshire
chriskay Offline
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chriskay  Offline
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Originally Posted by uptoncx
Where is Wirral? First, you must define what you mean by 'Wirral':



If you mean The Wirral Peninsula, then it is the area of land bounded by the Mersey and Dee estuaries, the Irish Sea and the Deva Spillway.





Thanks for that, Upton. I was thinking of the Wirral peninsula; where is this Deva Spillway of which you speak? With that name, it must be pretty close to Chester.

Cheers, Chris.


Carpe diem.
Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: chriskay] #319720
17th May 2009 9:33am
17th May 2009 9:33am
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Wirral
uptoncx Offline

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The Dava Spillway is a glacial valley which runs from Ellesmere Port to Chester. The Shropshire Union Canal was built along the spillway:

[Linked Image]


Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: uptoncx] #319723
17th May 2009 9:49am
17th May 2009 9:49am

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Interesting stuff uptoncx ! I hadn't heard of the Deva Spillway either. I must have been soundly asleep at the back of the Geography class that day !!

Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: ] #319730
17th May 2009 10:09am
17th May 2009 10:09am
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bert1 Offline

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I think i'm right in saying the Spillway is also known as the Backford gap.


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Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.
Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: bert1] #319760
17th May 2009 12:48pm
17th May 2009 12:48pm
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Posts: 4,868
shropshire
chriskay Offline
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chriskay  Offline
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Thanks, That's clear & makes sense as the boundary.

Cheers, Chris.


Carpe diem.
Re: The railways of Wirral, 1830s to present day. [Re: BigBadStuey] #330053
15th Jun 2009 12:17pm
15th Jun 2009 12:17pm
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Posts: 222
Cambridgeshire
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Hi everyone! I'm new here, but I thought I'd better get active and join in!! hi So I hope the following is of some interest. thumbsup

Some years ago, while I was browsing round an antique centre in Lincolnshire, I spotted an old map. Looking closer, it was titled 'Map and section of the proposed Chester and Birkenhead Railway' and dated 1836. Other details state that the Engineer was non other than Goerge Stephenson. Obviously, being a Wirral lad and very interested in the railways of the area, I had to buy it.

The map is about 40" long and about 18" wide, but unfortunately the top left hand corner has been torn off and lost which has removed about half of Liverpool. It is lightly hand tinted with colour, but has faded a bit with time. Interestingly, the line in this map goes right to Woodside - I believe that when the line was actually built it terminated at Grange Lane.

My questions are 1) Who would have been the intended users of this map been for? 2) How many would have been printed? 3) Does anyone know of any others that survive? (In a Museum or records office?) I've certainly never seen any books or anything that show it.

If anyone is interested, perhaps I might post some photos of it here? (if I can work out how to do it!) confused doh

Anyway, I hope someone can help with the answers to the above.

Cheers,
Billy. thumbsup


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