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Photos of Earlestown Station

This website Forum is provided to allow discussion concerning the local history of the Newton-le-Willows & Earlestown area.

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Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby bill morse » June 30th, 2009, 9:42 pm

I was reading trawling an excellent site about Warrington when I came across a bit about Earlestown Station & the Vulcan. If anybody's interested - link - http://www.mywarrington.me.uk/making_tracks_1.htm

Some great pix of old railway engines and indeed a lot of interesting stuff about Warrington in general where I worked for much of the sixties/seventies and, like many Newton people I guess, spent a lot of leisure time at those well known venues Lion, Carlton, Co-op Hall etc :D
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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby sandra stockwell » October 24th, 2009, 4:05 pm

Hi Bill

The Carlton, Lion and Co op Hall were the tops wern't they. Did you ever go to Manchester Twisted Wheel, Wigan Casino or Blackpool Mecca. I grew up in Newton but moved to Warrington in the 70's and have been here ever since. Ah what good memories.

Best wishes
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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby davros » July 22nd, 2011, 3:18 pm

Hi, I've just been looking at the link 'Making Tracks' , some excellent photos of Earlestown Station etc. Didn't Railway View look very smart but my how the houses must have shook when the Steam trains went by, and I bet they had to clean their windows very frequently if they ever wanted to look out!

Image

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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby neileen » July 22nd, 2011, 4:58 pm

hi bill, if you frequented the lion in warrington in the 60's did you know that eric clapton played there with stevie winwood in aug 1968, supporting david bowie? i wonder if there are any pics of that anywhere?
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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby bill morse » July 22nd, 2011, 7:58 pm

neileen wrote:hi bill, if you frequented the lion in warrington in the 60's did you know that eric clapton played there with stevie winwood in aug 1968, supporting david bowie? i wonder if there are any pics of that anywhere?



Didn't know about that mate but I recall seeing Ginger Baker, the ex drummer from Cream at the Carlton (was the group Ginger Baker's Airforce?) also Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon and maybe Edwin Starr?

As for pictures, I don't have any of those guys but the other day I came across a marvelous picture of forum member "Morley" at my wedding thirty odd years ago :D
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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby mike59 » July 24th, 2011, 8:39 am

There's a nice clear image of the waiting room at Earlestown Station on that link Bill put on.

Image

Just out of curiosity, was it ever established that the waiting room may once have been a Chapel?
Also, the decorated stone lintel above one of the doorways, whatever happened to that, or is it still there?

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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby Steven Dowd » July 24th, 2011, 11:46 am

Mike,

I don't think anyone ever established what the place was, what is known is that that the room wass apparently used for board meetings, so maybe it was just made a bit special because of that.

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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby mike59 » July 24th, 2011, 4:05 pm

Thanks Steven for uploading the photo to the site. That for me is the possibly the clearest image I've seen of the waiting room, and surrounding area.

I had a look around that area earlier, hoping to get some pics similar to those in the photo, but the platform has been altered, and now has no access to that section of No 3.

From what I understand, the window in the foreground of the photo was the stationmasters office, and at one time was at a different floor level to the rest of the building. Anyone know if this is correct?

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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby ironside » July 24th, 2011, 4:59 pm

The building is very unusual and is not like any other station in the area,even back in the 1820/30's many were built in a company 'style'.It was originally built for the Warrington & Newton railway so may have been the boardroom or headquarters,the 'Chapel' story has been around a long time and probably reflects it's appearance more than any actual use as one.
I had some involvement back in 1980 with the station when it was used as an exhibition for the 'Newton 150' part of the celebrations of the Liverpool & Manchester Railways 150th anniversary,the exhibition ran for several months over the summer of that year and many will probably remember the special steam trains that ran from Manchester to Liverpool and back for 8? consecutive sundays which stopped at Earlestown for about an hour on the outward journey to allow people to visit the exhibition.
The building was renovated by British Rail and the exhibition was funded by St Helens council,including a giant model railway depicting the Nine Arches area and exhibits from the National Railway Museum amongst others that had connection with the Vulcan ,Viaduct works etc.
When the exhibition closed the Model was dismantled (no mean feat ) as it was probably 30' by 15' and had been built as part of the exhibition and was never intended being dismantled,it was transported to Newton Library and set up in the room on the right as you entered,for a while it was operated for groups or visitors before finally being broken up about 1983 when the room was required for other uses.
The waiting room itself was left and closed up,with the building falling into disrepair again ,especially the roof which was eventually replaced many years later,what state the building is inside i have no idea.
The exhibition entrance was through the door on Platform 3 shown in the photo above,the exit being onto platform 2,the stonework on platform 3 did have some sort of 'Gargoyles' near the door is this the stonework mentioned above?

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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby mike59 » July 24th, 2011, 7:22 pm

Thanks Dave for that input. Fascinating to read about your involvement for the 'Newton 150 yrs celebrations'.
I've not heard of the 30 X 15 model, such a pity it had to dismantled, are the any photo's around that you may know of?

Am I correct in thinking that the stonework lintel (doorway support) is the one which displayed the Gargoyle, which supposedly
depicted a man's face on the left, and a serpents tongue flowing from it to the right, was above the door on platform 3 ?

Regards, Mike
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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby ironside » July 24th, 2011, 8:10 pm

Hi Mike,

yes the Lintel is as you describe ,i do have some pics somewhere that were taken by myself and copies went to all the volunteers who manned the exhibition,i will have to have a dig around and work out how to get them on here,any advice welcome!
The model railway was a major excercise with a sequence of trains passing over the nine arches model in time order from 'The Rocket ' of 1830 up to modern times,allways keeping a local connection where possible,it was quite a challenge to operate the thing as so many trains were running at once & it was controlled by a first generation microchip setup which was in its infancy at the time and was a little erm ..unreliable,-bear in mind this was about 3 years before the likes of the Sinclair Spectrum etc! We had at least one full night a week maintaing it!

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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby ron knight » July 28th, 2011, 9:44 pm

Wikipedia seems to accept now that this building is the oldest on a working station anywhere in the world. This may be a recycling of a postulation I made on a thread in this forum a couple of years or so ago. Obviously I wasn't there at the time it was built to verify this! I think a good case could be made of this though. I know that some of the earlier railways built to carry coal and other goods occasionally carried passengers, but I think the L & M was the first railway to have proper stations. The buildings at Liverpool Road station in Manchester may be of the same age, but that station is now part of a museum.
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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby mike59 » July 29th, 2011, 8:15 am

Hi Ron,

It's a shame that this grand building has been for so long padlocked up, surely it could be put to good use.
Why not reopen it for use as a permanent exhibition to our own railway history?
As it's been there for 160 odd years, I'm sure there's plenty of memorabilia to fill the place. Lets make use of it..

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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby davros » July 29th, 2011, 2:08 pm

Hi Mike, I agree 'lets make use of it' , there's plenty of Railway buffs out there who would come and look at an exhibition in the 'Oldest waiting room in the world'. Could our local Heritage group apply to the Lottery for funding? If we could get funding maybe the council could also set about doing something for the Heritage of our town, after all any money that comes into our town gets fed back into St. Helens. I will ask Chris Coffey (St. Helens heritage group) to find out if the room could be put on next years Open days of Historical buildings list. But then again maybe we would get a shock if we saw inside it now. Has anyone been in there in the past few years to see what condition it's in? You've got me thinking now , how good it would be to have a Local heritage centre ( we wouldn't need to go to Eccleston to look at artefacts found at Crow Hall ) ! Davros
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Re: Photos of Earlestown Station

Postby mike59 » July 29th, 2011, 7:09 pm

Hi Davros,

This is something that often played on my mind as to why this building was locked up and out of the public eye, for whatever reasons, but reading Dave's post earlier, and how he and others managed to put on an exhibition for the 'Newton 150' celebrations got me thinking, well why not have a permanent display on show of our railway history.

Mike
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