“The Lettuce Line” – Report from the Night

Posted by Robert Hampton on 1st May 2015 at 6:10 pm

Wednesday’s specially prepared talk about the West Lancashire Railway enthralled an audience of 40 plus drawn from over a wide area. It is 50th years last September since the direct Southport to Preston railway line was closed. Keith vivid personal memories, photographs and records were woven together to produce an story that told as though the 50 years were only 12months. Starting with the 1880’s backgrounds Keith lead us through the formation, initial operational features, financial failure then rescue in 1890’s and survival through to early 1960’s. The images we were presented with on screen gave a vivid illustration of route, stations, traffic flows and relative lack of population (at least by today’s standards). The importance of moving the locally grown agricultural produce to the larger conurbations gave the route it’s most appropriate nickname.

Many of Keith’s images had not been seen hitherto in public. These were not limited to periods up to 1964/5 and encompassed through to 2014 views of surviving features.

We were treated not just to entertainment but to education, nostalgia and history all interlinked into where we are at now with the developing Railway scene in North West of England which unfortunately lacks the one vital link which died in 1964.

But there is still life around. On the final day of electric services from Southport to Crossens the unit owned by Friends of 502 Group was in service. This unit is being restored in Burscough and will be available for viewing on Sunday 12th July at Merseyside Transport Trust’s Open Day at Osprey Place Burscough, L40 8TG.

Those present generously supported 502 Group’s funds towards replacing the steel floor of Trailer Coach. This will be accessible in part on 12th July. The raffle was won by Joe Kennedy from Liverpool.

Tony Kuivala, Joe Kennedy, Keith Hick
Left to right -Tony Kuivala, Joe Kennedy, Keith Hick. Images from Dave Kuivala.

Issued by Tony Kuivala on behalf of Friends of the 502 Group.

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