The Northern Weekly Salvo

From Th’Edge O’Leet

Incorporating  Slaithwaite Review of Books, Weekly Notices, Sectional Appendices, Tunnel Gazers’ Gazette and Northern Umbrella. Descendant of Teddy Ashton’s Northern Weekly.

No. 256  July 12th 2018


Salveson’s nakedly political digest of railwayness, tripe and secessionist nonsense from Up North. Sometimes weekly, often not; but definitely Northern. Read by the highest (and lowest) officers of state, Whitmanites, steam punks, yes women, no men, gay Swedenborgians, cat-spotters, discerning sybarites, bi-guys, pie-eaters, tripe dressers, nail artists, self-managing VIMTO drinkers, truculent Northerners, grumpy Norwegians, absurd Marxists, members of the clergy and the toiling masses.

Delegates to the Penistone Line Partnership’s Huddersfield conference marking 25 years of great fun, jollity and perseverance. Harold Wilson would be proud of them!

All views expressed are my own and usually nobody else’s. Official journal of the Station Cat Improvement Network, Pacer Dining Club and Station Buffet Society. Full of creative ambiguity, possibly. Promoting moderate rebellion and sedition, within reason.

“we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.” – Jo Cox, maiden speech in House of Commons, June 3rd 2015

We have the chance to affect something bigger than ourselves…We’re a team with our diversity and youth that represent modern England. In England we have spent a lot of time being a bit lost as to what our mdoern identity is. I think as a team we represnet that modern identity and hopefully people can connect with us.” – Gareth Southgate, England team manager

General gossips

So, our adventure in the World Cup is over. As most readers will be aware, the editor isn’t a huge football fan. Standing on cold terraces at Burnden Park in the early 60s had the effect of putting me off the game for life. But I confess to having watched some of the quarter final match against Sweden and most of Wednesday night’s semi-final match against Croatia. I’m not going to comment on the game; it would be ridiculous to anyone who knows anything about football. But I enjoyed it and was sad when Croatia scored what was bound to be the winning goal, in extra time. The New Statesman in its current edition speaks of the beginnings of “a new progressive Englishness”. Let’s hope so, and it may well be right in its assertion that the England team, and their likeable manager Gareth Southgate, represent this new, more diverse and progressive kind of ‘Englishness’. But there’s another side to the coin. We have to reckon with an increasingly right-wing Conservative Party which is starting to occupy the space of ugly right-wing English nationalism that UKIP has vacated. Can a new form of Englishness embrace not only cultural diversity but also recognise that England is a big and complex nation that doesn’t lend itself to the same kind of political governance that works for Wales and Scotland? An ‘English parliament’ would still be centred on London and the South-east and dominate its smaller partners in any federal arrangement. The North would be just as marginalised as it is now. An ‘England of the Regions’, with assemblies having similar powers to those of Scotland, seems a far better approach.

Remembering Jo – Harlech in the Sunshine and Bolton’s part in the Penrhyn Lock-Out

I was invited by Ardudwy Labour Party (covering Barmouth, Harlech and Porthmadog) to join them at their ‘Great Get Together’ meal in memory of Jo Cox and say a few words about the murdered MP. I knew Jo a bit – she was a strong supporter of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation and the president of Friends of Batley Station. She was also a really lovely woman.

Jo Cox at Batley station – sadly missed but celebrate her memory and message

Her death deprived the Labour Party of a potential leader, the people of Batley a great MP and her friends and family of a very special person. I said I’d be glad to say a bit about my memories of Jo, but couldn’t claim any special knowledge. However I’d be willing to say a bit about a forgotten episode in working class history: the part that Lancashire people, and in particular children, played in supporting the quarrymen of North Wales during the great Penrhyn Lock-Out between 1900 and 1903.

The central figure in the tale is my hero and alter-ego Allen Clarke who published Teddy Ashton’s Northern Weekly between 1896 and 1908 (it had several different names at various stages of its life). It circulated within a 30 mile radius of Bolton and was aimed mainly at working class readers in the textile districts of Lancashire and the West Riding. It combined entertaining stories and poems in dialect with political comment, literary reviews and forays into spiritualism, ethical socialism, Buddhism and Clarke’s own mix of all three. He promoted walks and cycle rides around Lancashire and was good friends of the Bolton Whitmanites, whom he wrote about in his book Moorlands and Memories, first published in 1916.

Clarke’s opinion of trade unionism was coloured by his experience as a ‘little piecer’ in the mills of Bolton and Mirfield. The spinners, who employed their own piecers, were strongly unionised but had little time for anyone other than their own colleagues and resisted attempts by the piecers to form a  union of their own.

Allen Clarke – great Northern dialect writer and champion moustache grower; novelist and camapigner for the oppressed; publisher of ‘Teddy Ashton’s Northern Weekly’

He called trade unionism ‘collective selfishness’. But he had great sympathy for the underdog, and his novel The Knobstick deals sympathetically with the Bolton engineers who struck in 1887. ‘Knobsticks’ – a Lancashire term for strike-breakers – were brought in to take the engineer’s jobs and a large military force was drafted in to quell possible disturbances.

So when Lord Penrhyn locked-out the quarrymen at his Bethesda quarries, Clarke’s sympathies were strongly with the men. The lock-out dragged on for months and then years. There was great suffering in the quarrying villages around Bethesda but huge support across the country for the quarry workers and their families. Benefit concerts were organised at which male voice and ladies choirs from the quarrying communities sang. Bolton held several such concerts which raised substantial amounts of money. Clarke hit on three clever ideas to help. Firstly, he organised a huge picnic at Barrow Bridge, a local beauty spot on the edge of Bolton, to help raise funds for Bethesda. The response was remarkable, with an estimated 10,000 people attending the event which took place on May 11th 1901.  The local Clarion Choir performed and publicity for the Penrhyn dispute was circulated amongst the throng.

He then started to organise package tours to Bethesda – by bike! Supporters, male and female, from the Bolton area cycled to North Wales and stayed as ‘paying guests’ in the homes of the quarry workers. Not only did they make a direct financial contribution to help the locked-out works, they established close bonds of friendship with the people of Bethesda. His third idea was the most novel. His paper had a ‘children’s column’ edited by ‘Grandad Grey’ – another of Clarke’s many pseudonyms. On February 8th 1902 he published an appeal headed ‘I want You To Help’. He said “I want the children of England – and especially the children who read “The Northern Weekly” – to help the children of Bethesda. I want you to collect money for them. I want you to collect old clothes and shoes – shirts, stockings, etc. – from your neighbours and friends; then we’ll send the money and clothes to the poor children of Bethesda. For we must not let the big lord beat them and their families.” Collecting cards were printed and his young readers applied in their dozens for handfuls. Within a week 26 children had returned collecting cards, totalling over £10.Most of the children were from the Bolton area but others were from Heywood, Ashton, Rochdale and Oldham. Eight-year old Rachel Baxendale from Darwen wrote to say that “this is the first time I have tried to write a letter in my life…we have read about the Bethesda children and are sorry for those two little boys that had only one shirt for them both. We would like to help them if we could…”

The funds were managed by the reverend Lloyd, secretary of the relief Committee. He wrote to The Northern Weekly thanking the children for their support, offering “our sincerest thanks to you on behalf of the Bethesda children for sympathising with them who suffer through no fault of their own….”

Some of the children were already working as half-timers in the mills and factories. 13-year old Susie Lord was employed at Whitewell Slipper Works in Rossendale. She went round the machine room and collected nearly £2. Some of the Bethesda children (whose first language was Welsh) wrote to their Bolton friends thanking them for their support. ‘Lily’, the nine-year old daughter of one of the locked-out workers, sent a moving letter hoping to meet the Bolton children on a forthcoming excursion.

There was no happy ending to the story of the Penrhyn Lock-Out. The men were starved back to work in November 1903. The children of Lancashire had raised nearly £150 to help the families, a remarkable achievement.

(the above is based on an article – ‘Feed My Lambs – Bolton Kids and the Penrhyn Lock-Out’ published in Bolton People’s History, March 1984. I’m writing up and up-dating the original piece, which will appear on my website.)

Bolton throws a party

Hundreds of local people turned out to join in the fun at Bolton Station’s Community Gala on Saturday June 30th. The event was to mark the 50th anniversary since the closure of the steam depot but also to celebrate the importance of public transport in people’s lives today.

John Brandrick displays his Dunalastair!..aand K1

The gala took place in the railway station and the adjoining bus interchange, featuring 40 stalls from local community groups, schools, colleges and businesses. Women in Community Rail, ACoRP and Mid-Cheshire CRP also had stalls. The event was organised by AcoRP members Bolton Station Community Development Partnership. Local bus operators Arriva, Cumfybus and Stagecoach supported the event with advance publicity. Local staff from the Arriva bus garage ran a stall in the interchange.

There was a range of live musical performances including musicians from Bolton School and railway folk band ‘Live Steam’. Lancashire balladress Jennifer Reid sang and we had a special guest from the Heart of Wales Line, Camilla Saunders, who sang her own highly individual songs accompanied by accordion. The St Andrews Pipe Band brought a distinctly Scottish touch to the occasion. Bolton’s Octagon Youth Theatre performed a specially-commissioned play.

Food was provided by local social enterprise The Kitchen with delicious Middle Eastern food  and Asian caterers Sushma Snacks provided mouth-watering samosas and bhajis. Vintage bus rides around Bolton were provided by Network Rail manager Aidan Anderson using his former Bolton Corporation ‘Atlantean’ while miniature train rides were operated on the station platform using Northern station manager Roy Gregson’s locos and carriages.

The Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Elaine Sherrington, officially opened the new community room on Platform 4/5 which is the office and meeting room for the Partnership.

The Mayor unveils our plaque! Karen Hornby from network rail looks on, with sam (consort) to right

The room has been made available by Northern and its refurbishment was done by Network Rail community volunteers with help from ISS and Transport for Greater Manchester.

Bolton Station CDP is twinned with Kilmarnock Station Railway Heritage Trust and trust officers Laura Yetton and Allan Brown travelled down from Scotland to take part in the event. There were dozens of entries for the Gala Quiz with prizes donated by Northern, CrossCountry and Transport for Greater Manchester. Winners included a 12 year old lad from Horwich, a female vicar and a pensioner from Bolton. Well done all and thanks to the prize-givers.

A  70-strong party of Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Society members visited the gala and were given a tour of the currently empty rooms on the station.

Nigel, Laura and Vicky staff the Northern stall

The partnership is working with Northern, Network Rail and Transport for Greater Manchester to bring to vacant rooms back into use as community facilities. There are also plans for an ‘incredible edible station’ with raised beds on the platforms.

Partnership chair Paul Salveson played tribute to the help they had received from the railway community: “The station staff really entered into the spirit of the occasion – we’ve had tremendous support from Northern and Network Rail, as well as Transport for Greater Manchester. After all the problems of the last few weeks, this is a really good news story.”

For more information about the Partnership email us at or like us facebook BoltonStationCDP or on twitter @BoltonStnCDP

The North and Brexit

There’s an easy assumption amongst some pro-Remain campaigners that much of the North is a lost cause given the large majorities for leave in many Northern towns and cities. Yet there’s growing recognition that a large part of that vote was motivated by a vague but real sense of marginalisation and a desire to hit back at ‘them’ – whoever they might be. At the same time, some Labour ‘leavers’ still push the idea that ‘most’ Labour voters in the North voted to leave the EU. This is a very questionable assertion – my suspicion is that much of the ‘leave’ vote in Northern working class communities came from people who were not regular voters at all, many turning out to put two figures up to the EU and ‘the establishment’. Trying to justify one’s acquiescence for Brexit on the basis of what MPs’ and pundits think which way Labour supporters voted is dodgy, to say the least. This is on top of any ‘change of mind’ that people might have had since the vote in 2016.

Some readers (yes, I know, not all!) would probably agree that the consequences for Britain in leaving the UK range from dire to catastrophic. Yet there is a regional element to this, and ironically the areas likely to suffer most from Brexit are the ones that votes so strongly to leave.

The IPPR has done some very useful research on the impact of Brexit on the North. It makes the point that “The North of England depends more heavily on trade with Europe than other parts of the country, and has been a significant recipient of EU funding.” (Brexit North: Securing a united voice at the negotiating table, IPPR 2016). The IPPR paper focussed on the economic implications of the result. IPPR argues that alongside trade and funding issues, arguing “the North has distinct economic assets and interests that will be affected by Brexit. This includes strengths in key sectors such as advanced materials and manufacturing, energy generation, distribution and storage, health innovation, and the digital economy.”

Add to that is the vibrant higher education sector in the North which has done very well out of EU research grants and other funding programmes. Many towns and smaller cities – such as Bolton, Huddersfield, Chester, Sunderland, Preston and Hull – are increasingly dependent on the economic clout of their universities and any faltering in their performance will have huge knock-on effects.

The North needs to fight back against Brexit with a common voice, but how? The IPPR report  makes some interesting points about the lack of a coherent voice for the North to articulate a clear stance on Brexit, unlike the devolved nations and London. It says “the nascent and patchy development of combined authorities, metro-mayors and devolution ‘deals’ in the North means that the region is not well-placed to formulate a coherent response to Brexit that will match those of the devolved administrations for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, or that of the mayor of London or other well-established lobbying groups. Furthermore, it is quite impossible for central government to deal meaningfully with the demands of over 30 upper-tier local authorities, and 11 local enterprise partnership areas, in the North one by one”.

Can’t disagree with that.  IPPR North has played an important role in providing space to debate how the North should be governed and is one of the few ‘think tanks’ to question the value of the current third-rate devolution offered to Northern cities. The IPPR argues for a ‘Northern Brexit Negotiating Committee’ to determine” the type of Brexit that the North needs, and speak with one voice in the negotiations, rather than have others shape the debate”. That’s a valuable suggestion and in the short-term is probably the only option – but is really “mekkin’ th’best out of of a bad job” as we might say up ‘ere. What the North really should have is an elected regional government with something like the powers of the devolved nations (after all, there’s 15 million of us).

But committees and commissions tend to attract the great and the good who like being on committees. A Northern Brexit Negotiating Committee could put itself at the head of a powerful movement which brings together campaigners, local authorities, further and higher education, voluntary associations, businesses and individuals who want to avoid the catastrophe which is facing Northern communities, industries and universities. The risk is that we’ll end up with a committee of politicians who don’t want to upset their masters (Tory or Labour) in Westminster.

There are growing voices across the UK arguing for a second referendum that would, in all likelihood, stop Brexit before any more harm is done to the country. The North has very strong and specific interests in this and needs its own voice, alongside our friends in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, London and the English regions.  Come to this meeting:

Uniting the North against Brexit

We all agree the North needs radical change.  But for the North, it’s now clear Brexit is suicide, not ‘taking back control’.  On 29/3/2019 it’s game over, so we must act fast.
Come & hear our plan to unite Northerners to stop Brexit. Speakers include Eloise Todd, Best for Britain; Natalie Bennett, Sheffield Green Party; Paul Salveson, Hannah Mitchell Foundation.

24th July 2018, 7pm – 9pm The Wharf Castlefield, 6 Slate Wharf, Manchester M15 4ST

Register for your free place at

The Northern Press

This is a new occasional feature of The Salvo featuring local publishers from The North. This issue features Penniless Press Publications (10 Albert Road, Grappenhall,  Warrington WA4 2PG) – see The contact person is Ken Clay.

Their latest production is Entertaining Hypocrites – The playwriting of Joe Orton by Alan Dent (ISBN 978-0-2444092-269 £10.99). It’s the first full-length study of Joe Orton’s plays, which relates his drama to his life and subverts the conventional view of Orton as an amoral trickster who can make an audience laugh but can’t rise to moral seriousness. Dent makes the case that Orton understood the moral rigour inherent in dramatic form. He parodied bad drama because it fell short of the high-mindedness he admired in Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles. Orton was an abused, unloved, ill-educated, working class homosexual who clawed his way to the highest dramatic achievement by sheer hard work.

Joe Orton (1933-1967) wrote seven plays. From inauspicious beginnings on the Saffron Lane Estate in Leicester, he won a place at RADA where he met the older and classically educated Kenneth Halliwell. The education he garnered from Halliwell, whose sexual partner he became, was crucial to his development as a writer; but the relationship, Dent argues, was abusive from the start. Halliwell had the education and a head start, but Orton had the genius. From his first play, The Ruffian On The Stair, it was clear he was an original. In a brief four years he wrote three full-length masterpieces and four shorter plays.  Often thought of as zany and far-fetched, Orton insisted he wrote reality. In all his plays, mayhem, madness, chaos, sexual assault and murder flow from a refusal to live according to principle. Orton spiked the hypocrisy of his culture by exposing its ostensible morality as mere superficial moralism à la Edna Welthorpe. He was murdered by the jealous Halliwell at the height of his powers. Orton is one of the greatest dramatists of his century.

The author, Alan Dent, has published five volumes of poetry, four collections of translations from French, a collection of reviews of contemporary poetry and an eight-volume family saga set in his native Preston, The Craxton-Langs. He is the founder and editor of the literary magazine MQB.


There have been quite a few conferences recently. CrossCountry organised a very interesting event in York on community safety, forming part of Rail Safety Week. Good to see lots of community rail officers from around the network. On June 26th the Penistone Line Partnership and University of Huddersfield ran a day event marking 25 years of the Penistone Line Partnership. Lots of interetsing stuff and a special music train down the Penistone Line to finish the day off. Just like old times. Here’s Fishing for Compliments in action…

Another Harry Vos Investigation

Quite a lot of Northern authors have given up on the London-centric publishing industry and have resorted to self-publishing. A good example is Dave Rigby of Slaithwate. He’s just had a new novel published. Redline is the second in the Harry Vos series, the first being Shoreline which was reviewed in a previous Salvo. He’s a Belgian private investigator based near Antwerp. The first book involved people-smuggling while Redline is about a shady land company that is involved in sites for nuclear waste disposal and fracking. It will be reviewed in a  future Salvo but any readers who enjoyed Dave’s previous work should rush out and buy a copy. If you are anywhere near Huddersfield you can get a copy in Waterstone’s, but if not email Dave at for details of how to get a copy.

Steam Pages

Not a good time for the Steam Pages…Currently there’s a steam ban on much of the national network and also on several heritage lines. I headed over to Gregson lane to see what I hoped would be an LMS Jubilee on The Fellsman but had to make do with a pair of class 37s. Not bad I suppose though my mate Steve was less than pleased. The best steam I’ve had was almost by chance. Elsewhere in this issue I mention the lovely dinner at Llanfair Slate Cavern cafe as part of the ‘Great Get Together’ in memory of Jo Cox. I’d completely forgotten that the same weekend was the ‘Hunslet 125’ celebration on the nearby Ffestiniog Railway. Hunset locos Linda and Blanche were the centres of attention, both having reached the ripe old age of 125. Many other Leeds-built Hunslet locos were in action and it was great to see so many friends at the very well-organised event. We had a trip up to Tan-y-Bwlch and enjoyed an ice cream before heading back down.

We’re now in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on BR (apart from the Vale of Rheidol of course!). The formal end of steam was on August 6th, though BR organised its famous ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ on the following weekend, August 11th, using ex-Bolton star 45110, BR ‘Brit’ ‘Oliver Cromwell’ and two other Black 5s (44781 and 44871) which had had a brief stint at Bolton before moving to Carnforth when our shed closed on June 30th. It was all a bit of an anti-climax for me, my world of steam had ended (or so it seemed) a few weeks earlier when Bolton closed. My best memory of the last few days was my footplate ride on Bolton 8F 48652 on an overnight working to Mottram from Ashburys (I think! Somewhere in east Manchester).

nearly the end…LMS 8F 48773 after a cleaning session at Bolton

It was the Friday night before the shed closed and the driver was Jack Hartley and the fireman was his good mate Tommy Withers, a regular team with whom I’d enjoyed many overnight footplate trips in the past. This was their last job before both were made redundant. The ‘8F’ had quite a long train, about 50 coal empties. I was allowed to drive from Ashburys onwards, a great privilege for a 15 year old, though closely supervised by Jack. It was about 1.30 a.m. when we set off. I had a good friend who lived next to Gorton station – Pete Barber, sadly no longer with us. I asked Jack if I could make a bit of a noise as we went through Gorton as a sort of ‘visiting card’ and he said OK, have a go. So I eased the regulator up to ‘full’ and gradually extended the cut-off until we were in full forward gear. We blasted through Gorton making the most unearthly din – not only did the lights in Pete’s house come on, but most others in the area. Maybe they thought there’s been a nuclear explosion. After the assault on Gorton I moved the cut-off back down to about 25% and relaxed the regulator to first port and we trundled our way up to Mottram. It was then back to Bolton to drop the fire of the 8F. Jack and Tommy signed off after long careers as dedicated – and fun-loving – railwaymen. For me, I had my varied railway career ahead of me, but that night on ‘8652 is etched in my memory.

British Railways Steam 1968 – celebration at The Brooklyn

My good friend Steve Leyland has just had his book on the end of steam published (by Crecy, £25). British Railways Steam 1968 – The Final Chapters – is a lovingly written and well-illustrated account of the last eight months of steam on BR. Bolton, naturally, figures strongly in the narrative but other places are not neglected either….The book was launched at a pre-gala event at the Brooklyn Hotel, Bolton on June 29th. Several retired rivers from Boltobn came along and a good number of books were sold.

Steve with his book

Noel Coates of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway gacve us a wonderful presentation on ‘Bolton in its Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway heyday’. A good time was had by all and thanks to the Farnworth Suffragette Fund for helping make the event such a success. The book is available from bookshops or ring Steve on 01204 526165 if you want an auther’s signed copy.

Harry Jack writes: In the summer of 1943 (I was 9) a new craze hit Plodder Lane School in Farnworth: collecting engine numbers. Ian Allan had just brought out his LMS ‘ABC’ and some lads in my class had a copy. So after school a crowd of us would wander down to Green Lane bridge, a mile away and just north of Moses Gate, to take down the numbers on passing engines (and names on Jubs, Pats and Scots – never any Pacifics of course). I’d been in hospital when all this started, so for a while a lot of learned chatter about “tractive efforts”, “Stanier”, and “Unnamed Patriots” – whatever they were – went right over my head. But I soon caught up. Yes, great days!

Readers’ rants (all rants are their readers’ own, nowt to do wi’ me…)

Walter Rothschild keeps up the pace…  “I write on June 20th. – just after the US has left the UN Human Rights Council because all this ever seems to do is jump on Israel. Yesterday I attended here the funeral of a Palestinian – that is, he was born in Petah Tikvah in 1941 and was therefore issued with papers from the Mandatory Government of Palestine. People seem to forget – the Jews were ALSO Palestinians. In November 1947 the UN voted to give the Jewish Palestinians some land and the Christian & Moslem Palestinians some land and to keep the area around Jerusalem and Bethlehem under international control. The Jews accepted this partition plan, the Arabs didn’t and demanded everything. Not they but the neighbouring countries of Syria, Jordan and Egypt then invaded, occupied most of the areas allocated to the Arab Palestinians and the International area that was considered holy to all religions and therefore neutral. No-one said or did anything about it. 20 years later in 1947 these countries threatened Israel and Israel responded with what became known as the 6-Day War. Suddenly EVERYONE was worried about the poor Palestinians being under occupation! Strange, that. In the meantime those Arabs who remained in 1948 became citizens, have their own press and mosques and churches and members of the Knesset. So here is apart of the answer for Alan – Many Palestinians are indeed in their own land, governing themselves. 80% of Israelis are Jews and 20% are Arabs. The problem is with those areas that Israel has NOT formally annexed and which are under the governance of the Palestine Administratzon or the Hamas. This weekend I was at Gdansk. After 1945 the Germans were pushed out – they had lost a war. Shit happens when you lose a war. At the very least you should learn from this not to start another one. The Germans have learned this, the ‘Palestinians’ not”.

Meanwhile Robert Wise on Brexit… “The best analysis of why the North voted for Brexit is written by Robert Peston in his letter to his Father… But poor people who voted for Brexit were not wrong, in that it was probably the best opportunity they would ever have to give the establishment a proper kicking, for ignoring them, for forgetting they exist. During most of the previous thirty-odd years, Britain and most of the rich West had been run on a deceitful prospectus. Labour and Tories had argued, and even for the most part believed, that they were governing for the whole nation. But that was tosh. They were governing for themselves and for those who work in the City and the service sector in London and the South-East. They were governing for property owners. They were governing for a highly skilled, internationally mobile elite of corporate executives, bankers and entrepreneurs. This is not revolutionary rhetoric, it is observable fact, which cannot be ignored by left or right.” And he is right”.

Richard Greenwood, appropriately, writes on the subject of trees… “It is a fallacy that letting trees grow everywhere is good for wildlife. True, trees suit certain species of wildlife but there are more species for whom tree cover is a death knell. Many wild flowers and other plants cannot tolerate tree cover. Many birds need wide open spaces. Cold blooded species such as lizards need sunshine at ground level without shade. Particularly hit by too much tree cover are butterflies. Apart from a few species who live in the tops of certain trees, most need warm, sunny conditions at ground level and lots of nectar bearing wild flowers”.

While Alan Brooke says… “Some great views for rail passengers have been lost due to tree growth – but really, is this more important than preserving botanical and wild life habitats? At a time when development of all kinds is putting pressure on the environment should we not be glad that the railways have become a haven for a wide variety of species? Some compromise needs to be reached whereby vistas are opened in particularly scenic areas, but the blanket felling of trees that do not endanger lines is halted”.

Crank Quiz: Steam and Heat

Owing to the unnaturally hot and dry weather, readers are invited to suggest railway locations or locomotive names which ahve a particularly ‘hot’ theme….

Property pages: Buy my house

My house is for sale. Want to buy it? There’s a garden railway with it (by negotiation!). The house has distant views of the Ormskirk Line and the Winter Hill conflagration. It is a 15 minute walk to Croston station. It’s quite nice really. Details:

Special Traffic Notices

Tuesday July 24th: The North Against Brexit. 7.00 The Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester (see notice above, somewhere).

Tuesday July 31st: Poetry of the Cotton Famine. Portico Library, Manchester, 7.00

Advance notice: Thursday October 4th: Community Rail Awards, Glasgow. See

The Salvo Publications List

The following are all available from The Salvo Publishing HQ, here at 8 Moorhey Cottages, Bretherton, Leyland PR26 9AE. Cheques should be made out to ‘Paul Salveson’ though you can send cash if you like but don’t expect any change. Bottles of whisky, old bound volumes of Railway Magazine, number-plates etc. by negotiation.

‘Lancashire’s Romantic Radical – the life and writings of Allen Clarke/Teddy Ashton‘ (2009). The story of Lancashire’s errant genius – cyclist, philosopher, unsuccessful politician, amazingly popular dialect writer. Normal Price £15  – can now offer it for £10 with free postage. There are a few hardback versions left – Normal price £25  – now at £15 with free postage. This book outlines the life and writings of one of Lancashire’s most prolific – and interesting – writers. Allen Clarke (1863-1935) was the son of mill workers and began work in the mill himself at the age of 11. He became a much-loved writer and an early pioneer of the socialist movement. He wrote in Lancashire dialect as ‘Teddy Ashton;’ and his sketches sold by the thousand. He was a keen cyclist and rambler; his books on the Lancashire countryside – ‘Windmill Land’ and ‘Moorlands and Memories’ are wonderful mixtures of history, landscape and philosophy.

‘With Walt Whitman in Bolton – Lancashire’s Links to Walt Whitman‘. This charts the remarkable story of Bolton’s long-lasting links to America’s great poet. Price £9.90 including post and packing. New edition published in May 2016. Bolton’s links with the great American poet Walt Whitman make up one of the most fascinating footnotes in literary history. From the 1880s a small group of Boltonians began a correspondence with Whitman and two (John Johnston and J W Wallace) visited the poet in America. Each year on Whitman’s birthday (May 31) the Bolton group threw a party to celebrate his memory, with poems, lectures and passing round a loving cup of spiced claret. Each wore a sprig of lilac in Whitman’s memory. The group were close to the founders of the ILP – Keir Hardie, Bruce and Katharine Bruce Glasier and Robert Blatchford. The links with Whitman lovers in the USA continue to this day.

‘Northern Rail Heritage’. A short introduction to the social history of the North’s railways. Price £6.00. The North ushered in the railway age  with the Stockton and Darlington in 1825 followed by the Liverpool and Manchester in 1830. But too often the story of the people who worked on the railways has been ignored. This booklet outlines the social history of railways in the North. It includes the growth of railways in the 19th century, railways in the two world wars, the general strike and the impact of Beeching.

Will Yo’ Come O’ Sunday Mornin? The Winter Hill Mass Trespass of 1896?. The story of Lancashire’s Winter Hill Trespass of 1896. 10,000 people marched over Winter Hill to reclaim a right of way. Price: £5.00 (not many left). The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass of 1932 was by no means the first attempt by working class people to reclaim the countryside. probably the biggest-ever rights of way struggle took place on the moors above Bolton in 1896, with three successive weekends of huge demonstrations to reclaim a blocked path. Over 12,000 took part in the biggest march. The demonstrations were led by a coalition of socialists and radical liberals and Allen Clarke (see above!) wrote a great song about the events – ‘Will Yo’ Come O’ Sunday Mornin’?’ Only a couple left.

 ‘Songs of a Northerner‘  by Jo Barnes. Photos by Paul Salveson. Price £3.50 inc postage  – please make cheques payable to ‘The Jo Barnes Fund’. A lovely collection of Jo’s poems written in the two years before she died; about landscape, emotions and day dreams.

You can probably get a better idea from going to my website: