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. 257  August 16th 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, strident 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. 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

General gossips

It hasn’t been a good time for rail in the North of England. The introduction of a new timetable in May led to a virtual collapse of train services in some parts of the North, and we’re a long way from being ‘back to normal’. The reasons for what went wrong are complex and, I suspect, systemic. Let’s see what the Glaister Report (from the Office of Rail and Road) has to say when it’s published later this year. What does seem apparent is the disproportionate hit taken by many ‘community rail’ routes. The suspension of services on the Lakes Line got major publicity, but other routes such as my own local line (Preston – Ormskirk, Cumbrian Coast, South Fylde and East Lancashire are still struggling. It’s stating the obvious that there’s going to be a massive hill to climb when services are back running as they should; a lot of people have made other arrangements and will need much persuasion to come back. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the meltdown, the need for strong, well-resourced community rail partnerships that can get out into the community and win back customers, has never been stronger.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn seems to thrive on the growing number of media attacks on his leadership. As readers will know, I’m not an uncritical fan of JC but I have to say that some of the stuff that’s appearing is ridiculous, such as whether he stayed in a posh hotel in Tunis or not. More serious is all the stuff about anti-semitism. I’d love to see some examples that back up the allegations. We’ve been told about arguments over definitions of anti-semitism, which I suppose you can take or leave. We’ve been told that anti-semitism is rife within the Labour Party. OK, well show us the evidence, please.

Peterloo remembered

Greetings on the 199th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. On this day (it was a Sunday) August 16th 1819, tens of thousands of men, women and children gathered in the centre of Manchester, on St Peter’s Fields, to demand parliamentary reform.

Watch it or I’ll have you…re-enacting Peterloo at Manchester Central

The entirely peaceful crowd was attacked by members of the local yeomanry and hundreds were seriously injured; over 16 were killed.

The superb RMT ‘Peterloo’ banner

The massacre was etched in the collective memory of Northern people, and the event is still commemorated each year. ‘Remember Peterloo!’ became a rallying call for working class radicalism throughout much of the nineteenth century. Its survival in the folk memory bolstered a sense of both community and of being ‘wronged’ by the establishment of the day.

This coming Sunday a number of marches from around Greater Manchester (mirroring the 1819 gathering) will converge outside Manchester Central at 13.00h. Next year of course is the 200th anniversary there are already plans for a major commemoration.

Is HS2 the right solution?

Solution to what you might ask? After initially being told it was all about journey-time reductions, we’re not informed it’s about providing extra capacity and bridging the north-south divide. I have my doubts. What follows is based on a shorter piece for Chartist magazine which will be out in early September.

The traditional left likes big infrastructure projects. They create jobs and provide long-term infrastructure for the nation. So whether it’s a new motorway, airport (or new runway), railway (slow speed or high-speed), they are almost by definition ‘a good thing’. In addition, it’s often asserted that major infrastructure projects can assist economically disadvantaged areas. Environmental campaigners tend to be inherently distrustful – wary of extra pollution through car or air traffic, as well as opposed to the environmental damage which new roads or railways cause. The new high-speed railway from London to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester – HS2 – exemplifies the divisions. Labour and the unions seem broadly in favour of the scheme, with local authorities in the main cities seeing it as a tool of urban regeneration. Most environmental campaigners are against it.

High-Speed rail, Welsh style

Many Tories don’t like it because it’s a classic public sector project and involves spending state funds on a lavish scale.

But what of the influential but fragmented ‘rail lobby’, comprising the industry and its suppliers but also the large number of campaigning groups who have succeeded in shifting much Government policy towards a much more pro-rail stance, compared with the road-obsessed approach of the 60s and 70s? It’s very divided. Unsurprisingly, rail industry suppliers are all in favour, with the prospect of multi-billion pound contracts for rolling stock, signalling equipment and actual construction. Some rail campaigners are in support, seeing any rail investment as automatically positive. Yet a large number of experienced industry professionals, as well as lay campaigners, think the whole thing is ill-conceived. This is an interesting group: knowledgeable and pro-rail and not instinctively against ‘high-speed rail’ as seen in mainland Europe, China and Japan. I include myself amongst their number.

So what’s wrong with HS2? The scheme is for a 400 km/h (250 m/ph) railway starting at Euston and running via west London then out through the Chilterns to a major interchange south of Birmingham. The route then splits, with a branch terminating at a new station at Birmingham (Curzon Street).

L&Y Highflyers were the high-speed train of their day (OK getting desperate to find images to illustrate this piece)

Phase 2a continues to Crewe and will eventually join the existing West Coast Main Line near Wigan with trains continuing north to Scotland. In Phase 2b there will be branches to Manchester and another line heading to Leeds and the East Coast Main Line, with a spur joining up with the existing East Coast main Line near York. As with Birmingham, both Leeds and Manchester stations will be dead-ends. There is also serious consideration being given to a Northern east-west route – HS3 or ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’ linking Merseyside, Manchester, Leeds and the east coast.

There are a number of big issues with HS2 as it’s currently conceived which should make MPs and local authorities pause for thought. Above all, it’s a hugely London-centric scheme which will benefit the economy of London and the expense of other regions, particularly the North. It will suck wealth further into London, with only some localised regeneration benefits in the areas around the three termini (Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester). At £56 billion (a very conservative estimate and challenged by several commentators, including internal government sources) it’s a very high price to pay to bring a few more jobs to cities which are already doing pretty well. The benefits to large towns which are currently struggling are minimal. And it won’t link to HS1, allowing through trains to mainland Europe, and neither will it serve Heathrow which would help reduce the number of highly polluting domestic flights.

The maximum speed that the line is engineered for is very high – at 250 mph it is much more than European high-speed operation and has consequences for where it goes and places it serves. It is engineered to get from A to B as quickly as possible and misses out large towns and cities in pursuit of the very high-speed holy grail (which is hugely environmentally damaging, both in terms of route and energy consumption). Ironically, it doesn’t do what any sensible high-speed rail project should do and serve the country as a whole, including more distant cities which currently tend to use aviation rather than rail.

Might not be high-speed but it got you there, and very environment-friendly

Above all, this means Glasgow and Edinburgh, but Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea should be included in a strategic approach to a British high-speed network, which is fully integrated with the conventional network. HS2 is neither. Interestingly, the new trains for HS2 which are compatible with the conventional network can only go at a maximum speed of 115 mph, unlike the existing Pendolinos and ageing HST fleet which can run at 125 mph (in the case of Pendolinos they have a design speed of 140 mph but existing signalling limits them to 125). So new ‘high-speed trains’ post 2033 (that’s the target) will actually be slower from Preston northwards. Worryingly, we could see the Pendolinos taken out of service within a few years depending on the outcome of the bidding for West Coast.

The new route south of Birmingham will free up capacity on existing routes, though mainly for longer-distance suburban services into London. It will do nothing to provide extra capacity into the major northern or Midlands cities. It won’t help the rail freight industry, whose main spokespersons (including Labour peer Tony Berkeley) are strongly opposed to the current scheme.

I haven’t dwelt much on cost. Even the official estimate is very high and likely to be exceeded. A final figure of around £100bn isn’t unrealistic. You could get an awful lot of good quality conventional railway for that, with money left over for schools and hospitals. Already, important capital projects including Midland Main Line electrification are being stopped, partly on the grounds that ‘HS2 will solve the problem’. It won’t.

Yes, a positive image of a high-speed (sort of) station – Liege Guillemins

On top of that, there seem to be heroic assumptions about how many people will use HS2 so it appears to be ‘profitable’. My guess is that it won’t be and will require huge subsidy. Where will that come from? There’s the awful possibility that it will come out of the revenue budget for regional franchises when they are re-let (or out of the overall pot if we end up with a Corbynised BR). There’s still time to reconsider.

Bolton station updates

The gradual renaissance of Bolton station continues. We’re delighted to have been short-listed in the ‘small arts project’ category in the annual Community rail Awards, being held in Glasgow this October.

The winning poster

We entered the poster promoting the station gala, designed by Bolton University students. This week we had our first open meeting in the ‘community room’ (the old guards’ mess room) on Platform 5. Steve Leyland and Vern Sidlow gave an illustrated talk on ‘1968 – Last year of BR Steam’ which attracted a diverse and enthusiastic audience including fraternal delegates from Yorkshire. Part 2 of the story will be continued on Tuesday September 25th, at 7.30.

The community room was restored with help from Network Rail community volunteers and ISS helpers. The Network Rail team returns on September 7th to have a go at the adjoining room, which is in a much poorer condition but offers more potential in terms of size and shape.

The trial ‘pop-up’ Asian street food stall last week was a great success.

Sushma’s snacks proved popular

Sushma Solanki and her daughters offered free samples of delicious Asian food to returning commuters. The plan is to start a regular Friday evening pop-up stall on Platform 4/5 between 15.30 and 18.00. Watch this space. The partnership is meeting on Monday August 20th to look at future strategy.  For more information about the Partnership email us at BoltonStationCDP@gmail.com or like us facebook BoltonStationCDP or on twitter @BoltonStnCDP

The North and Brexit

The ‘North Against Brexit’ meeting in Manchester last month was highly successful, with about 50 people cramming into the function room of Castlefield’s Wharf pub to hear Natalie Bennett, Eloise Todd (‘Best for Britain’) and myself speak on Brexit and the increasingly strong lobby for staying in the EU. My own contribution was about the impact of Brexit on the North, which by and large voted to leave the EU. Ironically, the economic impact will be far worse than in those areas which voted to remain. Recent polls suggest the tide is turning, with majorities in many Labour ‘leave’ constituencies now for staying put. One practical outcome of the Manchester meeting was the idea of forming a ‘Best for Bolton’ campaign which could take the arguments for remain to a much more local level. The new group is having a stall at the Bolton Food and Drink Festival this coming Saturday. (and see Readers’ Rants, below)

Return to Millcroft Tea Gardens

the last time I went to this lovely place was probably around 1985, by bike with Denis and Wendy Pye. I wasn’t even sure if it was still open but facebook told me it was, SuO (Sundays only). So we went…you come off Edenfield Road, north of Rochdale, at the Bridge Chippy (tempting, but resist!). We were in the car this time (Bretherton to Rochdale is too far for me to cycle in my dotage) and walked along the lane that takes you through pretty Wolstenholme Fold. You keep going, there’s no sign telling you it’s there, you just arrive. It’s unchanged since my last visit, down to the 1920s style benches which probably date back to when the tea gardens were first established. The menu was pretty much the same too. We enjoyed our chip muffins but I’d like to go back for the full works. Everything about the place is amazing, it’s completely out of its time, maybe with the exception of one concession to modernity, a car park. I was bemoaning the lack of cyclists when one turned up, so that was OK. It really is a place to walk or bike to. So go there while it lasts…these places can’t go on for ever, much as I’d like it to. maybe one further concession to the 21st century might be filter coffee, though instant does lend itself to the general ambience. But why have coffee at all in a tea garden?

Beautiful Oldham

One Northern town which voted heavily to leave the EU was Oldham, with nearly 61% wanting ‘out’. Oldham typifies the problems of many large Northern former industrial towns: a palpable sense of decline, mirrored in Bolton and other places like it. At one time these towns really were ‘the Northern Powerhouse’. They weren’t beautiful, but community efforts helped to make life more bearable. One of the most remarkable stories of urban community regeneration back in the early 1900s was ‘The Beautiful Oldham Society’.

Mary Higgs

I picked up a copy of its report for 1904-5 and it’s absolutely fascinating. The origins of the group lay in an article published in the recently-defunct Oldham Chronicle of December 11th 1901. The writer was probably Mrs Mary Higgs, a local Liberal and suffragette who was a close friend of Mrs Marjory Lees, daughter of one of the powerful Oldham millowners, Charles Lees. Marjory was a key figure in the Lancashire campaign for women’s suffrage.

The author asked “Why not set before ourselves the noble ambition of making our town again a ‘Beautiful Oldham’? What is wanted is that every citizen, every householder, should become ambitious.” She went on to call for a municipal tree-planting programme and the establishment of community gardens.  “Where no gardens are possible, window boxes ordered wholesale would make a street beautiful…Oldhamers dearly love flowers and always come home with some fromt he country. Why not grow them?”

She suggested that children could be involved in the projects, with training so they “respect every living thing, and protect, not destroy them”. The article led to a flurry of letters in support of the idea and a ‘Beautiful Oldham’ group was formed on August 13th at the home of Mrs Lees in Werneth Park. The actual society was established in October 1902.

The objects of the society make interesting reading:

  • To preserve existing features which add, or may be capable of adding, to the attractiveness of the town
  • To utilise waste and open spaces for tree planting, gardening etc.
  • To encourage the cultivation of shrubs, flowers, etc., in the spaces adjoining public buildings, schools, mills, houses etc.
  • To cultivate the love of nature and gardening in school children
  • To prevent and punish the wanton destruction of trees and shrubs and the uprooting and theft of flowers
  • To encourage and provide facilities for the cultivation of plants and flowers in window pots and boxes
  • To urge the erection of varied and picturesque architecture, and the laying out of building plots to provide groups of cottages with common gardens or grass plots.

It was very radical stuff – a combination of ‘incredible edible’ projects with a civic society approach. The society established several sub-committees to take its work forward, including committees for information, tree-planting, schools, house and window gardening and a ‘prevention and prosecution committee’.

Garden cities..garden stations. Here’s Wigan Wallgate

These people really meant business. By 1904 they had 156 members and had achieved practical results through its Bulb Show, tree planting and community gardens. They organised a meeting addressed by the pioneer of the Garden City movement, Ebenezer Howard.

One of the first projects was to supply children at local schools with seeds the following march. Flower shows were held at local Sunday schools and what became an annual Beautiful Oldham Bulb Show was held at Hathershaw Board School.

There is a railway element to the story. The society approached the railway companies to encourage them to plant trees and shrubs on their land. “The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company gave a favourable consideration to our suggestion and have made some efforts to give effect to it” but the LNWR declined. Typical. The society worked closely with Oldham Corporation and also with the powerful Oldham co-operative society which took up Mary Higgs’ suggestion of running courses on ‘Ideal Oldham’ and ‘The Study of Town Life’. Mary was the lecturer.

The society wasn’t afraid to tackle some big social evils, particularly slum housing. They urged the millowners to convert from steam power to electricity to reduce pollution.  In 1909, Howard returned to Oldham to open a garden city suburb in Hollins, using land donated by the Lees family.

What became of the society? I suspect the outbreak of World War 1 put an end to it, but more research is needed. A tram trip to Oldham is in the offing.

Last of the Lancashire cotton kings

An era has come to an end with the recent death of Major Edmund Gartside, the last of the great Lancashire cotton manufacturers. He was chairman of Royton-based Shiloh Cotton Spinning Ltd and worked for nearly 40 years in the family firm, which was formed by Thomas Gartside in 1874. Shiloh was one of the most advanced cotton spinners and introduced workplace nurseries and canteens well before some of their competitors. At one time Shiloh owned 14 mills in Royton alone.

He was educated at Winchester and Cambridge but never lost his Lancashire roots. Back in 1997 he was reported saying:”I suppose I feel a sort of romanticism towards the cotton industry. My grandfather had me checking the books when I was nine years old. But most of all I have this gut feeling that Britain should make things for a living.” He was a strong advocate of the cotton industry and despaired of Government policy.

Shiloh Mill in late 1940s

Of the Government’s 1970s promise to take immediate action to prevent dumping of cotton on the European market by developing countries: “That so-called immediate action took four years, and in that time  30 mills closed in Royton alone. In those days I had a naive trust in politicians. I’m afraid that has long gone.” Perhaps his epitaph should be his words “This country was built on making things and I am doing everything in my power to keep that tradition alive.” We shall not see his like again.

Sunday Afternoon in Mayfield Parcels Depot

Yes, I know how to live. I took part in one of Jonathan Schofield’s Manchester Walks which took in the former parcels depot at Mayfield, which stands, derelict, next to Piccadilly station. It was built by the LNWR in 1910 to take pressure off the main London Road (now Piccadilly) station. It handled suburban traffic for most of its life though, as Jonathan will tell you, it had some notable visitors including a US president. For a while in the early 1950s, ‘The Pines Express’ used to arrive at one of its platforms. It came back into its own, briefly, during the rebuilding of London Road in the late 50s/early 60s. I had a feeling it had actually stopped handling passenger trains in the mid-50s but I might be wrong. I can remember going from there on a train-spotting trip to Crewe with my dad, either 1959 or 1960. It was hauled by an LMS Black 5 but I’ve lost my notebook showing the number. Maybe 45342. The station finally closed in August 1960 but re-opened as a parcels depot before closing entirely in 1986. It has lain derelict ever since and the walk took us round the platforms, allowing us to inspect the hydraulic buffers and then go down below where various concerts, ghost plays and impromptu gigs have been held. It’s all sent to change as a developer has bought the site and has ambitious plans to transform a large area with the former station as the centrepiece. The station buildings will largely remain and will form a gateway into an urban park. Meanwhile, there’s a wonderful pop-up space with cafes and bars on the south-west side of the station.

Out on the S&C

Work on my Settle-Carlisle book continues, with probably about 90% of it done. The final phase involves going out talking to people who’ve been involved, one way or another, in the railway. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of writing the book and takes me to lovely parts of the world like Settle, Appleby, Hawes and Dent.

Memorial stone

I’ve been touring the various chapels and churchyards where many of the workers and their families are buried – often in unmarked graves. Some churches have memorials to the navvies and their families, such as, St John’s in Cowgill and St Leonard’s in Chapel-le-Dale. St Mary’s at Outhgill also has several graves from the construction period. The book will be a general introduction of the Settle-Carlisle from its original conception, construction and operation to the present day. There’s a strong emphasis on the ‘people’ side and the successful campaign against the line’s closure. It is being published by Cowood, a Wiltshire-based company whose titles include Railways of Shropshire and History of the East Coast main Line.

Steam Pages

The ban on ‘unassisted’ steam on parts of the network continues, despite quite a bit of rain recently. But for all that, with a class 47 behind it, I managed a decent shot of 45699 ‘Galatea’ at Hoghton Crossing recently on ‘The Fellsman’.

Galatea at Hoghton. Where’s Acis then? Maybe it’s the 47 behind.

Good to see Mick Kelly at the regulator, a great guy whom I had the pleasure of working with at Blackburn in the 70s. His dad (Tom, former Rose Grove) was a driver and his brother Andy worked was a guard. I managed to catch up ‘Galatea’ in time to see her passing through Settle, but the photo wasn’t very inspiring. I missed out on the various August 11th ‘last day’ specials on the S&C, but the weather was dismal. August 11th was always a bit of an oddity – it was really the weekend before that steam ended. The 11th was the date BR selected for its ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ from Liverpool to Carlisle but it felt at the time a bit of an anti-climax.

Readers’ rants

From Simon Norton: I remember the railway galas that BR used to use to promote electrification schemes in the South. At the East Grinstead one there was a stall which promoted the annual Friends of King Alfred’s Buses vintage bus running day every New Year in Winchester, which I visited regularly because there was nothing else to do that day. Unfortunately there wasn’t much daylight at that time of year, and now the event is held in spring. Also I’ve got fed up with much the same routes being used every year! Closest to my home in Cambridge was the event to promote electrification between Bishops Stortford and Cambridge. A special shuttle ran between Audley End station and Saffron Walden, and while I was there I saw a poster for an evening talk by the well known railway and wildlife photographer David Shepherd. Nobody seemed to have twigged that gala participants might want to stay for this and would need transport back to the station after the talk. I thought I’d arranged a lift but the arrangements fell through at the last moment so I was reduced to standing outside and begging for one. Someone did heed my plea but took a wrong turning and we reached the station just as my intended train was pulling out. There was an hour and a half before the next and last train to Cambridge, I hadn’t eaten all day (too much to do) and the nearby pub refused to sell me even a packet of crisps (I think they had a private function). To make things worse I had over a mile’s walk from Cambridge station to my home before I could make a meal, and then had to be up early the next day to walk back to the station, train to Audley End and 2.5 miles walk to Saffron Walden to take advantage of the summer Sunday bus network that Essex CC were launching the next day, so I didn’t have much time for sleep. Later it occurred to me that I might have stayed at Saffron Walden youth hostel. Both the Sunday bus network and the youth hostel have now long disappeared, and Saffron Walden still has a lousy bus service to the station — I had to arrange a lift to attend local Friends of the Earth meetings there to campaign against the expansion of Stansted Airport.

Allan Dare writes from Foreign Parts : I’m reading Salvo in the Steamworks pub next to Vancouver’s Waterfront station (recommended for excellent beer and a good view of the CPR yards!). From the viewpoint of 6000 miles away the UK looks increasingly like a failed state. That’s not just because of Brexit and May’s disastrous response to it, but because our entire system of governance seems broken. A useless voting system, the mediaeval joke which passes for parliamentary process, Whitehall’s cult of amateurism, the complete imbalance between central and local government, and between London and everywhere else – the miracle is not so much that the UK runs badly, but that it runs at all. My Canadian friends and relatives are utterly bewildered at the state a once-great country has sunk to, and who can blame them? It is clear that we need a total rethink of the way in which the UK is governed. Paul’s thoughts on regionalism and devolution are a good start, but we urgently need some new thinking from professional politicans as well
Loads of locomotives with names like Fireball, Firecrest, Firefly, Fire King, Fire Queen, Wildfire, etc. Too many to list. 47771 was named ‘Heaton Traincare Depot’. Does that count?

Martin Arthur adds “Pleased to see your reference to the Ffestiniog Railways Hunslet event and !75th birthday celebration of Linda and Blanche. I was there too on the Saturday and it’s a pity our paths did not cross. I thought the whole thing was well organised, trains ran to time (on the FR, at least, because Linda and Blanche’s jaunt to Caernarfon returned 30 mins late) , and we are unlkely to see such a gathering of ‘quarry’ Hunslets for a long time.

Malcolm Bulpitt ruffles feathers and excalamation marks: “Brexit!!!!! Please can we put the vote on this in context. Only 37% of the electorate voted to leave the EU, 63% did not. Call this a democratic decision? Hardly. Apart from bowing to the ‘swivel-eyed-loons’ in his own party by agreeing to an un-necessary referendum Cameron also ignored the advice from the constitutional experts that for a referendum on such a major decision to be totally binding over 50% of the electorate should form the majority to go one way or the other. Now it seems that the ‘swivel-eyed-loons’ are dominating the agenda of the parliamentary Conservative Party led by that establishment fool Jacob Rees-Mogg, a person some 200-years past his sell-by date. It is interesting to note that arch-brexiteer, and billionaire, Rees-Mogg has recently seen the family trust that controls his assets and life style move them from a UK based fund to one in the Republic of Ireland. Now why would Rees-Mogg and his money managers do that? Strange (or not!) that this move was not universally reported in the financial pages of the hard right newspapers that, like him, are dominating the Brexit agenda. Cameron got us into this mess, and now Mrs May is putting party survival above the national interest. I am far from being a supporter of Corbyn & Co, but the current bunch of parliamentarians making the decisions need the ‘bloody good kicking’ that many thought the Brexit result was all about”.

Bretherton Bibliophile

A couple of books to draw to your attention. David Joy’s Rails in the Dales (Railway and Canal Historical Society, 2017) covers eight railways in the Yorshire Dales. It includes Settle-Carlisle but also lines in Swaledale, Wensleydale, Nidderdale and – Costerdale, which I confess never to have heard of.  The railway to Masham (which I do know how to pronounce – phonetically it’s ‘Mas-ham’. Beyond the North Eastern branch from Melmerby (north of Ripon) ran a 2’ gauge line to Leighton reservoir operated by a handsome Hunslet tank. It’s well-written and knowledgeable. David Joy knows his Dales (he was editor of Dalesman for many years) and he knows his railways too.

Jonathan Schofield’s My Guide to Manchester (Manchester Books 2018) is an entertaining and well-written guide to Manchester and beyond. It reflects Jonathan’s huge knowledge of his city and its many quirky places and people. It’s much more than a city guide, covering history, culture and people. It’s a  book you can keep coming back to. Salvo subscriber Andrew Rosthorn said of it “A Manchester guidebook; more loving than any Baedecker; more knowing than any Fodor and loads funnier than any Rough Guide to anywhere.” It sells at £11.99 but Jonathan will sell you one for a tenner on one of is Manchester Walks (which include Mayfield Parcels Depot – see above).

Property Pages: Garden Railway for sale with House Attached

8 Moorhey Cottages is still on the market! The garden railways isn’t included in the sale price, but could be added by negotiation….https://www.mariabevans.co.uk/property-for-sale/property/8805446-south-road-bretherton-leyland

Crank Quiz

The last quiz asked for loco names with ‘hot’ connottations. Allan Dare suggested ‘Titfield Thunderbolt’, given thunder often follows hot weather. Fair enough. Hot loco names surely include Sun Castle and Sun Chariot 60523/7 respectively. I suppose 60526 Sugar Palm might count because such a tree (if it exists) must surely grow in hot climates. It is hot in Singapore (60042) too, as I know frombrief personal experience. It would be boring to name all the hot countries that were once in the British Empire and gave their names to Jubilees. 45727 Inflexible might also be appropriate though if one thinks of Mrs May and all the people she makes hot under the collar, not least many on her own side. Paul Hadely suggested: Loads of locomotives with names like Fireball, Firecrest, Firefly, Fire King, Fire Queen, Wildfire, etc. Too many to list. 47771 was named ‘Heaton Traincare Depot’. Does that count? (OK – ed). So:Name British terminus stations that have closed and subsequently re-opened for scheduled passenger trains.

Special Traffic Notices

August Bank Holiday Weekend: Bolton Food and Drink festival Visit ‘Best for Bolton’ stall on Saturday!

Saturday/Sunday September 1/2: Garden Railway Fair Lalnfair Caereinion and WLLR Gala

Saturday September 8th: Wigan Diggers’ Festival: not to be missed

Tuesday September 25th ‘1968 – last year of BR Steam part 2’ Platform 5 Bolton 19.30

Thursday October 4th: Community Rail Awards Glasgow

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: http://www.paulsalveson.org.uk/little-northern-books-2/