Again I am indebted to Mr RM Casserley who has granted me permission to use photo’s his father, HC Casserley took in the 1950s and 1960s and which, as far as I am aware, have never been published or been put on the internet till now. The photos show just how busy Blackburn station was.
© www.white-coppice.co.uk 2016         
After Chorley and Blackburn, Brinscall was the busiest section of the line. South of the station was a siding running in to Brinscall Hall Print Works This was quite a large factory that employed over 300 people in 1890. However, with the recession of the 1920s, closure occurred in 1930. Today nothing remains of the factory, but the gateposts by the side of the mainline allowing access to the factory’s sidings still stand, as does the area that was purpose built to hold the factory’s sidings near The Goit. The siding entered the factory from the north and there was a signal box just to the north of the points on the eastern side of the line. This signal box controlled the points to the factory and a level crossing that crossed the line within 10 yards of the signal box.
Brinscall Hall printworks - the siding came in behind the chimney on the left, leaving the main line by the building in the distance. That was where the crossing was too. behind the printworks is the large square reservoir, which is still there today
Click to enlarge
North of Brinscall Station, at the top of what is now Salisbury Road and Hartington Street there was a large junction with many sidings leading off to various sites. Heading south was a siding into the Goods yard, and heading north was a long siding that split and took lines into Brinscal Brick and Tile works and another into the large Withnell Mill. The Brickworks stood between the sidings and the main line and what is now the pond in the nature reserve was to the west of the mainline. The brickworks also had a bridge crossing the line with it’s own track over it to bring in clay from the claypit. The embankment to the bridge can be seen today, though the bridge went years ago.
The siding continued past the brickworks towards Withnell Mill where it split and entered the mill at two points. Withnell Mill was built by Robert Parke after he bought the land on which it would stand in 1839. In 1840 Robert’s brother John E Parke bought land Withnell and built a cotton spinning and weaving mill in Abbey Village, subsequently operated by the firm of Parke and Arkwright, then by John Park and Son. This mill too, had a long siding running to it, see Withnell section. There was one other siding, that leading to Withnell Quarry, now more commonly called Brinscall Quarry. It was a feat of Victorian engineering to build a line over Railway Road on a bridge locally call the Gantry and under Butterworth Brow before entering the quarry.  
Withnell Mill, built around 1840. The sidings entered the mill in the recess beyond the chimney and again after the small “lean to” building. The mainline was at the far side of
the terraced houses.
A nice sunny day in Withnell and the gantry carrying stone from the quarry is cleary visible behind the schoolboy walking his dog. 
Courtesy of Carnegie Books, Lancaster 
 (
© David Clayton)
Courtesy of Carnegie Books, Lancaster 
 (
© David Clayton)
Click either map to enlarge
Gateposts in to Brinscall Hall printworks from the main line