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The other railway rooms eventually had their purposes as my brothers became teenagers. The Waiting Room became The Scooter Room, where John kept his Lambretta, complete with all the trimmings – about 10 wing mirrors down each side and a blue tinted fly screen. The Ladies Room became home to two goats, a billy and a nanny, as Paul had taken an interest in agriculture and regularly helped local farmers. The white nanny goat was a very friendly animal. You could stroke her as long as you wanted but the billy was the complete opposite. As soon as you came within a yard of it, its head went down and you could feel the full force of the animal as it dug its heels in and tried to pin you against anything it
could! The Lamp Room became home to a kestrel for a time.When we were growing up, the number of trains passing rapidly diminished, with the passenger service ending in January 1960 and through freight trains ending in 1966. The line from Feniscowles to Chorley was earmarked for closure and later all the track lifted. This left just the line from Cherry Tree to Feniscowles, which was kept to run the pulp trains for the Star Paper Mill. This came up about once a week and was shunted into the Goods Yard for collection by a lorry (the company was called Beesley’s). In the goods yard was the Shunting Shed which contained two huge 30 ton overhead electric cranes.
These were used to off-load the heavy pulp from the railway wagons. So the Goods Yard became our area too. We would ride our bikes up and down the yard, would play cricket and ‘Brick Knock Down’ on the cobbled area and John would give rides on his scooter from one end to the other. Past the Goods Yard, up the line, there was a small workman’s hut. This became our little hideaway which we called ‘Jed’s Hut’ and we would frequently trek up there and light a fire in the hearth. In summer there was a small strawberry patch next to it. However, one day we went up there, only to find that the hut had been completely demolished. I was told it had been struck by lightning but in reality had been knocked down when the track was lifted.
This photo The Station House, showing entrances to Gents Toilets and Lamp Room, Ladies Room, Ticket Office and Waiting Room. The living room had the bay windows. Below The Goods Yard with a large consignment of pulp wagons ready to be unloaded. Both photos courtesy of Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society, taken on 5th August 1964 by Eric Blakey www.lyrs.org.uk
Below Jed’s Hut just before the lines were finally lifted. A little further down the line was the location of the 1956 landslip. See page 7
From Jed’s Hut you could cross a field and enter Stanworth Woods where we would play ‘Army Commandos’ (hide and seek on a theme) or go fishing in the river that ran through it. We would light a fire and once we tried to cook the small fish we had caught. The result was that they shrivelled up so tiny that there was almost nothing left to eat ! I also remember once John cutting his foot whilst in the river and having to go for help. Another time a rusty nail went into my leg, just above my wellington boot.
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The Real Railway Children of Feniscowles
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