Friday, 18 January 2013

Heatley & Warburton Station (Disused)

On Paper this was a lovely Sunday ride. Out on the Trans Pennine Trail to Warrington and back along the Bridgewater Canal. In the main it was pleasant, if a little cold. However with lots of recent rain the stretch of the canal from Warrington to Lymm was like Glastonbury in a bad year. Mud everywhere – a nice 20 mile route felt more like a hard 30 – but all to the good I suppose.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
I enjoyed this one for another reason. The lady that responded to my latest Freecycle ad had a purpose. She provides transport for a young man with Learning Disabilities who has an obsession with the Chronicles of Narnia and with Harry Potter and this book would be very well received. She’d wanted to pick it up on her to the young man as he lived near me but I explained my project which she really liked and I lined the weekend up for delivery – I’m told the book was well received.

I wanted to talk separately about the section of the Trans-Pennine that I ride on quite a bit. This particular section, from Altrincham to Warrington was once known as the Lymm Railway but has been transformed into a walking / cycling / running / horse riding thoroughfare. Like many such railways it became increasingly little used as a result of the growth of the motor car ad roads to support – it became one of many victims of the Beeching Report – testaments countrywide to the once formidable power of the railways. Many lines are being reopened largely due to volunteers but I doubt this would ever see the return of trains – only in ghostly apparition, smoke billowing in the night.

The Station
About 4 miles into the straight, flat stretch there is a station building and platform, overgrown, but recognisable – I often think when I pass it that if I won just enough money to indulge passions I’d but the station and set up a little cafe for the many passers by whatever the mode of transport. Perhaps a corner of the cafe could contain history of the railway and any images we could find that folk could peruse whilst sipping their tea and eating their homemade cake / bacon butty. There would be space for locking of bicycles and chairs along the platform to drink in the sun when it deigned to put in an appearance..... And back to reality

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