Preston Station - Past & Present
The WLR - Churchtown

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pic1The down-side nameboard at Churchtown. This enamelled maroon 1950s standardised British Railways product is a relatively recent addition to what has always been one of the more prosperous suburban stops on the route. All of the other stations on the third-rail electrified section from Chapel Street to Crossens via Meols Cop have received similar attention in terms of place identification, as prior to publication of the infamous "Beeching Report", senior management presumably had expected at least the electric-services to survive. However, the same people were not so optimistic about the remaining stations in the rural hinterland beyond Crossens, the latter having to 'make-do' until the bitter end with wooden examples that generally dated back to very early LMS days, but, indubitably possessed far more character ... if somewhat lacking in paintwork. 

However, for Churchtown station, due to its elevated position on a high embankment, such cosmetic improvements were never to be extended to any consideration for provision of more substantial platforms and these are to remain of timber construction (as are those at Penwortham) right until the bitter end. As a footnote, it might also be added that, presumably due to the potentially high fire-risk as a consequence of vandalism (which was very prevalent even in the mid-1960s), Churchtown and Penwortham stations were totally demolished and removed in early 1965, well in advance of lifting of the actual permanent way and no trace whatsoever now remains. 
(c) Alan Castle 6th September 1964

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