Preston Station - Past & Present
The WLR - Hesketh Bank

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pic2The 13-16 Preston - Southport draws into Hesketh Bank station on 16th August 1964. The northbound platform is empty for now, as the 13-17 Southport - Preston has only just departed 3 or 4 minutes previously. Although the goods-yard sidings beyond appear to be disused - freight services having been withdrawn about 5 months before - evidence in the form of at least 4 platform barrows of various types might suggest that the booking-office appears to be still doing a fairly brisk trade in parcels and perishables traffic despatched by passenger train. After closure, the station and yard sites are soon to be demolished to provide building land for yet another housing estate. Apart from the bridge at this point under what is the main roadway through the village, there will soon be no trace that a railway ever ran here.
(c) Alan Castle 16th August 1964

pic3Hesketh Bank Station staff pose for an official photograph in 1899. Of course, by this time Hesketh Bank had become an important local railhead, requiring the services of numerous personnel. Alty's Brickworks has become a major employer and rail-traffic provider and there is a fairly intensive trade in the transport of locally-grown agricultural produce. In 1881, a goods branch had also been constructed from just north-east of Hesketh Bank station to Tarleton Lock in order to facilitate the transfer of goods from the Rufford spur of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal. A passenger service was also operating on this short branch, but was eventually to be discontinued in 1913, the line continuing as goods only, until final abandonment in 1930. 
1899 Anon - photo courtesy Alan Castle

pic1The down-side nameboard at Hesketh Bank in 1964. Whereas stations on the considerably more remunerative electrified section as far as Crossens possess British Railways [London Midland Region] maroon enamelled steel signs and even the remainder have large wooden running-in boards with raised lettering, Hesketh Bank station is the only one to have to make-do, right up until the end, with such a fading hand-painted effort. 
(c) Alan Castle 5th September 1964

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