Seeing stars...

editorial image
Share this article

And tales of trains from Tootle Heights

It is 51 years ago today, July 10, that Telstar, the first privately owned communications satellite, was launched.

What technology this heralded.

So, too, did the opening of the Preston to Longridge railway line on May Day, 1840, although it was not until Whit Monday, June 12, 1848, that a proper regular timetable was established for steam engine services.

This week I came across a fascinating book by Norman Parker entitled “The Preston to Longridge Railway” and I have not been able to put it down.

Little did I realise that before the railway was established, stone had to be carried by horse and cart from Tootle Heights to Preston Docks and then for onward carriage by ship to Liverpool, Manchester, London and so forth.

Another fact I gleaned was that in 1867 the line came under the control of the London North Western and Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.

Fascinating, too, was the information about the private spur line built in 1889 from Grimsargh to Whittingham Hospital.

A postcard I have (above) shows the remains of the platform at Whittingham, which was closed to passengers in 1930 and to goods in 1967.

My second picture (right)is another iconic one.

Do you remember the Lancashire Evening Post being delivered to newsagents in Garstang, Preston and Longridge in a three-wheeler van like this?

My third picture (top of page) is from Churchtown Festival in 1993.

And my last fact is that all distances from London were measured from the oldest object in Trafalgar Square. This is the statue of King Charles the first on the site of the old Charing Cross. Fancy that!