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    the steam trains

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jimmy, I think you are getting a little off the track there (pardon the pun) I seem to think you are getting the spring view carters (alan, Brian and jimmy) mixed up with a relief s/man named NORMAN CARTER (used to call everyone 'shoe'who was round springs branch, he used to go into cromptons box were the light engines went onto the shed and the box-man would give a time (e.g. 2.35) to the driver, use to see jackie birchmore quite a lot on the st, helens run he got a brick through the cab window and I think he lost an eye.do you remember tommy hunt was on the ince moss tip he lived near me as kids in taylors lane.bill paxford was one of the box -men at ince moss.don't know if you know but cliff harrison died a few years ago as well from cancer. bryan johnson, golborne, england

4th Jul 2011

bryan thanks for your input.i think i must have my wires crossed i thought that alan worked at springs branch back in 1956.as a signalman can you remember the collision at ince moss 17 feb 1958 if you would like to read the M-O-T white paper on it go to wwwrailwaysarchive.co.uk. thats my only claim to fame altho we did a special job whist down at willesden we did some filming with a film crew in 1960 THE ANGRY SILENCE with richard attenburgh. i orriginate from abram and used to know your area fairly well.let us know if you get anymore feedback. regards jac jimmy alan cannon, chippenham, wiltshire

3rd Jul 2011

jimmy. have been looking at your entries on here. sorry to tell you that alan carter died a few years ago now,quite young as well as did his brother brian, they were two nice blokes as was all the family, I was a box lad in wigan no2 box with their other brother jimmy in 1958 to 1963. brian was a fireman at the branch with norman harter and alan was a goods guard, I was into the signalling grade at rylands then all over warrington and frodsham ending up at liverpool as a mobile ops. manager. retiring through ill health in 2007. bryan johnson, golborne, england

1st Jul 2011

hi/john thanks for your reply,so sad to hear about jimmy brown he was a nice workmate always with a nice smile, henry hall came down to london and we had a few nights out/ whilst down london we met up with some firemen from heywood do you know anyone called bud quite a handful/ and dont forget brian ellison who died in that accident at blackpool we went out a lot together at one time. didnt norman marry jack armstongs girl? is alan carter still local i think jimmy duffy lives in ince, will sign off now john will keep in touch james alan cannon, chippenham, uk

29th Jun 2011

hi alan yes i still have the name woody all over the country werever i go i asked norman about seeing you and he told me it was jack wharton do you remember peter cox norman saw him working on trams in blackpool we had some good fun with henry hall and co i have alot of good memories from springs branch and some sad ones henry died age 21 and jimmy brown at 41 really hard times for me as we were very close friends.hope to here from you again. woody john wood, westhoughton, england

27th Jun 2011

hi/john wood, im wondering if norman harter is thinking about jack wharton who last i heard was into security work perhaps at chorley, do you still get called woody by your freinds. regards jim cannon james cannon, chippenham, wiltshire uk

23rd Jun 2011

hi/ken pearce nice to hear from you im not sure if i remember you but your name rings a bell if you would like too here more about springs branch you can write to this address 20 orchard road chippenham wiltshire sn14 0be and exchange some memories jimmy alan cannon, chippenham, wiltshire uk

21st Jun 2011

thanks for your reply john wood im doing alright, tell norman harter i have never worked at horwich, thou some of my relations live there. i wonder what your doing these days/regards jimmy alan cannon james cannon, chippenham, wiltshire uk

21st Jun 2011

hi ken i worked at springs branch with alan/jimmy cannon during that period but i was there 15 years.can i help you out with what you want to know about' john wood, westhoughton, england

16th Jun 2011

I'd be keen to get in touch with Jimmy Cannon of Chippenham to learn a bit more of his recollections of life at Springs Branch during the period 1956-58 Kenn Pearce, Wynn Vale, South Australia

15th Jun 2011

just a quickie for alan cannon last i heard about you before seeing you on wigan world norman harter told me he saw you at ROF works at chorley you was working as a security man john wood, westhoughton, england

13th Jun 2011

now mr cannon nice to here your still oki remember selling you the teddyboy suit you must remember george fenn first teddyboy in wigan i have a pint or two with norman harter hes the only one i see. i remember your crash at ince moss good job it was a steam engine john wood, westhoughton, england

13th Jun 2011

Train spotting at Whitley Crossings in the 50's!! Brother of Chris Winstanley but I have no control over family!! I remember Bryan Johnson and Eli very well. Damming up the stream so we could make a big pool that we could swing over from a tree. Collecting coal to make a fire in winter to keep warm. Getting train numbers using a flashlight at night or when it was foggy. Silly buggers!! Wonderful times. Love to hear from anybody - lonely and no pies out here!! Robert Winstanley, Charlotte, USA

30th May 2011

just read a comment by jim carter from 2008 trying to trace me/ i remember your brother alan carter very well he lived across the road from springs branch and so did jimmy brown both nice guys/ let us know any data . regards. james- jim- alan- cannon from abram james cannon, chippenham, wiltshire

12th May 2011

i worked at springs brach from 1956- 1958 then went of to willesden london shed/i remember woody fron westhouton i bought a teddy boy suit from him.i was in atrain collision with driver z----- on the 2.00am liverpool lime street in 1958.iremember it well, roy pilling.alan bannister alan harter jimmy duffy good old days anybody out there get in touch jimmy cannon, chippenham, wiltshire

10th May 2011

As a youngster in the mid 1950s living near to Daisy Hill station I would watch steam trains close to Eatock,s Sidings Signal Box.On occasions I was allowed to enter the signal box,unofficially of course,by the signalman along with other train spotters.I recollect that the signalman was quite old & called Percy,and would allow us to pull the signal levers when a train was due,under his supervision of course.Does anyone remember the signal box when it was open and the date it closed.Has anyone got any pictures of the signalbox or know were there any. Frank Brindle, Hindley, England

24th Nov 2010

Just to let the railway minded know, a book dedicated to Springs Branch shed has just been produced. 174 pages, over 300 pictures chiefly in the steam days. I have a few copies here if anyone wants to contact me on 01204 690122 or email chris-coates@talktalk.net chris coates, Blackrod, England

15th Nov 2010

Does anybody out there in Wiggin Land have any memories of Wigan Central Station,my dad used to catch the early morning train to Westleigh and Bedford Station when he worked at Bickershaw Colliery in the late 50s and early 1960s I do remember the buffer stops high up in Crompton St sometimes railway carriages would be parked up there and could be easily seen.I also remember the station buildings being very ornate and a firm called Makinsons having a bathroom centre at one end,I also remember seeing stanier tank engines coming in with 5 or 6 coaches on and then leaving again for the first stop at Lower Ince Station then on to Hindley South,Bickershaw and Abram,Westleigh and Bedford,Lowton St Marys and so forth towards Glazebrook as with so many others big mistake closing this station in 1964. David Bennett, Wigan, England

15th Nov 2010

Jimmy and Joyce Pennington lived in James st. Lower Ince.I think Joyce now lives inGidlow Lane.I dont remember Jimmy working on the railway though. bernard lowe, wigan, u.k

1st Oct 2010

Hi Bryan I know he had a brother and a sister he wasnt on the railway for very long linda Housley Nee Higham, metung, australia

12th Sep 2010

hello linda, yes I did know a jimmy pennington althugh I thought that he came fron lower ince i'm sure he had a sister named joyce. bryan johnson, golborne, england

12th Sep 2010

Hi Bryan do you remember a firelad Jimmy pennington he came from Higher Ince linda Housley Nee Higham, metung, australia

9th Sep 2010

hi burnard good to here from you do you ever see any of the springs branch lads from our era john wood John Wood, westhoughton, england

7th Sep 2010

hi christine jones i worked with your father gorge at springs branch you may remember me i had a chat with you in the officers club in wigan john John Wood, westhoughton, england

5th Sep 2010

Westhoughton woody.Remember you well working at springs branch.I worked on the railway for 50 years before retiring in 2006 bernard lowe, wigan, england

29th Aug 2010

i was a fireman/driver at springs branch shed for 15 years i still meet up with norman harter but hes the only one i ever see.where is every one John Wood, westhoughton, england

25th Aug 2010

chris, will contact you but the less said on here the better, bryan bryan, golborne, england

17th Aug 2010

Well hello "Ely"Whittiker, I remember that instants well, although not out on that fateful night.I was hopeing for a reply from Bryan but nothing as yet,It would be interesting to catch up on a few things from the past so feel free to e mail me if you want to get intouch. (little Wink) Christopher Winstanley, Wigan, England

17th Aug 2010

I have just come across this web site by chance and i can recall many days at Rylands Sidings .Does bryan remember putting his foot through an old window fame under the box and ending up in wigan A&E. I worked rylands box at night on occasions when Bryan was on and writing down all the passing times for him to copy into the ledger later. That distant at standish was very hard to pull and you had to swing on the lever to get the repeater to come off.I have photos from 1962/63 from around Wigan although most are poor quality. DAVID WHITTAKER, WIGAN, UK

16th Aug 2010

Interesting to here you did the cab ride vidios,I have just compleeted some computer art work for a guy over in Yorkshire that does the same thing only on a commercial footing. As for Dave Longmire I really don't know but It would be great to sit and have a good old chin wag about "distant 29" and how hard that was to pull and 4 4 5s.Hope to hear from you soon. Chris Winstanley, wigan, England

3rd Aug 2010

hello little chris, yes it is the good looking signalman from rylands sidings all those years ago! how are you going on? nice to hear your still into the old snapping game,I got into cab ride videos when I became a mobile operations manager, been retired now for 3 years, will send you a text in the next couple of days,by the way what happened to david longmire? bryan johnson, golborne, england

3rd Aug 2010

Hi Bryan Yes Jimmy Higham is my brother He still lives in Wigan Linda Housley, metung, australia

3rd Aug 2010

Hello! again Bryan, if its easier for you(if you are the Bryan Johnson from Rylands box)you can email me on chriswinkfoto@hotmail.co.uk that way even if I am out I will get your message,I told my brother Bob,who now lives in the states about this site and he is hopeful that you are the same Bryan that married Betty from Wildings all those years ago Chris Winstanley, Wigan, England

31st Jul 2010

hello Bryan Johson,I think you might be the same signal man that I and My brother Bob used to know from Rylands Sidings Signal Box, if so I have some Photographs from that era. If it is you, you introduced my brother and I to photography which has lasted to this day. There was also Cyril Piers who finished up working in Wigan Wallgate box,and also David(Elie)Whittiker who is still out there some where. If it is you Bryan give me a call on wigan 494117. Chris Winstanley, Wigan, England

30th Jul 2010

hello linda, I'm not sure if I knew you although I think that I could have chased you up and down warrington road outside of alf taylors shop a few times!! I remember going to school (spring view sec mod) and there was a jimmy higham there,(was he your brother)what has happened to him now think he was a little bit younger than me (i'm 68 now) and left scool 1957/8 I lived at the top of taylors lane, I knew your dad he was a very decent bloke I think he started on the railway in around 1953/4 whereas I started in 1958 with jimmy carter both as box lads in wigan no.2 signal-box, was it purcells who owned the off-door licence shop up near morris street? nice to hear off you. bryan johnson, golborne, england

29th Jul 2010

Hi Bryan I know Daniels they use to live near us in Spring View then we moved to morris St near springs branch My Dad was a driver there Peter Higham Sadly my dad has passed away Linda Housley, metung, australia

27th Jul 2010

I was born in spring view and used to go train spotting on taylors lane bridge as a kid, little realising that I would end up working in wigan no.2 signalbox in 1958 with jimmy carter who I went to school with, I retired from the railway as a mobile opreations manager based in liverpool in 2007. were is jimmy now and also john daniel his dad used to cut my hair. bryan, golborne, england

25th Jul 2010

I used to love going on the train from Wigan and Southport - the noise of the wheels on the tracks was like music. We were on our way home one day and there was a thunderstorm. We had an amazing view of the lightning hitting the ground in the fields. I still love thunderstorms. Brenda M, Vancouver, Canada

3rd Jun 2010

hi linda please try this email. christinebrown21@hotmail.co.uk hope this one works lol christine brown nee higham, wigan, england

13th Apr 2010

I lived in the USA but I remember returning to Enland in 1935 for a visit to see family including Thomas Gerrard, my Grandfather, born in 1868. I recall quite clearly walking hand in hand with my Grandfather down to the foot of Brook Lane in Lamberhead Green to the train tracks, hoping to see a steam engine go roaring by. I was only four years old at the time, but I remember that happy walk as if it were yesterday. Allan Bennett, Shelby Township, Michigan, USA

29th Mar 2010

I was a keen train spotter in my early youth. Though diesels were around, steam trains were still the mainstay of BR. I remember the Ian Allen spotters books, filled with locomotive numbers which I religiously drew a ruled line through when 'spotted'. Sad...but true. I have recently enjoyed a couple of trips on steam trains provided by companies who run 'specials'. pure nostalgia for those of us who remember the golden age of steam. Tom Bridge, Wigan, UK

12th Feb 2010

Born and bred in Liverpool but the family came from Wigan used to spend holidays there arriving at wallgate train spotting all the way and going to whitley crossing to watch the trains,this in the 50s & 60s.My great grandad and his sons were locomen on the L&Y and the sons up to BR days their name was Southworth John in exile in Walsall john wood, walsall, england

28th Jan 2010

Hi Christine not got your email Try sending one to linda@serenesecurity.com.au that is our business email address hope to hear from you soon Linda linda Housley, metung, australia

8th Jan 2010

hi linda got your card thanks sent you another email hope you recieved it christine brown nee higham, wigan, england

7th Jan 2010

Hi Christine Got the calendar thanks i have sent you a card Hope to hear from you soon Linda linda Housley, metung, australia

16th Dec 2009

Hi Christine Have you not got your email going yet I have sent a few to you and not got any back my address is a post office box L Housley PO Box 9 Swan Reach Vic 3903 Australia wish we could get on email to have a chat have you heard of SKYPE if your computer has a microphone and you down load SKYPE its free to down load then we could talk there is no charge if its computer to computer this would be great look into it hope to hear from you soon take care Linda linda Housley, metung, australia

4th Dec 2009

hi linda going to send you a calender of springs branch can you send a address christine brown nee higham, wigan, england

28th Nov 2009

Just stumbled upon this site and saw John Jarvis's message regarding "playing down the brook)". The highlight of steam at the brook used to be Grand National day when specials from all over the country passed through on the way to Aintree. This resulted n many eastern region B1's and locos from other parts of the LMR. It was strange seeing the occasional GWR Chocolate and Cream or Southern green rolling stock, unfortunately on route haulage had been handed over to LMR locos. The brook was the location of Winstanley Colliery sidings and the Box regularly staffed by Maurice who would allow entry on most days except Grand National when the line was as busy as the WCML. Allan Shaw, Wirral, United Kingdom

3rd Nov 2009

I am not from your part of the world but I am a Railway Child.We lived in Hayes in Middlesex in a railway house on the railway estate.I am 64 and had 4 brothers and a sister. My daddy mended engines and my mum later became the Matron of Hayes Cottage Hospital.We had free and cheap train tickets for Britain, including Ireland but also went to Austria and Italy by train. The Bird Family. brighteyes, Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom

28th Oct 2009

Hi Christine will try the new email address linda Housley, metung, australia

20th Oct 2009


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