Photos of Wigan
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British Railways Wigan


Looking Toward Plantations from Whelley Junction signal-box
Photo: Peter Worthington
Views: 3,947
Item #: 21579
1963 Whelley line south. Railings and concrete barrier is part of bridge over Leyland Mill Lane. Rugby Ground on left; I was able to watch a full game on saturdays, as the trains were few, and far between.

Comment by: tuddy on 3rd October 2012 at 21:10

Was this signal box situated just before the twenty bridges?

Comment by: Jarvo on 3rd October 2012 at 21:44

Leyland Mill Lane?

Comment by: STAN on 3rd October 2012 at 21:58

Gold dust again Peter! Please keep 'em coming!

Comment by: Scholes Malc on 3rd October 2012 at 23:01

I remember the signal box but only in a state od disrepair
why was there a need for a box there?

Comment by: Peter W. on 3rd October 2012 at 23:16

Leyland Mill Lane:Heading toward Wigan from Standish (A49south), Cherry Gardens traffic Island straight on, past pub on left, first turning on left at the end of the wall, you will or should see the sign, down the hill, bare left after going over Douglas, the river then is on your left, don't know if the print works is still there but now you will be in Wingates Road, turn right to rugby ground, the railway bridge should still be there, you can turn round on rugby ground car park, that is where I used to leave mine at the time.
The signal-box was just the other side of the camera that took this photo and so was the Loop Line (single line working).

Comment by: Peter W. on 3rd October 2012 at 23:23

Looking toward Standish from the box, on the right was the single line (Loop Line, hooked up with the one from Boars Head Jct. and operated with a token system).

Comment by: John S on 4th October 2012 at 11:12

I Have a feeling thisislooking south from Whelley junction? Is the bridge Senicar Lane and, the plantations in the distance?

Comment by: Den s on 4th October 2012 at 12:59

The bridge is no longer there, it is now a footpath with steps down one side and up the other.

Comment by: Tony G on 4th October 2012 at 17:39

Think you may be right John. It is looking south, I am only 90% sure though. It looks like the signal is north forward towards Haigh junction. Haigh junction was where the line met the the Boars Head, and on to Adlington and Blackburn. Any comments welcome!!!!!

Comment by: Jarvo on 4th October 2012 at 18:29

Thanks, Peter. But what was the line that ran under Leyland Mill Lane?

Comment by: Colin Harlow on 4th October 2012 at 19:21

Lovely photo Peter, from a great railway history that once graced our borough.

Comment by: Colin Harlow on 4th October 2012 at 19:37

Peter, I forgot to mention, the printing works was the Evening Post and Chronicle newspaper plant. Brock Mill.

Comment by: Peter W. on 5th October 2012 at 00:54

The road under the line went to the rugby club car park and then beared right to the club building and pitch, the goal posts are seen there on the left. A Line didn't go under Leyland Mill Lane Jarvo, but the road went over the River Douglas a few hundred yards before this point. You are correct with that, Tony G. The facing points near the signal gantry is where the train would divert for the single line,after the train being accepted by Haigh signal-man, and after pulling the signal off but Whelley signal-man had to get a token out of machine in signal-box after the train was accepted, put it in a pocket on a large ring, go outside the box, stand between the two tracks, and the fireman on the loco would put his arm through the ring and then it would be taken off him at Haigh by the signal-man; the train didn't need to stop for this manoeuvre. I have a photo of the print works Colin, but as yet it is in negative form, as soon as I get chance I will copy it along with some more that need doing.

Comment by: Phil Somers on 5th October 2012 at 13:13

The line did continue from this point and under Layland Mill lane.
If when you go down Layland mill lane instead of bearing left after the bridge at the bottom of the brow bear right and stay on Layland Mill lane you will cross the line about 200yards up the lane.


Comment by: Jarvo on 5th October 2012 at 13:42

That is correct, Phil. There are visible remains still there.

Comment by: Peter W. on 5th October 2012 at 16:50

Whelley Jct. box was in between the road to the rugby ground and Sennicar Lane both off Wingates Road, and the Railway Line went over each of these roads via a bridge, one for each road. The footpath to the signal-box was on the left off the road to the rugby pitch, just before the bridge. I used to take my car under the bridge and leave it on the club car park.When travelling down Leyland Mill Lane, after going over the river bridge, the road on the right is Hall Lane to Hall Lodge just before the canal, this is/was part of Haigh Hall, there is a footpath/private road beyond to the upper part of the plantations. Sennicar Lane comes out on School Lane slightly higher up than Haigh Old School (back road into Haigh Hall). The railway line could have gone under Hall Lane (was there not an Iron Bridge for the road); at this point the railway went into a cutting through the plantations.

Comment by: Harry Gardner on 12th October 2012 at 17:01

Beltin photo Pete,keep em coming.
Did you take any inside the box??.
What boxes did you work?

Comment by: Peter W. on 13th October 2012 at 02:17

I did take some inside the box Harry,I passed out for Whelley Jct. in late '62 (class 4), then I got Balshaw Lane Station about late '63 (class 3), the photos I took inside were all Whelley, and some of No.2. I have a good transparency of Walter Cadman in Whelley, I'll see about scanning it soon, along with all the other mixed bag.

Comment by: Harry Gardner on 14th October 2012 at 21:07

Look forward to seeing those photos Peter.
Cant wait,as i havent seen many photos of Whelley Jct SB (& certainly havent seen any taken inside the box there).
a lot of railway artifacts are still at the site of Whelley Junction SB.
lever frame quadrant plates,lever hook racks,lever tails,lever centres,angle cranks,bell cranks,point rodding etc.
Even the former down starting signal (326 yards from the box)is still there albeit now lying on its side on the down side just before the viaduct.

Comment by: Peter W. on 15th October 2012 at 01:39

Very interesting Harry, the last time I was round that quarter the bridge over the road to the club was still there. The other men in the box were: Randy Fitzpatrick (repaired cars in spare time},Aspinall, can't remember first name, Walter Cadman, Ken Winnard. Ken was a practical joker, after he had gone home and I was then on duty, when I pulled a signal off for the first train of the shift, there was such an almighty bang and clatter, I went under the box to see what the problem was, Ken had hung buckets of water and steel track screws and chocks on the weight levers, so when I pulled the signal off the buckets fell on the floor. So when I could, I got my own back; I haven't got the space to describe his other tricks.

Comment by: John Taylor on 10th November 2012 at 11:49

Peter, An excellent set of views that you have put on WW recently, both of here and of Wigan No.2. Its hard to imagine when you stand on the site of the box nowadays what it once looked like, so thanks to you for this splendid set of pictures of another lost bit of railway. Although it must be noted that even here in the early sixties, the early neglect on the maintenance side of things is beginning to be evident - note the bushes and shrubs growing around the top of the embankment. Might I just ask did the Ken Winnard you refer to end up on the platforms at Wigan NW? Cheers, John

Comment by: Peter W. on 13th November 2012 at 16:16

John Taylor....I never heard of Ken Winnard being on the platform, and when I was at Balshaw Lane box I still went to Wigan station. There was one porter there I knew the name of, Albert Potts, not so tall but stocky (and Abe in the announcers box on 5). The Ken Winnard I knew, and before the railway, worked at Victoria Colliery as did my Father. When I got my first box ar Whelley, my first shift was 2-10 and the person on 6-2 that day was Ken, and that's how we met.

Comment by: Bob G on 27th February 2013 at 21:06

Phil, Jarvo, you're quite right the line under Leyland Mill Lane served the old Haigh (Laxey Wheel) Foundry. Full info here...

Comment by: Donna Winnard on 30th June 2018 at 23:18

Ken Winnard was my grandad, he sadly passed away in 1990 aged only in 54. My grandad always worked on the railway, firstly in the signal boxes and then in the few years running up to his death on the platform. I’d love to know story’s or see any pictures you have of him.

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