The climax to this part of the story was achieved on 25th October 1978 when the new lines were officially opened by H M The Queen. A plaque at Moorfields was unveiled followed by a trip to Kirkby...Now leaving aside the fantastic mental image of our Sovereign sat on a yellow and green MerseyRail seat to Kirkby of all places - perhaps nipping off at Rice Lane for a Maccy D's at the outlet by the station - the cosmic coincidence of the dates was staggering. The following Saturday would be the thirtieth anniversary of MerseyRail's official opening.
Saturday 25 October 2008
Tuesday 21 October 2008
Well, sod that; getting up for work at 7am is bad enough, without being crammed on a Green Line full of grumbling commuters in a traffic jam outside Runcorn. So I dashed back down the escalator (and incidentally, fat woman with suitcase: IT SAYS STAND ON THE RIGHT. Thank you for your time) and caught a Wirral Line train to Chester for the Arriva shuttle to Crewe.
My favourite architectural feature at Chester, though, isn't Victorian might or Noughties glamour: it's beautiful, traditional, evocative British Rail. If you head towards the East Car Park, there's a barely used platform which still retains its old fashioned light features:
Wonderful thing. It smells of steam trains, and tea urns: it shouts drab fashions and powdered eggs. It's British Railways, and I love it, and I love that for all the Chester Renaissance gubbins, someone, somewhere has recognised that these seemingly mundane light fittings are actually part of our heritage.
I did enjoy romping through the station, now that it had been shorn of associations with That Bloody Job; I'm especially pleased that it slices off the foot of the Wirral Line from the MerseyTart map. In fact, there are now only three stations left on the Wirral Line (apart from the Loop, which doesn't count). I almost don't want to go and get them, to be honest, because that will mean the end of a chapter. Everything west of James Street will be finished with, and I don't want it to be: I like it too much. When I started romping round the railways I thought I'd polish it off pretty quickly, but as I'm getting near the end, I'm realising I don't want it to stop. There have been a few times when I've thought, "Ooh, shall I go and collect some stations?" but have put it off because... well... I don't want it to end. Being the MerseyTart has brought me a good deal of pleasure, and I'd like to think there's a lot more tart in me (oooh, cheeky! Etc, etc).
Tuesday 14 October 2008
I saw this when it first aired, and I adored it. And I just found out that they repeated it on BBC4 last week and I missed it. And they haven't put it on iPlayer. And this person has posted only the first six minutes on YouTube.
You cannot beat a bit of Victoria Wood. Or even a lot of Victoria Wood. "Whenever I take an Intercity, I always end up sat opposite the woman who is eating the individual fruit pie by sucking the filling out through the hole in the middle." That's not in this documentary, it's in As Seen On TV. (That's not a documentary, it's a women's cocktail bar - sorry, once you start quoting Victoria Wood you can't stop).