Monday, 5 January 2009

Taking Stock

It's a new year, so I thought I'd do a quick round up of what's still left to be done. This was actually prompted by the Man from the Echo, who asked me during our chat how many stations I'd done, and how many I had left to do, and all I could do was burble, "Erm, I dunno." Plus I did a similar thing last year, which makes it practically a tradition.

Still to be tarted then:

Wirral Line: Bromborough Rake, Bromborough, Eastham Rake

Northern Line: Ainsdale, Hillside, Birkdale, Southport, Aughton Park, Town Green

City Line: Edge Hill, Wavertree Technology Park, Broad Green, Roby, Huyton, Prescot, Eccleston Park, Thatto Heath.

In the City Centre, on the loop, Liverpool Central is completely untouched, while the other three have technically been collected, but not to my satisfaction. The main entrance to James Street is untarted, though Water Street has been done; the Old Hall Street ticket hall for Moorfields is yet to be snapped; and Lime Street's underground (i.e. proper Merseyrail) station is separate from the main line station so that still needs to be "got".

I've also planned on revisiting Sandhills and Ormskirk, the first because it's being redeveloped so I want to see it in its full "glory", and Ormskirk, because I'm a sentimental old nance who wants a trip down memory lane.

I'm off work next Monday for my birthday (gifts are of course, extremely appreciated, though be aware that there is a fifty pound minimum) so I'll hit another couple then. Not sure which, though.

That's 23 coloured stations, anyway. But there are also a few other trips that I'm thinking of making, ones which are tangenital to my original mission statement, but which are still tempting. In fact, I did a botched attempt at one of them on Friday. The Bf and I walked to Bidston station with the aim of collecting the spine of the Borderlands Line which runs down the Wirral - Upton, Heswall, and Neston. Unfortunately, due to our dilly dallying (technical term) we missed the train by five minutes and couldn't be bothered hanging around on a freezing platform for an hour for the next train. So we went home and had a cup of tea.

It was an assault, however, on an area of the map that's technically outside my remit. The Borderlands Line should be nothing to do with me, really. But it's on the map; as a result, I feel just as tempted to collect it. In addition, there are various closed stations around the area which I'd like to visit, if only so I can say I've been to Crown Street or Knotty Ash and stared at the remains. And there are places marked out by Merseytravel as potential spots for future stations, which interests me, places like Town Meadow and Woodchurch.

I'd be interested to know if anyone could be bothered reading that though? Over the past 18 months I've built up a meagre, but none the less much appreciated readership, and I really do value any comments you leave. Does the idea of me writing about Euxton Balshaw Lane fill you with horror and dread? Or do you think it's a good idea to get the whole of the Merseyrail map? I'm in two minds, because after all, that will be more expense, more logistical difficulties (some of those stations are miles from anywhere, poorly served by trains, and are definitely not included on a Saveaway ticket), and it would mean I may have to visit Blackpool, which I am not keen on at all. But at the same time, the OCD is kicking in. So comment away below and let me know what you think, or, if you're the bashful type, send me a message at themerseytart@googlemail.com.

This isn't The X-Factor though. It's more like the British Comedy Awards, when Catherine Tate was robbed of her award; I absolutely reserve the right to ignore your votes if I don't agree with them. Just so you know.

6 comments:

Sean O'Brien said...

Hi I've just started reading your blog. I live near the (useless) Borderlands Line and although I'd love you to do the few Merseyside stations on that line, I have to warn you that the distance between Upton and Heswall is huge. Certainly not within walking distance. And there really isn't anything to do in the Upton area for a whole hour. Tread carefully... but still do it!

Robert said...

I would wholeheartedly vote yes, if only to see how you cope with the challenge of finding a train that actually stops at Hawarden Bridge.

Mister Roy said...

Do the lot! And walk between them as Sean implies...

Merseytart said...

The plan for the Borderlands was train from Bidston to Heswall, walk to Neston, then train back to Upton and home - I live (relatively) close to Upton so it was a handy place to end. Definitely leaning towards the lot - and there are trains to Hawarden Bridge in the rush (?) hours. So one train to there, then wander over the bridge to Shotton - sorted...

Sean O'Brien said...

Nice to see you have a plan! Don't forget to stick your hand out when you see the train, though, as often they'll just pass straight through the station!

Merseytart said...

You have to plan, or it's no fun...

And request stops? On a train? How surreal.