Wednesday 11 April 2012

The Big ALF Post

SandhillsBirkenhead CentralFazakerleyNew BrightonBebingtonPort Sunlight
AigburthMoretonWest KirbyLeasoweBrunswickBidston
Birkenhead ParkBirkenhead ParkBacheHall RoadFormbyFreshfield
HalewoodHooton ALFMossley Hill ALFOrmskirk ALFSt Helens ALF #2St Helens ALF #1
Remember ALFs?

The Attractive Local Feature boards were one of the main objectives of this quest. It's appropriate, then, as I reach the end, that there's a post showing you the whole collection. One of Merseyside's unique features, these are distinctive signs designed to get you to alight and visit the nearby attractions. Sometimes they're pretty (West Kirby) sometimes they're bland (Fazakerley), sometimes they're just plain freaky (the scary identical twin birds of Leasowe and Moreton with their STARING EYES OF DEATH).

Some of them are no longer with us. Sandhills' ALF is now some stickers in the window; they've got quantity instead of quality. Birkenhead Central lost the Tranmere Soccerbus, and its ALF went with it; it seems Birkenhead town centre isn't an attractive option on its own.

St Helens, Birkenhead Park and Ellesmere Port have two, which is just showing off, and quite unfair on, say, Conway Park, which should have at least one. Merseytravel must really hate Birkenhead.

The only one I missed was Southport. It had a nice representation of Pleasureland, but then the fair went under, and the town decided to go upmarket when the station was rebuilt; I refused to photograph the replacement signs because they just weren't proper ALFs.

My favourite? Possibly the red squirrel at Freshfield - awww! - but it's probably Rainhill. Commemorating the Rainhill Trials, it's a unique ALF for showing you what was there, rather than what is. Plus the train looks great, zooming out of the sign towards you.

If I've missed any, please let me know. And I'd be interested to hear your suggestions for ALFs for the stations that don't have one. One day, my friends, all of Merseyrail will have an ALF; and then my work is complete.


JimmyMac said...

I'm pretty sure Newton-le-Willows used to have one for Haydock Racecourse - but failed to spot it when I passed through last month.

Scott Willison said...

It wouldn't surprise me. When I went through there Newton-le-Willows was being refurbished - they probably took away the sign then. Damn them.