Willaston Remembered

The recent initiative to reopen Willaston Station (between Crewe and Nantwich) prompted these childhood memories from CASPA member Don Rowlands:

I last used Willaston in the dying years of the LMS railway.  I can’t remember the actual date but I do know Dad had been transferred from Crewe to Euston House  and consequently had surrendered his key to the staff bike shed on the Horse Landing which meant I could no longer use it on Saturdays.  This was serious so I decided the only way was to cycle to Willaston, leave my bike and get the train from there, which I did on the Saturday in question.

The station staff, a very nice lady porter working in the Booking Office, was somewhat taken aback  by my asking if I could  ‘leave my bike in the cloakroom’ and suggested I bring it into the Booking Office where she ‘could keep an eye on it’, which I duly did. No Cloakroom ticket appeared nor was any charge required.

Being being the child of a railway employee in full-time education I was still entitled to Privilege Tickets and the surprise over the bike was nothing to that engendered by my presenting an application form for one 3rd Class Privilege. Return Willaston to Sowerby Bridge or some similarly salubrious Yorkshire station with adjacent engine shed.  I was invited back into the Booking Office.  The Fares Book was found and after some searching and much calculation a fare was produced.  This, of course, meant a Blank Card and after more delving the Privilege Blank Card pad came to light and I got the required ticket.  I can’t remember how much it cost but it did seem very cheap. I do hope she got it right because she was so helpful.  And when I got back the bike was still there, well looked after as promised.

You won’t be able to do that if Willaston re-opens!


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