Bentham Station Joint Venture Day

Bentham station was busy this morning with people on a ‘joint venture day’.

Managers from Northern and staff and managers from ISS, Northern’s maintenance contractors, along with members of the Bentham Line CRP, members of the Friends of Bentham Station and volunteers form the town all came together to give the station an autumn spruce up.

The work included cleaning moss and other vegetation from the platform surfaces, tree pruning, strimming and clearing embankments, washing down poster cases and other surfaces, realigning poster cases in the waiting shelter on the Morecambe bound platform and much more.

The Friends of Bentham station would like to thank everyone who turned out on the day and are grateful for all the help.

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Lancashire Day 2018

Lancashire Day is the county day of historic Lancashire in England. It is held on 27 November to commemorate the day in 1295 when Lancashire first sent representatives to Parliament, to attend the Model Parliament of King Edward I. Lancashire Day was first held in 1996.

Curated by the Friends of Real Lancashire, it is observed with the loyal toast to “The Queen, Duke of Lancaster”, and is celebrated from everywhere within the county palatine. The day is marked throughout the historic county by town criers announcing the Lancashire Day proclamation which declares the historic regions boundaries of the county, and finishes with “God bless Lancashire, and God save the Queen, Duke of Lancaster”

The day since has been widely publicised, including reports from the BBC website and in the local press. The day receives support from both district councils and Lancashire County Council; both Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council and Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council has resolved to support the day every year. Many towns throughout the historic county host events on the day, most notably readings of the Lancashire Day Proclamation. At formal occasions on the day, “Long live our noble Duke”, an unofficial Lancashire anthem variant of “God Save the Queen” is often used in respect to the Duke of Lancaster who is always the reigning monarch.

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Something For The Weekend LIII

Do you fancy listening to some classical music, visiting a museum or art gallery, joining a guided walk, dropping into a festive country market, a Bavarian style Christmas Market or seeing a town centre Christmas Lights switch on? Then look no further.

The RMT union has announced a number of dates when they will be taking industrial action (Saturdays 24th November & 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th December 2018) and although Northern will be running an emergency timetable your journey may be affected. Please check before travelling to ensure that you can complete your journey.

Last weekend of every month – Ormskirk Speciality Markets, great family days out with free entertainment, activities and demonstrations – visit www.chapelgallery.org.uk for full details. Fancy a stall at one of the events then ring 01695 571328 or email chapel.gallery@westlancs.gov.uk to book a space.

Now and until to Sunday 6th January 2019 – Lancaster On Ice, a 6 week Ice Rink and a winter wonderland in the heart of Lancaster City Centre on Dalton Square. Launching on 22 of November, the festive Ice Rink will have a capacity for up to 200 skaters plus Bavarian-style food and drink concessions to get everyone into the Christmas spirit. Enjoy a hot chocolate or mulled wine and listen to the sound of German sausages sizzling on the grill whilst watching friends and family enjoy the ice.

Now and until early 2019 – The Longitude Gallery Autumn Exhibition, prior to an exciting new format the autumn exhibition sees new work from old favourites including: Pat Ellacott, Sharon Steingold, Jeff Smith, Chris Cyprus, Michael Howley & Donald Holden – more details on http://thelongitudegallery.co.uk/

Now and until 2nd January 2019 – Le Corps, L’âme et L’espirit, an exhibition of art by Cedric Charleuf in Clitheroe Castle Museum. Full details of exhibition and opening times on this link: https://www.visitlancashire.com/whats-on/le-corps-lame-et-lesprit-an-exhibition-of-artwork-by-cedric-charleuf-p932810 

Now and until Saturday 20th April 2019 – Structures in Ceramic Exhibition, Blackburn Museum celebrates the history and craft of architectural ceramic production in Darwen. Full details on https://blackburnmuseum.org.uk/whats-on/structures-in-ceramic-exhibition/

Saturday 24th November 2018 – Clitheroe Country Christmas Market, A Saturday Christmas Country Market with lots of home made cakes, bakes and savouries; hand crafted jewellery, knits, textiles cards and fine art prints; home grown plants and flowers. United Reformed Church, Castlegate, Clitheroe 10:00 – 16:00.

Saturday 24th November 2018 – Blackburn Christmas Lights Switch On, hosted by Rock FM’s Steve & Janine, this free event will see Blackburn’s singing sensation Grace Davies switch on the lights. 16:30 – 18:30, King William Street, Blackburn.

Thursday 29th November 2018 – Accrington Christmas Lights Switch On, the new Town Square will play host to the annual Christmas Light Switch On. This event is not to be missed, it promises family entertainment, festive food, and additional extras set to get you in the festive mood. 17:00 – 20:00 – free event.

Thursday 29th November to Sunday 23rd December 2018 – Blackburn Christmas Markets, seven days a week with a Bavarian village feel and authentic German chalets nestled comfortably within the Cathedral Quarter. Bustling with stalls offering novelty and craft items along with festive food & drink.

Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December 2018 – St. Annes Victorian Christmas Festival, including a Christmas Market, festive entertainment, food & drink. The Saturday sees the Christmas lights switch on. More details on this link

Wednesday 12th December 2018 – Clitheroe Concerts Society, the Gitarrissima Quintet of Vienna play excerpts from: Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch, Gershwin, Copeland and others – Gluhwein & mince pies served in the interval. 19:30, CRGS Sixth Form Centre, York Street, Clitheroe, tickets £17 click the link to download the poster CCS poster Gitarrissima Dec 12th 2018.

Saturday 15th December 2018 – Lancashire Rail Ramblers Walk, a circular around Chorley with a choice of 9 or 11 miles starting at approximately 10:00 – details on Lancashire Rail Ramblers Guided Walks

Wednesday 19th December 2018 –  CRL Guided Walk, an easy 8 mile walk starting at Hapton (10:43) and finishing at Whalley. All walks are led by walk leaders from the Lancashire Rail Ramblers – full details on Community Rail Lancashire Guided Walks

PLACES TO VISIT

Click the link above to see a host of interesting places to visit that are close to CRL’s community rail stations.

Discover Amazing Women by Rail

Discover Amazing Women by Rail is a project initiated by the Mid Cheshire Line CRP and invites people to leave their car at home and use the train (along with buses and trams) to explore the fascinating, and often hidden, histories of women who lived and worked in areas along the Mid Cheshire and Calder Valley railway lines, including the Blackburn to Manchester via Todmorden route.

The project is supported with a website (www.amazingwomenbyrail.org.uk) by an A5 booklet available from local stations, tourist information offices and libraries. The booklet can also be downloaded using this link: Amazing Women by Rail

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New Planters For Squires Gate

Yesterday, 14 November, CRL working with Ark Plastics and the Friends of Squires Gate station installed some new planters at the station.

The planters are paired and include a bench with a back rest and are made locally in Accrington from recycled plastic and are very durable, aesthetically pleasing and fit in well with the rest of the station furniture and fencing.

More details of the work of the Friends of St. Annes & Squires Gate Stations can be found on a blog run by one of the members and this includes a short video of the planters being installed. The blog can be found on this link and the video here.

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Northern Apprentices Project Presentations

Yesterday, 17th September 2018, saw a group of Northern apprentices present projects they have been working on to their managers in CRL’s community room at Burnley Manchester Road.

Over the last twelve months eleven Arriva Rail North (Northern) apprentices have been working with Community Rail Lancashire on two projects at stations. The apprentices were spilt into two groups with one working on a project at Burnley Manchester Road station and one at Blackburn station.

Brightening Up Burnley

Following research including passenger surveys set about brightening up the platform areas of the station at Burnley Manchester Road. The project included:

+  A canal themed five rise lock planter – the station is very close to the Leeds Liverpool Canal;
+  Welcome to Burnley signage – individual letters on Dibond with art work designed by local school children; and
+ A silhouette ‘hand tree’ sculpture featuring the hand prints of each child in the class

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Bring Blackburn Back

Again passenger surveys and other research led this group to thinking about art work, signage and additional planters. The final project will include:

+  A giant 2.75m x 1.5m piece of Dibond artwork featuring past, present & future as envisaged by local school children;
+  A welcome to Blackburn map developed in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council;
+  Revamped dementia friendly station and street signage to help with finding the way around the station and to the bus station: and
+  Recycled plastic planter and seating units installed on the platform areas.

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Funding for the various elements of both projects have been found through grants from ACoRP’s Designated Community Rail Development Fund (DCRDF), Arriva Rail North’s Seed Corn Fund, Community Rail Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Council.

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Something For The Weekend XLV

Do you fancy going on a guided walk, visiting a contemporary art gallery, dropping into a country market, taking a scenic bus ride, trying some local food, or learning about the ‘real’ Jericho? Then look no further.

The RMT union has announced a number of dates when they will be taking industrial action (Saturdays 25th August, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th September) and although Northern will be running an emergency timetable your journey may be affected. Please check before travelling to ensure that you can complete your journey.

The Illumination Game – Daniel Cooper (Longitude Gallery)

Every Tuesday – Clitheroe Country Market, in the United Reformed Church Hall on Moor Lane, Clitheroe BB7 1AZ, 09:30 – 12:00 – a country market with quality home baked, hand made and home grown produce. A wide selection of goods from a co-operative of local producers. Home made cakes, pies and jams also handicraft items such as cards, knits and textile gifts. More details on https://www.facebook.com/Clitheroe-Country-Market-307301586087846/

Last weekend of every month – Ormskirk Speciality Markets, great family days out with free entertainment, activities and demonstrations – visit www.chapelgallery.org.uk for full details. Fancy a stall at one of the events then ring 01695 571328 or email chapel.gallery@westlancs.gov.uk to book a space.

Now and until Monday 27th August 2018 – West Lancashire Walking Festival, The festival offers everything from short, themed, informative strolls to long distance countryside rambles. Details on this link: http://www.westlancs.gov.uk/events.aspx

Now and until Saturday 1st September 2018 – The Longitude Gallery – Land of The Lakes, and exhibition of original art and limited edition prints by Daniel Cooper – details on http://thelongitudegallery.co.uk/

Friday 24th August to Sunday 26th August 2018 – The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, 3 days of great music in Colne with 15 official venues, 130+ acts & 150+ gigs. Full details of the line up, tickets etc. on www.bluesfestival.co.uk/

Saturday 25th August & Sunday 26th August 2018 – Burnley Canal Festival, a dynamic celebration of Burnley’s peerless canal heritage including live music, art & craft workshops, street food, picnic area, charity & information stalls, walkabout theatre and much, much more. Details on https://burnleycanalfestival.org/.

Sunday 26th August 2018 – Bowland Explorer, the second season continues for the Bowland Explorer bus service that meanders through the Forest of Bowland AONB on summer Sundays. Get more information and download the timetable here https://www.communityraillancashire.co.uk/the-bowland-explorer/

Monday 27th August 2018 – Settle Bookfair, a chance to buy new and used books in the Victoria Hall, Kirkgate, Settle (about 10 mins walk from the station). 10:00 – 16:00.

Thursday 30th August 2018 – FoSCL’s The Real Jericho Tour, meet at the Heritage centre at 12:15 (10:49 service from Leeds) for a talk about the shanty towns and then a stroll to the viaduct. More details on https://www.foscl.org.uk/content/ribblehead-heritage-tours

All of September 2018 – Cycle September, take part in a fun, friendly workplace cycling campaign, ride anywhere, anytime and encourage others to ride! Details on lovetoride.net/Lancashire

Tuesday 4th September 2018 – CRL Guided Walk – an easy 6 mile walk starting at Rishton (10:58) and finishing at Whalley – full details on Community Rail Lancashire Guided Walks

Saturday 15th September 2018 – CRL Guided Walk – a moderate 10 mile walk starting and finishing at Bromley Cross (10:30) and finishing at Whalley – full details on Community Rail Lancashire Guided Walks

PLACES TO VISIT

Click the link above to see a host of interesting places to visit that are close to CRL’s community rail stations.

Discover Amazing Women by Rail

Discover Amazing Women by Rail is a project initiated by the Mid Cheshire Line CRP and invites people to leave their car at home and use the train (along with buses and trams) to explore the fascinating, and often hidden, histories of women who lived and worked in areas along the Mid Cheshire and Calder Valley railway lines, including the Blackburn to Manchester via Todmorden route.

The project is supported with a website (www.amazingwomenbyrail.org.uk) by an A5 booklet available from local stations, tourist information offices and libraries. The booklet can also be downloaded using this link: Amazing Women by Rail

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Discover Amazing Women By Rail

Tuesday 27th March 2018 saw the launch of a new project called Discover Amazing Women by Rail.

Discover Amazing Women by Rail invites you to leave your car at home and use the train (along with buses and trams) to explore the fascinating, and often hidden, histories of women who lived and worked in areas along the Mid Cheshire and Calder Valley railway lines.

The launch event took place at Elizabeth Gaskell House on Plymouth Grove in the Longsight area of Manchester. The invited guest were first entertained by local women’s music group Herizons singing one of their ‘Strong Manchester Women’ songs. Then Sally Buttifant (Project Co-ordinator) & Richard Lysons (Researcher), gave short speeches about the project.

This was followed by a rousing song by a ‘Votes for Women’ group of suffragettes and then refreshments were served and the guests were able to explore the house and see the fabulous renovations that reflect the house as it would have been in Elizabeth Gaskell’s time.

Full details of the project and to find out which women have been included, visit the website on www.amazingwomenbyrail.org.uk/. The project booklet can be found in tourist information offices, in local stations or by downloading the interactive PDF at https://www.flipgorilla.com/p/25441453291342216/show

 

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7 Line Challenge Success

The question was – can you travel on all seven of the lines in the Community Rail Lancashire area in one day?

The challenge took careful planning and a final itinerary was drawn up that, on paper, made it look like something that could be achieved. It was agreed that the challenge should be done to raise money for a charity and it was decided to support the Bentham Line’s ‘Dementia Friendly Stations’ project and raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.

On Thursday 21st September 2017 Simon Clarke, one of CRL’s Development Officers set off to try and see if it was possible. An very early start saw Simon catching the 05:04 service from Accrington to Colne to start the challenge proper.

Colne station 05:25

The first two lines; Colne to Preston and Preston to Blackpool South were ticked off by 07:15 and Tony Ford, chair of the South Fylde Line CRP was on hand to pass Simon the first donation of the day.

Blackpool South 07:18

Next was the challenge of getting to Leeds in time to make the only train of the day to go through from Leeds to Heysham Port (the Isle of Man Boat Train). This was done by using the 08:13 commuter service from Preston to Manchester with a change at Manchester Oxford Road into the Transpennine Express service from Liverpool to Scarborough. Slow running in the Dewsbury area meant that this train was 8 mins late into Leeds allowing only 1 min to get from platform 15b to platform 11b – only made possible by the encouragement of Daisy Chapman-Chamberlain, one of CRL’s Education Officers, who accompanied Simon of this leg of the journey. Simon made the train and threw himself on just as the doors were about to close!

Once Simon caught his breath he was able to sit back and relax for the journey along the third of the lines, The  Bentham Line (Leeds to Lancaster, Morecambe & Heysham Port) and longest leg of the day at 78.25 miles.

Members of the Leeds, Lancaster & Morecambe CRP (LLMCRP) and the Lancaster & Skipton Rail User Group (LASRUG) joined Simon for parts of this journey including Rod Tickner, David Alder and Catherine Huddleston who all travelled through to Heysham Port.

Heysham Port 13:15

Next was a quick dash down the West Coast Main Line, courtesy of Virgin Trains from Lancaster to Wigan North Western. Simon then crossed over to Wigan Wallgate and boxed off number four of seven the Wigan to Kirkby line.

Kirkby 15:20

It was then back to Wigan to wait for the next train to Southport , with time to admire the handy work of The Wigan Wallflowers, the Friends of Stations Group.

Wigan Wallgate 16:10

And so to line number five Wigan to Southport and then back tracking to Burscough to catch the train from Burscough Junction to Ormskirk. Ormskirk to Preston was line number six and this was 346 miles travelled in 13hrs 29mins.

Southport 17:00

The final line to cover was the Ribble Valley Line, Manchester Victoria to Clitheroe and this meant getting from Preston to Manchester Victoria via Bolton and then travelling on the 20:03 service through to Clitheroe.

This was in theory the end of the challenge but there was the final three quarters of a mile from Gannow Junction to Burnley Manchester Road station to cover. Burnley Manchester Road station is included in the Department of Transport’s community rail designation for the East Lancashire CRP and need to be ticked off to complete the day. It was back from Clitheroe to Blackburn to catch the final Todmorden Curve service arriving in Burnley at 22:54.

The final tally was 433 miles travelled in 17hrs 50mins. The itinerary for the day can be downloaded here https://www.communityraillancashire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/7-Line-Challenge-actual.pdf and for those traction geeks out there a record of the units travelled on is included.

In conclusion: Yes it can be done, but it is a very long day and the connection at Leeds is very, very tight even if the trains are on time. If you asked Simon if he would do this, or something similar, again he would almost certainly say yes – railways are in his blood and he loves a challenge! 

Simon was raising money for The Alzheimer’s Society and to date the total stands at £635.00. If would like to contribute donations will be accepted up to 21st December 2017 and can be done online at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/simonclarke1

 

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The Seven Line Challenge

On Thursday 21st September 2017 Simon Clarke, one of CRL’s Community Rail Development Officers is attempting to travel on all seven of the routes covered by community rail in Lancashire in the space of one day’s timetables.

The Challenge is being carried out to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and a donations page has been set up on the My Donate website at the following link: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/simonclarke1

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to 1 million by 2025. The fundraising will help support people to live well with dementia today and also to fund research to help find a cure for tomorrow. 

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East Lancs To Manchester Direct

Wanting to travel to Manchester from Accrington or Burnley, whether it be for work, university, shopping or leisure then the new direct train service is the best way to go!

Until recently travel to Manchester involved a change of trains at Blackburn or Preston. But following the reinstatement of the Todmorden West Curve a new direct service to Manchester Victoria and Salford via Todmorden from East Lancashire was introduced in May 2015.

The hourly train services starts at Blackburn and calls at Accrington, Rose Grove, and Burnley Manchester Road then over the Copy Pit route calling next at Todmorden then stations into Manchester Victoria, Salford Central and Salford Crescent. Trains then continue through to either Wigan, Kirby or Southport.

Download the timetable by visiting the Todmorden Curve Service landing page on the Northern website at www.northernrailway.co.uk/todmorden-curve.

Journey times from Accrington (63 mins) and Burnley (52 mins) to Manchester Victoria are extremely good and compete very well against other modes of transport.

Prices are competitive too with Anytime Day Return, Off-Peak Day Return, Duo Return tickets and season tickets available. The fares are available in either direction.

  Accrington to Manchester Victoria Burnley Manchester Road toManchester Victoria
Anytime Day Return £12.80   £12.40
Off-peak Day Return £10.00   £9.90
Duo (2 Adults) Return £15.00   £14.80
Weekly Season Ticket £44.90   £44.40

Other period season tickets are available with improved savings for longer periods.

Visit www.northernrailway.co.uk to find out about other fares for this route and for longer journeys anywhere across the country.

Community Rail Lancashire and Northern have produced a leaflet called Explore East Lancashire by Train and this can be downloaded by clicking here or viewed on the CRL website at www.communityraillancashire.co.uk/publicity.

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