Stockport Station Rail Show
Sunday 10 August, between 10am and 4pm, is the date for the annual
Stockport Station Rail Show, which takes place on Stockport station
platforms. The event, run by Niki Abnett of Virgin Trains Stockport,
this year raises funds for the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity
and the Stockport Talking Newspaper Association.
The Rail Show is supported by Virgin Trains, DB Shenker and Direct Rail
Services. This year there will be stalls, model railways, a grand
raffle and visiting diesel locomotives from DB Schenker and DRS. As
usual, this has been planed to coincide with a call at Stockport
station by a steam-hauled 'North Wales Coast Express' excursion, but it
now appears that the 10 August run of this train has been cancelled.
However it appears that the train will still run to Holyhead on 3
August (see the Railway
Touring Company website
28 July 2014
Spar store news
Three months have passed since our last mention of the closed-down Spar
store on Bramhall Lane, so it seemed like a very good time to ask about
any progress in re-opening. We have received the following from James
Hall & Co, who have the contract to supply goods Spar stores in the
north-west, but did not actually operate the Davenport business
although they do own the lease of the building:
We have taken the decision to operate the store as
part of the James Hall & Co. Ltd retail division. Prior to
re-opening we plan to modernise the interior of the store to ensure
that we offer local residents a great range in a modern shopping
environment. Plans are currently being finalised and we hope to re-open
the ‘new look’ store in late September.
Some positive news is certainly needed. Davenport's shopping area has
been looking more and more like a boarded-up wasteland of late.
That shop has an interesting history. It has been leased by the
property arm of James Hall & Co. since 1987, but there has been a
grocer's in that location since the building was converted from houses
some time around 1903. It was originally part of a chain of high-class
grocery shops in our area founded by Ebenezer John Williams, who lived
in Davenport, in the large house 'Broadfield' on Egerton Road. Several
of his sons, who became partners in the business, lived nearby.
25 July 2014.
Help tidy up Mirrlees Fields
The Friends of Mirrlees Fields is holding a tidying-up event on Sunday
13 July from 10am to 3pm and is looking for volunteers. Details are in this PDF file
After waiting three weeks for a reply to our email to
Customer.Relations@northernrail.org, we sent a frustrated 'Tweet' to
Northern Rail's Managing Director, and we have now been informed by
Northern Rail that their 'Planning and Performance Team' have taken on
board our feedback, and they are 'looking to add Davenport and
Woodsmoor calls into the 16:23 Preston - Buxton (17:21 from Piccadilly)
on Saturdays from our Autumn timetable.'
How this blunder, leaving an hour's gap in our service at a busy time,
came about, and why it cannot be corrected immediately by reverting to
the previous times, 'they' have yet to explain, especially since the
train is currently timetabled to wait three minutes at Hazel Grove, and
to arrive at Buxton at 18:24, exactly the same arrival time as when it did
stop at Davenport and Woodsmoor on Saturdays until 17 May.
Also note that at weekends from 5 July, and every day from 19 July to
31 August, trains to and from our line will not serve stations beyond
Bolton, as the line is closed at Chorley for works connected with
electrification. Timings on our line will not change.
01 July 2014
Flying High in the Park
There's a summer event in Cale Green Park
on Sunday 29 June from
13:00 to 16:30, including refreshments, craft stalls, music, clog
dancing and a birds of prey display. Admission is free. See the Friends of Cale Green Park
website for full details.
26 June 2014
Our earlier review of the new
managed to miss one change which is particularly
irritating to Davenport and Woodsmoor passengers. We have emailed the
following to Northern Rail:
Until the recent timetable change, the 16:23 Preston to Buxton train,
which departs Manchester Piccadilly 17:22, called, on Saturdays Only,
at Davenport and Woodsmoor, whilst omitting these stations Monday -
Now it also omits the stops on Saturday, a day on which the 17:23
Manchester Piccadilly to Chinley, which serves Davenport and Woodsmoor
Mondays - Fridays, does not run. The result is a one-hour gap (16:49 to
17:49) in service from Manchester to Davenport just at the busy time on
a Saturday when people want to return home from shopping, sporting
events, and so on - even from work.
I'd be very interested to know why the changes to stops of the Buxton
train have been made, at considerable inconvenience to passengers, yet
with little or no difference to the advertised running times between
Stockport and Hazel Grove.
I'd also like to know who made the decision: was it TfGM, Northern, or
Network Rail, and who was consulted about this annoying change. If not
Northern Rail, who should I be raising this matter with in the hope of
changing back to the previous situation?
Should anyone feel able to also write regarding this to
firstname.lastname@example.org it would help to raise the profile
of the matter.
10 June 2014
'Stalybridge Flyer' re-timed
A mildly disappointing aspect of the timetable change is that the
famous weekly train from Stockport to Stalybridge which runs on Fridays
only has had its departure time from Stockport re-timed from 10:13 to
09:22, meaning that people will not be able to reach it so easily, and
cheap day tickets and concession passes are not valid as it is before
The train is traditionally formed by a diversion via Stalybridge an
empty-stock train which actually runs every weekday from Manchester
Piccadilly to Newton Heath depot, reversing at Stockport. Now, however,
for some reason (lack of a path, perhaps) the train runs empty
via Styal to Wilmslow and reverses there, calling at platform 3 at
Stockport where it cannot stand waiting as it previously did in bay
23 May 2014
The last electric ... for now
Since 2008 the electric overhead wires, brought into use on the
Stockport - Hazel Grove line in 1981, have been almost unused, with
just one token Monday - Friday train worked by a Class 323 electric
unit: the 19:22 Manchester Piccadilly - Hazel Grove, which then
returned empty to Stockport carriage depot for overnight cleaning. Our
picture shows the last run of the 20:04 Hazel Grove - Stockport empty
coaching stock train, running 10 minutes early, passing Davenport. In
the new timetable, the service at this time is provided by a
diesel as it runs through from Preston on the un-electrified route
Network Rail's current electrification programme includes the
Manchester - Preston line, to be complete by December 2016: at that
point we can expect that electric trains will re-appear, on the regular
Hazel Grove - Preston service. It is to be hoped that the overhead
equipment does not deteriorate in the meantime.
22 May 2014
Mirrless Fields news
Jim Gilligan, of the Friends of Mirrlees Fields, writes: 'With our
partners, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, we shall soon start work on
improving the access pathway to the Mirrlees Fields adjacent to Fred
Perry Way. The bulk of this work will take place on Wednesday 21,
Thursday 22 and Friday 23 May, starting at around 9am each morning.
'We need your help to lay edging, move materials and complete the
pathway.This is a community venture for the benefit of our community.
If you can spare some time on all or any of these days and feel able to
join in with the physical work required please contact us at Email
email@example.com or visit our Facebook page "Mirrlees Fields
18 May 2014
Use of 'Social Media' is very fashionable with train companies,
including our very own Northern Rail (twitter.com/northernrailorg
and so on, but
there is a tendency to also use Twitter to issue bulletins about
specific train running.
Rembember, though, that the information on the Twitter feed is manually
input, and data about individual trains may well be missed. For
example, the 19:52 Manchester to Buxton on 16 May ran over 40 minutes
late, but this was never 'Tweeted' even though Tweeting hours are said
to be '0630-2030 Mon-Fri, 0800-2000 Sat & 0900-1700 Sun.' Far
better (in our opinion) to use the Railway's automatic
if you want to check a particular service: there is an Application
available for Mobile Devices
or you can simply use the text
service, e.g. text DVN to 84950 for the next trains at Davenport.
You can 'follow' Charlie Hulme's thoughts about Davenport (and anything
else that comes to mind) at twitter.com/altfelden
17 May 2014
Crowdfunding for Cale Green Park events
For the past six
years, the Friends have been running events in the park. It costs
£1500 per year to run these events, traditionally funded via
grants. But funding for these events is drying up. Even worse, costs
have almost doubled as council budget cuts mean that the Friends will
have to to pay to hire park staff and buy public liability insurance
2014 events are scheduled for 29 June (summer event) and 7 December
(Christmas event). They are free for everyone, but money is
needed for all the entertainment - magician, generators, bands, face
painter, competition prizes, tea room consumables, rides, etc. Every
contribution will make a real difference.
Every pound raised in this campaign will go directly to something that
you will see at the park event.
from 18 May
This year's summer timetable change, from 18 May (Download
), sees a number of alterations to the times of
trains on the Manchester to Hazel Grove and Buxton line. The underlying
pattern remains the same, but there are changes to the exact timings.
Below are some general comments, although there may be other changes we
Mondays to Saturdays, the general rule outside the morning peak is that
trains originating is Buxton depart Davenport at 07 or 08 minutes past
the hour until 22:08 then 23:36, and will run non-stop from Stockport
to Manchester Piccadilly. Trains originating from Hazel Grove will
depart Davenport at 39 or 40 minutes past (the last at 18:39) and call
at all stations, including Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme, to Salford
Crescent before proceeding to stations beyond. The current anomaly of
two trains (14:05 and 16:35) leaving earlier than normal to ensure that
people miss them has finally been ironed out, although why there are
still variations of a minute is anyone's guess: the result of preparing
timetables by computer, presumably.
Timings are still painfully slow: almost all trains, whether or not
they call at Heaton Chapel or Levenshulme, are allowed 15 minutes for
the 6-mile journey from Stockport to Manchester Piccadilly, an average
of just 24 miles per hour.
From Manchester Piccadilly
(with variations in the peaks) departures are at 21 minutes past for
trains running through from Salford Crescent and beyond, and 49 minutes
past (until 21:49, then 23:10) from trains starting from Manchester
Piccadilly. Nearly all trains call at Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme.
The 19:21 (Mon-Fri only) Manchester - Hazel Grove, which currently
starts from Piccadilly, will come through from Preston, meaning that it
can no longer be the one 'token' electrically-powered train of the day
and must be worked by a diesel. Whether another train gets this honour
remains to be seen. Departures from Davenport towards Buxton are
generally earlier than now at 05 minutes past.
Other inconveniences in the timetable remain, notably the lack of
evening through trains from Oxford Road for visitors to the theatre,
etc. which before 2008 were a useful feature, and the paucity of extra
trains in the evening peak (even though the Department of
Transport want many travellers to pay higher fares to travel at that
barely-adequate hourly Buxton service, with slightly earlier
timings, is again augmented by two-hourly trains between
Hazel Grove and Southport, some of which, especially in the evenings,
are very useful as they do offer a service from Oxford Road. However it
is disappointing to see that the Transport for Greater Manchester
planners persist in omitting stops at Middlewood
station on several trains, leaving two-hour gaps in the services for
walkers and cyclists to the pleasant countryside of the Middlewood Way.
Our attempts to get this changed back to the previous hourly call have
resulted in condescending and/or arrogant replies from Transport for
Greater Manchester Officers and TfGM Committee councillors, but we have
not given up. The purported reason is shorter journey times to/from
Buxton, but a glance of the timetable shows that in practice this is
factor is hardly noticeable. Until 2012 Sunday trains called at all
stations, and we do not see why there was any need to change it.
01 May 2014
Northern Rail extended
The Northern Rail franchise, due to expire this year, will continue to
be held by the present Netherlands State Railway / Serco consortium
for a further 22 Months until February 2016, it has been announced by
the Department for Transport.
Northern has 'committed to a range of improvements as part of the
agreement which includes improving ticket purchase facilities,
extending the availability of advanced tickets, investing in better
passenger information by, for example, installing customer information
display screens at a further 100 stations, and funding new
You can watch
, the Managing Director (whose accent reveals
that he grew up not so far from here) explaining some of what will be
happening. Included is some bad news for many: there are to be 'evening
peak restrictions' on the use of Cheap Day Return tickets. If
implemented this will greatly reduce the attractiveness of train travel
for many people.
Also announced recently is that Northern will be getting 14 more
electric trains over the next couple of years for use on the lines
currently in process of electrification and planned. Typically these
will not be new, but hand-me-downs from the London area, built at about
the same time as our present diesels, and much like the Class 150
'sprinters' in general appearance. According to the current plans,
regular electric trains will come back to Hazel Grove at the end of
2016, when electrification of the Manchester - Preston line is
completed and the Hazel Grove - Preston service will be run by electric
trains. Since 2008, just one train per day - the 19:21 Manchester
Piccadilly to Hazel Grove which then returns empty to Stockport
carriage depot - makes use of the electric wiring to Hazel Grove
installed at considerable expense back in 1980.
3 April 2014
Replacement information screens being installed, 2 April. On the
banking, there are signs that inroads have finally been made into the
Japanese Knotweed infestation.
Bramhall Lane 'Spar'
We emailed the Spar company about the prolonged closure of the Bramhall
Lane shop. Their reply:
Thank you for your concern
regarding this Spar Store. We have spoken to James Hall & Co. and
they have informed us that there has been a complication with the
transfer of the sale of the business which will, hopefully, be resolved
as soon as possible.
James Hall & Company
3 April 2014
Stalybridge Flyer 'Folk Train'
The well-known, and absurd, once-weekly 'ghost' train service from
Stockport to Stalybridge will be a 'Folk Train' on Good Friday 14
April. Normal train fares apply. Resident musicians Ged & Phil plus
expected guest musicians, will be providing the Folk Music
entertainment on the train and in the equally-famous Stalybridge
Station Buffet bar. The train departs Stockport 10:13, Reddish South
10:20 and Denton 10:25. Passengers will need to return via Manchester
Piccadilly as there is no direct return service. See also the Friends of Reddish
Our picture shows the train departing from Reddish South on 28 March.
This looks like some remote country branch, and indeed it is very
convenient for access to Reddish Vale Country Park. However, it does
serve a residential area, and there is a large Morrisons store right
next to the station. The long-term aim of the Friends group is the
establishment of a regular service between Stockport and Manchester
Victoria which could run this way.
Incidentally, although a 'Friends of Davenport Station' group was
formed some time ago, it has had trouble generating interest among the
Davenport Community. This site is not organised by the Friends as such,
but if anyone is interested in helping to run a group we can put you in
touch with the Chairman.
3 April 2014
Woodsmoor show repeat
By popular demand, Sue Bailey and Roger Sim will be giving a repeat
performance of their slide show on the history of Woodsmoor on Friday 21 March
at the tennis club
pavilion, Flowery Field, starting at 7.30pm.
We strongly recommend this to anyone who missed this the first time
round: anyone interested in local history is sure to learn something:
certainly did, including the reason why the new house under
construction in Flowery Field is called Walmsley House ... but the
origin of the naming of this former peat moor after 'Woods'
still eludes researchers.
11 March 2014
There has been a change to the
of the 'Buxton
' on 15 March. The diesel loco will now take over the train,
which will have arrived at Buxton behind the steam loco via the Hope
Valley line and Peak Forest, will now leave
and run via Romiley and Denton to Stockport (Pass
17:07) and on towards London. The steam loco and its support
coach, destined for the East Lancashire Railway, will run
. departing Buxton at 16:00 and passing
Davenport about 16:50.
Anyone wishing to travel on a main line steam special should note that
the Railway Touring company has some North
trips planned for the summer, which will be
picking up at Stockport on Sundays 3rd and 10th August and 7th
10 March 2014
Two Together Railcard
A new development in the
National Rail fares scheme started on 3 March with the full launch of
Together' Railcard after a trial period when it was sold only to West
Midlands Residents. This card, which will cost £30 a year from
Offices or £27 on-line, is for use by two named people (always
same two, photos required) travelling together by rail at off-peak
times (i.e. not before 09:30 Mondays - Fridays) and offers 33% discount
for both people on all the usual range of single and return tickets,
both standard and first class. Both people have to be over 16. It will
be possible to have more than one of these cards, or one in addition to
a Senior or other card, although of course the discounts are not
The idea seems to be to compete with the car, which two people can use
as cheaply as one, although people without a car, but with a regular
travelling companion will also benefit. As transport writer Simon
Calder points out, it can be worth it for just one journey: 'Take a
standard London-Birmingham off-peak round trip: £50.50 per person
Virgin Trains, so £101 for two. The Two Together fare, plus the
a new railcard, is £96.70, which saves enough for a cup of tea
For more details, visit the Two Together Website
good idea. Perhaps one day Britain will follow Germany and offer a
card, perhaps at a higher subscription, which even a single adult under
retirement age can buy.
05 March 2014
New local history feature
A Postcard from Davenport No.5
Bramhall Lane and Frewland Avenue, compares some old postcards with the
present-day scene, and adds a little historical detail.
21 February 2014
Model Railway Show in Chapel-en-le-Frith
and District Railway Modellers
present their annual Exhibition at
Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, Long Lane, Chapel-en-le-Frith on
Saturday 22 February (10:00 - 17:00) and Sunday 23 February (10:00 -
16:30). Admission: Adults £5.00, Concessions £4.00,
Family (2+2) £12.00. Over 20 layouts, plus displays and trade
We recommend travelling to the show by train: the journey is rathher
scenic, and the scholl is easily reached from Chapel station by walking
down the lane towars the town, about half a mile. The off-peak return
fare (valid all day at weekends) is £7.70; two people travelling
together can use a 'Duo' ticket for only £11.50. If you already
have a Greater Manchester pass or traincard you can ask for a
Middlewood - Chapel ticket which is cheaper.
19 February 2014
Woodsmoor History Talk
The Mirrlees Fields Friends
is offering a History Project Slide show
Davenport Tennis Club Pavilion, Flowery Field, on Friday 28 February
booklet they’re hoping to publish this summer. They have a wealth of
information from their researches into old archives and from peoples’
memories, photographs and drawings which have been collated over the
past couple of years. Admission will be £1 on the door, the show
starts at 2.00pm and is then repeated at 7.30pm - there will be tea and
18 February 2014
'Biomass' for Adswood Tip
A planning application now in progress involves the conversion of 18
Hectares of the landfill site (formerly part of Adswood Tip) adjacent
to Tenement Lane into a 'biomass plantation'. According to the
applicants (see Stockport
Landcare (Manchester) Ltd are seeking to import
suitable materials to landscape
the site and in order create a new a biomass plantation to produce
(Short Rotational Bio-Coppice (SRC)) with the intention that these are
to provide a sustainable source of energy. The SRC grows up to 4m in
the first season and is then cut back to encourage growth during the
The SRC is harvested as chips, rods or billets depending on the end use
requirements and is harvested every 3 - 4 years. The plantation can
for up to 30 years before re-planting becomes necessary.
Very 'green and pleasant' you might think, especially as a public
footpath around the plantation will be provided as a local amenity,
maybe until you read that:
The waste recovery plan confirms that the material
will include combined
demolition and excavation material together with soils that are
improvement purposes and which are suitable for the permanent deposit
These will be placed using standard construction equipment of
and dumptrucks. It is anticipated that these works will take between 3
years depending on surrounding development producing material. The
will be brought to site by HGVs with the number of loads being
per day (100 movements).
This looks very much like the proposal for a disposal site for building
waste that has caused concern among residents in the Adswood Road area
who would be affected by the additional vehicles using the entrance
adjacent to the current recycling facility. It will be interesting to
see how this application proceeds.
18 February 2014
After the storm
Buxton line trains are running almost normally this morning (Thursday
13 February) after the gales of the previous evening, which blocked the
line near Whaley Bridge for a while and also affected Stockport -
Manchester. Rail staff did a good job in keeping some trains running on
our line: the electrified lines to Macclesfield and Crewe ceased
operation completely due to overhead line damage. Two trains were
stranded near Congleton for four hours.
There is still overhead line damage on the slow line serving Heaton
Chapel and Levenshulme stations, and trains to Manchester are unable to
call there (information at 08:00).
13 February 2014
The 'Spar' supermarket on Bramhall Lane was found to be 'closed until
notice' on 11 February for reasons unexplained.
11 February 2014
The Sutherland Picture Collection
Sutherland Photographic collection
, which includes many pictures of
local railway scenes, has now been expanded to include the late Mr
Sutherland's black-and-white pictures as well as his colour slides.
Above: 'Black 5' locomotive 44935 on the 12.50pm (Saturdays only)
Manchester - Buxton, February 1958. Steam was only used on rush-hour
extras by that date; many people still had to work on Saturdays until
lunchtime. Note the gas lamp and the extra platform shelter, now
vanished without trace.
Our thanks again to Mrs Sutherland for permitting us to offer this
marvellous collection online.
12 February 2014
Class 70 at Davenport
A locomotive type not often seen at Davenport station: General
Electric-built 70 003
in charge of a transfer of wagons from
Eggborough power station in Yorkshire to Freightliner's base at Guide
Bridge on 3 February.
5 February 2014
Stockport Daily Photo
'D for Davenport station' is the 5 February feature (apparently it's 'ABC Wednesday
, which is well worth a visit.
5 February 2014
Yellow Line news
Pedestrians will hopefully be pleased to see that the double yellow
lines on Oakfield Road, implemented back in 1991 (letter
) to deter vehicle owners from
blocking the red pavement installed at that time to give the garages
use of the former pavement behind, have now been repainted, having
vanished after years of lack of maintenance, leading to widespear
disregard of the restriction. Let us hope they are now obeyed.
30 January 2014
On the Midland Line
On the very murky afternoon of Sunday 26 January, DB Schenker
locomotive 60 007 passes under Bramhall Lane with the regular stone
train from Tunstead to the chemical complex at Oakleigh Sidings near
Northwich, which has been a regular sight here in various guises since
the 1930s. We understand that the Winnington soda ash plant, once
Brunner Mond, ICI and now, like so much of Britain's heavy industry,
owned by the Tata group of India, is closing very soon due to 'rising
energy costs' and this train will run no more after 2 February.
We also have a YouTube
featuring this train and others.
Looking at this single-track byway now, it is hard to recall that until
the later 1960s, many London expresses, including the 'Midland Pullman'
hurried under this bridge on the double-track main line opened by the
Midland Railway in 1902.
26 January 2014
New: Document Archive
Local historians may be interested in our new Document Archive which
currently had downloadable directors for Stockport dated 1896, 1910 and
1914, offering an interesting picture of life in our area a century
ago. Everyone is welcome to download
copies of the documents
: more will be added in due course.
Bridge damage at Strines
Northern Rail report: 'Stopping train services between Manchester
Piccadilly and Sheffield [va New Mills Central are continuing to be
disrupted following a vehicle hitting a bridge near Strines on Thursday
afternoon 23 January. The collision caused damage to the masonry which
needs to be stabilised and repaired. [From Monday 27 January, our
Sheffield to Manchester Piccadilly services will run as scheduled but
services from Manchester Piccadilly to Sheffield will be diverted via
Stockport with Chinley as the first stop.
'Services from Manchester Piccadilly to New Mills Central will
terminate at Marple, with alternative road transport provided between
Marple and New Mills Central. Similarly, services from New Mills
Central to Manchester Piccadilly will use alternative road transport
from New Mills Central to Marple, with a train service from Marple into
Note that this will not affect the Manchester - Sheffield express
service, which runs via Stockport and does not pass through Strines.
The diverted stopping trains may be noticed passing through Davenport,
and we can expect trains calling at New Mills Newtown to be busier than
usual as people avoid using the bus replacement from New Mills Central.
26 January 2014.
Problems on Thursday 23 January
I was a bad morning on our railway on 23 January with 'signalling
to a power failure between Stockport and Manchester which began just
after 08:30. The train from Alderley Edge which left Stockport at 08:35
was trapped for nearly two hours and did not reach Manchester until
10:35. Many other trains were diverted or cancelled, and services
from Buxton and Chester were being turned back at Stockport. The fault
appears to have been repaired about 10:30, but with continuing
disruption due to trains being in the wrong places to form ther
26 January 2014
Bamford Grange: a house in Adswood
There's a new feature on our History pages
tracing the life and times of Bamford Grange, the house which once
stood on the site in Adswood of the the present-daty care home of the
same name, with its blue plaque to Edwardian starlet Gabrielle Ray.
We'd be very interested to hear from anyone who can add to the story
with personal memories.
19 January 2014
Weary Blues from Waiting
the road to get to the station from the 'Convenience Shop'
corner can be a wearying experience. After waiting at the Garners Lane
crossing for the 'green man' to get to the triangular island, you will
often find that (unless you are Usain Bolt) the Bramhall Lane crossing
has already changed from green man to red just before you reach it and
you have to wait all over again. Frustrating. We've made a Youtube video of a
, by way of a cry
7 January 201