Forever Changes

Take a journey back into Warrington’s past with these views of town centre supplied by Terry Eyres. I have based my descriptions on Terry’s notes. All seven photos are Copyright © Terry Eyres.

This first photo goes back to January 1981. A Trans Pennine train on a Sundays-only Hull to Liverpool run can just be seen poking out of Warrington Central. The curving road with the milk float on it is Golborne Street and the footbridge connected to Golden Square Shopping Centre. On the far right are the chimneys and building of Cockhedge Mill, now demolished, and replaced with Cockhedge Shopping Park, which opened in 1984. Parr’s Bank (now NatWest) is in front of the mill. The Cheshire Lines railway warehouse is in the centre of the photo, and to its right are the offices of the Rylands Wire factory on Battersby Lane.

This next shot moves to the left of the previous view and shows diesel locomotive 47 835 crossing over Bewsey Street as it leaves Warrington Central for Liverpool. The street here is Brown Street, and the building on the right was where the Warrington Observer newspaper was based. The photo was taken in 1991.

This is a view looking west on Boxing Day 1986 showing the remains of the stabling point alongside Warrington Central Station, a sub shed of Liverpool Brunswick shed. There with two concrete stop blocks at the Horsemarket Street end. It was in use until 1966, outliving Brunswick. Crown Street is to the left. I remember an amusement arcade in the white building on the left. It is where I first played the Space Invaders game, but I was never any good at it. I preferred the Breakout brick game.

This next view shows the construction of Midland Way, which was built over the arches alongside the station building. Terry says he will always remember walking down Winwick Street as a kid looking up at a few 4F’s and Stanier/Fairburn 2.6.4 tanks, a very strange sight from ground level. Midland Way is now the route of the A57 through-road. The area in the foreground is now the location of Warrington Interchange, the bus station. The photo was taken in 1995 or 1996.

This is the modern view of the area taken in 2008. Midland Way is on the right. The train is unusual. It isn’t often you see just one carriage. The surrounding streets and Budget Tyres & Clutches have all been swept away. St Alban’s Social Club to the left of the train has now been demolished.

Here we see 47371, a no heat freight loco working 16.45 Liverpool – Sheffield on Saturday 13 June 1987. It crosses over Allen Street bridge passing the Blue Back pub. The pub was demolished when Midland Way was built in 1996.

The photo left is a similar view from ground level showing Midland Way in the foreground. At least they saved some of the greenery – probably new bushes as the old ones would have been uprooted when the road was built.