Fifty years ago

2 May 1970: It was a geography field trip from school – a week in Little Stretton. Most of those attending would be travelling in the school minibus and teachers’ cars, but three of us would need to get there by rail. I was one of the three, volunteered, in effect, by our teacher, who shared my interests in our railways. The weekend also marked the end of the “North and West” route via Shrewsbury and Hereford, for trains from the north-west of England to and from Cardiff and the West Country. I travelled on a “North and West” express from Manchester Piccadilly, as far as Shrewsbury.

During the week we visited many places which would become very familiar a few years later, when I moved to the area for work. We walked on the Stiperstones ridge, visited Snailbeach, explored the Wenlock Edge, and took a trip to Telford, which had been designated thus just two years earlier. We also had an afternoon to ourselves – I visited Bridgnorth, where the Severn Valley Railway was preparing for its reopening later that month. Little did I suspect that this fascinating area would become home just a few years later.

5 thoughts on “Fifty years ago

  1. Graham

    What a fascinating collection of photographs Geoff. You had an enlightened teacher allowing you to make the journey by train rather than cooped up in the school minibus !

  2. Graham

    It must have took them an age as I don’t think the M62 Transpennine motorway had happened by May 1970. Maybe they took the long way round via Derby. Did all the trains from Yorkshire run into Manchester Piccadilly then ? I’ve a feeling that sometimes connections were made at Stalybridge?

    1. I travelled outward via Sheffield and the Hope Valley – I’d never been that way before – into Piccadilly. A week later, the Stockport – Stalybridge service did the trick.
      Minibus: I suspect they travelled via Skipton – Clitheroe – Preston, but I didn’t ask the question…

  3. Graham

    It all sounds a great adventure for young eyes. I can remember going on two geography field trips from secondary school. On one we didn’t even get out of County Durham – Middleton in Teesdale was the destination although it was still tolerable with visits to High Force etc.

    The second was to Cromford, Derbyshire which was better with a good industrial archaeology content : Richard Arkwright, Cromford Canal and even a walk up the Sheep Pasture Incline of the old C&HPR. I remember being fascinated by an abandoned/ crashed wagon in the catch pit of the latter.

    It was all group travel in the school mini bus though – no railway adventures on the way.

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