Saturday, 28 May 2011

Surprisingly Interesting Bury.

As we had a full day planned out we were down at the bus stop for the 9.30am bus into Bury. Arriving at the bus station the first problem was getting our bearings which we don’t normally have a problem with but today the layout of the city centre caught us off guard.  Luckily the city father’s have placed plenty of directional signs around the city to make it easy for visitors like us.

Memorial to John Kay who revolutionised the Textile Industry with many inventions..Memorial to John Kay who revolutionised the Textile Industry with many inventions.

Found in the Bury Market Hall.Found in the Bury Market Hall.

"The Castle" Barracks of the Lancashire Fusiliers."The Castle" Barracks of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

First stop was the Bury market reportedly the biggest and best in Britain. Well we couldn’t argue with that, with the Market Hall, the Open Air segment and the Meat & Fish Hall there is reputedly over 350 stalls. Well we didn’t have time to count them all so we’ll take their word for it.

Privately owned class 5 on the East Lancs; railway after undergoing repairs.Privately owned class 5 on the East Lancs railway after undergoing repairs.

The original trackwork from the main line.The original track work from the main line.

Part of a 1940's re-enactment week-end.Part of a 1940's re-enactment week-end.

Next on the agenda was the East Lancs Railway which is based in Bury. Yesterday we had seen a 0-6-0 saddle tank on the line as it passed through the Burrs Country Park and expected to see the same today. However we were in for a surprise as there was a class 5 at the head of the train as it pulled into the station. Apparently the loco is one of two class 5’s which are privately owned and they normally work steam excursions on the mainline. It had been bought into the East Lancs railway workshops for repairs and they must have been testing it before sending it back.

Rawtenstall station. The end of the line.Rawtenstall station. The end of the line.

Castlecroft  Goods Shed Bury now a Transport Museum.Castlecroft Goods Shed Bury now a Transport Museum.

Parcels van now a snack bar/cafe.Parcels van now a snack bar/cafe.

The journey from Bury to Rawtenstall is approximately 10 miles long taking in viaducts over the River Irwell, 2 tunnels and 2 level crossings, one mechanically operated the other manually by the signalman. All the stations along the way were preparing for the forth coming 1940’s week-end. This included todays run for a couple of school classes who were experiencing what children of the 1940’s experienced with being evacuated out of London to the country and being billeted out. The line also runs out the opposite way to Heywood, approximately 2 miles which is close to where the line originally joined the main line. During Summer and week-ends they run two trains over the full 12 miles from Heywood to Rawtenstall.

Post Office 1955 Morris Minor van. One of only 8 ever built.Post Office 1955 Morris Minor van. One of only 8 ever built for this purpose.

'Doris' Very early steam traction.'Doris' Very early steam traction.

Station names from a bygone era.Station names from a bygone era. People pay a fortune for these!

The railway also runs the Bury Transport Museum in the old 1848 Castlecroft Goods Shed on the opposite side of the road to the station. £3m has been spent on restoring the building and exhibits making it a first class educational facility. From barges to railways, steam to the internal combustion engine, transport both passenger and freight is well and truly documented. Talking to one of the museum volunteers we found that the railway and museum has backing from three local councils and many corporate sponsors. They all realise the tourism value that both attractions bring to Bury which is a city that doesn’t normally pop up as a tourist venue. Last year over 120,000 visitors were recorded as visiting both venues and they are hoping for an increase this year.

Circa 1914 model "T" ford van. Note the non electric lights.Circa 1914 model "T" ford van. Note the non electric lights.

Workman's caravan.Workman's caravan.

Passing Burrs Country Park on the East Lancs; railway. Spot Gypsy Rover?Passing Burrs Country Park on the East Lancashire Railway. Spot Gypsy Rover?


Peter Berry said...

Glad you seemed to enjoy Bury, Margaret's home town. Did you try Bury black pudding? No, neither did I , Yuck! Bury has left Bolton Standing, and has had much regeneration recently. Wigan is another interesting town around here, with the Leeds Liverpool Canal passing through, and of course Wigan Pier of George Orwell fame. Regards, Peter.

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Peter and Margaret

No we were tempted with the black pudding but decided to giver it a miss. We were at Wigan two years ago this July when we did the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and travelled down to the Liverpool Docks. Absolutely fantastic.
Regards Dot

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Peter and Margaret

I forgot the link