Station Name: HADLOW ROAD

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.10.1866
Location: On the east side of Hadlow Road (B5151) north of the junction with Adfalent Lane (track)
Company on opening: GWR & LNWR Joint
Date closed to passengers: 17.9.1956
Date closed completely: 7.5.1962
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Station has been preserved in its 1950s condition as part of the Wirral Country Park.
County: Cheshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ331773
Date of visit: 8.4.2005 and 28.5.2017

Notes: Hadlow Road station was situated on the Birkenhead Joint Railway (BJR) Hooton and Parkgate branch which opened on 1 October 1866. The BJR was a joint railway of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) and the Great Western Railway (GWR). Hooton was located on the BJR Birkenhead - Chester main line and there was a colliery at Parkgate (Neston Colliery) which the BJR wanted to serve. The Parkgate branch passed through a rural area but three stations were provided to serve areas of population (the other two being Neston and Parkgate).

Hadlow Road was situated on the east side of its namesake which the line crossed by means of a level crossing. It served the village of Willaston a short distance to the north. The branch was a single track line but a passing loop was provided at Hadlow Road. A substantial brick built building which included a two storey house for the station master waxs provided on the down side of the line (Hooton direction). Facilities included a booking office, a waiting room and a lamp room used by railway staff to replenish signal lamps with oil. At the time of opening there were no facilities on the up side platform (Parkgate direction).

Goods facilities were provided to the east of the station on the north side of the line and comprised two sidings.

At the time of opening passenger services mostly ran between Hooton and Parkgate with some services continuing on to Birkenhead Monks Ferry.

On 19 April 1886 the branch line was extended from Parkgate to West Kirby. From this time the pattern of passenger services at Hadlow Road was westbound (up direction) to West Kirby and eastbound (down direction) to Hooton with some going forward to Birkenhead Woodside. At this time some long distance passenger services used the connection and excursion traffic used the connection at West Kirby onto the Wirral line.

A signal box had been provided by the 1890s. It was located on the down platform to the east of the station building.

The December 1895 showed Hadlow Road as having eleven down and eleven up trains Monday-to-Fiday as shown in the table below. There was an extra up train on Saturdays and on Tuesdays. Four trains ran in each direction on Sundays.

Down trains December 1895 Destination Up trains December 1895 Destination
8.18am Hooton 6.44am West Kirby
8.58am Hooton 7.55am West Kirby
10.11am Hooton 9.14am West Kirby
11.54am Hooton 10.45am West Kirby
2.04pm Hooton 1.04pm West Kirby
3.35pm Hooton 2.35pm (Saturdays Excepted) West Kirby
5.19pm Hooton 2.44pm (Saturdays Only ) West Kirby
6.50pm Hooton 4.12pm West Kirby
7.39am Hooton 5.30pm West Kirby
9.04pm Hooton 6.35pm West Kirby
10.21pm Hooton 8.04pm West Kirby
    9.31pm West Kirby
    10.34pm (Saturdays Only ) Parkgate
    11.54pm (Tuesdays Only ) Heswall

The 1904 Handbook of Stations listed Hadlow Road as being able to handle passengers, parcels and general goods.

By 1909 a brick waiting shelter had been provided on the up platform.

By July 1922 the passenger service had increased to fifteen up and fouteen down trains Monday-to-Friday. There was an extra up and an extra down train on Saturdays. Five trains ran in each direction on Sundays.

On 1 January 1923 the LNWR became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). From this date the line became LMS/GWR joint. In 1927 Neston Colliery closed which led to a big reduction in freight traffic over the line. However the passenger service remained popular throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s. The summer 1932 timetable showed Hadlow Road as having twenty up and twenty down trains Monday-to-Friday. On Saturdays there were twenty-one down trains and there were seven trains in each direction on Sundays. Two of the up trains ran through to New Brighton the 11.27am and the 9.34pm. The latter train had originated from London Euston. The 10.55am down train had through coaches for London Euston which had originated from New Brighton.

With the outbreak of the Second World War on 3 September 1939 the passenger service was reduced and through trains to and from London Euston ceased.

On 1 January 1948 Hadlow Road became part of British Railways (London Midland Region). The October 1950 timetable showed Hadlow Road as having only nine up and ten down trains Monday-to-Friday. Seven of the down trains ran through to Birkenhead Woodside. There were only eight up trains on Saturdays but in the outher direction there were eleven. There was no Sunday service.

By the mid-1950s one of the major users of the line were scholars travelling from stations along the route to the secondary schools in West Kirby but otherwise competition from road transport saw a big decline in passenger numbers. Faced with mounting losses British Railways withdrew the passenger service between Hooton and West Kirby and Hooton completely on 17 September 1956. The last passenger train was a down service that had departed from West Kirby at 9.55pm on Saturday 15 September 1956.

Hadlow Road remained open for general goods services. In 1961 newly introduced DMUs passed through Hadlow Road station. However they were not for the use of passengers. The line was being used to train drivers in the use of the DMUs.

Hadlow Road station continued to be used for goods until 7 May 1962. The last goods train stopped at all of the former passenger stations and removed any remaining fixtures and fittings that were of value. Early in 1964 the demolition gangs began their work and the line was lifted.

In 1968 the route of the Hooton - West Kirby Branch was chosen to create Britain's first country park the Wirral Country Park opening in 1973. The park forms the central section of Wirral Way, a 12 miles cycleway and footpath that follows the course of the railway between West Kirby and Hooton.The station building and the eastbound platform was restored to its 1950s state as a typical village station. The westbound platform, with its brick shelter was restored in 2012.

In 2015 the station was in the ownership of Cheshire West & Cheshire Council and a Friends of Hadlow Road Station group was set up to promote and care for it.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

To see the other stations on the Hooton - West Kirby line click on the station name: West Kirby, Kirby Park, Caldy, Thurstaston, Heswall, Parkgate (2nd), Parkgate (1st), Neston South & Hooton

See also: Friends of Hadlow Road Station


Hadlow Road station looking east from the western end of the up platform
in the first decade of the 20th century.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection



Hadlow Road shown on a 6-inch scale map from 1869. At that time the station had only one platform.


Hadlow Road station shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1909. This map shows the station after it had gained an up platform and a signal box.


Looking east at Hadlow Road station in 1950.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

Hadlow Road station looking north-east from the up platform after closure.
Photo by Matt Doran


The level crossing at Hadlow Road seen from the west end of the down platform in 1964.
Photo from the H J Leadbetter collection

Hadlow Road station in April 1977 shortly after it had been restored as a feature of the Wirral Way.
Photo by Alan Young


The Hadlow Road down platform looking east on 28 May 2017.
Photo by Paul Wright


Breakfast is served at Hadlow Road station on Sunday 28 May 2017. At this time a
Friends of Hadlow Road Station
group had been formed and as part of their fund raising activities breakfasts were served at the station every two weeks.
Photo by Paul Wright

To see more photos of Hadlow Road click here.

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]



Last updated: Sunday, 28-May-2017 18:24:41 BST
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