Station Name: HOLME (Lancs)

[Source: Alan Young]


Date opened: 12.11.1849
Location: Track leading from Burnley Road (A646) at Holme Chapel, Cliviger; railway still in use
Company on opening: Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 28.7.1930
Date closed completely: 28.7.1930
Company on closing: London, Midland & Scottish Railway
Present state:

Demolished

County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD874282
Date of visit: October 1977 and July 2016

Holme station on the Copy Pit route was suffixed ‘Lancs’ to distinguish it from its namesakes in Huntingdonshire, Yorkshire (later renamed ‘Holme Moor’) and Norfolk.

Although Bradshaw timetables do not include the station until September 1851 it is most likely that Holme opened with the line between Todmorden and Burnley (Thorneybank / Manchester Road) on 12 November 1849; it was not uncommon for intermediate stations to be omitted from timetables. The station is within the extensive parish of Cliviger, one of several parishes in the Lancashire / West Riding Pennines which contain a number of villages and hamlets though no substantial settlement having the name of the parish. Holme (now generally known as Holme Chapel or Holme-in-Cliviger) is part of a discontinuous line of settlements in the spectacular upper valley of the Lancashire Calder, stretching from Burnley towards the watershed at the former Copy Pit. These settlements consist mainly of stone-built terraced cottages which housed workers employed on the land and in the small local coal pits, all of which have closed. Holme station was located almost half a mile from the village and was reached by an inconspicuous lane close to the Ram Inn. The station’s setting is as rural and remote today as it was when it opened.

The station also served Holme Hall (also known as ‘The Holme’ or, simply, ‘Holme’) residence of the Whitaker family. The hall is about half a mile north-east of the station, on the far side of Burnley Road, now the A646 between Todmorden and Burnley; at the time of writing (November 2016) it is undergoing conversion into ‘luxury’ apartments. It seems that the Whitakers preferred not to mingle with the local people when travelling between their home and the station, so they enjoyed the privacy of their own footpath. This passed under Burnley Road then crossed the family’s fields, with a footbridge over the River Calder; having passed beneath the railway, approaching the station there was a private stone arched footbridge beyond which the path continued directly to the down platform. This bridge survives, and without an understanding of its obscure origin and purpose it would appear to be little more than a folly, standing as it does just a few yards from the similar bridge which carries the railway over the track beyond the station. There is a local belief that the Whitakers chartered a complete railway carriage which stopped at a section of segregated platform which was reached by the bridge, but no reliable evidence has been found of this. I am grateful to Ken Geddes for providing information on the association of the station with the Whitakers of Holme Hall.

Holme station possessed two facing platforms with the station building at the north-west end of the down (Burnley-bound) platform, opposite the approach path. It was a pitched-roofed timber structure on a stone base - a much poorer affair than the attractive stone villa provided at the neighbouring Towneley station. The gents’ toilet was in a separate timber building some way along the platform. Structures on the up platform were also of timber, and OS map evidence suggests that they were not constructed until the 1890s, at the earliest; they consisted of a small booking office at the north-west end, followed by a hipped roof waiting room and ladies’ toilet (reminiscent of buildings at Portsmouth and Cornholme stations) and a small separate building serving as the gents’ toilet. There was no footbridge at the station, so passengers used the barrow crossing at the Burnley end to transfer between the platforms. The signal box and water tank were on the down side, north-west of the station. No goods facilities were provided.

Despite its somewhat isolated position, with no population to speak of on the southern side of the line where the land rose steeply to the moors, local trains routinely called at Holme station.

Up trains: weekdays
February 1863

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

7.01am

Todmorden

8.09am

Rose Grove

8.56am

Todmorden

9.56am

Rose Grove

10.51am

Todmorden

12.23pm

Burnley

12.31pm

Todmorden

1.33pm

Rose Grove

2.41pm

Todmorden

3.18pm

Burnley

4.01pm

Todmorden

5.26pm *

Burnley

7.01pm

Todmorden

8.03pm

Rose Grove

Up trains: Sunday

Destination

Down trains: Sunday ¶

Destination ¶

8.28am

Todmorden

9.18am

Burnley

10.56am

Todmorden

1.03pm

Burnley

7.58pm

Todmorden

9.09pm

Burnley

Destinations are not always made clear in Bradshaw
* Approximate time. Stops to set down first class passengers only
¶ Summary timetable given with no information on calls at Holme. Burnley stated as destination

The signal box at Holme station opened in 1877/78 and was a Saxby & Farmer Type 9, north-west of the down station platform. It contained a 14-level S&F frame. The box closed in 1905 and the location ceased to be a block post. However platform levers were installed immediately beyond the down platform’s north-western ramp adjoining the barrow crossing; Littleworth (2002) suggests that this was possibly because the Board of Trade insisted at this time that trains standing in stations had to be protected by fixed signals. One of the levers possibly locked the wicket gate at the up side entrance. The date of abolition of the levers is not known. A further signal box named Holme Tunnel opened in 1905/06 at the south-eastern end of the tunnel on the down side of the tracks; it was a brick-based LYR box containing a 12-level frame. The function of the box was to control the end of the Down Loop line running from Copy Pit.

Up trains: weekdays
August 1887

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

7.10am

Todmorden

8.26am

Blackburn via Padiham

8.12am

Todmorden

10.03am

Blackpool

11.27am

Todmorden

11.01am

Accrington

1.02pm

Todmorden

12.49pm

Accrington

2.53pm

Todmorden

1.51pm

Preston

4.00pm

Todmorden

4.11pm

Accrington

5.55pm

Todmorden

5.51pm

Preston

6.55pm

Todmorden

7.01pm

Accrington

9.07pm

Todmorden

8.56pm

Preston

-

-

10.16pm

Accrington

Up trains: Sunday

Destination

Down trains: Sunday

Destination

8.54am

Todmorden

9.41am

Blackpool

11.06am

Todmorden

12.46pm

Accrington

2.59pm

Todmorden

3.46pm

Preston

4.51pm

Todmorden

8.11pm

Preston

8.16pm

Todmorden

9.16pm

Blackburn

Destinations are not always made clear in the timetable

The rural tranquillity of Holme was shattered on 27 September 1907. A train of about 40 wagons carrying goods including coal and onions was on its way from Normanton to Liverpool when it came to grief at Holme. It appears that a draw-bar, or coupling, broke between the 13th and 14th wagons, and the train broke into two sections which came together at the station. In the collision the buildings on the down platform were almost totally destroyed; these included the booking office, waiting rooms and the stationmaster’s quarters. The wagons and locomotive came to rest in a pile beside the line. Sadly, William Pim, the deputy stationmaster, was killed outright as the wagons careered through the station. If the accident had occurred several minutes later many more deaths might have occurred as people assembled to catch the 11.00am train. The accident must have taken place at 10.37 as the station clock stopped at that time as a result of the accident. The only other item to survive on the down platform was the station’s iron safe.

The incident was reported in Burnley Express the following day, 28 September 1907.

Photographic evidence suggests that the demolished building at the Burnley end of the down platform was replaced with a modest timber structure on the same platform a short distance to the south-east.

In January 1922 the LYR was absorbed into the LNWR; a year later the LNWR lost its identity within the LMS in the ‘Grouping’. The timetable below shows the departures from Holme station during the short period when it was administered by the LNWR. The service is reasonably frequent on weekdays, although trains call at irregular intervals; even on Sunday there is a respectable service.

Up trains: weekdays
July 1922

Destination

Down trains: weekdays

Destination

6.52am

Todmorden

8.11am

Rose Grove

8.13am

Todmorden

9.56am

Rose Grove

9.39am

Todmorden

10.26am‡

Preston

12.53pm

Todmorden

11.38am Tue & Sat

Preston

2.30pm Wed & Sat § 

Hull (Riverside)

12.46pm

Preston

2.40pm Sat only

Todmorden

1.46 pm Sat only

Rose Grove

2.51pm

Todmorden

2.46pm

Rose Grove

5.19pm

Todmorden

4.27pm

Accrington

6.37pm

Todmorden

5.31pm

Accrington

8.43pm

Todmorden

6.31pm

Accrington

9.39pm

Todmorden

8.51pm

Accrington

10.58pm Sat only

Todmorden

9.56pm

Accrington

-

=

10.46pm Sat only

Blackburn

Up trains: Sunday

Destination

Down trains: Sunday

Destination

8.34am

Todmorden

9.56am

Accrington

10.24am

Todmorden

1.11pm

Preston

2.13pm

Todmorden

1.21pm †

Blackpool Central

4.31pm

Todmorden

4.21pm

Preston

8.01pm

Todmorden

8.01pm

Blackburn

-

-

9.09pm

Preston

§ For Brighouse and beyond      ‡ Calls to set down: approximate time                                                        † Calls by request: approximate time

During the 1920s road motor transport began to provide competition for the railways, and bus services along the Todmorden-Burnley road served Holme Chapel far more conveniently than the railway station could. Holme station was an early casualty, closing to all traffic on 28 July 1930; this was the first of the Copy Pit route stations to close – the closure of Burnley (Manchester Road [1st] or Thorneybank) in 1866 was simply a re-siting the station. Holme Tunnel signal box closed on 2 January 1938 when the loop exit points were motorised and control passed to Copy Pit box.

It is not known how long Holme station stood derelict; the OS one-inch map of 1947 shows it as closed and the 1953 edition omits it altogether. The much more detailed 1:  2,500 map of 1960 indicates that the site had been cleared. In 2016 the only evidence of the station’s former existence is the approach road from the village and the steep pathway up the embankment which gave access to the north-west end of the platforms. As noted above, the stone bridge by which the Whitakers of Holme Hall reached the Burnley platform is in situ.

In 2011 a news item suggested the reopening of Holme station, and the proponent misinformed the readers that the platforms were in situ. Responses to the article are provided. Click here.

Tickets from Michael Stewart

Click here for a brief history of the Copy Pit line
See also Copy Pit Route Collieries

See other stations on the Copy Pit line: Burnley Manchester Road (1st site), Burnley Manchester Road (2nd), Towneley, Portsmouth, Cornholme, Stansfield Hall, Eastwood & Hebden Bridge (still open)


Holme (Lancs) station looking south-east c1905. The passenger train is standing at the down (Burnley-bound) platform, headed by a 2-4-0 tender locomotive, apparently No.47 but otherwise unidentified. The modest station building of timber on a stone base can be seen beyond the trolley and the railwaymen. Unfortunately, although the up platform is shown the buildings are out of sight.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection



1892 1: 2,500 OS map. The station serves Holme Chapel (as the settlement is called in 2016) one of several rural industrial communities in the parish of Cliviger. The lane from Holme Chapel enters this map extract from the north, with a branch path leading directly to the station. There are two facing platforms with the main station building being shown at the north-west end of the down platform, opposite the approach path, and a further building midway along the platform.  The signal box and water tank are also on the down side, north-west of the station. No buildings are shown on the up platform. Goods facilities are not provided. The footpath direct from Holme Hall for the Whitaker family is identified as ‘F.P.’.  It can be seen to pass below the railway, then a footbridge carries it over the extension of the station access lane and the double pecked lines indicate the approach of the footpath to the down platform.

1930 1: 2,500 OS map. This is the year in which Holme station closed. Some stations proved to be magnets for industry and housing, but this has clearly not happened at Holme; the station remains isolated and inconveniently placed to serve the community at Holme Chapel which is on the main Burnley-Todmorden road. Following the demolition of the main station building as a result of a train derailment in 1907 a new building has been constructed some distance south-east of its predecessor. A building is now shown midway along the up platform. The signal box is still marked and named even though it has long been disused.

1960 1: 2,500 map. Holme station closed in 1930. Thirty years later the irregular shape of the embankment is the clearest evidence that a station was on this site. The access path to the station is no longer shown, but it is implied by the configuration of the earthworks. The signal box is shown but no longer named.

Holme (Lancs) station looking south-east c1905. A passenger train is approaching having passed through Holme Tunnel, which can be seen in the background. A waiting room and ladies’ toilet are in the hipped-roofed timber building on the up platform, far left, and the small timber building beyond is a gents’ toilet. On the down platform the gents’ facilities are clearly signed. The lamp standards with elegant lanterns for the oil lamps will be noted.
Photo from John Mann collection

Holme (Lancs) station looking east from an elevated position. The date is estimated as c1905; this was the year when the station’s signal box, featuring prominently in this view, was closed. The station building at the end of the down (Burnley-bound) platform is seen to the right of the signal box, and two buildings are visible on the up platform. The steep slopes of the Cliviger Gorge and the isolated position of the station can be appreciated in this view.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Holme (Lancs) station looking north-west from the up (Todmorden-bound) platform c1905. On the down platform the LYR running-in nameboard is prominent, followed by the gents’ toilet and the modest station building which was demolished in the train crash of 1907. The signal box, closed in 1905, is seen beyond the platform. On the up platform the timber buildings just sneak into the view, but the series of stately oil lanterns is clearly seen.
Photo from John Mann collection

Holme (Lancs) station looking north-west from the up track c1905. On the down platform (left) the LYR running-in nameboard is prominent, followed by the gents’ toilet and the modest station building. This building was destroyed in the train crash of 1907. The signal box, closed in 1905, is seen beyond the platform. On the up platform the nearest building is the gents’ toilet, followed by a larger structure containing a waiting room and ladies’ toilet.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Holme (Lancs) station is seen in the early twentieth century, looking north-west from the up platform prior to the accident of 1907, when a derailed goods train demolished the buildings on the opposite platform and fatally injured the deputy stationmaster. This viewpoint provides an opportunity to study the design of the structure containing the gents’ toilet (centre of the picture), and the very modest main building of the station is seen beyond. The Saxby & Farmer Type 9 signal box, constructed in 1877/78 is seen in the background behind the signal. This box would close in 1905. The bench, far left, carries the station and the company’s names; the nearest oil lantern also proclaims the name of the station.
Photo from John Mann collection

Holme (Lancs) station is seen on 27 September 1907 shortly after a Normanton to Liverpool goods train has been spectacularly derailed and the wagons have demolished the main building on the down platform, on which this photograph was taken. The deputy stationmaster, William Pim, was fatally injured. The chimneystack is standing but the rest of the building has been reduced to rubble. The signal box, disused since 1905, has escaped destruction. A gang of about 50 workmen arrived from Accrington with the task of clearing the damage and returning the line to use, assisted by locomotives and heavy machinery; some of the men appear to be taking a break. A similar group today would be kitted out in hard hats and hi-vis jackets. A railway crane can be seen attending to the
distant upturned wagon.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

On 27 September 1907 a goods train bound for Liverpool broke into two sections approaching Holme, and the sections collided at the station, demolishing the main building on the down platform and killing the deputy stationmaster, William Pim. The remains of the building can be seen on the left, including the chimneystack, while a group of men involved in clearing the debris and returning the line to use are taking a break from their labours.
Photo from John Mann collection

This view of Holme (Lancs) station, looking south-east, shows the extent of the damage caused by a derailed goods train on 27 September 1907. The Normanton-Liverpool train had broken into two sections on the approach to Holme; the sections collided at the station, the wagons mounting the down platform and demolishing the station building. Only the chimneystack has survived, the rest of the building being reduced to rubble. The timber building further along the platform has also been damaged. The deputy stationmaster, William Pim, was killed in the accident. A large gang of workmen is engaged in clearing the debris after the derailed wagons (seen on the previous photograph) have been removed.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Holme (Lancs) station is seen here, looking south-east, probably a few days after the accident of 27 September 1907 in which a derailed goods train killed the deputy stationmaster and demolished the main building on the down platform. The chimneystack is all that remains of the station building, and the debris of this structure is still strewn along the slope behind the platform. Halfway along the platform, where the three men are gathered, the gents’ toilet block was badly damaged in the accident and has since been demolished; the timber from this building is seen behind the platform at this point. The lamps and nameboard at the far end of the platform appear to have survived the accident unscathed, but new lamp standards have been erected at the near end of the platform. The smartly dressed gentleman is standing beside the platform levers which were installed, presumably in 1905, when the station’s signal box closed and the location ceased to be a block post. One of the levers might have been used to release the wicket gate at the north-east side of the barrow crossing.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection

Click here for Holme Station Gallery 2: circa 1910 - October 2016

 

 

 

[Source: Alan Young]




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