SideTracked – Formby
Flanders and Swann Slow Train event No 13
A post-Christmas geocaching meet-up between 1 and 3pm on Monday 30th December, at The Railway pub near Formby station in Merseyside.
This is the next in a series of SideTracked events based on the song Slow Train by Flanders and Swann. Written in 1963, the song laments the closure of many stations and railway lines under the Beeching cuts of that era.
"No whitewashed pebbles, no Up and no Down
From Formby, Four Crosses to Dunstable Town
I won't be going again on the Slow Train..."
Formby railway station lies on the Merseyrail Northern Line, which connects Liverpool with Southport. The station originally opened in 1848 as an intermediate station on the Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway (LCSR). It became part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) on 14 June 1855 who took over from the LCSR. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway amalgamated with the London and North Western Railway on 1 January 1922 and in turn was grouped into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923. Nationalisation followed in 1948. The line was listed for possible closure in the 1960s, but reprieved and in 1977 the line was extended through a tunnel to connect with another line that now extends to Hunts Cross south-east of Liverpool. The line is now an important commuter route for the city.
A popular legend is that George Formby Senior (father of the better known George Formby Junior) took his stage name after seeing the name Formby on a railway carriage. However this is likely to be apocryphal.
We will meet in The Railway pub, where hopefully an area will be reserved for us. When logging a "will attend", please state how many will be in your group and whether you intend to eat, so I can let them have an idea of numbers - thank-you! The event will allow like-minded cachers to meet up to chat, discover and swap trackables.
Related web pages:
(Background images - Donald Swann and Michael Flanders in concert, 1966; disused track near Dunstable Town station in 2006, copyright Nigel Cox, CC-by-SA)