Thursday 29 September 2016

It's Thrilling at Pilling (Conder Green P.S.)

A Change of Plan
Today's blog was to have continued the theme of over reliance on technology to the detriment of passenger information; but a series of thee pictures sent by correspondent Roy from Sheffield sent fbb down a different track.
Well, down the same track actually to Pilling, a stop on the railway from Knott End to Garstang.
Much of the land around the village is below sea level and a windmill, Dutch style, was traditionally used to pump water to a safe level.

Pilling Windmill was constructed in 1808 by Fylde millright, Ralph Slater, who also built Marsh Mill in Thornton-Cleveleys and the Clifton Windmill near Preston. 
The mill was converted to steam power in 1886 and the sails were removed the year after. It continued to operate until 1926, after which it fell into disrepair. By 1975, however, the mill had been renovated for residential use and is still a private residence today.

On 2nd February 2007, the mill was fitted with a traditional "Lancashire boat top" cap by the owners Nick and Catherine Edwards.
The cap was designed to match Marsh Mill at Thorton Cleveleys and was built by Neil Medcalfe - a traditional millwright from Lincolnshire.
In 2008, the restoration of the mill was continued with the fitting of a traditional balcony around the outside, reinstating a view of the mill that had not been seen for over 100 years.
But Pilling station was not at Pilling as such, It was at Stake Pool ...
... a little futther along Pilling Water, one of the many inlets that characterise this marsh area.
Because the land is flat, there are no embankments to indicate the course of the branch line. Almost everything has been ploughed up and incorporated into neighbouring fields. This aerial view of the village does, however, suggest the line of the track bed along the northern boundary of a light industrial area.
And, as if to preserve the frail memory of this little line, a station barrow is located at the road junction nearby.
Here is Roy's close-up.
The label on the side is almost certainly a recent addition (Garstang and Knot End Railway - one "t" in Knot(t) is not an fbb typo, that's how the company name was spelled!) but the trolley almost certainly dates from the 1920s

And if you follow the sign to Pilling you come to the rather superior caravan park ...
... complete with heated swimming pool.
Much of Fold House Park is built across the now-disappeared branch line.
But at the entrance is something rather odd for a Caravan Park.
Here is another Roy picture.
The real loco at the rear is called the "Pilling Pig". This particular engine never ran on the branch line, but its adopted name is memorial to this ...
... the third loco to work the line and nicknamed Pilling Pig. Built by ....
... Hudswell Clark, the present loco once worked for the National Coal Board. Its minuscule brother is an unpowered model, used as a flower bed.
It is called ...
... The Pilling Piglet! Sweet. The big pig carries a coat of arms of the original company, again with one "t" in Knot!
Well done Fold House Park for this glorious piece of fake but fabulous nostalgia.

Roy's third picture takes us back to the Fleetwood and Knott End Ferry.

Blog readers will remember the problem with the tides, necessitating the withdrawal of the ferry service when water was low.
But what is going on here?
Possibly the last ferry before the service is stopped has just arrived at Knott End slip. Because it is low water, the slip is covered with slimy Wyre river mud. So, out nips one of the crew and hoses it down BEFORE passengers are allowed to alight.

Superb customer service!
Another Bus Partnership
But this one is called an "Alliance".
(click on the graphic above for a larger, more readable view)

Liverpool was one of the early "partnership" projects but the chumminess applied only to a few routes. This scheme would appear to be more widespread.

Sheffield Bus Partnership was poorly disguised joint scheme to reduce services, Will the same thing happen in Liverpool?

Merseytravel will now enter into a formal ‘Bus Alliance’ initially with operators Arriva and Stagecoach — who together operate 90 per cent of commercial bus services in the Liverpool City Region – focused on growing the number of fare paying passengers, improving customer satisfaction and driving up investment for the benefit of all who use bus services.

That's much the same hype as was published in Sheffield. 

Tomorrow we return to the joys misuse of technology.
Where might that be?,
 Next technology blog - Friday 30th September 

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