148 pages with illustrations and photos from the Heritage Society archive.
1. Transport in the area before the advent of railways
2. Alarming riot’ of rail workers at the Grant Arms
3. Ramsbottom becomes Railway Town in 1846
4. Runaway trains and company rivalry
5. Part of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway up to 1923
6. Wakes Weeks excursions and arrival of evacuees at start of World War II
7. Taking a hit from the Beeching Cuts’ of the 1960s
8. Heaven-sent opportunity”: opening of the ELR heritage line in 1987
9. Teddy Bear Picnics, Thomas the Tank Engine and Santa Specials
10. Pride in maintaining Ramsbottom and Summerseat stations
11. Covid-during and after
Description on the back cover
This book tells the fascinating story of how Ramsbottom became a railway town in the 1840s after a group of local businessmen met in a pub in Bury to set up a company which became known as the East Lancashire Railway.
The various ups and downs in the process of building the line connecting Ramsbottom with Bury and Rawtenstall are described here using a variety of sources, including newspaper reports of an ‘alarming riot’ of railway workers at the Grant Arms.
The arrival of the railway brought immense benefits as far as local industry and the town’s growing population were concerned. However, the ‘Beeching Cuts’ of the 1960s had telling consequences for the existing East Lancashire rail network. The impact on Ramsbottom is gauged by exploring the views and reactions of local people as well as those in Summerseat where police had to be brought in to suppress protest action.
Although the demolition of Ramsbottom Station in the early 70s seemed a nail in the coffin for its railway town status, a brave campaign, spearheaded by the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society (ELRPS) was already underway aimed at re-opening the Bury-Ramsbottom line.
Against the odds, victory for this brave band of rail enthusiasts came about in 1987 and marked by the re-opening of a heritage line between Bury and Ramsbottom. The development was seen as ‘a heaven-sent opportunity’, galvanising the life of the town as a whole. First-hand accounts are used to highlight the significant impact railways have had on people’s lives up to the present day.