Fred Risk recalls the train journeys he has made in his lifetime
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 13th March 2012 by Liam Physick
Fred Risk recalls, as a boy, travelling to Llandudno and Rhyl, because his father, as a railway employee, was entitled to concessionary fares: they would also travel to Douglas because Joseph was able to get concessions from the Isle of Man ferrries as well. The family would also travel to Southport, and Fred would go to Southport to get the train to Freshfield when he was doing his National Service. Freshfield is a station in Formby on Merseyrail’s Northern Line. It opened in 1854 as an intermediate station on the Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway, and was built at the insistence of Mr. Fresh, a local landowner who demanded its construction so he could have access to the railway (opened six years earlier): his field, from which both the station and subsequently the district it serves took their name, was adjacent to the site. Finally, Fred mentions how would travel to Otley, changing at Leeds. Otley station was opened on 1st February 1865 as a joint venture on the Otley and and Ilkley Joint Railway, operated by the North Eastern Railway and the Midland Railway. In the 1923 Grouping, the Otley and Ilkley line was operated jointly by the London and North Eastern and the London, Midland and Scottish Railways, who respectively absorbed the two parent companies. Otley station closed on 22nd March 1965, under the Beeching Axe
Interviewee: Fred Risk
Interviewee Gender: Male
Date of Interview: 16th February 2012
Jenny: So, do you remember, going back to, like, your childhood, do you remember, like, any, did you ever get the train anywhere, yeah, yeah?
Fred: Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, I used to go to (coughs), used to go to Llandudno and Rhyl, cos my father used to get quarter fares for us, cos they got, I don’t know if they paid quarter of a fare or three-quarters of the fare, or whatever it was but, I remember, I know, my father used to get free passage, he (coughs) used to get three, four a year, and he could take us, he could take him and my mother on the train any, he could have gone onto the continent, but my mother wouldn’t go – what a waste, you know, but they used to go, they, as I say, we used to go to Rhyl, Llandudno and it, cos they, he also got concessionary fares on the Isle of Man ferries through being on the railway . . .
Fred: . . . cos they were, they had some sort of agreement between the two (coughs), and we used to go to Douglas nearly every year when I was, before the War, you know. I used to, I used to enjoy it, going on the ferry, on the boat! (laughs) And, course, Southport, we used to always to go to Southport, Southport. But, we never went, I only ever went on the underground train when I was little, the old underground train, I can barely remember that, they were quite, quite oldish-style carriages . . .
Jenny: Oh, yeah.
Fred: . . . and of course it, it was Central station, it finished at Central station then, and it, to go to Southport, you had to go to Exchange station to get the train to Southport, when I got called up in the army I went to Southport to get the train to Freshfield! (laughs)
Jenny: Oh, really?
Fred: I used to go the fast route, Freshfield station, I think “My God, 60 years ago!” (he and Jenny laugh) Yeah, so, but, yeah, and then of course they, they built the loop line round Exchange route to Exchange, then they built up this office complex now near Exchange station, but I used to go out, when I went to Otley out of Liverpool Exchange station, I used to go, I’d get the train from, from Lime Street up to, up to Leeds for the, for the station at Otley in Yorkshire, but that was my experience of trains that.
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