Jeff Jones explains how he is trying to raise awareness of the historical significance of Edge Hill
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 12th September 2011 by Liam Physick
Jeff Jones recalls how he has been a railway enthusiast since childhood, starting with trainspotting, but did not initially know of the historical significance of Edge Hill, and how he and some friends are trying to raise awareness
Interviewee: Jeff Jones
Interviewee Gender: Male
Margi: Whereabout (sic) do you live now, Geoff?
Jeff: I now live in Aigburth.
Margi: And where did you live when you had an, an association with Edge Hill station?
Jeff: Childwall, I’m afraid to say the very posh bit!
Margi: You lived in posh Childwall?
Jeff: I lived in posh Childwall, but up, just up the road was Broad Green station . . .
Margi: I see, yeah.
Jeff: . . . where we used to go trainspotting . . .
Jeff: . . . and you’d get a bit teed off with the same place, so it was fourpence return to Edge Hill, or sixpence return to, to Lime Street . . .
Margi: And you remember . . .
Jeff: . . . to get more trains . . .
Margi: Yeah . . .
Jeff: . . . or one and six to St. Helens, I think it was, I think it was a bit more to get to Prescot, I can’t remember the exact, but it was, what, I think it was one and six to St. Helens, and we used to just, Saturday, you know, we used to just go . . .
Jeff: . . . but Edge Hill, at that time, me being just a young kid, I didn’t know much about history or anything, I didn’t know that the first railway was here in Liverpool, I didn’t . . .
Margi: I didn’t up to a couple of years ago.
Jeff: Well, I mean, you know . . .
Jeff: . . . I look at it, you know, Manchester’s got everything and we haven’t got a thing.
Margi: But we’re on our way!
Jeff: We’re on our way, you bet your life! (Margi laughs) Well, we’re, we’re hoping, well, all of a sudden, I belong on to a society which is steeped in the history of Edge Hill, anyway, Joseph Williamson’s tunnels . . .
Jeff: . . . but Edge Hill as a whole is quite an area, especially when you think that this was where the original, first railway went to, it’s not Manchester to Liverpool, it’s Liverpool, all points west to the rest of the world, you know what I mean, and nothing’s been done about it. So, being part of the Joseph Williamson . . . Friends of Willliamson’s Tunnels, to be precise, and one or two of us have, sort of, diversed (sic) a little bit, diversified, and we’re, we’re actually now trying to investigate the history of this line in a bid to get it recognised, and Liverpool itself . . . I mean, we’ve been trying to think up all kinds of, you know, headlines and goodness knows what, and I think a nice big poster in Lime Street saying “Welcome to Liverpool – Railway Capital of the World”, you know . . .
Margi: Would be nice, that, wouldn’t it, yeah.
Jeff: . . . pick the bones out of that, sort of thing, and . . . somebody somewhere told me of a chap who was in charge all the railways in Canada, and he was over here and he was in Lime Street, he was being shown around, and when they told him that this was the original railway, he said, “Why didn’t I know about that?” Now, that says it all, there’s people around who are so interested in railways and transport systems and goodness knows what, but they don’t know that this is where it all started . . .
Jeff: . . . and we’ve got to try and do something about that, that, that’s the idea, that’s what we’re about, so, you know, fingers crossed for the next six months.
Margi: Well, hopefully, and obviously, if all, like, goes to plan, you know, like, the rest of the world will know, that Edge Hill did start it all off.
Jeff: Course it did, I mean, you know, there’s, there’s a, there’s a, an engine shed over there, which is, there’s nothing left of it, just a skeleton, but those concrete pillars are as strong now as they were when they were put up, all it needs is skinning, but it needs somebody with money and vision to do something about it, you know, so, we’re gonna try and . . . I mean, we can’t do anything ourselves, we don’t have a great deal of (indecipherable), whatever you want to call it, we don’t have a great deal of money, but the thing is, we might know a man who does! (laughs) So that’s . . .
Margi: Yeah, well, as I say, well, you know, good luck with that, obviously, you know, it takes . . .
Jeff: That’s right, well, we’ve just got to do it, just keep pushing, you know.
Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers