John Marston tells his childhood memories of Edge Hill station

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 17th February 2012 by Liam Physick

John Marston recalls how his life as he was growing up was dominated by Edge Hill station. He remembers the night-time shunting in the goods yard (near his house) and the large coaches. He also comments on the station today, and how incongruous the cobblestone pathway leading down to it appears in an inner-city area, how easy it is to walk past the station without realising it, and of how there used to be a fruit and vegetable market near the station (where Matalan now is), where Brian Allen worked for his first job

Interviewee: John Marston

Interviewee Gender: Male

Date of Interview: 2nd September 2011

Interview Transcript

John: And the other thing about that area, this area, this station, this area, is it was a community, a community, everyone knew one another, not everyone, everyone didn’t know everybody else, but lots of groups of people knew one another, you know what I mean, and, in terms of the station, in terms of this area, this was a really big area, if you think about it, this station obviously, what we’ve been told today, I always knew it, but we didn’t when we were kids that this is the oldest station in the world (nearly in tears), you know, but this whole area, if you see the land that this area takes up, it takes up a lot of land and where we were, we were by the goods part of it, and Brenda will tell you, of a night-time, the old steam trains, you’d hear them of a night-time shunting of a night, before you went to bed, wouldn’t you?

Brenda: Yeah.

John: And you’d hear the . . . years ago, they used to have all these big coaches that were, carried the goods around the country and they’d be coupled, they had to re-couple them and, you know, like, with coupling gear, and you could hear that of a night-time as well, that’d be something that you could hear of a night-time, you know, and it’s something Brenda was saying to me before, that, you still remember, it still stays in your conscience, you know, from that period, you know, it was . . .

Jodie: Sounds.

John: The sounds of the area, but, as I told you before, the station itself was not something I used as much as, maybe, Brenda’s family did, because they, their family was a railway family, my family was a railway family but Brenda was more of a railway family. (sounds close to tears - indecipherable)

Jodie: Yeah. So, what are your impressions of the station and all the area now? I mean, what . . . ?

John: Well, the area’s changed a lot over the years, from where, where, from, from, from our childhood, because . . .

Brenda: It’s all new . . .

John: . . . all the streets have gone . . .

Brenda: . . . and new, new houses.

John: . . . this area, just above us here, on Tunnel Road, and their building new houses, I’ve seen it, the new houses being built, all around the road here, this, these were all the matted terraced streets, here. The station itself, I’ve said to Brenda before, it was a funny, this is a funny station, most stations are on main roads, aren’t they, I mean, this is on a main road . . .

Brenda: Off, back off it, yeah

John: . . . but, but it, this, kind of, cobbled, sort of, walkway to the station, I always found it . . . it seems out of place, really, I mean, it seems like it should be somewhere else in the country somewhere . . .

Jodie: Yeah, in the countryside, yeah.

John: . . . because, you know, you’ve got the, you’ve got the walkway down to the station, you’ve got the cobblestones, it just doesn’t seem, for an inner – this is an inner city area . . .

Jodie: Yeah.

John: . . . and it just seems like it should be somewhere else, you know what I mean?

Jodie: Well, it was built in 1836, wasn’t it, so I’d imagine . . .

John: Well, it was, yeah, it would have been country.

Jodie: . . . yeah, it would have been that . . .

John: It would have been.

Jodie: . . . so this is a little, this a little slice of countryside that we’ve got left . . .

John: It was, yeah, you’re right.

Jodie: . . . I suppose, isn’t it (laughs) in the middle of . . . yeah, but I know what you mean, it is, it does . . . because from Tunnel Road, a lot . . . and we’ve got signs up there now saying “Metal”, but even them, you know, people still will go past, you know, “Oh, I’m at Matalan,  and where is it?” and you know . . .

John: Yeah, yeah.

Jodie: . . . still miss it . . .

Brenda: Yeah.

Jodie: . . . even though there’s signs . . .

John: Oh, you’re right, it would.

Jodie: . . . cos it is, it is just, well . . .

John: It’s not off the beaten track, but it’s . . . if you didn’t know it was there, you could easily walk past it, you know, OK, you have got the signs up, and it . . .

Jodie: Yeah, but still you don’t (indecipherable)

John: Although I don’t think, when we were kids, them signs were there.

Jean: I go past them every day in Wavertree.

John: When I got these big, big railway signs, you know, with the station name on it and everything, that was . . . you didn’t have any of that, that’s what we had, above you, the, the old . . .

Brenda: “Edge Hill station”.

John: That’s the old, that was the only identification mark . . .

Jodie: Yeah, you were (indecipherable) Edge Hill.

John: . . . for this station . . .

Jodie: Yeah.

John: . . . you know, there was nothing at the top. There might have been something on the wall . . .

Jean: The fruit and veg goods had that big sign, didn’t it?

John: Yeah, there was a fruit and veg market here . . .

Jean: Yeah.

John: . . . where Matalan and all these shops are over here . . .

Jodie: Yeah.

John: . . . that was a fruit and vegetable market. Brenda’s brother Brian used to work there, that was his very first job, actually.

Tagged under: steam locomotives, edge hill station, coaches, carriages, edge hill area, tunnel road, edge hill goods yard, wavertree, fruit and vegetable market, shunting

Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers

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