The McElroy brothers talk about the sandstone blocks at the station

Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 1st August 2011 by Liam Physick

David McElroy discusses the orange sandstone blocks on the cutting walls, noting that in his day they were stained black with soot from the steam locomotives. Steve mentions the Clock, a small pub on Chandler Street, which had a mirror-image of the cutting walls on the other side, but David cannot remember it at all

Interviewee: David and Steve McElroy

Interviewee Gender: Male

Date of Interview: 25th March 2011

Interview Transcript

Jenny: Are your impressions of the station any different now to what you remember from growing up?

David: In terms of, most of the physical appearance is, is as I remembered it, obviously it’s been tarted up . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

David: . . . and changes, but it’s substantially the same place as I remember from that long ago, I mean, there were, obviously, there were, there used to be parts of, if not the station, its adjuncts over there, and there used to be other platforms, I think (Steve mutters something inaudible), (indecipherable) across . . .

Jenny: Oh, right.

David: . . . but, apart from that, the, the, sort of, nucleus of the, the station is, from what I remember from my earliest recollections, yeah . . .

Jenny: Fantastic.

David: . . . obviously, the sandstone’s been cleaned up, cos, at that time, particularly with the steam trains, it was black, everything was black . . .

Steve: Everything was black, yeah.

Jenny: Oh, was it?

David: Yeah . . .

Jenny: Yeah?

David: . . .  literally, you know, just, you know, covered in soot, and, I’m not sure if it was ever cleaned while I was, you know, sort of, coming, I think it, it may well have been after the steam trains had finished, somebody probably would’ve thought . . .

Jenny:

David: . . . “We’ll probably give this place a, a clean-up”, but, but, yeah, black, the whole of everything would be just soot-coloured.

Jenny: Cos, I mean, the orange sandstone now, sort of, quite iconic, really . . .

David: Yeah, yeah.

Jenny: . . . you know, so it would have been quite different appearance.

David: It wouldn’t, I wonder how long it would have stayed orange, but, you know, cos, obviously, more and more trains going through, the, the, eventually it would’ve . . .

Jenny: Yeah.

David: . . . probably fairly quickly become as black as I remember it.

Steve: Yeah, but the whole, the whole landscape of the place, when we were kids, was dominated by the, the block sandstone walls of the, of the cuttings, and, you know, when you’re a kid, they’re very, very high . . .

David: Yeah.

Steve: . . . and, you know, as you got a bit older, and you could actually climb up them and that kind of thing, but, you know, that, that was, that was the top end of our street, that’s, that’s, that’s the way it was, and, even on, on the other side of Chandler Street, remember, do you remember the Clock? The pub?

David: (very quietly) Chandler Street? That was the, the one on the . . .

Steve: It was, it was, it was, it was on the corner, the top end of Edgeware Street, our street, and, and Chandler Street, and it, it was the little pub, Johnny Holly says that, that he had his first pint in there.

David: Are we talking corner of Wavertree Road?

Steve: No, the, the, the corner of, top end of our street . . .

David: Yeah.

Steve: . . . and Chandler Street, there was a little pub, it was tiny, absolutely tiny, and next to it, there was a mirror-image of the walls of the cutting on the other side, and I don’t know why it was there, because there was just houses behind it (David makes a strange noise), so it could have been, like, architectural feature, or something like that, but we used to spend a lot of time, and it’s the same on, on, on, on the, on the other side of the street, as well. Right, there, there’s Edgeware Street, our end of it there, and you’d have the, the cut, the Lime Street cut would be there . . .

David: Yeah. yeah.

Steve: Yeah, and big, big sandstone walls would be going that way. On the other side of Chandler Street, there was a similar wall, big sandstone block wall . . .

David: Yeah.

Steve: . . . but there were houses and entries behind it . . .

David: Yes.

Steve: . . . and on the other corner, opposite that, there was a pub called the Clock. (Jenny laughs)

David: I, I, honestly, I’m, no, can’t, I’ve, I’ve had a good mental picture of everything else you were describing there, that’s not there.

Steve: You used to spend an awful lot of time sitting with us, up at those walls, you know.

David: On the, on the . . .

Steve: On the tunnel, not, not the, not the railway walls, the other ones, cos, the railway walls, you know, if you sat on them, you know, there’s a chance you’d actually fall into the cut . . .

Jenny: Into the cut, yeah.

Steve: . . . but, on the other ones . . .

David: So, you, you reckon they didn’t serve any purpose other than . . .

Steve: Not other than, like, an architectural feature.

David: No, that’s, that’s gone, that’s gone.

Tagged under: edge hill station, tunnels, tunnels, pubs, sandstone, edgeware street, chandler street

Categorised under: The Station & Railway Pioneers

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Comments

By John Dee on 16th May 2013

Excellent discussion chaps.

I think the name of the street was Chandos, not Chandler.

I lived in Tunnel road, and knew all the cuts by experience. Most of the cuts were surrounded by sandstone walls, but Harke street had a timber fence, made from 8 foot railway sleepers, set on end with a 2 inch gap between each one, this was a great way to see into the cut. Much of my early childhood was spent 1n the cuts, and on the trains.

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