Station Name: HUNDRED END

[Source:Tony Graham & Paul Wright]

Date opened: July 1878
Location: Platforms were on west side of Hundred End Lane and booking office was on the east side
Company on opening: West Lancashire Railway
Date closed to passengers: 30.4.1962
Date closed completely: 30.4.1962
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SD418221
Date of visit: 30.7.2011

This curiously-named station served a thinly populated area on the north-western boundary of the historic West Derby Hundred – one of the administrative districts of Lancashire.

Hundred End was on the West Lancashire Railway (WLR) Company’s Southport & Preston Railway which opened in stages between 19 February 1878 and 6 September 1882. The WLR was promoted by Sir Thomas George Fermor-Hesketh, Bart. Royal Assent was given for the ‘West Lancashire Railway’ on 14 August 1871. The Act authorised construction capital amounting to £150,000. James Brunlees and Charles Douglas Fox were appointed as civil engineers, and the contract for construction was let to Clarke Pruchard and Co. The first sod was cut on 18 April 1873 at a special ceremony held at Little London, in Southport, attended by the Mayor, Alderman Squire JP. From the start the WLR project struggled financially and, although construction started successfully, it stopped abruptly when the contractor faced financial difficulties. A further WLR Act of 1875 authorised the raising of a further £187,500 and granted an extension of time for the line’s completion. A new contractor, Barnes & Squire, was appointed, and work resumed.

Hundred End station did not open with the section of line on which it stood and first appeared in timetables as Hundred End Gate House in July 1878. Hundred End was in a remote location between the villages of Banks and Hesketh Bank, where Hundred End Lane crossed the line by means of a level crossing and there were scattered groups of dwellings. Little is known

about the station’s early years, and it is possible that trains merely stopped adjacent to the level crossing and that there were no platforms. At the time of opening there was no signalling to protect the crossing.

Hundred End Gate House would have been served by trains running between Southport Windsor Road and Hesketh Bank. The WLR completed the route to Preston on 6 September 1882 and, to coincide with the completion of the north-eastern end of the line, the WLR opened the new Southport Central terminus at the southern end. Around this time Hundred End Gate House appeared in timetables as Hundred End for Mere Brow and Holms. The Ordnance Survey map from 1890 shows two short platforms on the western side of Hundred End Lane, but no buildings.

On 1 October 1895 new station facilities were opened and the platforms were lengthened. They were constructed using timber to make up a retaining wall back-filled with cinders. Each platform was provided with a simple timber built waiting room, little more than a shed. A single-storey timber booking office was provided; its situation was unusual in that it was detached from the platforms, on the opposite side of Hundred End Lane crossing. It stood on the down (Preston-direction) side of the line.

At the same time a goods yard opened to the east of Hundred End Lane on the down (north) side of the line. It consisted of two sidings one of which had a raised loading ramp. A signal box was provided east side of Hundred End Lane on the north side of the line, beside the station booking office. A tender for its construction and the erection of all signalling was let to McKenzie & Holland of Worcester (the original signalling contractors for the WLR). For some reason McKenzie & Holland withdrew their tender.
The works were then awarded to the Railway Signal Company of Fazakerley who had provided all the signalling for the Liverpool, Southport & Preston Junction Railway (LSPJR) and the Meols Cop triangle, which joined the LSPJR to the WLR, in 1887. No crossovers were provided on the main line until 1898 when two were installed, one at each end of the station, which allowed goods trains to run around within the station limits.

Bradshaw (December 1895) showed ten departures from Hundred End to Preston on weekdays, the first at 6:59 am; two of the trains continued to Blackburn. There were nine weekday departures for Southport Central, the first departing at 6:37 am. The station even had a Sunday service at this time with six services in each direction

On 1 July 1897 the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (LYR) took over the WLR. In their own timetable for 1899 they started to call Hundred End for Mere Brow & Holms simply Hundred End. From 16 July 1900 the LYR closed the WLR Preston station and diverted trains into Preston’s main line station. From 1 May 1901, when Southport Central closed, all WLR line trains ran into Southport Chapel Street station.  

On 3 June 1912 the LYR introduced a ‘railmotor’ service between Crossens and Tarleton Halt, calling at Hundred End. Tarleton was at the southern end of a 1¼-mile branch that connected the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to the WLR at Hesketh Bank. The line had opened for goods in 1880. The railmotor was not a success and was withdrawn on 1 October 1913.

On 1 January 1922 the LYR was absorbed by the London & North Western Railway but a year later that company became part of the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). By summer 1932 Hundred End had 15 weekday services to Southport and 16 to Preston. The first departure from Hundred End was for Southport at 6:12 am. The last was also for Southport
at 11:05 pm. There was a Sunday service at this time with six trains running to Preston and five to Southport.

On 1 January 1948 Hundred End became part of the nationalised British Railways (London Midland Region). By winter 1956/7 there were 15 weekday Preston and 11 Southport services. The first departure was for Preston at 6:03 am and the last was for Southport at 10:54 pm. Hundred End continued to be served by trains on Sundays with six services to Preston and five to Southport. On 3 June 1957 the station’s goods yard was officially closed. Whilst stations on the Southport – Preston line south of Banks (excluding Southport itself) were fitted with LMR totem name signs, the remainder were not, which suggested a reluctance to invest in the route. Not only did Hundred End retain earlier signage but it also remained oil lit. Stuart Taylor (1996) writes fondly of visiting the station in the late 1950s: ‘This wayside halt didn’t look as if it had seen passengers in years and looked for all the world like ‘Buggleskelly’, the fictitious Irish station in the 1936 film Oh Mr Porter …’

In July 1959 Railway Magazine reported that the LMR was considering closure to all traffic of the route between Crossens – the terminus of the electric service – and Preston before the end of the year; Hundred End was also listed separately as a station to close. Whilst the line survived this threat, the remotely located and unremunerative Hundred End was not so lucky.

Passenger figures here were reported to have fallen to only about 10 regulars per day and the local press also claimed that takings at the booking office (which was manned by two porters-cum-booking clerks, Alf Howarth and Syl Eden) had plummeted to only about £1 a day.  After the closure of the station to all traffic on 30 April 1962, signalman Walter Oakes continued to man the signal box in order to operate the level crossing gates for the 300 or so residents of the village.  For those without their own transport, the nearest bus-stop was over a mile away and even this only provided a service as far as Tarleton. 

Less than a year later The Reshaping of British Railways (‘Beeching’) report recommended the complete closure of the railway from Meols Cop through to Preston. Despite local protests all services were withdrawn with effect from 7 September 1964, and the line through Hundred End closed completely as did the line from Hesketh Park to Preston. Track-lifting trains passed through Hundred End in the months following closure, and the rails through the station had been removed by February 1965..

The station site was later developed as a residential property.

Tickets from Michael Stewart except 0645 & 33455 Alan Castle, route map drawn by Alan Young, Bradshaw from Chris Hind


To See other stations on the Southport - Preston (West Lancashire) line click on the station name: Southport Central, Southport Windsor Road, Southport Ash Street, St. Lukes, Hesketh Park, Churchtown, Crossens, Banks, Hesketh Bank & Tarleton, River Douglas, Hoole, Longton Bridge, New Longton & Hutton, Penwortham (Cop Lane) & Preston West Lancashire

See also Tarleton Branch
Boat Yard Crossing Halt & Tarleton

Hundred End station looking south from the down (towards Preston) platform in the 1950s. The rear of a Southport Chapel Street train can be seen.

1893 1:2,500 OS map. This map shows Hundred End station as it was before it was altered in 1895. The station was very basic having only short platforms and no goods yard. There was also no signal box at this time.

1931 1:2,500 OS map.On this map Hundred End station is shown in its enlarged form. It has waiting rooms on the extended platforms and a ticket office on the opposite side of the road adjacent to the signal box which was also a later addition. The station goods yard of 1895 is also shown.

The north-east end of Hundred End station in the early 1950s. The station was a basic affair; a simple wooden shed provided waiting facilities on the up (towards Southport) platform. Passengers crossed the line by the level crossing which carried a public road over the line. Access to the platforms was by gates that led from the road on each side of the level crossing. The booking office was on the other side of the road from the platforms. It can be seen in the picture behind the signal box. On the far side of the crossing to the left the station goods yard can be seen.
Copyright photo from Stations UK

A Preston train departs from Hundred End station in the early 1960s. The Hundred End Lane level crossing can clearly be seen. To the right can be seen the signal box that controlled the crossing .Built in December 1937 at Crewe Works, this William Stanier designed 2-6-2, class 3 tank, was a development of the Fowlere tanks,  first carried the number 195. It received the '40' prefix at nationalisation when allocated to 25G, Farnley Junction shed and worked until withdrawal from 27C, Southport Shed on 25.11.1961 and scrapped by Looms of Spondon in September 1963.

The booking office at Hundred End was a simple timber structure to the rear of the signal box. It is seen to the left in this picture from the early 1960s looking south. After purchasing a ticket, passengers had to cross the road as the platforms were on the other side out of view to the right. The picture perfectly shows the sleepy rural nature of Hundred End which could never have been a very busy station.
Photo by Gordon Howarth

Hundred End station looking south-west in 1963, a year after it had closed. The wooden waiting shelter on the up (Southport direction) platform was still standing at this time and passenger services running between Southport and Preston were still passing through.
Photo from John Mann collection and Stations UK

The fireman of Lostock Hall's Stanier 2-6-4 tank No. 42484 temporarily ceases in his labours to take a quiet moment for reflection upon the derelict and overgrown timber and ash platforms of the former Hundred End station, as the 10-12 Preston - Southport rumbles through in August 1964. Notice here the original L&YR copper oil lamps, amazingly still in-situ on their cast-iron standards, standing gaunt against the skyline some two years after they last cast their feeble flickering shadows along these remote, windswept and very lonely platforms
Photo by Alan Castle

Hundred End station looking south-west in August 1964 as the 12:40 am Southport Chapel Street to Preston service hauled by ex-LMS locomotive 42296 passes through. Although the station had been closed for more than two years it still retained its lamps. With just 12 months service left, this Fairburn Tank was built in 1947, just before Nationalisation. It was allocated to 25F, Low Moor Shed until November 1959, when it was moved to 87E, Landore. April 1960 saw it reallocated to 24C, Lostock Hall its final shed, from where it was withdrawn in July 1965 and scrapped by Drapers of Hull in December
Photo by David Hampson

Looking south-west at the site of Hundred End station in August 1984 from the site of the level crossing. The property occupies the station site.
Photo by John Mann

Looking south-west at the site of Hundred End stations platforms in July 2011. The bungalow seen in the picture sits on the trackbed of the line and its gardens occupy the site of the station's platforms. The road in the foreground had existed when the station was in use and crossed the line by means of a level crossing.
Photo by Paul Wright

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