Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Information regarding the history of trains and railway lines, many long gone.
R. Stephenson-Smythe

#236 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe »

Stockport Advertiser

29 May 1857.

Stockport, Disley & Whaley Bridge Railway.

The first step in the construction of this line of railway was taken on Saturday the 30th September 1854 at Disley. On that occasion the village was the scene of gaiety and bustle, as a large party from Lyme Hall arrived in five carriages amid the ringing of bells, at the Ram’s Head Hotel, preparatory to the “breaking ground,” at a spot at the head of the far-famed lake, and thus destroying all that romantic quietude, beneath the shade of the quaint old church which towered above you. The party took their places on a platform on the edge of the lake. The rude hand of the “navvy” had fastened upon the site, and in the name of science, intelligence and improvement, the solitude of that favourite retreat was about to depart. Of the Railway Directors then present, connected with the Line, were --- The late lamented Thomas Legh Esq., chairman; Dr Carstairs, vice-chairman; John Chapman Esq., of Hill End, Mottram; H.W. Notman Esq; D.S. Clayton Esq; William Mercer Esq., Solicitor to the Company; Mr J.E. Errington, engineer in chief; Mr John McVeagh, acting engineer and Mr John Lowe, acting clerk. A number of ladies and gentlemen from this town and neighbourhood were also present.

The ceremony was fixed for 10.30 a.m., when the late ‘Squire of Lyme’ addressed the assemblage, dwelling upon the advantages of railways to all classes of the community, by facilitating their intercourse with each other, and by bringing the conveniences and comforts of life more easily within the reach of all. After a few preliminaries, a mahogany wheel-barrow was placed on the platform, near Mrs Legh, and a neat little spade mounted with the same choice wood having been handed to her by the chief engineer, she “turned” the first sod with so much grace and dexterity as to call forth a round of the most deafening cheers.

Notwithstanding the delay experienced by the Company in obtaining permission of the land in the neighbourhood of Stockport, the first section of the line of railway from Manchester and Stockport to Buxton is now completed, and will be ready for passenger traffic about the 9th or 10th of June next, the Government Inspector having certified as to the substantiality of the line to Whaley Bridge, and stations having been erected at Whaley Bridge, at Thornsett (for New Mills), at Disley and at Hazel Grove, where it runs through Adswood, entering the main line a little above the Edgeley tunnel. The length of this branch line is about 10½ miles; and the Company have a Bill before Parliament for authorising the construction of the other portion from Whaley to Buxton, the number of coaches plying between Manchester and Buxton, during the season, being twelve per day. Until these works are completed, arrangements will be made by the Company for plying coaches to and from Buxton, to meet the arrival of the Stockport trains with passengers for North Derbyshire. The cost of this undertaking has been largely increased owing to the difficult, but very picturesque and romantic country through which it passes, including the necessity of a viaduct, tunnel, canal crossing and other expensive works. It is estimated, therefore, that the outlay will not be far short of £20,000 per mile. The works have been executed by Messrs J.R. Davidson & Co., the contractors.

The opening of such a line in this locality will doubtless be productive of infinite advantage to the commercial community of the more populous localities north of Disley, since the traffic in lime, limestone and minerals, expected from the company’s kilns and quarries, for public consumption, may reasonably be expected to be boundless as well as profitable. The scheme will be pushed forwards from the junction of the Cromford and High Peak Railway at Whaley Bridge to Chapel-en-le-Frith, to Dove Holes and Buxton, as soon as the Bill before Parliament should have granted the necessary authorisation. Besides, to capitalists and gentlemen who are in a condition to enjoy the ‘otium cum dig.’ few places present such eligible sites for villas and snug country seats, with refreshing breezes, the purest air, and beautiful views, as the valley through which the railway has now made such a very permanent inroad, for up to this time the splendid Alpine scenery of Derbyshire could not be fully appreciated, at this point. The enterprising merchant, disposed to erect cotton mills or print works, will also find a boundless supply of water, stone, lime and coal.

It may not be uninteresting to state, on the subject of railways through Disley, that on the 19th of November 1828, a meting of capitalists and others was held at the Warren Bulkeley Arms Inn, in this town, for the purpose of entering into a subscription for powers to form a railway to connect the Liverpool and Manchester with the Cromford and High Peak Railway. The late Thomas Legh Esq., occupied the chair. The whole outlay for such railway, from half a mile beyond Whaley to Water-street, Manchester, 17 and one third miles would be £165,325.18.0, producing a clear revenue of £25,000 per annum, upon the calculation of Mr Jessop, the civil engineer. Nearly £14,000 was subscribed towards the object before the meeting broke up. The scheme was, however, abandoned.

Though all the arrangements for the passenger traffic (as we have before stated) will not be completed until the 9th of June, the formal ceremony of opening the line for public purposes, from Stockport to Whaley Bridge, was celebrated this afternoon (Thursday), at 3 o’clock, at the School Room, in Disley, after the line had been traversed and approve of by the Government Inspector, where about 114 gentlemen connected with the undertaking, including some of the directors, had accepted an invitation to a splendid dejeuner, &c. &c., a special train leaving the Stockport Station, with the guests from London, Manchester, Mottram, Yorkshire, &c. &c.

A special train of ten 1st and 3rd class left the Stockport Station at noon with a large party of friends, and two bands of music, namely Mr Higham’s quadrille band of Manchester, and the Compstall Bridge Brass Band, a crowd of spectators having been attracted by the music strains, and the floating of union jacks. The day was beautifully fine, and the route through a delightful country, so agreeably diversified by scenery, was the subject of intense admiration. After leaving the main line just above the Edgeley tunnel, the train diverges somewhat acutely to the south-east, passing through an agricultural district as far as Hazel Grove Station, leaving Bramhall Lodge, the beautiful gothic seat of Thomas Walmsley Esq., a little to the left. The station for the accommodation of the village of Hazel Grove is approached by a thoroughfare called Button Lane. We next reach the township of Norbury, at so high a level as to leave the Church a remarkable object on the left as well as Marple Church on the hill, and a vast wooded landscape on the right, embracing Poynton and Worth, with Woodford in the extreme distance, forming a very pretty view. A mile or two forward, and the train, after passing under the Macclesfield Canal, brings us to Middlewood, a wood of considerable extent, intersecting some mineral quarries which skirt for some length, the Poynton and Worth estates. The scenery at this point is charming. At twenty minutes past twelve o’clock, the train -- which we omitted to state, was in the charge of Messrs Cooper, Ramsbottom and Bolden -- reached Disley Station, which was decorated with flags and other joyous emblems, the rails at this point being about 300 feet higher than at Hazel Grove. After some delay, occasioned by strangers examining the works, the train proceeded to the terminus at Whaley, four miles further, passing under the road to Thornsett, leaving the turnpike road on the right, at which point the beautiful valley of New Mills, with the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Chapel, are conspicuous in the distance, together with the extensive print-works at the foot of the hills. The line then recrosses the road, and in a few minutes, having entered a deep cutting on the left reaches Whaley Station on the margin of an eminence, the turnpike road being at a considerable descent below the level of the line. Great preparations had been made at this place in the way of decoration, etc. The guests remained here for about half an hour, the two bands playing alternately all the time; and considerable interest was taken in the erection of some woodwork for the intended viaduct 100 yards long, which, when completed, will continue the Disley line to the High Peak Railway. The viaduct crosses the valley of the Goyt, in close contiguity to some coal fields, mines and stone quarries, belonging to Messrs Jodrell and Gisborne, and within a short distance of the large reservoirs of the Sheffield and Lincolnshire Company, and about 4000 acres of moorland, skirting the residence and grounds of S. Grimshaw Esq., of Errwood House. The train retraced its steps in time for the refreshment at two o’clock.

At that hour the guests assembled, as we before stated, in the National School, Disley, to a dejeuner and dessert of the first quality, provided by Mr Johnson of the Queen’s Hotel, Manchester, in his best style of French dishes. The wines included hock, champagne, claret, sherry, moselle and port, were of a choice class. Indeed never has Disley witnessed to liberal and so recherche an entertainment.

The tables were three in number, the principal being fixed across, and the other two downwards. The Chair was ably filled by John Chapman Esq., of London, chairman of the Company, and the responsibilities of vice-chairman were discharged by R. Russell Notman Esq., Deputy Chairman of the Company and William Mercer Esq., of Newton.

The Chairman was supported by Colonel Davenport, the Mayor of Stockport, the Town Clerk of Stockport, Joseph Brookes Esq., of Huddersfield, the Rector of Stockport and the Sub Dean of Salisbury (the Rev. Mr Eyre.)
We noticed the following gentlemen, besides the Chairman: Col. Davenport, Bramhall Hall; Jos. Brookes Esq., Huddersfield, a director of the London, North Western Railway: Thomas Broderick Esq., deputy chairman to the North Staffordshire Railway; R.R. Notman Esq., deputy chairman of the Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway; William Mercer Esq., of Newton, near Warrington and D.S. Clayton Esq., directors of the same line; ------ Seeth Esq., solicitor, London; Joseph Orme Esq., Mayor of Stockport; John Vaughan Esq., Town Clerk of Stockport; the Rev. C.K. Prescot, Rector of Stockport; the Rev. Mr Eyre, Dean of Salisbury; the Rev. R. Litler, Poynton; the Rev. Noble Wilson, Disley; the Rev. W. Worsley, Norbury; Edward Brooke Esq., Marsden House; Mr Medd, the Mansion House, Stockport; Mr Boothroyd, Shaw Heath House, Stockport; James Marshall Esq., Brinnington Mount, Stockport; Mr E. Reddish, Stockport; Mr Ald. E. Walmsley, Heaton Norris; Mr Ald. Waterhouse, Edgeley; Leigh Slater Esq., Disley; Mr W. Rawson, Manchester; J. Slack Esq., and Mr Bennett, Chapel-en-le-Frith; Mr J. Ingram, New Mills, Mr S. Hunt, Stockport, surveyor and land valuer to the company; Mr D. Brandon; Mr H.P. Burt; Mr J.A. Barton; Mr A.C. Crosse; Mr C.E.D.W. Dowling; Mr W. Goldsmid; Mr Patrick Kilgour; Mr John Morgan; Mr J.R. Oughterson; Mr J.S.A. Shuttleworth, of Hathersage Hall; Mr Kirkman, South Junction and Altrincham Railway; Mr S.W. Wilkinson, Stockport; Mr Welch, New Mills; Mr James Davies, Disley; Mr G.B. Withington, Manchester; Mr B.G. Cooper, Bosden; Messrs Williamson and Roberts, Wellington Road Foundry; Mr Charles Cooper, superintendent and Mr Ramsbottom, locomotive department, London and North Western Railway; Mr H.W. Notman, secretary, Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway; Mr J.E. Errington, engineer; Mr Bolden, resident-engineer; Mr Superintendent Andrews; Mr J.R. Davidson, contractor &c. &c.

The Rector said Grace both before and after meat.

The cloth was drawn about three thirty.

The Chairman opened the proceedings by proposing, in very neat and loyal terms, the toast of “The Queen,” and also that of His Royal Highness, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and the rest of the Royal Family, which were received with three time three cheers, the band playing the “National Anthem.”

In introducing the next toast, the Chairman apologised for his being so feeble an exponent of so important a subject as “The Army and Navy.” No one wished more ardently than himself for the time when our “swords shall be turned into ploughshares and our spears into pruninghooks,” not excepting even Mr Cobden or the Brighties; but they had to thank gallant souls and a kind Providence for the peace they now enjoyed (Hear.) He was not a distinguished commander of troops, but when he was young he felt it an honour to say he was at the battle of Copenhagen, in the presence of Lord Nelson. He was indeed in ‘arms’ on that brilliant occasion - (hear); and, although he could not express all he felt for those who fought our battles, he could not forget the gratitude he owed them. On this very day, an application had been made for a post on the railway for a Crimean hero; and, if the medals he wears be borne out by the excellence of his conduct, he would obtain a situation on the line. (Hear.) In connection with this toast, he coupled the name of Colonel Davenport (Cheers.)

Colonel Davenport, in responding, said in the absence of any officer of the British Army, and as the chairman had honoured him by calling upon him, he begged to say a few words in behalf of that noble profession, Although he had passed 21 years in the public service - namely, from 15 to 36 - in different parts of the world, he did not on that account rise the less willingly to return thanks on the part of the Army. If it were not necessary to prove the well-known gallantry of the British troops, he would refer them to the writings of that excellent corespondent of the ‘Times,”as to their astounding bravery in the Crimea; and the gallant colonel also instanced the bravery of Lord Clive in India, with 4,000 men against 40,000, whilst achieving the victory of Bengal.

“The Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese,” was appropriately acknowledged by the Rector. He regretted the absence of his Diocesan, who, within so very few years, had already won golden opinions by his piety, his affability, his learning and his excellence. And with respect to the clergy, he only hoped that their zeal would never make them uncharitable, nor their sincerity suffer from their consistency. (Hear.)

Colonel Davenport proposed “The Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway and success to the undertaking.” He mentioned the pleasure and extreme satisfaction he had had, as a landowner through whose property the line passed, in doing everything he could in facilitating the progress of the scheme. The object now-a-days was how to annihilate both time and space, and therefore he approved of this step in the proposal to reach the Metropolis by a route 28 or 30 miles less than it could be accomplished at present - Three times three.

The Chairman returned thanks. He assured the company that the present line was originally intended as a private speculation, at the instance of the late Mr Legh and Mr Joddrell, two of the principal landowners in the district; but some London capitalists having joined for the purpose of finding the cash, assisted by that all-powerful body, the London and North Western Company who had carried them triumphantly through. It had now become a public line. The North Western had joined their Board of Directors that very day (hear, hear,) and he believed everything that had been promised would be sedulously performed - that the affairs would be managed as economically as possible - and he was persuaded that it would prove advantageous to the shareholders as a dividend line (applause.)

The Sub. Dean of Salisbury also spoke.

“The House of Lords and Commons,” was succeeded by the toast of “The Mayors and Corporations of the boroughs of Manchester and Stockport.”
Joseph Orme Esq., Mayor of Stockport, having been called upon by the chairman, rose to respond in a very few words. He received the invitation to be present on this occasion as a high compliment, for he considered the greatest honour they could pay him was to be called upon to represent the inhabitants of his native town. He spoke approvingly of the line of railway, and expressed his conviction that it would command traffic from Stockport, but hoped they would make some efficient arrangements, at the proper season, to procure those recreations for the working classes which the district would afford them, with the least possible delay in taking them to their destination. (Hear, Hear.)

Mr E. Brooke, of Marsden House, proposed the “Directors of the Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway,” congratulating the company that they had at last opened up a valley, so promising for traffic, but which had so long seemed shut out of the world by the absence of railway connection.
In replying to the toast, the Chairman said he deeply felt that his place would have been very much better filled by the Late Mr Legh.

Joseph Brookes Esq., in responding to “The Directors of the London and North Western Railway Company,” said he was sure that those directors would carry out their arrangement with this company in the strictest and most honourable manner. They were deeply interested in the success of the line, and they would do all they could to develop the traffic of the district, (hear,hear.) He had become a member of the new board, at the request of the London and North Western board, and he was determined to strive that everything should continue to be done with the greatest economy and care.

Several other toasts and sentiments were given from the Chair and by other gentlemen, including - The Directors of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway - the Landowners and the Manufacturers of the District - The Engineers - the Contractors - The Chairman of the day - The Ladies.
The proceedings concluded about seven o’clock.

The workmen were regaled the same evening with a bountiful supper at the Company’s expense.

R. Stephenson-Smythe

#252 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe »

Buxton Advertiser

6 June 1863


On Saturday last, the completion of the extension of the Stockport, Disley, and Whaley Bridge Railway, from Whaley Bridge to Buxton, was signalised by the passing of a special train containing the Directors, and a party of invited guests, along the new line. The train left the London Road Station shortly before eleven o’clock, and arrived in Buxton a few minutes after one o’clock. The length of the new line is nine miles, which is two more than the distance between the termini by road. There is a double line of rails. The ruling gradient is one in 60. About two miles and a half from Whaley Bridge the line crosses the head of Combs Valley, near the reservoir which supplies the Manchester Canal. Here for about a quarter of a mile, the engineer, Mr A.C. Crosse, met with the greatest difficulty. It was necessary to construct a bridge beneath which the Road from Combs to Chapel might pass. The navvies dug through clay resting on sand, but could find nothing upon which to build a foundation. The earth also of which the embankment was to be made forced outwards the surface of the ground, and made it bulge to a remarkable extent. Finally, the company were compelled to abandon the construction of the bridge, and to build another upon the nearest solid ground that they could find. This has necessitated a considerable diversion of the highroad. It is not often that any romance, and much more rarely a ghost story is associated with a railway; but there is one in this case. In the window of a neighbouring farmhouse is the skull of a woman who there met with an untimely end. Her ghost, as the story goes, has unpleasantly resented several attempts to deposit the skull in a churchyard, and has forced the restoration of the relic to the window of Tunstead farm. The Railway Company were so unfortunate as to incur the hatred of “Dickie,” as the ghost (though a woman) is called, by removing a portion of what had been her land. It is the steadfast belief in the district that every night the ghost would undo at the Combs embankment the work which had occupied many men during the day: and that Dickie was only propitiated at last by an interview with the engineer, at which she was promised a free pass over the line for ever. A curious account of Dickie, showing the story is no recent invention, we have extracted from an old work and printed in another column. Certainly it was time that a railway should pass through this district. Chapel-en-le-Frith lies in a neighbouring valley, and behind it Kinderscout , the highest mountain in the Peak district, may be seen from the railway on a clear day. The station for this little town is four miles from Whaley Bridge, and about three quarters of a mile from the town itself. At this point a tolerably steep incline commences, and continues until the summit of the hill is reached, which is about 1,000 or 1,100 feet above the level of the sea. The hill is pierced by two short tunnels, respectively 430 and 110 yards long, at Barmoor Clough where for a short distance the line is parallel to a tramway that has been in use for some years to carry limestone from the Peak Forest to the Sheffield canal at Bugsworth. The second station is at the village of Doveholes, near which are the Lime Works of Mr Bibbington, and hence a rapid descent is made to Buxton. The station here is close to the Baths, and is lofty, commodious, and elegant. A few yards of roadway separate it from the station of the Midland Company. The line from Whaley Bridge is well made, and is supplied with all the modern improvements. Its entire cost will be £25,000 a mile. The line was officially inspected yesterday, and we hear will be opened for passengers on Wednesday next.
Shortly after three o’clock, the directors of the Stockport, Disley, and Whaley Bridge Railway Company, and their friends sat down to dinner at St. Ann’s Hotel. There were about fifty gentlemen present. Mr Robert Russell Notman, chairman of the company, presided, and among the gentlemen present were Sir Joseph Paxton, Sir Elkanah Armitage, Captain Mangles, Messrs Bancroft, G. Wilson, E. Tootal, R. Birley, Howard, A. M’Dougall, Cawkwell, Woodhouse, J. Allport, Partington, E. Ross, and H. Morgan. After dinner,
The CHAIRMAN gave the health of the Queen, of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and of the rest of the royal family.
The CHAIRMAN proposed “The Army, Navy, and Volunteers.”
Mr L. FIELDEN, in responding, said: the chairman was perfectly right in uniting the three services. There was no jealousy between them. (Hear, hear.) But there were other great bodies that should be honoured that day. While these in whose name he was speaking defended the coast, others in the interior were performing duties not less important. What he had seen that day of the manner in which the railway interest was accomplishing its work had astonished him not a little.
The CHAIRMAN gave the health of the Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese.
The Rev. E. WEIGALL said: knowing as he did what sort of man the bishop was, the oftener he had to return thanks in his name, - and the duty occurred not infrequently - the prouder he felt. (Hear, hear.) He congratulated the gentlemen present upon the events of that day, - a great and memorable day in the annals of that district. The entrance of two railways into the town of Buxton could not be passed over lightly. He had been lately in the South, and a little circumstance that occurred there would illustrate the advantage that would accrue to Buxton from the railways. He was asked on two occasions what sort of a place Buxton was, - whether there were not some waters there that were efficacious in certain cases. He had to explain what Buxton was; and he thought that now the railways were open, in a year or two he would not be required to make such an explanation. (Hear, hear.) He would not say much more, although, as an old man, he might be disposed to recall his early recollections, and to regret the well-appointed stage-coach by which he travelled when he went to college. But travelling as he did on the previous (Friday) night, on what was classically called the knife-board of an omnibus in the midst of a mountain mist from Whaley Bridge to Buxton, he was free to confess that his early associations were at an end, and he was ready to welcome the railway, with all its comforts. (Applause.)
The CHAIRMAN proposed “Prosperity to the town of Buxton.” He said Buxton had a world-wide reputation for the salubrity of its climate, and the medicinal efficacy of its waters. But lately it was, as it were, - nowhere, - on no system of railway. When persons were desirous of travelling there for recreation, or for the restoration of their health, they had to undertake a considerable journey. Such things were now remedied. Buxton had two railways, and was placed in communication with the great railway system of England and Scotland, and, indeed, he might say of the whole world. (Applause.) He believed that the result would be that the town would be extended, and that her business would be promoted; while it would be a great blessing to those who had to travel there for the benefit of their health, to be able to do so without enduring the discomfort of having to ride on the knife-board of an omnibus. He hoped that when Buxton was extended, the inhabitants would remember those men whose energy had supplied the deficiency existing heretofore, namely, - the shareholders who had furnished the capital for the railway; and that the inhabitants would give a liberal support to the London and North Western Railway with which they were now connected. He proposed “Prosperity to the town of Buxton,” and coupled with it the name of a very old resident, Mr Brian Bates.
Mr BATES, in acknowledging the toast, said he was the only person living who was born in that noble structure (the Crescent,) which was erected by the father of the late Duke of Devonshire. His family was one of the oldest tenants of the present Duke, than whom a nobler and more kind-hearted landlord never existed. (Hear, Hear.) If a tenant was in real distress, and the Duke knew it, no one would be readier to help him than his Grace. The people of Buxton were largely indebted to the directors of the company, the completion of whose railway they were met to celebrate. They had met with many unforseen difficulties, all of which they had overcome, and brought their work to a successful issue. In a very short time Lancashire would be connected with Buxton by daily traffic; and it was well known that no men so well supported Buxton as the men of Manchester and Liverpool, who, as a class, never asked their prices. (Applause and laughter.) He hoped they would have more liberal men from the South. They had not been able to welcome so many of these liberal men as they wished, because they could not bring them to Buxton except at great cost for travelling, and at a great expense of time. He would give every support he could render to both the railway companies. He hoped that all party feeling between the two companies would be laid aside, and that they would work harmoniously together. If good was done to the one company , the other would also prosper. Buxton had a good friend in Mr Wilmot, who, however, had been, he thought, rather more favourable to the Midland company than to the other. At the same time he did not believe that Mr Wilmot entertained any unfriendly feeling towards the London and North Western.
Mr WILMOT said: it was only fair that he should state that when the London and North Western Company came to him he sold them building land at £400 an acre, and agricultural land at £100 an acre. He said they wanted a railway, and the Duke would make them a present of one half, and let them have all the land they wanted for their approaches. When the Midland came, he (Mr Wilmot) charged them the full price. (Applause.)
The CHAIRMAN proposed the health of the Duke of Devonshire. He said it would ill become him, a stranger, standing as he did in Buxton, in the centre of the Duke’s property, to pass an eulogium on his Grace. They had heard from a long resident there how his Grace’s character endeared him to everybody. The late Duke had aided their line, as Mr Wilmot had stated, when opposition was offered to it in parliament; and the present Duke had sold his land at the price stated. (Applause.)
Sir JOSEPH PAXTON said the Duke desired him to say that if it had not been for arrangements made at home for that evening, and for an engagement on the way home, and if he had had timely notice of that festive meeting, he would have been happy to have been present. (Hear, Hear.) He was sure that the Duke had no feeling of preference for either of the companies that had reached Buxton. He said that advisedly, knowing as he did more than any one else, about the Duke’s and the late Duke’s notions respecting railway communications. Whatever facilities the Duke could give to either company would be rendered with the greatest fairness. No advantage should be taken in any way of any position which either company might have, for or against the other. They must consider that when they came to Buxton they had all the Duke’s good wishes for the prosperity of their railway. The Duke was not only interested in Buxton. He had a larger interest in the county than any other man, as he possessed nearly 100,000 acres of land in it. The whole of the turnpike road south of Buxton belonged to him; and although it was paying a fair dividend, he virtually gave up the whole of that when he facilitated railway communication. It was not for the sake of Buxton alone that the Duke had given the railway system his support, but for the sake of the county of which his Grace was Lord-Lieutenant, and with which his family had been connected for centuries. He (Sir Joseph) assured the gentlemen present that, although he was a Midland director, and they might fancy that he cared only for the interests of that railway , he heartily wished success to the railway which they had projected from Whaley Bridge. He believed that there would be a large traffic between Lancashire and Cheshire and Buxton, - that their line would bring a large number of visitors to Buxton, and would carry back a quantity of minerals which would astonish them when they had been at work for two or three years. He trusted that the two great companies which now met at Buxton would work together most amicably. Speaking as a Midland director he would be sorry to see any antagonistic questions arise at the Buxton station between the two companies. He did not see that any such question could arise, - certainly not from the South. When they considered how large was the property of the London and North Western Company, which he had always said was the greatest railway in the kingdom, and when they considered the large property of the Midland , they could not suppose that they were going to quarrel over the bit of bread at Buxton. (Hear, hear.) He hoped that it would not be a bone of contention, but that it would be the means of the two companies resuming those friendly relations which formerly existed. He had always been a man of peace. He believed that by good management railways ought to pay the public, and that if they did not pay, the public would not have proper accommodation. It was only fair that when the public were properly accommodated, railway shareholders should have a fair dividend. (Hear.) He hoped that the line from Whaley Bridge would be found a prosperous and profitable undertaking for the gentlemen who had embarked their capital in it. He proposed “Success to the Buxton Extension Railway.”
The CHAIRMAN said: on behalf of the directors he had to thank Sir Joseph Paxton for the manner in which he had proposed that toast. The railway company was nominally an independent company, having one terminus in Stockport, and another in Buxton. But the gentlemen present were aware that the greater part of the capital, and the total Extension were contributed by the London and North Western Railway Company. Therefore, if Buxton and the surrounding district had any one to thank for the accommodation which the Extension gave them, it was the directors of that company. In 1857 the works were commenced on the Extension railway, - a very long time ago. The public had become somewhat impatient as to the opening of the line; but the public often were impatient because they did not know the difficulties against which the directors had to struggle. Those gentlemen who had visited the works of the railway that day, and who had seen the deep cuttings and heavy embankments, all jammed up together within a very short distance, must have seen the almost physical impossibility of opening the line at an earlier date. (Hear, hear.) He thought it right to say this, because he had heard the directors blamed for not opening the railway. If a railway was not opened it was not the fault of the directors, for the sooner a line was opened, the sooner it began to earn a dividend; therefore, a director did his best to forward the opening of a new line. Directors, however, could not overcome impossibilities. It was understood at the time their line was projected that it was to be in communication with the extension of the Midland railway, that so a through communication might be obtained between Derby and Manchester. The railways of both companies to Buxton would be opened to the public in June, and then a direct communication would be opened between the Midland counties and Manchester. He must bespeak the public consideration for those men who were first on the ground, and say that as the London and North Western directors had projected the line at a great expense to the shareholders, he trusted that the traffic would be remunerative; and that the inhabitants of Buxton and visitors to that town would show their gratitude, (for he thought some gratitude was due to men who expended their money in the hope of coming traffic,) by sending as much traffic as they could upon the line. (Applause.)
Mr BANCROFT said he had the honour to propose the health of the directors present belonging to other companies. He was never backward in speaking at business meetings, and on business subjects: but he had a kind of natural repugnance to speaking on such an occasion as that. He always fancied if he had a speech to make at the dinner-table that it interfered somewhat with his digestion. (Hear, hear and laughter.) He had been constrained to overcome that consideration ,and to propose that toast. He did so with the most cordial feeling towards all the directors present belonging to other companies. (Applause.) He knew that he was expressing the sentiments of every director on the London and North Western Board when he said that they desired to be on a good and friendly footing with every railway company and with every director throughout the empire. (Applause.) their object had been to cultivate friendly relations with every company in connection with their own system of railway; and as their system connected with almost every railway in the United Kingdom, they were more or less in connection with every system of railway in the country. Their doctrine was peace - (hear, hear.) - but not that peace which was described as peace at any price. (Laughter.) That was not the peace they intended to practice. Any peace founded on reason, on justice, on mutuality of interests, on the promotion of the interest of the large concerns committed to their care as trustees, so far as it was compatible with the promotion of the public welfare, the directors of the London and North Western would welcome. (Hear, hear.) But in any case in which these general principles were not recognised they were not for peace. He did not apprehend that the opening of this line would disturb their relations with any company, and he especially hoped that it would not interfere with their friendly relations with the Midland Company. To show how far the London and North Western directors were men of peace he might state that they had important and extensive agreements with every Company in the country with which they could have any working connection, except one: and they hoped that that exception would soon disappear. (Hear, hear.)
Mr G. WILSON said he scarcely knew in what capacity he was there. He came on the invitation of his friends, Mr Tootal and Mr Bancroft, as he believed to spend a pleasant day at Buxton in their company. He learned on the way that he would probably meet Sir Joseph Paxton - and old friend, - and other directors of the Midland Company. He believed that the interests of Buxton were bound up with the interests of railways wherever they came from. He thought he appeared there in the capacity of a moderator. He had no interest whatever in Buxton; he was only a guest. But he should be very happy if he could understand that the sentiments expressed by Sir Joseph Paxton were responded to by his friend on the other side, and that no outlay of money would be made between Buxton and Manchester which was not in the interest of the public and of the representatives of both companies. Being a Derbyshire man he was delighted to have the opportunity of coming into Derbyshire by a line of railway in preference to the old line of coaches to which he had been accustomed. He was not unselfish, because he had been accustomed to take a cottage in Derbyshire every year, in order to enjoy the healthy breezes in the autumn which were so beneficial to a man after the exhaustion which the nervous system suffered in the excitement of business. He hoped that he might often be enabled to visit Buxton and the district which belonged to the Duke of Devonshire. He respected his Grace for the honours which he won at Cambridge, and because he was an exponent of the nobility which belonged to nature and to birth. (Hear, hear.) Although it might naturally be supposed that his (Mr Wilson’s) sentiments were not generally in unison with birth or hereditary rights, yet knowing what the Duke was, he felt very much gratified in thinking that the London and North Western interest, and the Midland interest, had that day contributed to the interests of the Duke of Devonshire. He was much obliged to the gentlemen whose invitation had afforded him the opportunity to be present; but he felt that as a Lancashire and Yorkshire director, he ought not to offer any opinion, considering the quarrels which might possibly, but which he hoped never would arise between the two companies whose lines now ran to Buxton. (Applause.)
Mr P. WILIAMS proposed “The Magistrates of the county,” and coupled with it the name of Mr Wilmot.
Mr WILMOT acknowledged the toast on behalf of the magistrates. As a private individual and a resident in Buxton he could not sit down without congratulating the inhabitants of Buxton on what had taken place that day. That day would be remembered in the history of Buxton, when he and all who heard him were in their graves. Buxton was blessed by Providence with such waters, and air, and scenery, as scarcely an other town possessed. But it had been shut out from the rest of the world for want of a railway. Their limestone rocks and their high hills were too much for the engineering practice of fifty years ago. But those difficulties had been removed by the engineers of 1863. He believed that if no railways had come there, Buxton must, in a few years, have ceased to exist as a watering place. He hoped that those who might be brought to Buxton would inquire right well into prices, and if they could not be served there as well as anywhere else, that they would go elsewhere. (Hear, hear.)

Mr R. BIRLEY said: as a director he had great pleasure in proposing the health of the engineer of the Buxton Extension Railway, who, he regretted to notice, was not present. Mr Crosse was a pupil of Mr Joseph Locke, who died while engaged there. Mr Locke was succeeded by Mr Errington, who also died; and the work then devolved upon his pupil, Mr Crosse, who had admirably accomplished it.
Mr E. TOOTAL gave the health of the Chairman, which that gentleman briefly acknowledged.
Mr WILSON proposed the health of the managers of the London and North-Western and Midland Railway Companies, Mr Cawkwell and Mr Allport, to which those gentlemen responded.
This concluded the proceedings about half-past six o’clock, and shortly before seven o’clock the party returned by special train to Manchester.

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#257 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by Shallcross »

Buggyite & RSS i have just been re reading your posts regarding the turntable very interesting even on a second read, if you look at the 1875 os map on the Cheshire Records history site it shows the Turntable on the up side to Buxton in the same place as the Map Buggyite has put on here, if you cant work it out go across to the railway from the last building shown on Canal Street and you will see it, also I think that the bottom portion of Reservoir Rd was not called that but originaly was called Springbank.

R. Stephenson-Smythe

#380 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe »

Good afternoon everybody,

Here are a couple of reports of trains leaving the rails. It makes you think a little harder about Bridge 42.

R. S-S

Railcrash1.jpg (151.07 KiB) Viewed 6493 times

R. Stephenson-Smythe

#381 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe »

Rail crash 2.jpg
Rail crash 2.jpg (138.08 KiB) Viewed 6493 times

R. Stephenson-Smythe

#383 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe »

Damaged wagons at Peak Dale.jpg
Damaged wagons at Peak Dale.jpg (89.62 KiB) Viewed 6490 times

R. Stephenson-Smythe

#406 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe »

Whaley station showing the sidings and the water tower.

R. S-S

T8s.jpg (68.64 KiB) Viewed 6479 times

R. Stephenson-Smythe

#635 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe »


Have I been asleep and missed some news regarding bridge 42?
I was talking to a good friend the other day who was of the opinion that the bridge should be replaced. He said that the railway people were working on it every weekend and it was a complete waste of public money.
He also said that they were fed up with people’s opinions about retaining the bridge and the refusal of the planning application by HPBC.

So they have decided to start raising the rails from a suitable distance on both sides of bridge 42 and thus create a bridge over the bridge.
I would like to see detailed plans of how this could be achieved.
Is there anything in this, Buggyite?

R. S-S

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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:18 pm
Location: Bugsworth

#657 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by buggyite »

I haven't heard anything either, but will try and catch up with a friend who works for Network Rail some time this week.

However, I did drive under Bridge 42 around 10am on Sunday, and having read your post, I was looking out for any sign of activity on or around the bridge, but there wasn't any. Neither were there any Network Rail or likely contractor's vans parked anywhere in the vicinity. Having said that, there is always the possibility that the work is being carried out on a Saturday night possession, typically from midnight on Saturday until 6 am Sunday morning. The last passenger train over the bridge on Saturday is 23.45 from Whaley to Buxton and will be stabled there overnight, and the first one on Sunday is 08.40 towards Manchester, so that gives them a good 8½ hour window for working without disrupting any passenger services.

Mind you, going by a thread on the "dark side" I think I would have read some grumbles about the noise there had NR been working overnight.

R. Stephenson-Smythe

#670 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by R. Stephenson-Smythe »

A comparatively new photo of Whaley Station.

I am not sure if this was before or after the poll tax demonstration which caused more trouble in 2013 than it did in 1981.

R. S-S

WHALEY STATION 2.jpg (71.45 KiB) Viewed 6421 times

John A
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:33 pm

#671 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by John A »

33p for a day return to Manchester? It must have been pre-Maggie.

Interesting cars as well, from right to left a Wolseley, a Humber (?) and not sure what the nearest one is. but it looks like that side of the car park was reserved for a better class of customer.

John A
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:33 pm

#673 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by John A »

Just had a look on the internet, and I think the middle car might be a Singer Vogue, and the nearest is a Ford Zephyr 6 Mk 3.

The far one seems to be a Wolseley 6.

All of them would have been a bit beyond the average family budget at the time.

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#674 Re: Manchester to Buxton Railway.

Post by Norm »

John A wrote:33p for a day return to Manchester? It must have been pre-Maggie.
And after Feb 1971, since its decimal, so must have been in the 70s.

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