The station in the 1950s - Childhood memories, work and courtships....
The station in the 1950s was at the centre of life in the town
Life for Eccles children
- "there was a pet shop on the corner. it had a parrot outside and the kids used to tease it..."
- "the school crossing to Clarendon Road was on the corner by the station....a policeman used to see you across..."
- "I remember my Dad taking us to the shoe shop just opposite....."
- "I remember going to Blackpool on the steam trains... we used to crowd up to the windows to pretend that the compartment was full so we could have it to ourselves..."
- " the sounds, the smells...."
- "The Whit walks always used to go past the station..."
- "there was an electrical shop up there. It used to take back radio batteries - the sign said 'BRING THEM BACK ALIVE'. There was another sign threatening 'BURGLARS WILL BE ELECTROCUTED'"
- "we thought that if you dropped a stone into the funnel of a train as it went under the bridge that the train would explode. We all dared each other to do it...not really believing it was true, but worried in case it was. You got filthy from leaning over into the steam as it came out of the trains...."
- "I worked in the booking office for about 6 months when I left school - happy times"
- "One of my friends worked in the newsagents that was in the station. She loved it..."
- "I had the estate agents in the station building. When it burned down it did me a favour really as I wanted to close the business...."
- "there was a nice sweet shop - I can't remember if it was part of the station or just next door...."
- "the station must have had about a dozen staff: in the booking office, porters and so on. there were usually about 6 staff on at any one time, and they were all very friendly..."
- "the porters used to look after the station gardens. Well-off people from Worsley used to give plants from their gardens when the trains from Bolton stopped at Eccles Station...."
Courtship and social life
- "when we were courting we used to look in all the shop windows on Church Street down from the station. Everybody did it. We didn't have the money to get a bus anywhere else..."
- "there were some lovely shops. I liked looking in Fryers the furniture shop and there was a lovely jewellers..."
- "we used to go to dances. At Christmas everyone used to give you a kiss in the street to wish you a Merry christmas..."