Meet the Fylde passengers who feature in Community Rail Lancashire's 100 Women - 100 Journeys project

A group of Fylde coast women have taken part in a project to celebrate the joy of travelling by train.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 4:55 am

100 Women – 100 Journeys brings together snippets of stories from train journeys undertaken by women around the world.

The stories were collated by Community Rail Lancashire to form a book which aims to raise awareness and funds for Women’s Aid’s ‘Rail to Refuge’ scheme, which offers free train travel

for those fleeing domestic abuse.

St Annes town councillor Joanne Gardner, Carol Nettleton, Annette Ford and Christine Holland, who have contributed to the book project

For the past three years, Community Rail Lancashire has delivered an annual project which promotes the rail industry as a viable employment option to young women and in addition,

encourages confident travel.

It is hoped this year’s book project will inspire passengers to use the railway network after an unsettling time for so many people during the pandemic.

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Carol Nettleton, Annette Ford, Christine Holland, Veronica McDonnell, Joanne Gardner – a councillor on St Annes Town Council – and Jane Littlewood are among the Fylde coast

contributors in the book.

Christine wrote: “My husband and I were Friends of St Annes Station and as such received a pass to travel on Northern. We decided to go from St Annes to Colne – the end of the line.

“As we travelled through industrial towns and stations, some so small they are ‘request stops’ it felt like we were travelling back in time.

“My husband died the following year. It was a day to remember while tending our garden at St Annes Station.”

Annette Ford features in the book with an extract about a train journey from Auckland to Wellington in New Zealand with her husband Tony, who enjoyed a ride up front with the driver.

She wrote: “My husband ‘just popped off’ to see if the train driver would let him have a ride up front.”

But with no connecting door between the locomotive and the coaches, he had to wait for the next stop several hours later to return!

Jane Littlewood describes the excitement of arriving into Blackpool on a train as a child.

She said: “The holidays to Blackpool were the best!

“Coming into the railway station, the last few of the young lads with their home-made carts, ready to take your luggage to your digs.

“That train journey spelled the beginning of a world of wonder to me.

“I’d have exploded with excitement if the seven-year-old me had known that one day I’d live here.”

Veronica McDonnell remembers travelling from Ansdell and Fairhaven Station to Euston Station for £5 return in the 1950s while Coun Gardner also looked to the past to explain her love

of train journeys with younger sister Sue.

She said: “Our elder sister had moved to London and we regularly went down to stay with her. Our parents saw us off at Manchester Piccadilly and it was so exciting.

“The thrill of the journey, we felt so grown up and free, and the thrill of arriving at the busy Euston station was so memorable, it totally roused the senses. That’s what memories are about!”

Carol Nettleton cherishes the memories of a special day out on a steam train from Carnforth to Barrow.

She said: “It was a nice day so we were looking forward to the scenery and watching white clouds of steam floating past the carriage window.”

Visit https://communityraillancashire.co.uk/news/100-women-100-journeys/ to view the book on line. Or to order a copy, email [email protected]

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