Bare Lane Station
Bare Lane Station Adopters
The Lancaster & District Conservation Volunteers have acted as the Northern Station Adopters at Bare Lane since October 2013. The Station Adoption Fund has been strongly instrumental in our success, although we have also attracted private funding and grants from a range of local organisations and individuals. YOU can still get in touch to sponsor a tub or planter! Nevertheless, we have created an attractive, welcoming and informative station environment, with platform tubs, planters and beds supporting many shrubs and flowers that enhance the quality of wildlife habitats and the visual appearance of the station and its environs.
There is a strong local heritage dimension to complement that of the natural environment, with quality poster boards and information about the station, its staff and history back to when it was opened in 1864. Great Wood School now has its own planter for vegetable seeds, sown and raised by the children in school and then planted out at the station for passengers to pick and enjoy when ready (but sadly not during lockdowns). There has been significant enhancement and rejuvenation and the station looks cared for and wanted, although there is still a lot to do, both in terms of daily management and bringing back parts of the station that have been neglected by successive private train operators. The station adopters must continually push forward their plans by constantly working closely with both Northern and Network Rail to achieve things on the ground for all to see.
Bare Lane revisited
The first postcard photograph is about 1910 (the postcard itself was sent from Morecambe to Bolton in 1912!) the Lipton’s Tea building on platform 2 was the waiting room and this lasted until the 1990s. The crossing keeper’s hut was replaced by the signal box in 1937. That large building across Bare Lane and where the shops are now, was shown on the period Ordnance Survey map as surrounded by an orchard, part of which can be seen in the photograph. It would be interesting to know when it was demolished, but one suspects 1950/60s? South Road did not exist at all in 1910! The station house is exactly the same from platform 1, but with oil lamp cases before the electric lights came. The staff can be seen and items of platform furniture also. A train is approaching from Morecambe.
The second postcard photograph is also about 1910 and clearly very Edwardian in dress! Quite an interesting comparison with today (Bare Lane itself looks a much narrower road than it does now). If you look carefully, you can see a man crossing in front of the train!! That would be frowned on today, I think!! Was that a Maudslay bus or other vehicle, I wonder, at the crossing gates? Compare this with present day passengers treading the same platform! A hedge can be seen on the extreme right, with orchard trees beyond (this is now covered by a block of flats and shops!)
The final photograph was taken from more or less the middle of Bare Lane itself, in about 1930. The inter-war housing had just been built and roadside trees planted. The men look as though they have just come off a train and one is carrying two cans of paint! The access to the station yard is on the right. Those house walls with limestone outcrops on top are still the same today!! Interesting that there are no street lights or much street clutter! Some of the gateposts remain the same today. Only one bus and a car!
During Lockdown, Liz and David did a sterling job keeping things growing colourfully on the platforms, in the car park and in the old signal box compound.
Found in the signalling compound at the station, under the terram put down to suppress weeds! One hedgehog! Since we had to move the terram we provided it with a spare hedgehog shelter from home!
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Here are the old signal box area, platforms and car park beds including fruit trees for passengers to pick their own in season!
Click on the picture
Read the notice from our young collaborators of Great Wood School. They do a great job of providing vegetables in the summer for passengers to help themselves from their planter on the platform.
"A NICE TOUCH AT BARE LANE STATION"
We had a mention in the October 2018 issue of the Steam World magazine, with a picture of one of our Station Posters: "David Alexander of Northern Station Adopters contacted us to show something the group at Bare Lane station have done to mark 50 years since the end of British Railway steam. With help from Ron Herbert and Ivan Payne at Sid Designs, they produced an informative poster to commemorate the event (including a picture of a young Ron Herbert). It's a lovely effort and shows how volunteers can make a real difference at their local stations."
(from December 2018 Newsletter of Lancaster and Skipton Rail User Group)
"Anyone who uses Bare Lane station today cannot fail to be impressed by how attractive and welcoming it looks. We have noted before how it has benefited from the regular and devoted attention of Lancaster and District Conservation Volunteers, but recently the group has been exceptionally active in making the station the sort of place rail passengers will enjoy using.
"There are lovely well maintained flower tubs and large planters. There are cases with posters telling the story of the station, of its recently lost signal box, of its adoption by the volunteers and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of steam on our railways. And, as if to further remind us of that heritage, the group has set up a facsimile of the large running-in board with BARE LANE in large capitals on the down platform as you enter the station from Lancaster. The group has established links with local schools and businesses and with Morecambe Town Council.
"The aim of the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership working with Northern and Network Rail is to have active and enthusiastic station adopters groups like this at Bare Lane all along the Bentham Line. Our thanks to the volunteers for their unstinting efforts to create a station their community will be proud to use."