A model railway group is calling on residents who remember the town’s two former stations to get in touch.
The Macclesfield Model Railway Group is recreating the former Central and Hibel Road stations, knocked down in the 1960s, and is looking for people to help them create an accurate representation of what train travel was like then.
The group is also looking for old photos of the stations.
Shaun Horrocks, the group’s chairman, said: “We aim not only to be able to run the trains of the period correctly, but also to describe the effect the railways had on Macclesfield, its citizens, its commerce and its life in general.
“To make this as realistic as possible, we’d love to hear from people who remember the railway in those days.”
He added: “Macclesfield was served for nearly 100 years, until November 1960, by two stations, strangely only hundreds of yards apart, created in the ‘railway fever’ of the mid-1800s - a time of rapid increase in the number of railway lines, driven from the fierce competition between railway companies at the time.
“In the early 1960s a rationalisation, coupled with West Coast Mainline electrification meant the railway scene in Macclesfield drastically changed. Hibel Road Station, the Engine Shed, Turntable, Exchange Sidings and Goods Sheds were all knocked down and are now Tesco, its car park and the Middlewood Way. Central Station was effectively also knocked down and replaced by the ‘brutalist’, or angular, style station we have today.”
The group is interested in how goods, post, parcels, coal, milk, livestock and racing pigeons, who often had their own carriages, were handled at the time.
Shaun, 70, a former IT consultant, is keen to hear from those who remember trains of the period - the ‘Bollington Bug’ and the Comet, and those who might have met their sweethearts on a Macclesfield platform. He also aims to uncover information about taxis then, how buses linked to the trains and how the Macclesfield Corporation Gas Works were serviced by rail.
He said: “These days there’s a lot more standardisation - in the old days there were different types of engines, there was more character. We’re really excited about the project.”
If you can help, email macclesfieldmodelrailway firstname.lastname@example.org.