RAF Broadheath.

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by vidal, 10 Jan 2020.

  1. vidal

    vidal Member

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    From 1924 to March 1957 there was a large ammunition storage facility just off Sinderland Road, known as RAF Broadheath. During WW2 this made Altrincham and Sale a prime target - notwithstanding the industrial complexes locally.

    Today there is very little left, a few concrete foundations and a bump in the road.

    Many will remember the railway line which linked Timperley to Warrington which closed in the early 1980's - its main purpose was to carry coal from the South Yorkshire coalfields to Fiddler's Ferry Power Station via the old Woodhead Line. It's now a well used cycle path, part of the Trans Pennine Trail.

    Just before Blackmoss Lane though, there used to be a small spur leading to RAF Broadheath which brought ammunition trains in and a series of sidings with underground bunkers. I have referenced the old 1955 OS map with the current maps and the sidings and buildings are clearly marked on the left hand map. The right hand satellite view shows a possible trace of the track in the yellow field.

    Does anyone remember RAF Broadheath?
     

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  3. Altfish

    Altfish Member

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    I live close by but wasn't born until 1955 and have no recollection of the site. I know Blackmoss Road (I think it is 'Road' not 'Lane' but I stand to be corrected) well and often travel across the old level crossings on the way to Dunham and the Crem for the increasing number of funerals I am now attending. I used to trainspot at Skelton Junction so remember the 'Broadheath Line' as we used to call it and vaguely remember the passenger trains which left the Altrincham line just south of Timperley - I was only 7 when they ceased.
     
  4. Altfish

    Altfish Member

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  5. Richard P

    Richard P Member

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    I find this area fascinating - a lot of history here such as RAF Broadheath, a lot of old country houses and of course also the Bridgewater Canal. It's worth remembering to that there were 2 railway lines which crossed the main road at Broadheath, the one referred to on this article and also a second which supplied coal to Irlam Steelworks and oil tankers for Shell Chemicals Carrington site. Although I recall seeing trains running through Dunham Massey, Heatley and Lymm my more vivid memories are of the line to Carrington and Irlam as there were up until around 1980 a lot of train movements daily. You can still see the remnants of the level crossing gates on Carrington Road where the line used to cross to the steelworks and the site of the sidings
     
  6. Altfish

    Altfish Member

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    That line (we called it The West Timperley) is still in situ albeit overgrown, the connection at Skelton Junction is still there too.
     
  7. Richard P

    Richard P Member

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    Yes so I believe - the sidings within the old Shell Carrington plant were still there too when I last looked along with other railway paraphernalia but I understand that is due to be lost to housing soon
     
  8. montyburns56

    montyburns56 Member

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    Here's a map that I found years ago of the track plan. Also you can still see the concrete buffer stops and a pill box remains just off Sinderland Rd.

    RAF Sinderland.jpeg RAF Sinderland Buffers.JPG RAF Sinderland Buffers 5.JPG RAF Sinderland Pill Box2.JPG
     
  9. vidal

    vidal Member

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    Thanks for that, MontyBurns. I will have to get down there one day and check out the lay of the land. Do you know any more about when the lines were last used? Are there any photographs around of it in use?

    James
     
  10. montyburns56

    montyburns56 Member

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    No, unfortunately pictures are hard to find presumably due to the nature of the site. There is some information and anecdotes about the site here...

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?5873-R-A-F-Altrincham(again)&p=33490#post33490

    And some more maps from Flickr here...

    https://flic.kr/p/oJCuWF
     

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