IT HAS been stated, many a time, that without the railway there would be no Rosegrove, or, as the railway companies have always spelled it – Rose Grove.

Even the local pubs and club had names that were connected with trains – The Railway, The Junction and the Railway Club.

Almost every house in Rosegrove once had someone who worked in connection with the railway.

There were guards, shunters, fire beaters, drivers and station staff.

The sidings were developed with the coming of the railway in the late 1840s and were extended considerably in 1898.

At one time there were 15 lines of rail sidings that stretched from Smallshaw Lane down to Lower Rosegrove Lane, where there was a turntable for turning the locomotive round.

Goods came and went from places such as the Fylde coast, Yorkshire, Carnforth and Manchester.

The marshalling yard could deal with 65 train loads a day – with 50 train loads of coal going to Padiham power station alone.

Preston and Fleetwood docks were constantly supplied with coal from the Burnley coalfield, as well as Yorkshire.

‘Hump shunting’ was a particularly dangerous job where workers had to stop moving wagons full of coal and move them into the various sidings.

The job entailed swinging bodily on a stout piece of wood rammed under the chassis of the coal wagon and then putting pressure on the brake that controlled it and there were many deaths or serious injuries among the men.

A peculiarity of train tenders stationed at Rosegrove was that they were filled with water from the Leeds and Liverpool canal and could be identified by the number of tiddlers in the tanks.

I can remember when Rosegrove station had proper waiting rooms with one for the ladies and one for the general public each with roaring coal fires to keep the customer warm.

Today the station is like a bus stop and the trains like buses. The picture at the bottom shows Rosegrove Lane looking down towards Gannow Lane from about the entrance to the modern Railway Club.

Notice that the houses on the right have not yet been converted into shops, save the first one and still had garden frontage.

The large chimney belonged to the Rosegrove Iron works of Harling and Todd.

The building which has lots of windows at the bottom of the street used to be jam factory premises.