A GROUP of angry villagers lined up to tackle British Rail in 1967 to protest about a train drain'.

Demanding a better service, the folk of Summerseat organised a weekend of demonstrations at their station - and stopped a diesel in its tracks.

"We outmanoeuvred them completely," said George Strutt, a member of the village action committee after the train ambush' - although two men were later charged with obstructing it!

A singing, shouting crowd of 150 villagers on the platform only knew of their victory in the fight for more trains when the 2.17pm, that January 16, ground to a halt 400 yards out of the station.

Earlier attempts by the militants' to stop it had failed when a squad of 20 railway police and dogs cleared the tracks, but officers did not realise others had evaded them.

The demo had been organised in secret village meetings, and announced house-to-house by village youth club members.

Protesters carried shocking pink posters bearing the words: Barbara Castle must go! Stop the train drain'- the Blackburn MP was then Minister of Transport.

The villagers were complaining that trains broke down, ran out of fuel, or never arrived, prompting Florence Pollard to comment: "We were far better off when we had steam trains, at least they kept time."

And village school headteacher Mr Little said: "It has been reported that the 8.10am never runs on time.

"We believe the authorities are slowly closing down this railway line by simply making it impossible for us to use the trains!"