Echoes of old sand chain THE creak and groan of the sand-laden overhead bucket-chain system which once fed the St Helens glass industry went out of earshot several decades ago - but exactly when?

That's the latest yedscratter which bedevils a highly-articulate elbow-bending gang who gather at the Carr Mill Hotel for regular discussion sessions.

And they'd also like to know whether the aerial system, which ran over the Rainford Bypass from the local sandwash, actually continued, at some time in history, right into the Pilkington glassworks yards.

Opinion is sharply divided as to exactly when the system was axed and over the dropping point for those huge metal sand buckets.

So now the froth-spattered debaters have turned to our readers for final adjudication.

If you've a clue, then please drop me a line at: Whalley's World, St Helens Star, YMCA Buildings, Duke Street, St Helens WA10 2HZ.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.