City's steam era set for birthday tribute

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the last passenger steam trains to leave Preston, and efforts are gathering pace to place a memorial plaque at the city's railway station to commemorate it

Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 9:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:43 am
The Scots Guardsman steam train, built in 1927, waits on the platform at Preston station

On August 3 1958 the very last passenger steam train left Preston, driven by the late Ernie Heyes.

Now, 49 years later, Ernie’s wife Margaret Hayes is pushing for the historical day in Lancashire’s steam engine era to be enshrined for good.

Margaret said: “It’s us now that have to get this commemorated for the next 50 years.”

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Margaret has been joined by railway historian and author Bob Gregson.

Bob, who used to live in Hoghton, said: “I think it’s only right that the plaque should be put in Preston.”

Hopes are to place the plaque on the central platforms, where the steam trains used to depart from.

Member of Preston Historical Society, Aidan Turner-Bishop, has also thrown his support behind the idea.

Preton railway station’s management, Virgin Trains, are currently in talks with the campaigners about bringing the idea to life.