FIRST POST Knutsford is a a small town in East Cheshire situated about half way between Altrincham and Northwich on the Cheshire Lines Committee Line from Manchester to Chester. The Line through Knutsford was opened in 1862 and was extended westwards as far as Northwich in 1863. The entire length of the line was finally opened in 1874 (to goods traffic) and to passengers in 1875. Most of the route passes through rich farming countryside, but the fertile land covers a valuable mineral - Salt. ICI was formed from an agglomeration of salt extractors around Winsford and Northwich and eventually was linked, chemically with other divisions of what was at one time Britain’s largest manufacturing company. So, salt transport originally was an important freight sector for the line. Time moved on and instead of shipping the majority of salt out of the area other chemical raw materials were brought in, most often limestone from ICI’s quarries around Buxton. These rakes can still be seen passing through the station, but nowhere near as often as used to be the case. During the second world war the UK government built a lead fuel additive plant along side the track in Plumley, the next station down from Knutsford so ICI’s fleet of rolling stock was added to by large numbers of what came to be branded as Associated Octel tankers full of tetraethyl lead, a vital anti knock additive that allowed internal combustion engines to become far more efficient, with lower grade fuels. That freight business was superseded by fuel and fuel oil tankers from various refineries north of Chester at Port Sunlight and Stanlow on the Wirral. I grew up in a small village a few miles out of Knutsford which was my local hub during my teens. I followed United (there was only the one back then) so I was up and down from Knutsford to Old Trafford station for home games. I was also a keen ice skater so again, I would be in and out of Knutsford travelling up to Altrincham and on to the ice rink in Broadheath. My Dad was in business in Knutsford, my Mum was a local lass, and our everyday lives really did revolve around the town and its many facilities. I haven’t lived in the area for over 40 years, and have always considered where we live to be “home”, but as I retired and my thoughts circled back to a hobby I could do around the house (golf at home is sadly lacking) and a layout became something to consider, it was only really ever Knutsford that stood out as the most likely candidate. I started last summer (2020) during lockdown, and through this layout page I will try and document my progress, to entertain and to inform my readers. I really do look forward to your feed back.

Posted by Knutsford-Ian at 2021-05-18 14:10:10 UTC