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Are we there yet? School trip on the Liverpool Overhead Railway remembered

17 June 2019 by Sharon

Dorothy is one of the stars of the Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery. Her story of a school trip on the railway ends with her being given a mystery fruit (which turned out to be a pineapple) by a docker on the return journey. The story is based on one told to me when I did a talk many years ago and I adapted it to use in the gallery.

Now we have more evidence of the fun and excitement of a school trip on the iconic overhead railway! A few weeks ago we were contacted by a lady whose friend was a teacher in Liverpool in 1949 and had taken her class on a trip on the LOR. She still had her plan for the day and some reviews of the trip written by her pupils. They have been very kindly donated to the museum and hand-delivered (by her friend Jan) all the way from Derbyshire.

Miss Ireland was a student teacher and recorded arrangements for the trip including the cost of 6 ½ d per child, plus 3d bus fare. Crossville put on an extra bus to take the 45 children from their school, Forefield Lane in Crosby, to Seaforth Sands Station on the LOR. Here the children were met by a guide who explained all the sights to them as they travelled along to Gladstone Dock Station were they got off the train.

On their tour of the dock they marvelled at all the products they were shown; crates of pineapples and coconuts, rubber, hides, hemp and huge teak logs, and were delighted to hear about the baby elephants, mongoose and snakes that had arrived the previous week!

After the trip Miss Ireland wrote that the children’s behaviour had been good and it was marvellous to see how much they had learnt on the 2 hour trip. She must have been impressed by some of the children’s recollections of their trip as she kept them for 70 years!

The children appear to have been very impressed by the ships in the docks and all the products they saw and learnt about. Not many of them mention the Overhead Railway and I am guessing that was because it was commonplace to them, it was just a part of the landscape of Liverpool and a convenient way to travel.

I am so grateful that Miss Ireland (now Mrs Gee) kept these precious reflections on her school trip and has passed them on to the museum where they will become part of our extensive archive of memories of the Liverpool Overhead Railway.

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