This is an excellent poem about the passage of time by Ian Duff of Barrhead who also contributed many of the photos on the site
The Aurs Glen
Beneath the shadow of its arches
This viaduct of stone
A whisper breeze, the sound of trees
You’ll never feel alone
Leaves Rustling Water falling
Softly down below
I stop and dream, but not this stream
It must go with the flow
A whistle blew at lioncross junction
A train came down the track
There was no line, a trick of time
My senses flooded back
Hays print works horn had startled me
It echoed up the valley
A bugle blast then from the past
Called soldiers to reveille
And then those noisy lorries came
With household waste and ash
Could this be right ,an infill site?
The past and future Clash
A school bell rang it woke me up
I hope that I am not late
But no school wynd can I find?
A playground or a gate
Just over there the gypsies camped
Their home a humble tent
These nomad tribes or where time hides
Who’ll tell me where they went?
Ian Duff 2003
I spent the first twelve years of my life In number 10 Darkwood Crescent and from our house we could look right up Darkwood Drive and see the dummy railway through the space between the houses on Ferguslie Park Avenue. The 'Coo Park' sat between the back of those houses and the railway. We spent many hours playing around the park and up on the railway. We used to know the train was coming because they often had to stop at St. James before continuing to the Rootes factory. We'd go up and lay old pennies on the line and then lie in the long grass on the embankment while the train moved off again. When we retrieved our pennies they would be very thin and oblong shaped. More fun than a Penny Caramel eh? Another memory of the railway was when some of us went to Maxwellton Park and we ended up exploring the disused station across the road (Paisley West) I was really very young at the time and it was my big brother who was leading our merry gang. During our explorations of the station (I seem to remember that the platform was wood) my brother found a big red flag which I assume had been used to signal trains to stop. We eventually left with our treasure and headed for home. Along the way the flag generated great interest amongst other youngsters we met and our ranks swelled as my brother marched in front with his flag. My mum who is now 82 still laughs at the memory of looking out of the window and seeing this tribe of snottery nosed weans marching behind my brother. She said that she thought the Russian army had invaded!
The (Dykebar) street level station building was incorporated in the abutment of the bridge on the Barrhead side of the road. There was if memory serves an arched window of considerable size which must have been an office of some sort and alongside was the foot of the stairs which led on to the platform - you came up out in between railings at the top. If you look at the photo of Ferguslie where the Jones Goods is shown, you can just make out a similar arrangement there. The bridge had been originally two separate plate girders which diverged as they crossed the road and the station entry was in between them. One set had been removed when the line was singled, no idea when.
Seedhill Road was a three track bridge and again one set of girders had gone but 2 remained as can be seen in the photo of there. I recall, just, the coal train in Lacy Street yard - you can see the coal rees in one of the photos. John Lyon was the coalman - later moved to Hawkhead (see Railscot) where his lion is outside the hut. There is a similar lion above what was his shop in Glasgow Road - now a barber's. Keep meaning to take a photo of it. At Dykebar I think the skeletal building was actually the signal box as I would see no need for a shelter where there was an extensive canopy at the building. It also looks like a signal box name on it. Open to correction. I used to walk it when there was track and then I recall the lifting gang - even had a wee hurl on their trolley when they had gone for the night.
From Dykebar the line ran along the side of the curved wall in the field - that wall was at the top of the cutting-side - now filled in. It had crossed the lane which is now the road into Hawkhead estate, and then at the other end of the cutting the Hurlet Road on another plate girder bridge - again singled. I never recall, at any time, a line to Hawkhead ID Hospital but I do recall that the line into Dykebar Hospital was clear to see and the level-crossing gates survived a long time.
I remember playing in the derelict station building at Glenfield. I believe the St Peter's scout troop bought it at one point with a view to making it their scout hut but it was too much in need of repair and it never came to anything. I used to run up from St Peter's Primary School every day at one o'clock so that I could stand in the steam from the train as it raced through Glenfield Station and under the bridge at Braehead roundabout. You can still see the bottom of the bridge wall on one side of the road. When they filled in the cutting to the east and levelled the embankment to the west they left a hollow space under the bridge. I used to walk along the embankment every day going to and from school at St Aelred's. It looks much higher and more impressive in the 1900 photo than it was in my day. I think the level of the ground to the north of it was raised considerably when the road was built. The topographical differences from 1900 show what an effect building and rebuilding had on the landscape. The bottom of Gleniffer Road looks fairly level in the photo whereas today it goes downhill towards the town at that point.
Thanks to everyone at the Paisley.org forum.
The Fereneze bus used to terminus at a roundabout next to the Mormon Church, and from there you could walk under a bridge and through what we called the 'old mills'. Next to the bridge and joined by a steep ash embankment was what we called the 'dummy railway' which was a concrete platform with a sort of concrete supports for an angled roof. There were tall trees on the embankment which we could tie tree swing to. The pigeon lofts were just along from this, and also looked down on the road from the embankment
If I remember correctly the Glenfield, Stanely, Foxbar, Ferguslie,(Fulbar Rd) carried on into Roots We had our Coal Bricks delivered to Fulbar Rd there 1954/55. Then there was the Hawkhead Station I was very young at the time,late 39s, early 40s a young boy was killed on the line, his father in trying to reach him impaled himself on the fence. The other line at the top of Hawkhead Rd did the Jenny Wells Laundry Hawkhead, Dykebar, and I think Darnley Hospital.
I used to live next to the old railway track that went under Neilson Road near Potterhill Station. Fascinating! There was a tale about a man who was fatally injured near the station and was found staggering along the track bleeding profusely........SO THE STORY GOES that every time the blood was washed away from the track, it returned-spooky!
The dummy railway still had a scheduled run in the early fifties,some schoolmates and I used to get the tram from Lochfield road to the terminus,walk down to the railway,and "hudgie"a ride to the station at Braehead. The driver and fireman always stopped there for a cuppa with the station master,at that time there was still a pedestrian bridge across the rail line to Fereneze drive,the driver also sometimes gave us a lift if we were going bramble picking,and once to the castle,I think it was around 1951,there was a bit of a drought,and it was possible to walk out to it. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that the train ran out to the munition works at Bishopton. Perhaps that was the reason for keeping it quiet.
My hubby moved to Glenburn cres when he was twelve,right on corner of Knockside ave,Glenburn Rd end,almost facing railway station house!That would be around 1953. Knockside Ave had still to be built. You could see from Glenburn cr to Barrhead Rd where tramcars stopped at Glenfield Rd.
If train was at station,boys would have a hudgy down as far as Glenfield Rd,then get 1p tram down to Canal St,then trek up BIG HILL to old Camphill school . The trains did not carry passengers,although there was a couple still living in the house! I on the other hand remember Abercorn Station,as I moved to Abercorn St in 1956,when I was twelve.Our backdoor was right next to siding,I think went to Babcocks,from Hamilton St.You can see back of my tenement,on left side of pic,facing Reid Kerr!
I used to live at the bottom of potterhill and as a kid myself and brothers spent a lot of time on the old railway and used to go along under the bridge on Nielston road as far as the Cadbury factory until we got chased by the Moorfoot Boys ( Bad Lot!) Our party piece was to scale the bridge wall and then jump onto Neilston Road to drivers bewilderment. The track runs parallel with the back of the houses at Stoney Brae and crosses a bridge opposite Thornlipark Tennis Club and then up hill past the old Thornlipark School at the top of the brae. In the 70's used to teach the Glennifer Scouts to abseil off we used take leaps of faith off the top of the bridge landing in the tree branches below - but please don,t tell ma mother she would have a canary if she knew.
I also have a good memory of where the railway went after glenburn and foxbar into lower foxbar and the old bridges near that mad bone factory that was once down at red road.
It reminds me of when we lived in Findhorn Ave.Foxbar on the opposite side of the railway from the Morar Drive terminus and had to shimmy down the embankment to cross the dummy railway to the catch the bus. I fell down on to the track one morning when hurrying to catch the bus and ended up in the Alexandra Infirmary after an off duty nurse in Maree Rd.
The Fereneze bus used to terminus at a roundabout next to the Mormon Church, and from there you could walk under a bridge and through what we called the 'old mills'. Next to the bridge and joined by a steep ash embankment was what we called the 'dummy railway' which was a concrete platform with a sort of concrete supports for an angled roof. There were tall trees on the embankment which we could tie tree swing to. The pigeon lofts were just along from this, and also looked down on the road from the embankment.
I remember our trips to the Kelburn from Gallowhill, it used to take us most
of the day. As young lads we would walk over the footbridge and slip under
the fence onto the old disused railway line, and follow that down to the
Kelburn cricket grounds, then back onto the old railway line between the
lockups and the cricket ground and eventually emerge in the carpark behind
Stuart from New Zealand who used to live in Foxbar
We loved the dummy railway though, it was classed as a foxbar area , even the part that was really Glenburn, as they never really had that many houses close as we did , there was an old bridge that crossed over it right at the back of the firs pub and was a great place for all of us to meet up and we would light a fire and hang out , under the bridge was pretty cool , the platform there was still pretty much there , and the sort of road that went over the railway started at the foxbar rd just inside the fence that surrounded the pitches across from what we called the the wee forrie . and it went all the way down to brediland rd , not sure what the rd was for , but was obviously a rd that never got sealed , I went to amochrie primary and then to camphill high , so it was the place to sneak of to when we had enough of school , up through the old rd and through the wee forrie and up the braes passing the water works on the way . back at the dummy railway it made a great place to explore , making dens and as we got older , to go with the burdz . hey all had to start somewhere ... the forrie was to obvious . the Stanley castle also made a mark on our youth as well , it was a right of passage to swim out to it and back , sadly a couple of school friends came unstuck and drowned , first was one of the guys we used to play around with on the dummy railway ,victor Phelps , then a couple of years later , leam Burk . don't think we really got the reason you were not suppose to go in the Stanley dam fence , all being very young we got shielded from that sort of thing , petty , may have been better for us to have a little fear of the castle and the danger of the water , we thought jumping about the bridge and stuff like that was the real danger .