On a sunny day, there are few better places to wait for a train than Helsby station, a proper old-school country station. It is awash with colour and flowers, thanks to the efforts of the North Cheshire Rail Users Group, who keep the place looking spick and span. Network Rail contractors in orange overalls were busy repointing the stonework on the station buildings. The sound of chirping birds mixed with the bells and clunking levers from the old -fashioned mechanical signal box on the platform.
I was waiting on platform 4 for the 1517 to Ellesmere Port, via Ince & Elton and Stanlow & Thornton. Seeing the latter station on the scrolling electronic display triggered old memories, sending a shiver down my spine.