The mists - or more appropriately steam - of time will be rolled back when a local historian gives a talk on a disused railway line that wended its way through a number of Chorley villages.

Steve Williams, secretary of Brindle Historical Society, will delve into the history of the old Chorley to Blackburn line which passed through some of the most beautiful in the area.

Steve has researched the line and will present his findings at an illustrated talk in Brindle.

He said: "In the 19th century it wasn't the need to service some remote villages that built the line, but the need to transport coal.

"The idea for the line was put forward by the mine owners in Wigan, desperate to move coal to the developing cotton mills of East Lancashire.

"The line cost £530,000 to build and was considerably over budget - taking two years longer to build than planned. It was eventually opened in December 1869.

"Nearly 100 years later the final remnants were finally removed with the demolition of the Botany Bay viaduct, near Chorley - the latter to make way for the new M61 motorway."

Brinscall was the highest point of the line, 558ft above sea level.

When Doctor Beeching axed Britain's railways in the late 1950s and early 60s, the ROF sidings were used to store redundant steam engines.

Steve added: "Besides the views of some wild countryside, the most striking features on the line were three viaducts.

"Most impressive was the nine arches of Botany Bay viaduct at Chorley that took the railway across a valley and over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal."

While little remains of the line, the route can still be traced and walked in certain sections of open countryside.

Steve will give his talk at Brindle Community Hall, Water Street, on Monday, June 25, at 7.30 pm. Admission is £1.50. Call 01254 854298 for details or visit

He is also willing to give the talk to interested groups, clubs and societies.