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Carnforth

Carnforth is a small town and civil parish near Lancaster in the north of Lancashire, England, situated at the north east end of Morecambe Bay. The parish of Carnforth had a population of 5,350 recorded in the 2001 census and forms part of the City of Lancaster.

Due to the closeness of the coast and the hills, Carnforth is a popular base for walkers and cyclists exploring the area. The River Keer, the West Coast Main Line, the A6 and the Lancaster Canal pass through the town. The M6 motorway passes just to the east, linked to Carnforth by the A601(M).

The name "Carnforth" is thought to derive from its old function as a ford of the River Keer on which it is situated. Over time the descriptive name "Keer-ford" may have morphed into the modern "Carnforth". An alternative explanation is that the name derives from 'Chreneforde' and is Anglo-Saxon in origin, as cited in the Victoria County History of Lancashire.

Much of the history of Carnforth revolves around the railway and ironworks. Vast deposits of limestone located locally made Carnforth an ideal place for an ironworks, as limestone is a key component of the smelting process. In 1846 the Carnforth Ironworks Company established a works, located near the railway station.

In 1945, Carnforth railway station was used as a set for the David Lean film Brief Encounter, starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. Fans of this film were one of the major factors in the recent refurbishment of the railway station, including construction of a refreshment room to match the studio set used in the film, which is now run by the Carnforth Station Trust.

The following pictures were taken on a short walk around the town in May 2015.

Carnforth Lancashire Dorsetcamera

At the bottom of Market Street, The Fire Station and war memorial.

Carnforth Lancashire Dorsetcamera

Opposite the railway station in Market street The co-operative food store. This used to be the Roxy cinema.

Carnforth Lancashire Dorsetcamera

Carnforth railway station. This now includes a heritage centre linked with the film Brief Encounter.

Carnforth Lancashire Dorsetcamera

The view north up Market Street from the station.

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Looking down from the railway bridge on the main line through Carnforth. The fast trains do not stop here.

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The old Station Hotel which is now the offices of Hackney & Leigh.

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The main crossroads on the A6 Scotland Road.

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Just off the A6 is the Carnforth bookshop which is one of the biggest second hand bookshops in the country.

Carnforth Lancashire Dorsetcamera

From the shore road a shot of the River Keer and in the distance Warton Crag.

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A closer look at Warton Crag. The crag is 535 feet high and made from Limestone.

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Near the Canal Turn public House. The basin on the  Lancaster Canal.

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The canal is very wide here to allow boats to turn.

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A selection of the many boats moored here.

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More canal boats. The buildings at the back are part of Nu-Way Acorn Marine.

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This boat is very lovingly cared for.

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It is the “Owl and the pussycat”.

November 2015

A visit to the heritage centre at Carnforth railway station.

Carnforth Lancashire Dorsetcamera

Carnforth railway station platform. Only local trains stop here now. The main line express thunder straight through.
At the end of right hand the platform you can see the old signal box which was built in 1882. It was replaced in 1903 by a more modern box.

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The entrance to the Carnforth Station Heritage Centre.
Carnforth Station Heritage Centre and the Brief Encounter Refreshment Room opened on 17 October 2003 following 3 years work to renovate the derelict buildings of Carnforth Station. The station, which has been restored to it’s 1940s glory when the Refreshment Room was used as the setting for David Lean’s film “Brief Encounter”.
Carnforth Railway Station was opened in 1846 by the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway Company and was originally just a single platform.  In 1856, a small station was built following the connection of the Furness and Midland Railway lines. A year later a new station  and small engine shed were constructed. On 1st August, 1880, the station was rebuilt at a cost of 40,000.

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It had to be done. A cup of tea in the station refreshment room.

Carnforth Lancashire Dorsetcamera

Fancy a nice piece of cake?

Carnforth Lancashire Dorsetcamera

The famous Carnforth Station clock made by Joyce of Whitchurch in the late 19th century, which featured in Brief Encounter.