LMSR / BR London Midland Region 1946 to 1963


In May 1946, following the post-World War II reorganisations, Lostock Hall shed had now become a sub-depot to 24A
Accrington Depot and, accordingly, received the new code of 24C.

As a consequence of the disastrous effects of the hostilities, Britain’s railways had, in any case, already effectively become

bankrupt and the Transport Act of 1947 was passed to nationalise nearly all forms of mass transport in Great Britain, this taking

effect from January 1st 1948. The title ‘British Railways’ came into existence as the business name of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission on the same date and from which time it took over the assets of the erstwhile ‘Big Four’.

Initially, there was little real change and the newly-formed London Midland Region inherited, in the main, ex-LMS types of steam locomotive already at depots in its domain. For a few months in early 1948, an ‘M’ prefix was added to existing LMS loco numbers, but from mid-1948, 40000 was added, allocating numbers of the ex-LMS types into the 4xxxx and 5xxxx series. (Some elderly loco classes, however, were re-numbered into the 58xxx series to make way for new production of LMS designs, but none of those were at 24C.)  In respect of London Midland depot codes, throughout Lancashire there was also little change at first, with Lostock Hall retaining its ‘24C’ until 1963, when changes to local administrative areas finally did dictate a revision.





A couple of interesting aerial views taken from the top of the coaling plant.

[RIGHT] A shed full of 2-6-4Ts accompanied by a few Black Fives, along with the odd WD 2-8-0 and Jinty, but before the diesel-fuelling facility was installed, almost certainly dates these pictures to the summer of 1962.

[FAR RIGHT] A WD comes on shed, using the entrance from the ‘back line’ from Farington Jct. The former closely-knit railway community of Lostock Hall village is particularly well illustrated in the background of this view.


In 1947, a lengthy coal-strike caused the LMSR to convert a number of 0-8-0 locomotives to oil-burning. The main facilities for these were erected at Wakefield and Rose Grove depots, but two fuel-oil tanks were also installed at Lostock Hall to accommodate any such locos that had worked right through from Yorkshire. With the cessation of the strike and resumption of regular supplies of coal, that project was abandoned and certainly the Lostock Hall facilities are thought never to have been used. There was some talk that these two tanks had actually been provided in connection with a rather curious combined coal and oil-burning experiment, but this has never been substantiated. Whatever their function, the concrete bases to these structures survived the demolition of the depot.

As had been gradually occurring at several other ex-L&Y depots, the long overdue and lengthy re-roofing of the original L&Y structure, delayed by the War, was finally completed by 1954.  Curiously, with the old ‘north-light’ pattern roof remaining in-situ over the offices, stores and workshops facilities, the remainder of the covered area of the building came to be cut back somewhat in length, now exposing some of the inspection pits, the remainder of which came to be covered by a more modern steel-framed design - one that remained until final closure and demolition.

Following the cessation of hostilities, and as from about 1950, the numerous ex-LMS ‘Austin Seven’ 0-8-0s now on the allocation soon themselves came to be gradually replaced from a large stock of otherwise redundant ex-War Department ‘Austerity’ 2-8-0s that had been obtained second-hand from the Ministry of Supply by the newly-nationalised British Railways. The Austerity 2-8-0 was based on the LMS Class 8F, which until that point had been the government's standard design. Various modifications were made to the 8F design by R.A. Riddles including a boiler of simpler construction which was parallel rather than tapered and a round-topped firebox rather than a Belpaire firebox. The firebox was made of steel rather than the rarer and more expensive copper.  In all, some 935 of the type were constructed and 733 eventually ended up on the books of British Railways.



Examples of the Stanier and Fairburn 2-6-4 tanks that were a mainstay for over a quarter of a century. [ABOVE LEFT] No 42661, built in 1941, is seen on No 1 Road on 14th May 1949, shortly before transfer to Accrington shed, where it remained until this was converted into a DMU maintenance depot in 1960, causing 42661 to be returned to 24C.

[ABOVE RIGHT] No (4)2298 is seen on No 8 Road at around the same time and had just arrived from 25F Low Moor, now destined to remain at Lostock Hall for the remainder of its life.  Behind 2298, can be seen Stanier 8F 2-8-0 No 48639, displaying the early BR type of smokebox number-plate that used the LMS style of numerals.  Hailing, as it did, from 16A Nottingham MPD, this was an extremely rare visitor!

At the same time, however, some Ivatt and BR 2MT 2-6-0s and seven ‘Jinty’ 3F 0-6-0Ts, along with a number of 350hp diesel shunters, did come to be transferred from 24K to 24C.  In addition, brand-new 350hp diesel shunters came to the shed ‘on loan’, for running-in purposes. In fact, nearly all of the output from Horwich Works at this period in time was being sent alternately to Lostock Hall or to Bolton depots and during which time was used on normal shed duties.

[RIGHT] Once the ‘Jinty’ 3F 0-6-0Ts became established at Lostock Hall, following the transfer of an initial seven from Preston shed, others started to arrive from elsewhere. No 47386 previously had been a long-stay resident of Rose Grove MPD, arriving at 24C on 22nd October 1960 and coming to be withdrawn on 26th April 1963.

[FAR RIGHT] Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 No 46449 was also the first of its own type to arrive, having been transferred from Kirkby Stephen to Preston and then to Lostock Hall on 10th September 1961. It stayed for only about a year before moving on to Oldham (Lees) – but only to be replaced by a further 2 that came from Skipton.

The allocation lists at the foot of this section encompass a period of 14 years in total and do provide some idea of the transition from the remaining pre-Grouping machines over to the obviously more modern LMS motive power, this then progressing to the pitifully few BR Standards that ever did arrive.  

During the period under review, of significance here is the total absence of any Stanier 5MT or 8F engines – that is, aside from a small number of mostly war-surplus ex-LNER and GWR-built 8Fs that came both here and to Rose Grove immediately after nationalisation, before being fairly quickly moved elsewhere. As at other depots in the locality, Lostock Hall then had to wait for the more powerful Stanier engines to be cascaded down to them, as steam declined in other parts of the country … and that wasn’t to occur until after 1963 and by which time all sheds in North and East Lancashire had come under a new parent depot of 10A Carnforth.

Meanwhile, with Preston shed now closed completely – even for servicing, some larger and more exotic visitors started to arrive unexpectedly, but on quite a regular basis. These often caused much interest locally, both to enthusiasts and shed staff, for this was a depot that, by virtue of its relatively lowly status, had never previously been so much in the limelight.   

Until the early 1960s, holiday extra trains to the Lancashire Coast resorts from South Wales, Bristol, various points east of the Pennines and even Scotland used to work its train right through to the final destination. Upon arrival in the Fylde, if no space was available elsewhere, the empty stock occasionally had to be worked back into the Preston area, perhaps to Lostock Hall Carriage Sidings, for stabling until its return departure time was due. The locomotives concerned then came onto shed for servicing and resulted in numerous extremely rare shed-codes being seen.

With the closure of Preston shed, Lostock Hall came to host many unusual visitors from other parts. [RIGHT] In 1963, Carlisle Upperby’s No 46106 “Gordon Highlander”, the unique BR Standard smoke-deflector fitted ‘Royal Scot’, is seen here having its fire cleaned before proceeding onto shed.

[FAR RIGHT] Over on No 6 Road, at around the same date, was to be found Edge Hill’s green-liveried ‘Princess Coronation’ Pacific No 46241 “City of Edinburgh”.

ABOVE LEFT] The only currently known photograph illustrating one of the two fuel tanks (extreme right) erected at Lostock Hall during the 1947 oil-burning conversion of some locos due to the coal strike. The Class 3F No 12317 using the turntable on 1st July 1948 was a mainstay of the Lostock Hall allocation for many years, until its move to Newton Heath week-ending 3rd July 1954.. [ABOVE RIGHT] With 24C shed-plates by now very much in evidence, this 1949 view also clearly depicts the decrepit and soon-to-be-replaced original L&YR 'northlight' roof! A strong L&Y influence still remains evident in the original water columns and in the Aspinall 3F 0-6-0s (former L&Y Class 27) Nos 52244 and 12523. Also in-frame are a couple of relatively more 'modern' additions to stock in the form of Stanier 2-6-4T No 42661 and an ex-WD 2-8-0.

[ABOVE]  Two pictures of  examples of rebuild s to Aspinall's Class 27, which resulted in the addition of a Belpaire firebox and the extension of the footplate and front sandboxes.

 Here we see [LEFT] No 12197 and [RIGHT] No 52541.

[ABOVE]  Another rebuild, this time of all but 50 of the 280-strong Aspinall Class 25s, resulted in the creation of the extremely useful Class 23 0-6-0 saddle-tanks.  Until the very late 1950s, there were always a small number on Lostock Hall’s allocation and they found much use, particularly in shunting the various ex-L&Y yards in the Preston area.

Several others survived somewhat longer as Horwich Works shunters and yet a further example was ultimately rescued from NCB service to survive today in preservation.

ABOVE] No 50725 is an example of the original round-topped boiler version of the Aspinall Class 5. As mentioned on the previous page, from ever since the opening of the depot, this type was a mainstay of the allocation until the early 1950s. Seeing much use on the Preston - Southport line, they eventually were all replaced by newer Stanier products. The home depot of this particular engine in this undated view is unclear, but it does appear to be stood under the new shed roof, which was only installed in 1954. 2-4-2T No 50725 had arrived at Lostock Hall week ending 6th June 1953 and was very shortly to be transferred to Huddersfield week ending 19th June 1954.

[ABOVE]  In L&Y days, Lostock Hall possessed a very small number of the L&Y Class 30 and 31 0-8-0s.  With the 1922 grouping, large numbers of the Derby-designed Fowler 7F 0-8-0  eventually started to be cascaded into the former L&Y system and all of the former had departed for scrap from their respective depots by the end of 1951.  

n this 1948 picture, No 52822 was a visitor from 23D Wigan L&Y shed.

[ABOVE]  Same wheel arrangement, but a very different locomotive. This 1949 view sees No 49640 sporting a 24C shedplate.  There were no fewer than 14 of the class on the allocation in 1948.

[ABOVE] No 52857, seen here in an early 1949 view, was believed to have been one of the very last of the type to remain in service, being withdrawn from 27D Wigan L&Y shed in December 1951. Latterly, many of the class were still working from Aintree shed and this may well have been the direction from which this visitor had arrived.

[ABOVE] Another 24C engine was No 49611. Being based on the Derby Class 4F, no consideration had been put at the drawing-board stage into providing larger axle-boxes, with the result that, on the steep gradients across the Pennines, they had a propensity for running hot.


Likewise at the same time, the arrivals of brand-new Stanier and Fairburn 2-6-4Ts were to make further inroads into the depreciating stock of ex-L&Y 2-4-2 'Radial' tanks. After so many years of ‘making-do’ with ageing designs, the 2-6-4Ts naturally became immediate favourites with crews, so much so in fact that, remarkably, at least one - No 42158 - was to remain on the allocation for its entire working life! Furthermore, a couple of sister engines almost achieved similar status; a prime example being No 42296, which arrived from Low Moor on 25th July 1949. In fact, on 6th Sept 1964, this engine was afforded the honour of being specially-cleaned by the shed staff (by that date, a rather uncommon occurrence) in order to work the final train of all between Southport and Preston, via the West Lancs line – a task that it accomplished with all due pomp and circumstance and, in so doing, commanded headline attention in the local press.

[ABOVE LEFT] In around 1950 - and still bearing its War Department number - is seen 26A Newton Heath depot’s No 70843, on the head-shunt between the shed building and the station. In the background can be seen the timber booking-office situated almost at the peak of Watkin Lane bridge.

[ABOVE RIGHT] Another view on the headshunt between the shed and the station sees Lostock Halls No 90398 proceeding towards the ash-disposal pits.  On the right can be seen the two grounded carriage bodies, used for many years as the shed canteen , ably managed by Mrs Ada Ashworth.

[LEFT] Yet other examples on the 24C stud were Nos  90595 and 90720, the former seen bearing the early form of the BR crest and clearly not long out of shops.

Right from the outset from opening, the typical pattern of work for the shed had essentially encompassed servicing all the ex-L&Y routes and yards in the Preston area; this along with a few local passenger jobs - a situation that continued throughout, very much unaltered, until at least the early 1960s.  However, big changes were soon to be afoot.

The ex-LNWR depot located immediately to the north of Preston Station had, traditionally, provided power for working traffic over all the indigenous LNW routes around the town - that is, until a disastrous fire occurred on 28th June 1960 and which destroyed almost the entire shed roof, as well as seriously damaging a large number of locomotives stabled underneath. Recalling that day, former driver Andy Hall observed that, when they heard the news up at Lostock Hall, a number of the footplatemen on duty at the time went up to the top of the coaling plant to watch the blaze - the pall of black smoke that was engulfing the town being clearly visible even at such a distance!

After clearance of debris, although the now roofless 24K establishment struggled on for another 15 months, it finally succumbed on 12th September 1961 and, at which time, part of the remaining allocation, along with many of the duties, were then passed over to Lostock Hall. They not being popular with many ‘Lanky’ men, effectively, that move meant the end of the last three ex-LNWR 0-8-0 locos at work in the Preston area (the “Super Ds”) and those that did not get immediately withdrawn were very soon moved to Carnforth and elsewhere.

[RIGHT] At one time there was a daily freight working to Preston that regularly brought 21D Aston engines onto Lostock Hall shed. Here, in 1962, ex-works 'Britannia' pacific No 70017 "Arrow" (one of 9 allocated to Aston at the time) has just taken on coal and is seen moving towards the ash-disposal plant.  


[FAR RIGHT] Class 4F 0-6-0 No 44596 was an 8G Sutton Oak engine when photographed on around the same date. It is suspected that this visit, too, might have been as a direct consequence of a works visit - but running-in from Horwich. Notice the rare high-sided tender - a type that had seen service behind at least a couple of un-rebuilt 'Patriot' 4-6-0s.

[RIGHT] Having possibly brought in one of the seasonal extras from Southern Scotland, in July 1963 Standard 6MT Pacific No 72005 "Clan Macgregor" has its fire thrown out prior to being stabled. More usually, the Scottish or Carlisle locomotives on such workings went straight to 24E Blackpool Central MPD … and where they were borrowed for mid-week local passenger diagrams, until such time as they returned home the following Saturday!

[FAR RIGHT] Ex-LNER engines, however, were fairly frequent visitors, particularly B1 4-6-0s and even a Gorton O4 on one occasion, but quite how this Low Moor J39 got here has remained a mystery! Perhaps Wakefield had borrowed it for a coal working instead of a WD 2-8-0?

Certainly not popular with “Lanky” men, the “Wessy” ‘Super D’ 0-8-0s, nevertheless, made occasional appearances on the shed.

[ABOVE LEFT] No 49008 of Springs Branch makes a brief visit in early 1962, having worked a mineral turn from Bamfurlong to Ribble Sidings.

[ABOVE RIGHT] The final occasion upon which a ‘Super D’ travelled into the Preston area was on 20th September 1962, when No 49451 was sent from Springs Branch in order to work a railtour that was scheduled to commence its journey, a couple of days later, from Preston (West Lancs Goods) station. Supposedly already ‘cleaned’ by shed staff, the task ultimately had to be completed properly by a number of the railtour participants. (NB For the author, this was the very first of many engines that he was to clean here during years to follow!)


Stanier 3P 2-6-2T: 40190/1/2/4/8/9,  

Fairburn 4P 2-6-4T: 42158/59/78,  

Stanier 4P 2-6-4T: 42434/5/6/7/80/81/556/661,  

Stanier 8F 2-8-0: 48526/7/8/9/719/20,  

Fowler 7F 0-8-0: 49502/3/23/4/34/85/611/2/4/5/6/7/40/9,  

Barton Wright 2F 0-6-0ST: 51345/526,

Aspinall 3F 0-6-0: 52160/71/244/96/317/34/6/68/99/460/7/522/41.

Total: 54



Fairburn 4P 2-6-4T: 42158/296/8,  

Stanier 4P 2-6-4T: 42434/6/80/1/91/2/556,

Aspinall 2P 2-4-2T: 50852,   

Barton Wright 2F 0-6-0ST: 51345/423/526,

Aspinall 3F 0-6-0: 52160/71/216/20/38/72/96/317/36/68/99/456/522/3/4/7.

Riddles ‘WD’ 8F 2-8-0: 90295/320/8/31/5/67/98/541/95/640/58/81.

Total: 44



Stanier 3P 2-6-2T: 40192,  

Fairburn 4P 2-6-4T: 42158/286/96/8,  

Stanier 4P 2-6-4T: 42434/76/81/634,  

Aspinall 2F 0-6-0: 52182/290/429/45/56/8,

Riddles ‘WD’ 8F 2-8-0: 90258/66/77/95/331/5/67/98/413/541/56/658/75/81/9/720,

Diesel 350hp 0-6-0: D3374.

Total: 32



Stanier 3P 2-6-2T: 40183/92,  

Fairburn 4P 2-6-4T: 42158/87/286/96/8,  

Stanier 4P 2-6-4T: 42433/4/76/81/634/61/80/1,  

Aspinall 2F 0-6-0: 52290/429/45/56,

Riddles ‘WD’ 8F 2-8-0: 90258/66/77/95/331/5/67/413/541/56/658/75/81/9/720,

Diesel 350hp 0-6-0: D3374.

Total: 35


LOSTOCK HALL M.P.D. LOCOMOTIVE ALLOCATION 1962  (Following closure of Preston shed)

Fairburn 4MT 2-6-4T: 42158/87/286/96/8,  

Stanier 4MT 2-6-4T: 42433/4/76/80/1/634/61,  

Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0: 46449,  

Kitson 0P 0-4-0ST: 47002/8,  

Fowler 3F 0-6-0T: 47293/319/60/86/413/72/572,  

BR 2MT 2-6-0: 78036/7,  

Riddles ‘WD’ 8F 2-8-0: 90258/66/77/95/335/541/84/658/75/81/9/713/20,

Diesel 350hp 0-6-0: D3172/368/9/71/4/581/846

Total: 45





In September 1963, with yet further divisional changes, the ‘parent depot’ status became transferred to 10A Carnforth, with Lostock Hall’s shed-code now becoming 10D.

"…and it had to happen right outside Harold Sedgebeer's office door!” Not the first occasion by any means when the 'bag' was left in the tender as an engine moved off shed. [

LEFT] Bank Hall's 'Jubilee' 45627 "Sierra Leone" poses alongside the prostrate water column that more usually served Nos 1 & 2 Roads.

[RIGHT]  Lostock Hall's crane re-erects the column. There was a story going round that, after this had occurred a few times, specially reduced-neck threaded-studs were manufactured to use in the mountings of the columns and which would shear-off before damage was caused to the base castings.  

Former Lostock Hall fireman, Joseph Booth recalls his own first day as a cleaner (7th May 1962), when he was one of eight staff assigned to clean unrebuilt ‘Patriot’ No 45543 “Home Guard” (with another eight working on un-named No 45550). He adds that there were no fewer than 42 cleaners at this time and the rest were given either 9Fs or tanks to clean. These two engines had been temporarily moved here following the Preston shed fire and both were officially transferred to Lancaster during week ending 5th May, before later going to Carnforth, where they only lasted for a short while.

[RIGHT] Restored to traffic after a period in storage, un-rebuilt 'Patriot' 45543 "Home Guard" has just been cleaned in early May 1962 and is the subject of an admiring audience. Stood in front are driver Dick Parr and fireman Frank Finney.


[FAR RIGHT] Another recently cleaned 'Patriot' No 45550 is shunted onto No 9 Road by an 8F 2-8-0.

 Although unfortunately that’s all we have in this section for now, so before you continue on to the next page, please do consider the following.

What you have just been reading is, of course, only a small part of the story of Lostock Hall MPD ….  all of it  having been gratefully received from the mere handful of contributors who have so generously assisted us to-date.  

There are obviously many more stories out there just waiting to be told … only these haven’t as yet been passed on to us!  Therefore, in order to start filling-in many of the missing pieces in the, still very incomplete, jigsaw, please do now consider making a contribution of your own.

Items of information and scanned photographs would be most welcomed. Alternatively, you might wish to share your footplate experiences by participating in our “Discussion Forum” (as many already have done). However, regardless of how you make contact and irrespective of whatever manner you feel you may be able to assist, please DO get in touch!

NOTE: All information contained within these pages is original material - prepared specifically for the Lostock Hall MPD Website (www.LostockHallMPD.org.uk) and which remains strictly the express COPYRIGHT of the website administrators. Likewise, all photographs used remain the COPYRIGHT of the photographers identified. No item must be reproduced, or quoted from (in whole or even in part), in the absence of express prior permission being granted.  (Please refer to the “Get In Touch” page in order to obtain the contact addresses of the administrative team.)



Some slightly cleaner visitors! [LEFT] A holiday extra train to the Lancashire Coast from South Wales or Bristol had, on this occasion, changed engines at Shrewsbury, resulting in ‘Jubilee’ 6P5F 4-6-0 No 45572 “Eire” (89A) then working its empty stock back to the Preston area for stabling until its return departure time was due.

[RIGHT] One that probably hadn’t worked a holiday special. The absence of a shed-plate suggesting that ‘Jubilee’  No 45590 “Travancore” was running-in following a visit to Crewe Works, this picture may well have been taken at the time the that loco was in the process of being transferred to Newton Heath in June 1963.

The heavy brigade!

[LEFT] Well off its beaten track, BR Standard 9F 2-10-0 No 92048 is an extremely rare visitor from 17C Rowsley shed in 1962.  Quite how it arrived at Lostock Hall from the Peak District is something upon which one can only conjecture!


[RIGHT] Classmate No 92015 was one of a small number of the same type on 26A Newton Heath's allocation for some years. Here, in 1962, the largest engine present on the shed, it is seen buffered-up to quite the smallest - 0-4-0ST No 47002!

A pair of other 'run-of-the-mill' visitors in 1962. [FAR LEFT] Visiting Fowler 4P 2-6-4T No 42319 prepares to return to its home depot of 24L Carnforth, perhaps at the head of a Windermere or Barrow local passenger. In earlier years, sister locos Nos 42311/21/50 had been allocated to Lostock Hall. [LEFT] Another type to visit on a regular basis was the Hughes/Fowler 'Crab' 2-6-0. In fact, Nos 42700/3/4/6/25/26/27/28/29, 42819 had been allocated to the shed at various times. This example, No 42849 from 9B Stockport Edgeley, appears to be stabled in readiness for action at the head of the breakdown train on No 1 road.

Life never always ran absolutely smoothly and, over the years, many were the mishaps that occurred - the suspect permanent way often being the major culprit! One that would eventually be one of the 24C allocation, on this day in 1962 when it came off the road, Stanier 2-6-4T No 42439 was a 26F Patricroft engine.  Nevertheless, with the assistance of an available Fairburn 2-6-4T coupled to the steam crane, the breakdown crew soon had the errant tank back in place.

[FAR LEFT] A view of the footplate layout of WD 2-8-0 No 90595, inside the shed separated from its tender and in the process of being jacked-up by the fitting staff. To the left can be seen ex-Midland Railway 3F 0-6-0T No 47211 still fitted with its condensing pipes following its years of working onto the Underground lines from Cricklewood depot in London.

[RIGHT] Yet another embarrassment! Brand-new Horwich 350hp 0-6-0 shunter No D4140 had just arrived for running-in trials at Lostock Hall in 1962 when the maintenance staff were called-out to rectify a problem that had caused the loco to fail right in the neck to Preston Butler Street yard.


[LEFT] On 2nd August 1962 Warrington Dallam shed’s withdrawn un-rebuilt Patriot  4-6-0 No 45546 ‘Fleetwood’ has its tender emptied by shed staff, prior to being dispatched to Crewe Works for scrapping.


[RIGHT] Sheffield Darnall shed’s B1 4-6-0 No 61044 is another unusual visitor on 16th September 1962.  Presumably it had worked a Saturday relief to the Fylde Coast before stabling its stock at Lostock Hall.

[LEFT ]  19th August 1962 saw the visit of an unusual and distinguished visitor in the form of Edge Hill depot’s ‘Princess Royal’ Pacific No 46208 ‘Princess Helena Victoria’. At this period in time the appearance of Stanier Pacifics were most uncommon and ‘Princess Royals’ particularly so .

Of the older ex-L&Y engines, indeed at least three of those ever-reliable workhorses also spent the majority of their lives at Lostock Hall.

Two were the Aspinall Class 23 saddle-tank rebuilds of earlier Barton-Wright 0-6-0 tender engines, where both Nos 51345 and 51423 were known to have been on the allocation since as early as 1922 (if not even earlier) and only came to be finally withdrawn at 24C in, respectively, October 1956 and December 1958 !

Yet even a further example of longevity could be seen in the Aspinall Class 27 0-6-0 No 1603 (52467) which, entering service in 1918, appears also to have spent the whole of its existence based at Lostock Hall, before being condemned in May 1948.