On track for changes in Colne?

Urban Altitude dismantled

Most of Urban Altitude was dismantled and removed by Tue 26th March 2019.  Urban Altitude was located on a patch of land to the rear (and left) of Rigby Street – situated right between Boundary Mill and LLoyd BMW.


Most folk know that prior to becoming Urban Altitude, the area was covered in an ‘all-weather’ surface and was heavily used for sporting activities. But if we step further back in time, the area was all part of the Colne railway.  The line between Colne & Burnley was  first opened on 1st Feb 1849, whilst the line between Skipton and Colne was first opened on 2nd October 1848.


The rail line between Colne and Skipton was closed on 2nd February 1970.  It didn’t take very long for all the track to be removed.  The various railway buildings and Colne Station were left and eventually fell into disrepair, prompting various demolitions.


Have a look at this very old picture of the bottom of Guy Syke.  Note the random dry stone walling and the curve to the left at the bottom of the road.  Then look at the recent photo of the same area. Obviously, the factory has disappeared and there is a row of houses instead. But, the wall changes from random dry stone walling to more regular, larger blocks of stone (probably from the railway era) and the curve to the left has been straightened out.  It’s a little irrelevant for the Urban Altitude story, but had us intrigued for a while.  

We tried to get a similar overview picture of the area from the old railway bridge on Barrowford Road – but that was pretty much impossible as the old railway track was now overgrown with trees.  Of course we did have a wander around and took photo’s of the steps leading up to Barrowford Road, from the then so-called ‘Titty Bottle Lane’. Nowadays, if you take the path next to the bridge and make your way through the trees, you’ll end up on the grass verge at the side of Vivary Way.  We did manage a photo of the area from this point.


‘Titty Bottle Lane’ ? Presumably so-called as many a new fathers took that route to the Christiana Hartley Maternity Hospital.  Back in the day, Ben Smith was a florist and his shop was on Albert Road.   He told tales of people buying flowers in his shop then making their way down Albert Road, under the railway bridge, an immediate right walking over bunkers hill and, following the railway line pretty close, up ‘Titty Bottle Lane’ until the steps took them onto Barrowford Road.  Then onto the hospital to visit their partner and newly born child.

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About Naz Alam 293 Articles
Naz is well known in the local community as a photo journalist. He is group creator for 'Colne Talk' - a Facebook Community Group which has approx 20K members. He also runs multiple Facebook pages for the local community & local business, such as 'Visit Colne'.