Things turn up in the strangest places…

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ornate clock Silver plated clock dedicated to William Neale, Station Master at Riverside Station. Accession number MOL.2015.77

Riverside Station was a bustling station on the Liverpool waterfront between 1895 and 1971, built to transfer passengers from transatlantic liners onto trains bound for London and the South.

An article in The Liverpool Review on 1 February 1896 stated that:

"there is probably no passenger terminus in the kingdom so conveniently placed in relation to the sea, and the passenger traffic from port to port, as the Liverpool Riverside Station."

We have several objects relating to the station in our collection including a signal box, station sign, drawings and tickets. We were recently offered this clock connected to the station, with a fascinating story behind it. 

Dr Tew, a former President of the Newcomen Society, with a passionate interest in railways was visiting the USA, and in an antique shop in Old Town Spring Texas saw a fabulous looking clock. On closer inspection he saw that it had been presented to Mr William Neale the first station master of Riverside Station!

The inscription reads:

‘PRESENTED TO Mr William Neale BY HIS FELLOW WORKMEN AND FRIENDS AT LIME ST. ST ON HIS APPOINTMENT TO STATION MASTER AT THE RIVERSIDE STATION, AUGUST 1895.’

The Liverpool Review described William Neale as:

"the courteous and obliging station-master... a railway enthusiast and the perfect man for the post. The article also attributed the success of the station to ‘his careful and energetic management, his genial manners, his obliging disposition."

The Texan antique dealer said he had bought it from a Canadian dealer so now we have a mystery on our hands – how did the clock end up in Canada in the first place? Research is needed to find out if William or his family emigrated and took the clock with them.

The clock has been generously donated to the Museum of Liverpool by Dr Tew’s daughter, who is delighted that it has come home to Liverpool. It will eventually form part of a temporary display on Riverside Station at the Museum.