JOIN the Bury Times as we travel back 50 years to the headlines on June 7, 1969, when a rail line closure inquiry, an incredible young horse rider and Whit walkers were the talk of the town. BRAD MARSHALL takes a look back in the archives...

REPRESENTATIVES from Bury and six other towns fighting British Rail proposals to close down the Bolton, Bury, Rochdale Line, yesterday put their case to a public inquiry at Bolton Town Hall.

This is the second time the line has been threatened with closure in four years.

The main objection is that shoppers, mothers with prams and people going to work by train will face considerable hardship from increased costs and travelling times.

Supporting Bury's case at the inquiry, Mr Brian Abbott, chief assistant solicitor in the Town Clerk's department, said that the number of passengers using the line from the Knowsley Street station ­— which would be shut under the plans ­— alone justified its retention.

A total of 592 passengers daily use the station on an average weekday.

Mr Abbott said: "Many of these passengers are children travelling to and from schools in Bury, and great hardship would be caused if the services were discontinued."

At present the journey from Bury to Bolton takes 12 minutes, and 15 minutes to Rochdale.

But train journeys via Manchester to Bolton would take approximately 50 minutes, including five minutes for changing platforms, and to Rochdale 48 minutes via Manchester.

SIX-year-old Haydn Riley certainly showed his prowess as an equestrian as he scooped a major trophy at the Smethurst Hall Stables gymkhana.

The talented youngster's prize is made all the more impressive as Haydn was born with no arms and instead controls his horse using remarkable skill with his feet and toes.

Haydn's condition was caused by Thalidomide but has proved little challenge as he writes, paints and draws with his classmates at Bridge Methodist School, but uses his toes instead of fingers to wield a pencil or brush.

He sits at the table for meals with his family, gripping the cutlery with his feet, and stays at school for dinners with his friends.

Haydn, who lives in Radcliffe with his mother Marjorie, father Derek and sisters Zaneta and Zoe, has been horse riding for 18 months.

On Sunday he took part in the stable's disabled gymkhana, taking rosettes in two classes ­— the walk and trot contests ­— and the Anne Fletcher trophy for the highest achieving contestant.

He also placed second in an event at last year's gymkhana.

THE united Whit Walk in Tottington on Sunday morning had the biggest turnout in memory.

Glorious sunshine brought out 800 walkers from the Sunday schools and uniformed organisations for the annual procession through the village ­— which was the longest residents can remember in 60 years.

A service was then held at Whitehead Gardens with music provided by the Irwell Forge Band and Tottington Public Band.

And at the war memorial the four village churches met contingents from St Hilda's Roman Catholic Church and Greenmount Congregational Church for a united service.