Paul Simon immortalised Widnes Station

Widnes railway station, hitherto an unremarkable stop on the Liverpool-Warrington-Manchester line, has become the stuff of music legend, thanks to a home and lovesick Paul Simon. It was here, in 1965, that the singer/songwriter had the inspiration to for the song “Homeward Bound”, Simon and Garfunkel’s first UK hit.

As a later encyclopaedia of rock put it: “It was whilst waiting for the milk train on Widnes Station, after a local folk club gig in 1965, that Paul Simon - yearning to be back in Londom in the arms of his beloved Kathy - began writing Homeward Bound.”

Then virtually unknown, Paul Simon spent four nights in the Cheshire town, perrforming at the Howff Folk Club. His next stop was to be in Hull. Geoff Speed, who booked him for the Widnes date, recalled: “I remember he talked a lot about Kathy, the girlfriend he had in London.

He was determined to be a success, and I remember him saying, ‘If I’m not a dollar millionaire by the time I’m thirty, I’ll consider myself a failure’.” He was, of course, a huge success, producing with his school friend, Art Garfunkel, some of the most popular and memorable songs written - Sounds of Silence, Mrs Robinson, The 59th Bridge Street, Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

By his own admission, he would never forget the time he spent in England and the song which has immortalised Widnes Station (formerly called Farnworth) expresses beautifully that home is where the heart is ! I wish I was homeward bound. Home, where my thought’s escaping. Home, where my music’s playing. Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me.