Mary Jane (Jenny) Brogden

Navigation Road Station was originally known as Navigation Road (Altrincham) and was built in the 1840’s and then went on to become part of the Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway in 1931.

The Navigation Road/Altrincham section of the line was designed by John Brogden a famous Victorian railway engineer whose family consisted of the following children, John, Alexander, Henry, James and George and two daughters, Sarah and Mary Jane (Jenny).

When Jenny’s father died in Sale in 1869 he left the railway business to three of his sons and set up a trust fund for ‘Jenny’ which amounted to £7,250 derived from profits from the construction of the Navigation Road section of the railway line.

Jenny who lived in Bowden for a short time could not access this trust fund as it was managed by three of her brothers for about five years.

During these five years her brothers had misappropriated the funds in her trust and Jenny took the unusual step, for a Victorian woman, of taking her brothers to the high court to claim back in full her trust fund money.

The resulting high court case of Billing v. Brogden was a celebrated high profile one and was reported in great detail by the Times newspaper and others at the time.

Ultimately Jenny won her case and was refunded in full all of her legacy from the trust left by her father and court costs. Her brothers became bankrupt because of the court action, her brother in law Samuel Budgett was the only one from her family who wasn’t immediately bankrupted.