Old Ordnance Survey Map – It’s 1958 in West Lancs and it still has the railways we now want restoring to use!

Back again to that old Ordnance Survey map of Liverpool that I picked up not so long ago from a second hand bookshop on Bewdley Station – Severn Valley Railway.

This latest posting about the map concerns the area of West Lancashire around Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Burscough. Let’s have a look at it:-

Ormskirk & Skem' 1958

Click on the map to enlarge it.

The two notable issues are the north and south Burscough curves that once connected the Southport – Wigan & Ormskirk – Preston lines and the branch line from Ormskirk to Skelmersdale and off the map St. Helens.

Firstly the Burscough curves. I have posted on this blog site many times about them and OPSTA the voluntary group who have been campaigning for them to be reconnected over many years. The advantage of reconnecting them is obvious – Southport – Preston trains would again become possible as would Ormskirk – Southport trains. In 1958 they were still in place and the track beds still are; all it needs is a little vision from local authorities (Sefton and West Lancashire) and Network Rail.

The old Skelmersdale Station - now long gone in the name of 1960's progress!

The old Skelmersdale Station – now long gone in the name of 1960’s progress!

The Skelmersdale rail connection issue is interesting as the original branch was taken out of use as Skelmersdale New Town was being constructed, indeed some of Skem’ is built on the old railway. It is hard these days to understand the mentality of building a town and deliberately not including it on the railway network but such was the thinking in the 1960’s. Now a £1b project is seriously being considered to reconnect Skem to a railway by taking a spur off the Kirkby – Wigan line into the Town. Will it happen? I don’t really know but some seem to think that it will and I certainly hope so too.

Bootle – canal mural

Bootle canal mural

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Seen on the tow path of the Leeds Liverpool Canal in Bootle where Stanley Road crosses the canal next to Bootle Strand Shopping Centre.

A concrete retaining wall, built when the shopping centre is erected in the 1960’s, has provided a blank canvass for this interesting cartoon-type mural.

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

What’s gone wrong with party politics? – But has the media gone wrong as well?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32121502

Have a read of this article (see link above) on the BBC web site as it is an interesting insight into our broken political system in the UK.

As an aside, but a very depressing yet probably all too true one, I had to take someone to an appointment at Aintree Hospital yesterday. As we sat there in the clinic waiting room the BBC 1pm news came on and of course it went straight to General Election coverage.

There were probably 8 of us sat there – me (a politician) and 7 what you might call normal people. One spoke up saying they were sick of the election already and then all the others chimed in saying things like ‘they are all the same’, ‘they are just filling their own pockets’, ‘I’m sick of listening to them slag each other off’ etc. etc.

I got the impression that few of them intended to vote……..

Our political system and its self serving nature is killing our democracy and tuning people off but more than that the media’s obsession with trivial cat calling by politicians is not helping at all. The media seem to have forgotten that folk expect them to hold politicians to account not to repeat/publicise their child-like mud slinging as though it is real news.

And this takes me back to a quote I came across a while ago:-

‘It is the duty of a newspaper [and you can add to that TV news] to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable’

Sadly, I suspect that many in the media these days see their job almost in reverse i.e. Comforting the comfortable (politicians) and afflicting the afflicted (Joe and Jane Public).

Immigration – But what about the UK immigrants to other EU countries?

Now here’s the immigration issue from the other end of the telescope – the number of UK citizens living in or have migrated to other EN countries:-

11074169_10152623791780927_1349567924662430283_n

My issue with immigration always been about environmental sustainability i.e. the ability of the UK to be able to feed itself without requiring the present huge environmental impact of importing massive amounts of food. Of course this also links to my campaigning about not building on Sefton’s high grade agricultural land.

Liverpool – Oh dear Joe this does not look good to me

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-32317297

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

Cllr_Joe_Anderson,_Leader,_Liverpool_City_Council.jpeg

I begin to wonder if Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson can’t see how he looks to the wider world? No good was ever going to come of this and no good has come of it.

Check out the Southport Visitor’s take on the matter as well – see link below:-

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-news/sefton-taxpayers-paid-mayor-liverpool-9051505