Councillors sometimes get unexpected questions and the other day I was asked how do the Council go about naming things such as buildings etc.? The context of the query was the name of Sefton Council’s Meadows Leisure Centre, which by the way is one year old today.
‘Meadows’ was the name suggested by Cllr. Andrew Blackburn as it represents the historic and geographic area where the Leisure Centre has been built. Before Maghull was significantly built up, from the 1930’s onwards, that part of the Town was meadow land which often flooded and at times froze due to the flood plane of the River Alt. We did not want to call it Maghull Leisure Centre as it also serves Lydiate, Melling, Aintree Village and Sefton and Lunt Villages, so a more neutral name was chosen.
This takes me to other named things such as Roy’s Roundabout or Connell’s Island. It’s the only traffic roundabout in Maghull (junction of Westway and Green Lane) and a former Maghull resident and councillor Roy Connell paid for the trees to planted on it in the 1980’s, well all accept the very old one. I know that Roy (now a Southport resident) likes Roy’s Roundabout best.
In fact there are many things and places named after local people. How about Glenn Park, Davenhill Park (that’s a road not a green field in Aintree), Pimbley Field, Hornby Chase, Dunlop Drive (Melling and a football connection here), Tommy Gent Way and my other favourite Bailey way. This latter one right next to Meadows Leisure Centre was named after a grand old chap who fought to try to save the Whinnbrook House Old Peoples Home from closure some 15 years ago. Sadly, Arthur died not long after his big campaign that gained a lot of publicity. I recall a photo in the local press with Arthur stood at the door of the Home with a suitcase and what an atmospheric photo it was too! The reality was the the building was in poor condition and now some excellent sheltered housing has been built on the site but we had to remember Arthur Bailey by naming the road that serves the new bungalows after him. Arthur was a one off, he was great company and he had a great sense of humour.
So, whether it be Roy’s Roundabout, Meadows or Bailey Way let’s continue to mark things with an eye to history or characters in the community. Of course there are many more in the East Parishes Communities that I have not mentioned.