Maghull – Hornby as seen on TV

Well the programme has finally been aired and a new star has appeared on the BBC. I refer of course to the screening tonight of Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys and the guest star appearance in it by Les French, long time Maghull resident and Chairman of the Frank Hornby Trust.

Getting off the train from Liverpool

As a trustee of the Frank Hornby Trust I had been aware of the filming for the past 3 months, indeed back in October of last year I met with the BBC production team as they planned their work, taking them around the places in Maghull that Frank Hornby was associated with. Fellow trustee Les was on holiday when that first phase happened but all went well and a couple of weeks later the filming took place.

For probably less than 10 minutes on Maghull in the screened programme many hours were put in on the two visits to the Town, the first one being without Michael Portillo. I would guess 6 to 7 hours were spent in Maghull over the two visits.

It was fascinating to see how a TV programme like this is filmed and I took some photo’s during the work of the BBC team. However, they asked for any publicity about the filming to be left until after the Radio Times had run the programme in the appropriate edition. Apart from some obvious spotting of Michael Portillo on Maghull Station which led to the sightings being referenced on Facebook we kept to our undertaking not to publish anything.

So that’s how it happened and didn’t Les do well, seems that a place on the stage is meant for him. Here are some of the many photo’s I took:-

Leaving the Station

In the Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre

Michael & Les playing trains

Two chaps talking about model railways

With thanks to the BBC, Merseyrail, the owners of Frank Hornby’s former house on Station Road, the staff at Meadows Leisure Centre and to Michael Portillo who is as engaging in conversation as he comfortable in his presentation role.

The second photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

11 thoughts on “Maghull – Hornby as seen on TV

  1. Les says:

    Brilliant Tony.

  2. Frank Jordan says:

    A great show and I cannot wait to visit but need to know how to find the museum . I live in North Wales and would like to know the best route . Thanks Frank .

    • Thanks Frank, Firstly I would not want to mislead you in that the present collection is just want can be seen in the display cabinets. The room they are in is also used for a wide range of activities so checking with the Leisure Centre before setting out is vital (0151 288 6727) so they can tell you when the room is free to look at. This Sunday (21st Jan) we are having an open day when a Hornby tinplate model railway will be running in the Hornby Room as well. It runs from 11.30 to 5pm. One more thing to say is that our collection will be moving within Meadows Leisure Centre, probably during March/April, and access should be easier after than on weekdays. The Leisure Centre is on the A59 which passes right through Maghull at the junction with Hall Lane. It’s post code is L31 7BB. You would follow signs for Maghull or Ormskirk leaving Liverpool. We are about 7 miles north of the city. Hope that helps.

  3. David M says:

    I too wanted to know where and how to wee the exhibition….so the telephone no is vital. How often is it open?

    • Presently regular access to the display cases is difficult because of the munti-use nature of the room they are in but within the next 3 months they should be moved to a more accessible space within the Leisure Centre. Tomorrow (Sunday 21st Jan) the room is open from 11.30am to 5pm. Hope that helps.

  4. David M says:

    Apologies I should have typed “see” not “wee” . I too live in North Wales so the programme was very pertinent. But I was considering a visit to Maghull and also Liverpool. These programmes should be sponsored by local tourist boards…they are great eye openers !!!

  5. Rod Fairley says:

    Sorry to say, I was unaware of the museum, but that has now been put right. Several in our railway group will be visiting Magull this year. My auntie worked at Binns road in the wages dept.

  6. John Tutton says:

    Is the exhibition open for visitors at all during this month (February)?

    • You can see the display cabinets, if the room is not in use for other purposes, the tinplate model railway was only there for one day. You would need to phone Meadows leisure Centre to check when the room is available for viewing. We hope that by April(ish) when the display cases will be moving within the Leisure Centre that they will be accessible whenever Maghull Library is open.

  7. Philip Barnes says:

    I am thinking of visiting on Saturday or Sunday 5/6 September.
    Will I be able to view the items?

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