Liverpool’s 1965 Shankland Plan

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/business/gallery/eye-popping-walkways-sky-liverpool-15874583

This is an interesting piece of Liverpool’s history which the Echo has resurrected. It shows how different the thinking was back in the 1960’s about how a city should develop and radically change.

I guess we are grateful that much of it was not implemented.

Sefton Borough Council – Fly-tipping costs us all a fortune

The Liverpool Echo has a story about it on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/shameful-photos-show-disgusting-piles-15929007

I’ve had a good rant about this on many previous occasions and the problem is rampant across the country of course, so Sefton is sadly not in any way unique.

But what really gets me is that between Councils and the Environment Agency there’s far too little mobile covert CCTV coverage of sites where regular fly-tipping problems are the greatest. And I admit that in my time as a Sefton Councillor I failed to push the powers that be into more intelligent reactions to this ever seemingly worsening situation.

Regular convictions of fly-tippers in the local press would work wonders because it would deter others from following them. What makes the situation all the more ridiculous is that because of my cycling around Sefton and West Lancs I see what has been dumped and very often it is stuff that could easily be disposed of at local Recycling Centre at no cost at all! Yes I know there are those businesses tipping tyres, asbestos and indeed even the by-products to cannabis farms but much of what I see on my travels is ordinary household rubbish, furniture and building rubble and it strikes me that the dumpers are just too idle to take it to a Recycling Centre.

I realise that it would cost money to set up a mobile covert CCTV unit but surely the Councils across say Merseyside, working with the Environment Agency could put something in place which would eventually pay for itself by far less fly-tipped rubbish having to be removed from back alleys and country lanes. This is not rocket science surely, is it?

Rant over, for now……..

Aintree & Melling – Pen portraits of a community’s fallen heroes – 1914 – 1917

No sooner had I blogged about Lydiate’s fallen in World War 1 than Bill Honeyman got in touch to tell me about a similar project covering Aintree and Melling undertaken by two friends of mine Bill Borland and Peter Gill, what’s more Bill supplied me with a copy of their excellent booklet. Here’s a link to the Lydiate booklet blog:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2019/03/07/lydiate-and-its-great-war-1914-1918-a-lovely-remembrance-booklet/

The deaths of 81 servicemen from Aintree & Melling are attributed to the Great War

Many of the deaths are commemorated on memorials at St. Giles Church Aintree and St Thomas’ Church Melling including Henry Mattocks who died aged 21 on 13th October 1915. He worked at Melling Potteries and was a member of the Melling Brass Band. His name together with those of Michael May & Thomas Clark caught my attention because they all worked at in the now long gone Melling Pottery business. Some years ago when I was the leader of Sefton Council I was given a pamphlet-type book written by Irene Birch about her mother Bertha (Mattocks) Birch called A Melling Lassie “Pottery Days” Melling’s Scottish Heritage. In it on page 13 is an undated photo of Melling Pottery Band and I can’t help but wonder if Henry Mattocks is in that photo.

The vast majority of what we now know as Aintree Village was agricultural land back around the time of the Great War but I spotted a Richard Kirby who died aged just 19 on 14th November 1916. He was the son of Myles and Ellen Kirkby (nee Quick) of Aintree Lane. He died at the Somme and is buried at Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban, France.

This booklet is another great addition to the local history of the East Parishes part of Sefton Borough. My congratulations to the authors and thanks to Bill Honeyman for providing me with a copy.

We will remember them

Merseyside’s lost railway stations that MAY come back to life

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/disused-railway-stations-you-could-15949230

Well, this sounds all very positive BUT Merseytravel has a long history of big aspirational railway projects that are rarely advanced. I’ve blogged about them before as the railway press has often picked up on them as being really possible and even really likely to be progressed only for nothing much to happen at all. And the evidence for this rather downbeat assessment? – my 3 postings from 2014:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/06/11/merseytravelmerseyrail-20-years-of-big-local-railway-ambitions-many-of-which-have-hit-the-buffers-posting-3/

Notes:-

*The link above will take you to my 3rd 2014 posting about Merseytravel’s long-standing overplaying their hand and there are links within it to postings 1 and 2 in the series.

* Maghull North Station has of course now been built and it opened in June 2018

* The Halton Curve has happened but as I write there are no regular passenger trains are using it.

* Work on progressing a rail connection into Skelmersdale is being taken forward but there are no guarantees that the project will attract the huge funding required.

* New rolling stock for Merseyrail is to be delivered in 2020.

Ormskirk’s Station where Merseyrail and Northern trains meet.

Ormskirk and its traffic jams

I’ve blogged before about why Ormskirk needs and east-west by-pass for its own sake and indeed to enable better access to Southport. My November 2013 posting on this matter is an example – here it is via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/11/21/ormskirk-traffic-congestion-solved-by-the-new-switch-island-thornton-link-road/

Having been stuck in one of Ormskirk’s traffic jams a few days ago my thoughts turned to the East Lancashire town of Colne where a motorway just pours out into it and the ever gridlocked Harrogate over the Pennines in Yorkshire. Together with Ormskirk, they all seem to suffer from the same problem – traffic being funnelled right through a busy town as opposed to each having a bypass of some sort.

My mind then, being in a mischievous mood, stated to think about a new town entry sign for Ormskirk and its twin northern towns. How does this look?

Well yes, just a bit of fun on one level but also a nudge to Lancashire County Council on another. Oh, and by the way, it would also help a lot if trains were run from Ormskirk to Southport via reconnecting the Burscough south curve.

Maghull – ‘Truce’ 1914-1918 Great War Sculpture

I was in Maghull Town Hall’s Council Chamber a couple of weeks back for a meeting of the Maghull in Bloom Volunteers and could not be anything other than impressed with the scaled-down sculpture/piece of artwork that is on display there:-

The original life-size version of this lovely piece of remembrance sculpture is in the grounds of Liverpool’s famous bombed out church – St Lukes at the top of Bold Street and it looks like this:-