Merseyrail as it used to be

Harking back to that recent trip of mine to see the Class 502 EMU being restored in Burscough I also saw some interesting artifacts.

Firstly, there is the destination blind roll from an old 502 unit which reminds us of the former parts of this electrified network which are no longer even railways.

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And then what about this old illustrative map of the extent of what we now call the Northern Line to Southport and Ormskirk.

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Of course Southport lost its suburban electrified service to Crossens a long time ago (1964) and indeed the whole of its railway line to Preston. The loss of this line (known as the Lettuce Line locally) has been a huge economic disadvantage to Southport particularly as the alternative rail route to Preston, via the Burscough Curves, has also been lost (the connecting curves that is) and the powers that be seem far from willing to reinstate them. OPSTA, our local railway campaign group, John Pugh MP and others try to keep this option on the agenda though despite Lancashire County Council showing little interest and Merseytravel not driving the project forward despite its often warm words.

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The other interesting loss is the electrified line from Bootle to Aintree (see map above) and you can see from the destination blind roll (also above) how it was possible to reach Maghull via Marsh Lane (now Bootle New Strand) Station. This line ceased to be used for passenger trains in April 1951 although it was used for freight for many years after. It is now overgrown but protected from development in Sefton Council’s present Unitary Development Plan and will seemingly continue to be so protected in the draft succeeding Local Plan. Talk of it being reopened to provide another rail link to the expanding docks at Seaforth often pops up but despite years of such speculation by Merseytravel nothing actually happens.

The Merseyrail Northern Line may well have gained the Kirkby line but sadly it has lost two other electrified lines over the years. Feels like 2 steps back and 1 forward to me.

Click on the 3 photos to enlarge them

The second photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

‘The green belt can be rightly protected’ – Really? Do you mean it? Just look at Sefton Council’s plans!!!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33472405

This is a major Green Belt and high grade agricultural land site allocated by Sefton Council for future development in Lydiate off Liverpool Road, Lambshear lane, Sandy Lane & Moss Lane. Liverpool Road and is often referred to as Tyson's Triangle.

This is a major Green Belt and high grade agricultural land site for future development in Lydiate off Liverpool Road, Lambshear Lane, Sandy Lane & Moss Lane.

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

If you read down towards the end of this article the following appears:-

“The green belt can be rightly protected. There is plenty of land which is not green belt that we can build on and which is suitable for housing and we need to get on with it. We need to find new ways to encourage it.”

These are the words of Tory Minister Sajid Javid, so why is Sefton Council under it’s Labour rulers planning to concrete over acre after acre of Green Belt high grade agricultural land with the ‘threat’ of more to come in its Local Plan?

Boys Toys – At Old Christ Church Waterloo

Well you will not be surprised, if you know me that is, that I went along to this show in the former church now exhibition/performance venue in Waterloo, Crosby.

There were all kinds of ‘boys toys’ both inside and outside the building. Model trains were of course the draw for me and I was pleased to spot a Hornby tinplate layout, which is always a delight to see.

Dave Howel's Hornby O Gauge tin plate layout r

Meccano was also well represented and this model of what is in real life a huge (now preserved) Union Pacific EMD DDA40X 6,600 hp diesel loco was the stand out item for me:-

Meccano Union Pacific Diesel Loco

There were some interesting model boats too. Not my scene really but you have to admire the workmanship that goes into them. This is a model of the Mersey Ferry Snowdrop in dazzle paint:-

Model of Dazzel painted Mersey Ferry - Snowdrop r

An old Morris Traveller car look my eye outside as my old Dad had one in the 1960/70’s. Built like tanks they were with the wooden frames. Dad’s one probably saved his life when he was hit side on at speed at the A59-Northway/Hall Junction in Maghull in the days before it had traffic lights and red light jumping cameras.

Morris Traveller r

As I have mentioned in previous postings about Christ Church, it is a beautiful place and well worth a visit just to see the architecture:-

Christ Church (1) r

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

The photos of the Meccano diesel, Snowdrop ‘dazzle’ ferry and Morris Traveller are on my Flickr pages at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Maghull – Tyred of hanging baskets?

This amused me:-

Tyred of hanging baskets

Seen in Maghull’s Stafford Moreton Way this week two old tyres have been placed on the brackets that once held hanging baskets – kids or drunks the perpetrators I assume?

It’s easy to forget that Maghull used to have displays of hanging baskets all around its shopping centre. Those in Liverpool Road North and Stafford Moreton Way were ‘outlawed’ a few years ago by Sefton Council because they said the lamp posts were no longer strong enough to carry the weight of them. The brackets were never removed though and someone clearly thought of a new display item to make use of them!

Mayor Joe must go

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No idea who is behind this slogan and advertising van that has been out and about in Liverpool recently but sadly neither does the fact that it has surfaced surprise me.

Frankly, I have thought for a long time now that Joe Anderson is hardly doing Liverpool any favours with his approach to being the elected mayor of the city.

The fact that he seemingly wants to become the elected Mayor of the Merseyside/Liverpool City Region, assuming the Tory Government and some Merseyside Labour barons get one imposed on us, hardly fills me with confidence either.