Frank Hornby – Just what did happen to the Hornby empire when it was broken up?

The amazing thing about Frank Hornby and his products is that many of them are still in production although the ownership of the companies involved in their manufacture is now spread far and wide.


Take Meccano, it has been produced by a French owned company for many years now – see link below to Meccano UK:-

And what about Hornby Trains – still going ‘strong’ as a OO gauge model railway producing company – see the link below:-

And what brought this to mind? My old chum and former Maghull resident Roy Connell (now a valued associate researcher for this blog site) spotted this newspaper report on the fortunes of the Hornby Company:-

And for those interested in what happened to Dinky Toys this link to a very detailed Wikipedia page will be of interest:-

Toy production has always be a volatile part of the economy with trends coming and going regularly. Produce the wrong toy that does not prove particularly popular and a company can be in all sorts of trouble.

The Frank Hornby Trust is dedicated to preserving and displaying the life and works of Frank Hornby who is by far the famous former resident of Maghull on Merseyside, UK. Displays of Hornby products are available for the public to view in the Frank Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre, Maghull. I would however urge all potential visitors to call the Leisure first before setting out as the room is multi-use and is not always available to view the Hornby display cases. The staff at the Leisure Centre should be able to tell you when viewing is possible.

Another look at Liverpool’s former Exchange Station

The Liverpool has the story – see link above

I have also blogged about this Station previously – see links below to my blog and Flickr sites:-


Click on the photo to enlarge it

Maghull – It’s a Liberal, Social Democrat & Lib Dem free zone for the first time since 1983

The first Liberal councillor to be elected in Maghull in modern times was my dear old friend Andrew Beattie in 1983. Andrew sadly passed away in 1999.


The photo montage above is an excellent pictorial representation of the Maghull logo produced by Lydiate photographer Keith Page.

Following after every tide thereafter another Liberal or Social Democrat councillor was elected in the Town until it became a Tory free zone, with every Town and Borough Councillor being a Liberal Democrat. Yes it is now hard to imagine now but back in the early 1980’s Maghull was a solid Conservative community that had been returning Tory MP’s and councillors for generations, with only the emergence of the former Maghull Ratepayers Party challenging Tory rule until the Liberal/SDP surge on the back of the famous Crosby By-election.


Heady days indeed for the SDP/Liberal Alliance and then the Liberal Democrats and they lasted some 28 years until 2011 when Labour started exactly the same process once again which culminated in the last Lib Dem councillors being removed from office on 7th May this year. Maghull is now totally Labour, with one vacancy on Maghull Town Council.

When will the next big churn happen in Maghull’s politics and which direction will it be in? No one really knows although what we do know is that Labour will be the victims of it when it does come along.

VE Day Memorial – Bootle Town Hall

VE Day memorial at Bootle Town Hall

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

VE Day Memorial in Bootle Town Hall. The clock stopped at the time a bomb struck Bedford Road School during the Second World War. 2nd to 4th May 1941 concentrated bombing rendered 20,000 people homeless; killed or injured 1,000 and destroyed or damaged 74% of Bootle’s houses. Bootle, Merseyside, UK.

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Lydiate Parish Council becomes Labour but let’s not forget the efforts of one former councillor in particular.

9 member Lydiate Parish Council is now 6 Labour with 3 opposition Lib Dems from the declared results of yesterday.


No one could have been more surprised than me when I retained my seat on this Parish Council; it was certainly not expected. And I say that based on the fact that at the Borough election count for Park ward, which includes all of Lydiate Parish, (held last Friday) I was firmly removed from office as a Borough Councillor after my 16 years run. So you can imagine how surprised I was when the electors of Lydiate then put me back on the Parish Council. Indeed, 3 of the 4 Lib Dems who stood for Lydiate PC i.e. Edie Pope, Mark Courtney and I all won a seat.

But here’s the rub, a man who I think it is fair to call ‘Mr Lydiate’, Dave Russell, was that 4th Lib Dem candidate who sadly was not returned. In my view Dave has probably put more into Lydiate than any other local councillor that I can recall over the past 25 years or more. He must be hurting right now and I feel for him greatly. He did not deserve to be shown the door but such is the nature of being a local councillor; you never know when or often why the electors will say ‘thank you but that will be enough from you if you don’t mind’.

I do hope that it will be possible for we in opposition to be able to work reasonably and constructively with Lydiate’s new Labour rulers but that is a decision for them to take.

Formby – Parish Council falls to Fragoff

Well here’s a story of some significance as the Parish/Town Council election results (declared today) did not all follow the Labour Party band wagon in the Sefton Central Constituency.


Take Formby where Fragoff (Community Action Not Party Politics) have won a majority of seats on the Council which was previously a Tory stronghold. Oddly this does somewhat contradict the Borough Council results for Formby where the 3 seats up this year went 1 to the Tories and 2 to Labour with the Fragoff candidates being rejected, if only just, by the electorate.

If my calculations are right Formby Town Council is now 9 Fragoff councillors, 1 Labour and 5 Tories – Tell me if I have these numbers wrong.

The significance of this is that Fragoff are genuine environmental campaigners whom I have worked with in recent years. Congratulations to their campaigners.

My guess is that our local Labour rulers would much rather Formby Parish Council have stayed Tory as Fragoff have been giving them a lot of grief over their (Labour’s) building plans for Sefton’s Green Belt and on high grade agricultural land in the Borough.