At it’s A.G.M. Aintree Village Parish Council selected a new Chairman, Cllr Peter Gill was elected unanimously. Peter said “I am delighted and honoured to be asked to serve the community of Aintree Village once again. I look forward to the coming year, it will be testing with all the cuts culminating in our campaign to keep Aintree Library open, we are making great strides and are hopeful that we can transfer it to a community run library. I would like to pay tribute to the retiring Chairman Cllr Terry Baldwin, he has been Chairman for eighteen months and has found it quite stressful at times. He, along with other library campaign leaders fought an excellent campaign which is online to keep Aintree Library open. Terry has always been community led, proof being his membership of St John Ambulance, serving for over 50 years.”

Retiring Chairman Cllr Baldwin said “It has been a long 18 months but most of that time I have thoroughly enjoyed serving the residents of Aintree Village. I will be leaving the area in the near future and will take with me some wonderful memories having lived here for over 40 years. I wish the new Chairman Cllr Peter Gill well for the coming 12 months and thank everybody for their support over the last 18 months.”


No one should underestimate the contribution that Terry Baldwin has made to Aintree Village and the wider community. I count Terry (and indeed Peter Gill) as personal friends. I first came across Terry via his work with St John Ambulance and of course he was given Maghull’s Civic Award some years ago for that work. Whilst Terry has been feeling his age he put everything into trying to stop Sefton Council from closing Aintree Library and if it does become a community run library the credit will be down to him and other parish councillors like Peter Gill. I really do hope that the comrades who decided to close the library do not have the cheek to try to claim that they saved it when the real work was done by Terry and Peter and a small band of determined Aintree Village parish councillors and residents.


Lib Dem Cllr. Marianne Welsh reports that at a recent briefing at Bootle Town Hall councillors in Southport heard that proposals are going forward for building a large scale housing development on green belt land in an area where there has already been strong public outrage to this. The area earmarked is off of Moss Lane in Norwood Ward, near to Souhtport Old Links Golf Course.

Says Marianne, one of the councillors for this ward ‘This development is totally unacceptable and should not be progressed. As well as building on the green belt the immediate area is already heavily populated and would put a heavy strain on this community’s amenities. Also Sefton Council’s assessment of this parcel of land said it was within 600m of a primary school and a GP/Health Centre, although true this will put an extra burden on both of these which it appears no one has thought about. It is also not near any rail networks, has no leisure centre nor does it have a cycle route. We will oppose this proposal.’

For added information at the Bootle briefing councillors although shown the plans for the various developments proposed in Sefton were told by officers they could not have copies to take away. This was a common concern expressed by Lib Dem councillors – Why were the proposals only to be looked at then taken away?

I will be publishing more on the Southport land development proposals from Sefton Council soon.

Maghull – Green Lane tree down


This huge tree came down around 4.15pm last Thursday afternoon, so I am told and it seems from chatting to a resident living nearby that rotted roots may have been the cause.

It was one of those trees that looked fine, indeed I must have walked under it hundreds of times over the years right back to when I took my daughter to Green Park School. The tree was much older than anyone reading this posting and it is rather sad to see it down.

Fortunately no one was hurt although a property in Green Link seems to have suffered some damage.

Maghull Hornby Festival goes well and goes Down Under!

The first thing to say is a big thank you to the organising committee for an excellent 5 days of festivities from 15th to 19th May – a good job well done and hopefully to be repeated year on year.

Secondly, thanks to the Aintree and Maghull Champion for their excellent coverage. I must admit that in these days of sound bite news I feared a single photo and a few lines but the paper and of course their ace local reporter Jim (The News Hound) Sharpe did the festival proud.

But what about Down Under? Well this goes back some time to when out of the blue an Australian chap called Glenn Ball contacted me after reading about the Frank Hornby Trust from a posting on this web site. He was in the process of researching an article for The Australian Hornby Collector magazine and together with my chums at the Trust we furnished him with information and photos about Frank Hornby and the activities of the Trust.


Then a few weeks ago a large envelope arrived from Australia and inside was the March edition of the magazine which Glenn edits. And a good read it has been too but it still surprises me to pick it up and see photo’s that I took of our previous exhibitions at Maghull Town Hall published in an Australian magazine.


In return I have sent Glenn a copy of the Maghull Hornby Festival’s commemorative booklet together with cuttings from the Champion.

So that’s how the Maghull Hornby Festival has gone Down Under.

Launch of Maghull’s Frank Hornby Festival


Together with BBC North West News I went to Maghull Town Hall for the launch of Maghull’s Frank Hornby Festival last night and enjoyable it was too.

The photo shows the cast of a play put together by St Andrews Players all about the life of Frank Hornby the famous Maghull toy maker.

Those who know local characters will spot Cllr. Bruce Hubbard amongst the cast – he played the Dad of a little girl having a birthday on 15th May. The play was written very much for children and has been doing the rounds of schools, Brownies etc.

Maghull’s Vicar, Nick Wells, gave a speech as Chairman of the Festival Committee as did Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French. The Vicar mused on why model railways are such a big thing with the clergy and this made me think because as an atheist they are a big thing with me too.

Let’s hope that the planned community events over the 5 day festival are a great success as a small band of decicated folk have put in a great deal of effort.

Closure of Lydiate Ambulance Station – Why did Labour sit on the information and say nothing until Lib Dems made it public?

The proposed closure of Maghull Ambulance Station, with the ambulance based there being moved to Buckley Hill Fire Station, is a concern to us all and that is why Cllr. Andrew Blackburn and I made the issue public via the Champion newspaper (24th April) and this blog site.


But hang on a minute, Labour run Sefton Council knew about this closure at least as long ago as the 12th March (some 6 weeks previously) when they were written to by the North West Ambulance Trust.

On that basis why did it have to take us opposition Lib Dem councillors to ferret out the information and make it public? Why did Labour sit on the information? Why indeed. What’s more it seems that the comrades are now scuttling around raising a petition against the closure that they did nothing about at all until we, with the Champion’s help, put it in the public domain.

That’s not community leadership dear comrades it’s band wagon jumping.