Aintree’s Cheshire Lines Station

www.disused-stations.org.uk/a/aintree_central/index.shtml

The above site has a fascinating review and quite a number of photos of the old Cheshire Lines Aintree Central Station which was side by side with the present day former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Aintree Station.

Aintree was the start of the Cheshire Lines Extension Railway through to Southport.

Lone women drivers – Don’t stop unless you have no choice

I have recently been made aware of two incidents where it seems that lone women drivers have been put in situations where the natural reaction would be to stop their car, but fortunately neither did do.

One incident, involving a Lydiate resident, happened in Kirkby and seemed to involve someone falling against the side of her car trying to give the impression to the driver that they had hit someone. The natural reaction is to stop in such a situation but the explanation is that it was most likely a stunt designed to get her to do just that, probably so that the organisers of the stunt could steel the lady’s car.

A second incident involved a Melling resident who was driving back to Melling from Maghull along Poverty Lane when all of a sudden a couple of motorbikes, which had been parked at the side of the road, came up behind her flashing their lights and blowing their horns. The clear objective was to get her to stop but having realised the motorbikes were not Police bikes she was not for stopping and eventually the followers gave up and turned off up Tithebarn Lane.

Beware lone female drivers.

Melling – Why not celebrate this historic community?

Having previously represented Melling Parish on Sefton Council I have often pondered and why at times some Melling addresses are said to be in Maghull.

A lovely view of Melling Rock and St. Thomas Church

A lovely view of Melling Rock and St. Thomas Church

Take the Pear Tree Pub that is closer to Kirkby than it is to Maghull, yet its web references, at least some of them, say it is in Maghull when it is very firmly in Melling.

Then there is HMP Kennet, not a part of it is in Maghull yet it promotes its self as having a Maghull address. It’s in Melling.

I also recall having an odd conversation with a resident about a road called Beechway in Melling, odd because whilst the whole of the road is in Melling Civil Parish the resident was most insistent that she lived in Maghull.

But you could say this identity issue goes back at least as far as the late 1800’s when the former Maghull and Melling railway station was renamed just Maghull. Agreed, the station is wholley within Maghull Civil Parish but on its far eastern side and clearly serves Melling as well.

If some folks think that Melling may be having an identity crisis let’s help it fight back. Here are some interesting Melling links:-

www.mellingparishcouncil.org/

www.animals-in-need.co.uk/

www.mellingtithebarn.org.uk/barn.htm

A final word. Some years ago, whilst I was a Borough Councillor for Melling, I was given a book called ‘A Melling Lassie’ by Irene Birch which told the story of the Scottish potters who came to live and work in Melling. How many people know that Melling once produced pottery?

Lydiate Station – Cheshire Lines Committee (Southport Extension Railway)

rsz_lydiate_1949

The photo above was probably taken in the late 1940’s. It’s a long time since Lydiate had a railway station, 7th January 1952 in fact, and it was hardly close to the Village Green as was so often the case in rural England. In fact it was quite a way from inhabited Lydiate well down Station Road (and Punnell’s Lane) which joins the main drag (Southport Road) through present day Lydiate. Or put in a different way Lydiate is in modern day Merseyside, the station site is in modern day West Lancashire! The station was never within the Lydiate Civil Parish boundary.

As is well documented elsewhere the Cheshire Lines Extension Railway which ran from Aintree through to Southport was hardly a huge success, so much so that its closure was well prior to that man Beeching who decimated our railway network in the 1960’s.

There is no sign of the station now although the Cheshire Lines Path (part of the Trans Pennine Trail) lets you walk the former track bed of this long lost railway from Maghull (Sefton Lane) through to Ainsdale. From Ainsdale into Southport the track bed is now the Coastal Road but it long straight sections and sweeping curves give it away as being a former railway line.

Pilling Lane Canal Bridge, Lydiate – Action but a problem too?

At long last the Canal and River Trust is taking action over the problems associated with the stone canal bridge over Pilling Lane and the closed pedestrian steps leading up from the canal tow path to the Lane.

This is me at the bridge

This is me at the bridge

A planning application is before Sefton Council and Lydiate Parish Council made representations on that application at its meeting last night – 26th November.

I am really pleased that work is soon to start on the bridge (my present understanding is that it will be in January) but having dealt with issues associated with canal bridges in the past I do have concerns about the road closures that will be required. My worry is that alternative routes are a long way around and whilst that is understandable for vehicles, what about the poor old pedestrian? Surely, something has to be put in place to ensure that those who normally walk across the bridge still have some access?

Lydiate PC and I are presently pursuing this aspect of the project but we are aware that the first bridge closure, for detailed site investigations, will mean at least daytime blockages for both vehicles and pedestrians so we have made appropriate representations to the contractors working for the Canal and River Trust on behalf of pedestrians. Another potentially longer closure will follow when the repair works start.

Of course the bridge needs to be repaired but we don’t want folks who live on the rural western side of it to be marooned in the process.

Sefton Village – Demolished ‘Please Drive Carefully’ sign!

rsz_photo0268

This sign, on the way into Sefton Village from Lunt, has certainly been in the wars!

The road here is often the scene of accidents due to speeding and I wonder whether speed contributed to this recently demolished sign? Frankly, I would hardly be surprised if speeding was involved.

Getting it fixed is now on my agenda as a ward councillor for these two rural villages.