Liverpool’s refurbished/rebuilt Lime Street Station

Liverpool Lime Street Station at night.

After weeks on end of rail travel disruption the rebuilt Lime Street Station is almost complete. The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link below

A Virgin Pendolino train at Liverpool Lime Street Station.

Southport – Its former horse trams

I’ve blogged about Southport’s former tram system in the past but a visit to the reopening of Wirral Transport Museum the other day brought this tram into view:-

What’s more it had this description fixed to it:-

So this former horse tram once operated in Southport and was then sold to a Southport coal merchant before ending up in the former Steamport Museum in the Town. Here are 2 more views of it:-

Obviously it has been restored to its Birkenhead livery but as you can see there’s a nod to its Southport heritage via the advertising in photo 3.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The lead photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Music Concerts – Stark difference between Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall and Playhouse2 in Shaw

Yes I know I am in some ways comparing chalk and cheese size-wise but I’ve seen live music at both venues in the past few weeks and Playhouse2 knocks spots off my Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall experience. I blogged about the live music I ‘endured’ at the Phil’ a while back and here’s a link to that posting:-

I suppose you could say that the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is a medium sized venue for music these days, certainly nowhere near as large as the arena venues that have sprung up in recent times. My guess though is that the Phil’ are copying the way the arenas are run with booze being available most of the time and the toilets doing a roaring trade so to speak; it all seems about making money rather then quality music I would suggest.

Now turn to Playhouse2 in Shaw near Rochdale, a small venue, run by volunteers, refreshments only available before the show and at the interval. Sensible ticket prices, an audience that could hold their water, decent beer on tap and a great atmosphere. The act? The Snake Davis Band, high quality musicians playing jazz R&B and soul tunes.

I’m done with larger venues where drinking is the major activity, where you can’t see the act and where you treated like a credit card walking into the venue to be relieved of as much of your money as possible. Live music is a great experience but it is being ruined by booze and money making I’m sad to say. Give me Playhouse2 type venues any day.

Here’s what the Snake Davis Band is all about:-

Maghull – Its new North Station – An accessible interchange?

As I have been looking at the layout of the new Maghull North Station two things in particular jump out at me which don’t seem at all right.

Firstly, the vast majority of those approaching the station by foot, on a cycle, pushing a pram, using a disability buggy etc. will do so coming from the direction of Maghull Square yet the access to the new station from this direction is at present via a short flight of steps:-

There’s no alternative to these steps, there’s no dropped kerb and hard standing to School Lane so how are people with disabilities and those arriving on a bike supposed to access the station? The alternative presently is a very long detour along School Lane and then back again via the new Poppy Fields housing estate road.

Could it be that a level/accessible access is still to be provided? I’m wondering if this may be the case because of uncompleted works some 20 or 30 yards away from the steps? See what I mean?:-

Secondly, the bus stops for the new station, on School Lane, are not exactly close to it:-

In the summer maybe the walk to the bus stops is a pleasant one but in winter? Why has it not been possible to create an bus/rail interchange like you see at many stations where both are located right next to each other? This whole area has been designed from scratch so I’m scratching my head about this, I really am.

The new station is great (I use it, indeed I campaigned for it to be built over many, many years) but clearly there are teething troubles which need addressing.

With thanks to the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper for making this their lead story in their edition of 1st August 2018

Millicent Holme – Celebrating her life in Lydiate

Yesterday Sheila and I attended the funeral of a near neighbour, Millicent Holme. We only met Millicent (known to everyone as Millie) 7 years ago when we moved to Lydiate but it soon became apparent that she was steeped in the history of our new community. Indeed, she lived in Lydiate all her life.

She died aged 94 but her sister Mable, who lived with Millie, had lived to ripe old age of 104 and we attended her funeral almost exactly a year ago.

To hear Millie talk about Lydiate as a rural community when the southern part of the Civil Parish is now so built up was always a joy and I would often talk to her at her front gate before she became too frail to leave her house. Of course a good two thirds of Lydiate is thankfully still very rural and long may it stay that way.

I think all of us at the funeral must have thought that we were witnessing the passing of an era, certainly I did.

RIP Millie Holme

Has Brexit become more important than caring for the elderly?

Sadly it seems so, whilst the building and ever deepening crisis in our social care system gets worse every day. The Guardian has an opinion piece on its web site by Polly Toynbee on this matter, please have a read of it via the link below:-

To true Brexiters such as the majority of the Tory Party and the Labour Leadership it’s probably the case that they put leaving the EU before just about everything; it’s their cult-like religious goal and nothing can be allowed to get in the way. Of course in reality, not something Brexiter MP’s are often well acquainted with I guess, the big issues that Parliament need to concentrate on are still there festering away. And probably social care is at the top of the list of ignored crisis issues along with the related problems of our struggling NHS.

Yes I know, I’m a Remainer so I really don’t in any way understand why adult social care and the NHS crisis is less important than leaving the EU but I guess this is very clear to Brexiters?…

My thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting