NHS has looming crisis as winter approaches

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41559669

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

I suppose that this rather sad and worrying state of affairs is not really new news as we have all heard the warnings from doctors, nurses, NHS unions, health charities and various health watchdogs along these lines for quite a long time now.

As one of the richest counties in the world it shows how poor we are at running our own health service, or at least how poor the politicians are who run it for us.

But rest assured Boris is going to bring in £350m per week for the NHS via Brexit (the most infamous bus advert ever) so that’s going to be alright then – well it would be if it was not totally untrue like all the rest of the Brexit nonsense.

If the NHS does keel over this winter will Tory voters blame the Tories and Brexit; they should do.

Mersey Gateway Bridge to open on Friday

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-41582616

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

Great news that the Mersey is going to have another iconic crossing from tomorrow but the tolls? I my view neither should be tolled, old or new bridge.

It’s time for tolls to be phased out everywhere on the national road network; they are a throwback to the past and have no place in modern society.

Lydiate/Maghull – Their former Cheshire Lines railway stations

A close up of Lydiate Signal Box

I have blogged about the isolated former Lydiate railway station before but to recap it was not even in Lydiate Civil Parish but just over the border in Altcar Civil Parish off Carr Lane*. It closed on 7th January 1952 and all trace of it has effectively gone. Interestingly though Lydiate does have a Station Road which joins Southport Road adjacent to the Scotch Piper Pub and does eventually lead to the former station.

Lydiate Station sat on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway and the tracks were lifted after June 1960. The station site is still accessible though as it is on the Trans Pennine Trail/Cheshire Lines Path and the station site is one of the access/parking points on the footpath/cycle path. Here are a couple of signs that have been placed on the station site:-

I bet there are folks still around who can recall getting the train from Lydiate Station to Southport or indeed Liverpool. Indeed, when I moved into Sefton Lane, Maghull in 1968 an elderly couple next door would tell me of their travelling by train from the former Sefton and Maghull Station on the same line. That station has also gone now although the platforms were still there in 1968 – it’s all now part of Sefton Lane Industrial Estate. Then around 1970 I met a chap called Jack Petty who taught at Ormonde Drive Secondary Modern School (now Maghull High); he was my form teacher. He told stories of using the railway after the war to get from his Southport home to work in Maghull and how he was often the only person on the train and the station staff at Sefton & Maghull made him a brew each morning when he got off the train.

Memories…….

*Altcar Civil Parish was split as a consequence of local government reorganisation in 1974 and the part in West Lancashire is now called Great Altcar Civil Parish – The part in Sefton Borough is called Little Altcar Civil Parish and its the most southernmost part of what most folks will think of as Formby.

Melling – Have you visited The Delph a local wild flower meadow?

Up on Melling Rock at the side of the Bootle Arms Pub is small meadow and wild flower field called the The Delph that is looked after by Melling Parish Council. When the wild flowers are out it looks delightful.

The site has been a sandstone quarry, riffle range and landfill site in the past.

Some years ago when I was leader of Sefton Council I was given a pamphlet-type book written by Irene Birch about her mother Bertha (Mattocks) Birch called A Melling Lassie “Pottery Days” Melling’s Scottish Heritage. In it on the title page is an photo of ‘The Old Melling Delph’ – a different old black and white photo from the one on the entrance board to The Delph above.

Of course that very same area of what is known as Melling Rock was also once known for Melling Pottery – there was even a Melling Pottery Band.

Anyway enough of my rambles why not take a short ramble yourself through The Delph when the wild flower meadow is in bloom next summer, you won’t be disappointed I hope.

Formby – More on Fisherman’s Path Level Crossing

www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-west-lancs/fishermans-path-crossing-closed-network-13743190

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

Wow this one keeps doing the rounds and there’s still no workable permanent solution on the cards between Network Rail and Sefton Council.

Surely a bridge with suitable access ramps for those with disabilities etc. is one permanent solution is it not? So why does this go on and on and on when lives are at stake?

Maghull – It’s eastern urban extension land has been cropping in 2017 but for how much longer?

The Maghull East site is probably the most controversial of all of the Green Belt development sites across the whole Borough of Sefton because it is so vast, indeed it is now referred to as an ‘urban extension’ such will be its size.

The land is predominately high grade agricultural land which grows our food so building on it is utter madness to me. However, we environmental campaigners lost the battle to save it and Sefton Council is to have its will to develop the site for housing and business use.

I thought it would be useful to have a photographic record of the site so I took a photo at the height of summer and another one in this autumn. Both shots are from the same location – the M58 motorway junction bridge at Ashworth. I think you will agree they look radically different despite there being less than 2 months between them. Obviously the weather played its part too:-

Click on the photos to enlarge them

The photos are also on my Flickr site at:-

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