Great Altcar – Old Gore Farm House

Literally a few yards outside of Lydiate, at the bottom of Bells Lane where the road takes a sharp right hand turn and becomes Altcar Lane in Great Altcar Civil Parish stands this house. The datestone goes back to 1596 and looks like this:-

The building has always interested me because of the date stone, so I’ve tried to find out a bit about it. Here are a couple of links that offer more information:-

historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1073148

www.hslc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/58-7-Rylands-and-Price.pdf

You’ll need to scroll through a couple of pages of the 2nd link to find the relevant part.

A bit of history right on Lydiate’s doorstep and I’m guessing that as the name mentioned is Gore that there’s likely to be a family link to the Gore’s Charity which is for the benefit of Lydiate and still gives out grants even to this day. If I have made a wrong connection here please let me know and I will correct things.

Click on the lead photo (which is also on my Flickr Page at www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/) to enlarge it.

Aintree – Charity canoe paddlers spotted at Wango Lane

A cycle along the Leeds Liverpool Canal through Melling and Aintree earlier today brought me face to face with two female paddlers near Wango Lane swing bridge in Aintree Village.

Stopping for a chat they told me they were paddling from Liverpool to Hull to raise money for children’s charities. Today they hope to get to Wigan. If I understood them correctly they were doing the challenge with the help of or for Heart Radio Station.

I asked them for advice about how to get into and out of a canoe on a canal because it is not at all easy! They clearly help each other and had a cycling support team.

Good luck girls……

Click on the photo to enlarge it

My cricketing heroes – Derek Randall, Richard Hadlee, Garfield Sobers & Harold Larwood

Coming from the Nottinghamshire coalfield and from the very same district (Kirkby-In-Ashfield) as Harold Larwood (who was born in nearby Nuncargate in 1904) it’s probably no surprise that my sporting heroes are all cricketers; Notts cricketers unsurprisingly.

Statue of Harold Larwood in my (and his) own home town of Kirkby-In-Ashfield. Before it was moved for redevelopment.

Harold Larwood

history.trentbridge.co.uk/players/harold-larwood.html#.W4E7ubgnbIU

Derek Randall

history.trentbridge.co.uk/players/derek-randall.html#.W4E5n7gnbIU

Richard Hadlee

history.trentbridge.co.uk/players/richard-hadlee.html#.W4E6xrgnbIU

Garfield Sobers

history.trentbridge.co.uk/players/sir-garfield-sobers.html#.W4E7grgnbIU

As a young man in the 1970’s I was often found listening to Test Match Special on the radio in the middle of the night and of course back then cricket was on the regular TV, no pay to view exclusivity. The John Player Sunday League was a delight on BBC2 which my old Dad and I would regularly watch. I would add that I think cricket has been done a great disservice by becoming significantly inaccessible on free to view TV, a penny that I think has finally dropped with the cricketing powers that be.

Randall, nick names Rags and Arkle, is my number one sporting hero; this eccentric fidgeting batsman could, on his day, take on any bowling and his fielding was probably the best the world has ever seen or ever will see.

The old saying was that when a fast bowler was required all you had to do was to call down a Nottinghamshire coal pit and one would emerge – Harold Larwood was one such miner called from the pit to break Australian hearts. What a bowler – speed and accuracy. That he was blamed for the Bodyline series down under was an utter disgrace as he was doing what his captain asked him to do. However when the sh1t hit the fan the poor working class bowler carried the can and the upper class captain all but got away with it.

It was fitting that a statue of Larwood was erected in my old home town (it’s pictured above) and whilst I have not seen it since it was moved as part of a town centre redevelopment I’m sure this old Kirkby lad will have a tear in his eye next time he sees it.

Richard Hadlee was a very accurate pace bowler and the fact that pitches at Trent Bridge were made for him is testament to his recognisable ability. A Kiwi who like all my cricketing heroes played Test Cricket, in his case for New Zealand, he was a delight to watch and batsmen hated facing him.

And then there’s the quite wonderful all round cricketer Garfield Sobers, that giant of West Indies cricket who could turn his arm over as either a medium fast or spin bowler. He was also pretty good with the bat too as this video clip from the BBC proves:-

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/45357768

And I say all this whilst Nottinghamshire have just completed a very poor 2018 season indeed, surviving in the County Championship Division 1 by virtue of winning just one more match than Lancashire with whom they ended up on the same number of points. If Lancs had scored just a few more runs in their last but one innings Notts would have been relegated instead of them. Oh how we need some heroes now as the present team could easily get Notts relegated to the 2nd Division again next year, indeed many Notts supporters will sadly be almost expecting that slide in the 2019 season unless some big changes are made at Trent Bridge.

Rimrose Valley – New road protests against Highway’s England’s Plans

Rimrose Valley Country Park map.

The BBC has the latest story regarding the protests against the proposed new road on its web site – see link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-45698331

Footpath and cycle path through the lovely Rimrose Valley County Park

Separately I’m hearing, via informed railway sources, that the lack of progress with regard to improved rail freight facilities/rail connections to the Port of Liverpool may be putting Network Rail in the spotlight. It seems clear to me that the less containers that go by train to and from the Port then the more will have to go via road.

Class 66 Diesel Locos at Seaforth Container Terminal

I also understand that the biomass trains from the Port to Drax Power Station need to travel by a more direct rail route to feed the ongoing demand. Having said that it’s debatable, to me, how long these wood pellet trains will run as the environmental benefits of the fuel are at best dubious.

Happy to correct anything in this posting if my sources are not correct.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Sefton Council – Its Social Care budgetary crisis (as with every other council delivering social care responsibilities)

Sefton Council Logo

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/social-care-in-crisis-sefton-15213903

I like Margaret Carney, she became Chief Executive during my time as Leader of Sefton Council. She is a calm and clear thinking council officer in my view so if she says there’s a crisis then you can take it that there is. Of course she is also saying what many other Chief Executives of Councils are saying across the Country and there’s much evidence to back up their concerns.

But as I’ve said before (in previous blog postings on this subject) the crisis in social care has been building for many a year. It would be a mistake to think it’s just another victim of austerity. Yes austerity has made things worse but well before the financial crash social care was hoovering up huge amounts of Sefton Council’s revenue budget often at the expense of other council services. Every yearly budget setting round there would be a need to put greater and greater sums into elderly and children’s social care to keep them afloat – rising demands and every spiraling costs. But as I say Sefton Borough is far from being unique in having to deal with this.

This is a crisis that needed to be faced up to by politicians in government 20 or more years ago, the fact that it still has not been is testament to our broken political system which only thinks very short term indeed.

Whilst we spend Billions of Pounds trying to exit the EU there are real life problems like this that keep getting swept under so many politicians carpets. Our priorities as a Country are utterly bizarre. The poor the sick and vulnerable are paying for the stupidity of our leaders with underfunded social care amongst other vital services, such as the NHS, from which we are diverting funds to fight fantasy projects like Brexit.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Maghull – At last, level access to Maghull North Station

Well we’ve waited for 3 months but finally level access to Maghull’s new North Station has been provided off School Lane and it was open yesterday:-

Still no dropped kerb for cyclists though, so they can access the path, so time to put some pressure on Sefton Council to get that work done. And surely the bill should be paid by Merseytravel, should it not? This is the offending kerb:-

More news when I get it.