Lydiate – Peter Greener RIP

Campaigners, outside Maghull Town Hall trying to save Sefton Borough’s high grade agricultural land from development.

I think I first met Peter Greener in 2011, although it could have been earlier, when we were fighting a planning application that would have breached the Green Belt on the western side of Lydiate. It went all the way to a Planning Inspector’s Inquiry which was held at Bootle Town Hall over a couple of days. Peter, myself, Andrew Blackburn, Robbie Fenton (Andrew, Robbie and I were at the time Sefton Councillors for Park Ward) and a representative of the Sefton Branch of CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) were fighting the local resident’s case and we won that battle.

Peter was a real driving force and he had great environmental credentials.

He went on to join with other environmental campaigners, such as Fragoff, across Sefton Borough to try to defend Green Belt and high grade agricultural land from development. The photo at the head of this posting (click on it to enlarge) shows Peter center stage in a light blue pullover with other protestors outside Maghull Town Hall during a meeting of what was then the Sefton Central Area Committee of Sefton Council.

I covered, on this very blog site, Peter’s efforts to challenge Sefton Council’s emerging Local Plan in March 2015 and here it is:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/03/29/sefton-local-plan-an-excellent-submission-from-a-lydiate-resident/

Unfortunately, Peter’s health went to decline 2 or 3 years back and he died on 9th May. My condolences to his wife Wendy (a Lydiate in Flower volunteer) and her family at this sad time. We have lost a decent man who put a great deal of effort into campaigning for our local environment.

Maghull – My old school is changing fast

I was at Maghull High, previous names Ormonde Drive Secondary Modern & Ormonde High, from 1969 to 1975 and recall the multi-storey block which you can just about see in the background (almost covered by the tree) of the shot being built. That was in the days when disability was hardly a consideration – the block was built with no lift!

I also recall the old Woodend Primary School (which was on the same site) and which I attended for my last two terms of junior school (I’d moved from Rochdale) before going to the high school across the playing field. Sadly, Woodend Primary School closed some years back despite huge efforts by campaigners, with my old friend Andrew Blackburn being just one of them. Indeed, I recall us delivering leaflets in the locality trying to persuade parents to send their youngsters to the ‘hidden’ school. By hidden I mean that it could not be seen from any road as it was tucked away behind houses on Ormonde Drive and Liverpool Road South and its secluded location may well have contributed to its demise. But then in an odd twist it rose from the ashes to become the 6th Form block of Maghull High.

Teachers? I recall the head of Woodend a Mr Hadaway and a teacher Mrs Hughes. From Maghull High I recall teachers Jack Petty (what a lovely man), Ken Livesey, Annabella Cowel, Ray (Rog) Jeffreys, Miss Rimmer, Mr Grindrod (red faced and nearly always shouting I recall)…

Kids I recall? Just one from Woodend and I only recall his nick-name ‘Trolley’ – I wonder who he is? At Maghull High I recall many fellow pupils – Tony (Tad) Jarrett – died @1990, Pete Roberts, Jenny Webb, Russell (Fod) Foderingham, Andrew Beattie – died 1999, Phil Keeling (now Watterson), Keith Connor, Mike Ashley, David Johnstone, Gill Bryers, Alan Latham, Paul Gardner…………. and many others.

And all these memories came flooding back as a consequence of my stopping on a cycle ride along the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail to photo my old school being rebuilt.

Maghull – Where once there was farmland – Green Lane/South Meade

People who know me will realise how hard I have fought over the years to try to protect the character of the community around Maghull & Lydiate and indeed across wider Sefton Borough from what I see as inappropriate development.

Building on high grade agricultural land has long been an issue with me and it’s why I have opposed much of the land development that has recently been given the green light by Sefton Council.

The other day I drove past the building site off Green Lane/South Meade in Maghull where houses are presently being constructed. When I was a Sefton Councillor I voted against this site being developed. Sadly, I and my then fellow Maghull Councillor Andrew Blackburn were in a minority and permission was granted.

The land had until reasonably recent times been in agricultural use but that was not the only reason I was unhappy to see this particular site being concreted over. What Maghull has been losing over quite a number of years now has been the unique parkland landscape of the former Maghull Homes, now the Parkhaven Trust. This landscape once covered many, many acres over the two sites of the Maghull Homes off Deyes Lane/Damfield Lane and Sefton Lane/Green. I think it’s really sad that so little of it is left and for how much longer will what is left be there?

Yes I know that the Parkhaven Trust does all kinds of essential work (I worked for them myself in the 1980’s and early 1990’s) looking after the elderly and people with disabilities and I also realise that they have been selling off the land to develop that work, but the parkland type landscape has still been lost and two marvelous green lungs in the Maghull community are now much reduced.

Here’s how the Damfield Lane site is now looking as development takes place:-

Maybe it’s called progress but at what cost to the wider environment?

Stop Press – The recent announcement (In the Champion Newspaper) that building on site off Green Lane and adjacent to South Meade is to be extended further is a concern obviously, even though it is said to be for ‘affordable housing’. Of the many definitions of ‘affordable housing’ I wonder which it will be and how ‘affordable’ the houses will be?

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – It’s history on-line

A pictorial representation of the ‘M’ Maghull logo by Keith Page of Lydiate.

www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp215-221

British History on Line has details of Maghull’s
past which all Maghullians will want to know about – see link above.

The various changes to its name and how it was pronounced are fascinating. Just look at this quote from the web site:-

‘Magele, Dom. Bk.; Maghul, Maghyl, Maghale, Maghal, Mauhale, 1292; Maghhal, 1303; Mauwell, 1351; Maghull, Maghell, 1353. These last two forms and Maghale most general. In the xv cent. the name was contracted to Maile or Male, which shows the local pronunciation. Sometimes the article was prefixed, ‘The Maile.’

The logo above is in its basic form as designed by Andrew Blackburn in the 1990’s and adopted as the Town’s logo by the Town Council. The blue is for the Leeds Liverpool Canal, the grey for the Red Lion stone canal bridge and yellow represents the Mayweed flower, once common in the area.

Lydiate – A new youth club? Well let’s hope so and that it’s a success

I was pleased to read, via the Maghull Community Facebook Page, recently that some folks are getting together to try to launch a new youth club at Lydiate Village Centre on Lambshear Lane.

Here’ a scan of the publicity leaflet which I picked up at the Village Centre last Thursday:-

But apart from doing my bit to give this excellent youth initiative a plug, there’s a bit of local history in all this too. You see the site where Lydiate Village Centre sits was once the site of Lydiate Voluntary Youth Club.

The old youth club was based in a large wooden building which if memory serves was donated by the Ford Factory. It was set up by parents who probably had similar aspirations for their local youngsters back in the 1960’s. My old mate Phil Davidson was one those involved in LVYC. Here’s a photo of the old building with former Parish Councillors Pat Foster and Tony Fenton outside it:-

Former Lydiate Parish Councilors Tony Fenton and Pat Foster outside the old Lydiate Voluntary Youth Club

Sadly the building was burnt to the ground, but that unfortunate incident also kindled a desire amongst Lydiate Parish Councillors of the day to erect a more substantial building for the use of all ages and sections of society. From that idea Lydiate Village Centre rose from the ashes some 15 years later with a big National Lottery grant to help the project on the way. Former Lydiate councillors Dave Russell, Andrew Blackburn together with the then Parish Clerk Brian Beaven were the driving force behind the Village Centre.

So what goes around comes around and let’s hope that the new youth club initiative will be a great success.

Jane Day – Leaving Maghull after 50+ years

Jane Day will be known to many people as a former friendly helpful local councillor, as Mayor of Maghull (2002/2003), as a leading light of Maghull Folk Club and as a member of Lord Street Parade choir.

Jane has been a friend of mine for 20 years or more and when she recently announced that she was moving down to Ware in Hertfordshire to be near her daughter I thought something had to be done to mark her many years involvement in the local community. And it transpired that another friend, Andrew Blackburn, was having similar thoughts.

After a bit of thought we decided to put together a book filled with photos of Jane and her life and times in the Maghull area. Between us and with the help of Roy and Beth Connell we got together a selection of photographs and Andrew set to putting together the book via the web site of a company that specialise in such one off hardback books.

The result of Andrew’s hard work (front cover displayed below) was presented to Jane at her Mayhall Court flat a few of days ago and to say that she was shocked, surprised and delighted would be putting it mildly.

Here’s hoping for many happy times in Ware with your daughter and grandchildren Jane. We will miss you.