Maghull – It’s 2nd railway station opens tomorrow 66 years after it lost its original 2nd station

Maghull lost its original 2nd railway station when it closed on 7th January 1952. That station (Sefton and Maghull) was on Sefton Lane and was a part of the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway.

I’m told by an old Maghullian in the know that the first talk of a 2nd station for Maghull, on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line, was just after World War 2, so its taken a while you might say to get it built.

The serious talk has been going on for I suppose over the last 25 years and it took some time to secure the station site. My good friend and former Sefton councillor for Maghull, Roy Connell, had a hand in that effort and the battle was won some 10 or more years ago when the rest of what was then called the Ashworth South Site* was down to have a prison built on it. That prison, which was never built of course**, is not to be confused with the temporary prison (HMP Kennet) which did operate from the former Ashworth East site for just under 10 years until quite recently.

Maghull North Station site – 27th September 2017

Construction of the new station (somewhat unimaginatively called Maghull North***) started last September and when it became apparent that it was due to open alongside the May 2018 railway timetable changes some of those in the railway know scratched their heads and said ‘that’s not going to happen’ or words to that effect. And indeed it did not and the opening was put back a month until 18th June.

This photo shows, on the left hand side the shortish back gardens of the Mersey Avenue houses.

The building of the new station has not been without considerable upset though for the residents of Maghull’s Mersey Avenue, who will have the station at the bottom of their back gardens. Noise, overnight working and the height/scale/position of the lift towers became huge issues and it led to demands for compensation payments which remain unresolved I understand. So it’s worth those standing on the platform of the new station taking a few moments to think of the troubles of the Mersey Avenue residents.

Having fought for the station to be built for more years than I care to recall I’m obviously pleased that it’s finally arrived. Now we want Merseyrail’s Liverpool – Ormskirk Line extended to its logical end of Preston. The present arrangement of a poor and unreliable service by Northern Trains onward from Ormskirk is a hang over from the decline of our railways in the 1960’s. I hope I’m still breathing when Northern are kicked off that line and we can all once again travel the length of the Preston to Liverpool railway.

Welcome Maghull North, your birth has been a long and tough one but you should be of benefit to many future generations.

* Former site of the world famous former Moss Side Hospital which pioneered the treatment of shell shock during and after World War 1.

** When the new prison was cancelled @2010 the site was designated for housing and presently the Poppy Fields and Pavilions housing estates are being built on the site.

*** Campaigners seeking to acknowledge the world groundbreaking medical history made at Moss Side Hospital wanted the new railway station to be called ‘Maghull Moss Side’ but the dead hand of railway administration was having none of it. They had made a decision and we were stuck with it so to speak just as they refused a quite sensible request to change the name of the old Maghull station (which was once called Maghull & Melling) to ‘Maghull Hornby’ in recognition of former Maghull resident and world famous toy maker Frank Hornby.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Melling’s HMP Kennet to close

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/mersey-prison-hmp-kennet-closed-11388579

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

This may not be the surprise announcement from Government that some may think that it is because the land on which the ‘temporary’ prison sits was only leased for 10 years from Merseycare NHS Trust.

It was a surprise though to read that the Echo still thinks the prison is in Maghull when it is actually in Melling. It was also a surprise back in 2006/07 when it was opened without so much as a by your leave by the last Labour Government in response to a prison population crisis at the time.

I have posted about the prison a number of times over recent years – here’s one of those postings:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2011/11/01/kennet-prison-good-progress-in-preparing-offenders-for-life-outside-of-prison/

During the period whilst the prison was a category ‘D’ it did some excellent work with Maghull in Bloom and we were sad when it reverted to a category ‘C’ meaning that offenders were no longer able to assist with environmental work for Maghull in Bloom.

But I suppose that as Kennet was only ever meant to be a temporary prison then the fact that the 10 year lease is not to be renewed can hardly be the shock announcement which our MP seems to think it is. Does Mr. Esterson not realise that Kennet Prison was ‘sold’ to the local community by his own party in Government as being only a temporary prison facility?