Lydiate – Our canal towpath

I don’t cycle the towpath of Leeds Liverpool Canal through Sefton and West Lancashire often for two reasons. It’s narrow and rough to ride on and the narrowness means I need to stop frequently to let pedestrians pass. However, the other day I decided to cycle the section from Greens Lane swing bridge in Downholland through to Bells Lane swing bridge in Lydiate.

The ride was pretty much as I expected i.e. only really suitable for mountain bikes due to its rough and uneven nature. I would add that as the weather had been dry for quite some time I didn’t encounter any of the usual boggy areas that can, during winter months, make the towpath all but impassable in places north of Lydiate Hill Bridge/Billy’s Bridge.

Joining at Greens Lane the swing bridge was just closing as I got to it from the Aughton direction:_

Greens Lane swing bridge

You arrive in Lydiate on the towpath when you cross Sudell Brook (it forms the Lancashire/Merseyside & Lydiate/Downholland boundary) which flows under the canal just north of Jackson’s Bridge where Pygons Hill Ln/Hall Ln cross the canal. This is the view from atop Jackson’s Bridge looking northwards towards the Lancashire boundary. This section of the towpath is reasonable, in dry weather:-

Looking north from Jackson’s Bridge

The towpath southwards from Jackson’s Bridge, past Lollies Bridge, Pilling Lane Bridge, and through to Bells Lane swing bridge is variable but mainly poor especially if the weather has been wet.

This is where the ong-term collapse of the towpath into the canal has been diverted past – Between Billy’s Bridge and Lollies Bridge.

The repairs required to the collapsed section of towpath were, when I last asked the Canal & River Trust, due to take place during the 2021/2022 financial year i.e. any time soon but I don’t have an update on those works.

One of the problems with the same section of towpath between these two bridges is that the land abutting the towpath is higher and there’s a continual run-off of groundwater across it. This photo illustrates the problem but after weeks of virtually no rain. It’s not hard to imagine how the situation deteriorates after heavy rain or through the winter:-

Finally a nice view of Pilling Lane bridge with a narrowboat traveling towards the camera:-

The Maghull/Lydiate boundary is roughly halfway between the Bells Lane swing bridge and the Green Lane swing bridge. It is this section of towpath that is down to be resurfaced with the Canal & River Trust gaining the money to do it via the new Rose Hill Gardens housing development at the end of Maghull’s Turnbridge Road. The new houses are all in Lydiate, not Maghull. I still have no news as to whether the Canal & River Trust is prepared to use some of this money to address worse sections of the towpath through Lydiate.

Lydiate – A postcard of ‘The Runnies’

I recently purchased the postcard scanned above, published by Judges of Hastings, and am guessing the photo was taken in the 1990’s but I could be well be wrong. Can anyone date it from the type of signs it had back then? Clearly the postcard is pre the new bridge and traffic light/barriers

It’s interesting that the postcard was published for the Lancashire Federation of Women’s Institutes and the photo was taken by a Mrs A McFarlane of Lathom WI.

Just for comparison here’s the shot replicated in Jan 2020:-

Click on the photos to enlarge them

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.

Lydiate – ‘In Flower’ makes another 3 splashes of colour

I seem to be dividing my very limited knowledge of things horticultural between Maghull in Bloom and Lydiate in Flower these days and my latest trick has been to learn how to attach Gateway Planters to Lydiate boundary signs.

We put one up at either end of Southport Road/Myerscough Lane to start with a few weeks back and have now added another 3 on the Civil Parish boundaries with Maghull on Kenyons Lane and on both Bells Lane and Punnell’s Lane with Great Altcar. They are all now planted up like the one below at Punnell’s Lane.

The planting was done by other LinF volunteers who know far more about plants than I ever will. Don’t the Gateway planters look grand though…..

Lydiate – Sefton Council introduces new traffic calming measures using hedges! :-)

This looks like an April 1st posting but its not. The photo below is real and was taken on Lydiate’s Bells Lane on 4th April:-

It looks like an innovative new method by Sefton Council to calm traffic speeds at first glance using hedging! In fact the sign has been spun around 90 degrees by the recent high winds making it side on to the road.

Sefton Council were informed and it is now pointing the right way.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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