Liverpool – It’s 60 years since it lost its trams

Had a great day out yesterday with Keith Page reliving the age of the tram at Wirral Transport Museum where they were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the running of Liverpool’s Last Tram.

Sadly Liverpool no longer has any tram tracks so celebrating the 60th anniversary there was a non-runner. But over the water on the Wirral about a mile of track was relayed in modern times for the heritage trams of their Transport Museum and Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society to run on.

As part of the celebrations a 1950’s street scene was recreated on Pacific Road with Liverpool’s recently rebuilt tramcar 245 (owned by National Museums Liverpool) and other heritage road vehicles.

Here are some photos from the well attended event:-

1950’s Street Scene on Pacific Road, Birkenhead

1950’s Street Scene on Pacific Road, Birkenhead – An alternative view

‘Baby Grand’ Tramcar 245 at Woodside Ferry Terminal.

The first photo is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Well done to all the organisers and exhibitors it was well done and well worth their efforts.

Birkenhead Tramway Celebrates 80 since the Town’s last Tram

Birkenhead Tram No.20 lovingly restored and running last Saturday.

An interesting day out last Saturday (with Lydiate photographer Keith Page) at Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society’s 80 year anniversary event held to commemorate the passing of all those years since the last public service tram ran in Birkenhead.

The modern tramway has been laid in more recent times and runs from Woodside Ferry Terminal to the Society’s Tram Shed/Museum at Taylor Street.

A modern recreation of a Birkenhead Tram. In fact it’s a former Hong Kong Tram in disguise

The tramway is run by volunteers and operates at the weekend and at other times during school holidays and is well worth a visit. Please check opening/tram running times before you set off though. At only £2 for a return trip on an historic tram its an economical day out too.

Here’s a link to the Society’s Facebook page:-

www.facebook.com/wirraltransportmuseum

The first photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

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

Birkenhead built steam loco found in Romania

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/birkenhead-built-victorian-steam-locomotive-12373263

The Liverpool Echo has the story on is web site – see link above

What a remarkable story – well worth a read of the article on the Echo web site.

Still not got to ride a Baby Grand

No not a piano but a Baby Grand tram as this particular type of tram became known as.

The one I am talking about (former Liverpool Corporation tram 245) was restored to working order at Birkenhead Tramway Museum during 2015 but despite a number of trips over to Birkenhead I have still not been able to ride on it.

IMG_7427

I thought last night’s ‘Night at the Tramway Museum’ event was cert’ for a ride as it was definitely running. However, Murphy’s law intervened as it broke down at the Woodside Ferry Terminal end of the line before Jen and I had chance to ride on it. We had to settle for a look around it as a static exhibit. Here are a couple of photos of the beautifully restored (Tram of the year 2015) Liverpool Baby Grand:-

IMG_7428

IMG_7425

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

The two photos above are on my Flickr page at:-

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

Southport – Planning for a positive future

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/the-british-lawnmower-museum-and-town.html

Above is a link to the blog site of my good friend Cllr. Iain Brodie Brown, please take a moment to click the link and read his posting. It is pure community politics to my mind.

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

Click on the photo to enlarge it

There can be little doubt that the towns/boroughs surrounding Liverpool have not benefited from being a part of the Liverpool City Region. Indeed, my own view is that centralising power in Liverpool as both Tories and Labour are planning for, with a Metro Mayor, could well be the road to ruin for places like Southport St. Helens, Birkenhead, Maghull, Formby, Prescot etc.

Whilst Iain’s posting is all about what needs to be done to give Southport a bright future his fundamental concerns could well be about any of Liverpool’s satellite communities that sit outside of the Liverpool City Council boundary.

Centralising power and influence in Liverpool will just not work, except for Liverpool itself. Unlike the Greater Manchester communities, which mostly seem look towards Manchester, the same can’t be said of Merseyside. Southport has always seen its connections with Preston and Lancashire as being of great importance but it was wrenched away from such historical links by local government reorganisation in 1974. Much of Wirral Borough has historic connections with Chester and Cheshire but it too was forced into Merseyside.

Merseyside because of its odd geographic shape was never likely to be a runner as a viable unit of local government and the years that have passed since 1974 have only proved that theory correct. Sefton, itself a strange collection of diverse communities, realised this some years ago and it began a process of decentralisation. Bizarrely though Labour then slammed this process into reverse when its Bootle based party took control of the Council. What was their motivation to say ‘the Borough will work well as a one size fits all because we say it will’ not least because this approach had failed miserably when first tried?

Presently we are seeing the start of a process to take 1000’s of civil service jobs out of Netherton, St Helens and Bootle for them all to be centralised in Liverpool. Liverpool’s gain will be big losses for Sefton and St Helens Boroughs.

Make no mistake the Tories are wedded to cities being made more powerful at the expense of their surrounding towns and boroughs. What’s more Labour are pretty much behind this process, why else did the 6 Labour Council Leaders on Merseyside sign up to a 3rd rate devolution deal?

Towns surrounding big cities need investment, public and private, not dependency on the nearest City because that is the road to ruin except for the big cities of course.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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