Jim Byrne RIP

Jim with former local councillor Sylvia Mainey at the site of the former Lydiate Voluntary Youth Club prior to Lydiate Village Centre being built.

Jim with former local councillor Sylvia Mainey at the site of the former Lydiate Voluntary Youth Club prior to Lydiate Village Centre being built.

A am sad to have to report that former Maghull councillor Jim Byrne died on 31st December.

Jim had been a local councillor on Maghull Town Council, Sefton Borough Council and Lydiate Parish Council over many, many years. Indeed, he was first elected to Maghull Town Council in the early 1960 if memory serves.

Jim and I sharing a moment together.

Jim and I sharing a moment together.

Jim was fun to be around as he would often have some amusing remark to make about any situation. I recall his legendary old Ford Cortina car. Well put it this way it was old, probably one of the first off the production line, but he kept it going for years. Andrew Blackburn, Robbie Fenton and I thought he had bricks in it for suspension as the ride across The Moss to Southport for Sefton Council meetings was like a fairground ride!

Jim at the then derelict site of the former Albany Cinema, where Lidl is now of course.

Jim at the then derelict site of the former Albany Cinema, where Lidl is now of course.

I understand he had been a county level table tennis player in his younger days. Later in life he would really enjoy the quizzes that used to be held at Maghull Town Hall each Wednesday night where he could often be found deep in conversation with Charles (Uncle Albert) Walker about their time doing National Service. Yes, neither of them were actually taking a great deal of notice of the actual quiz, that was left to Andrew Beattie, Andrew Blackburn, myself and whomever else had turned out for our ‘Nutters’ quiz team.

Jim was a Maghull Town Council member when Maghull Town Hall was planned for and built and if you ever pop in there look out for the photo of the opening of the building in the foyer as Jim is on it.

He was also a member of Lydiate Parish Council when the successful campaign was launched to build what is now Lydiate Village Centre on Lambshear Lane, on the site of the former Lydiate Voluntary Youth Club. And he was a member of both Maghull Town and Sefton Borough Councils as we fought to get Meadows Leisure Centre & Library built by Sefton Council.

One part of the work of local councils that Jim loved was dealing with planning applications and he rose to become the Chairman of Sefton Council’s Planning Committee. I think he enjoyed that more than anything.

There can be few people indeed who have been involved in the work of local councils in this area from the 1960’s to early 2000’s who will not have known Jim. I think it is fair to say that I have never come across anyone who did not like Jim.

He often said that he was no politician and in many ways never a truer word has been spoken as Jim just liked doing things for the community. From my perspective it is nice to celebrate the life of a really nice chap who did his bit for his community.

Jim leaves behind a loving family whom he would constantly chatter about when in company. He clearly thought a lot of them and them of him.

Maghull – Sustrans – Merseyside North Volunteers win the TESCO jackpot!

merseysidenorth.blogspot.co.uk/2016_03_01_archive.html

Here’s some great environmental/green news for Maghull – see link above

I covered this story a while back – here’s the link back to that article:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/03/03/sustrans-the-cheshire-lines-path-merseyside-north-volunteers/

A shot I took a couple of years ago of the access path off Sefton Drive to the Cheshire Lines Path and the dumped rubbish that the area suffers from.

A shot I took a couple of years ago of the access path off Sefton Drive to the Cheshire Lines Path and the dumped rubbish that the area suffers from.

So congratulations are due to the intrepid Merseyside North Sustrans volunteers for winning the top prize. It will be interesting to see how their project develops as this access point to the Cheshire Lines/Trans Pennine Trail has long been a mess.

By the way I found this old photo amongst my collection. It is taken from the very spot that the volunteers are going to improve looking up at the old Cheshire Lines Sefton Lane railway bridge parapet. Of course that is now long gone with the bridge gap itself also filled in. All that’s left is a hump in Sefton Lane. The photo is from the early 1980’s and the people in it are Marie Borland, Andrew Beattie (sadly passed away) and Dave Roscoe. Marie and Andrew were both Maghull Town councillors at the time.

Marie Borland, Andrew Beattie & Dave Roscoe - Old Cheshire Lines Bridge Sefton Ln ,Maghull

Maghull – It’s a Liberal, Social Democrat & Lib Dem free zone for the first time since 1983

The first Liberal councillor to be elected in Maghull in modern times was my dear old friend Andrew Beattie in 1983. Andrew sadly passed away in 1999.

rsz_maghull_town_council_logo

The photo montage above is an excellent pictorial representation of the Maghull logo produced by Lydiate photographer Keith Page.

Following after every tide thereafter another Liberal or Social Democrat councillor was elected in the Town until it became a Tory free zone, with every Town and Borough Councillor being a Liberal Democrat. Yes it is now hard to imagine now but back in the early 1980’s Maghull was a solid Conservative community that had been returning Tory MP’s and councillors for generations, with only the emergence of the former Maghull Ratepayers Party challenging Tory rule until the Liberal/SDP surge on the back of the famous Crosby By-election.

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Heady days indeed for the SDP/Liberal Alliance and then the Liberal Democrats and they lasted some 28 years until 2011 when Labour started exactly the same process once again which culminated in the last Lib Dem councillors being removed from office on 7th May this year. Maghull is now totally Labour, with one vacancy on Maghull Town Council.

When will the next big churn happen in Maghull’s politics and which direction will it be in? No one really knows although what we do know is that Labour will be the victims of it when it does come along.

A blast from the past – Beattie and Bamber or the two Mayors!

Looking through some old photos the other day I came across this one:-

Cllrs. Andrew Beattie & David Bamber

Cllrs. Andrew Beattie & David Bamber

Both these chaps served as Mayor of Maghull and indeed both were also Borough Councillors for the Town. David moved to Southport and went on to be elected as a councillor there after serving in Maghull. Sadly, Andrew was taken ill and died suddenly in early 1999 at the age of just 41.

As to when this photo was taken I think it was 1992 but the signs on the shops behind them, in Maghull Square, give an insight into the time period as do a couple of the vehicles. Smith’s the audio/TV shop has been gone many years indeed (as has Threshers) and Sayers is now the Pound Bakery.

I wonder what they were discussing?