Shakespeare and Prescot

I’ve always had a soft spot for Prescot, the stamping ground of the near-legendary (to me anyway) Cllr. Ian Smith whom I’ve heard referred to as ‘Mr Prescot’ and we’re not talking ‘2 Jags’ here!

The steeple of Prescot Parish Church just as the sun was going down.

I’m also a fan of ‘The Post’ a new online newspaper for Merseyside which has just published an in-depth article about Prescot’s soon to be Shakespeare Theatre. The link below is to The Post article, by Robin Brown, which is well worth a read:-

I decided to ask ‘Mr Prescot’ for his views on the project and this is what he says:-

‘We are very supportive of the Shakespeare theatre being built in Prescot. The unique history of the Town demands this investment in its future. The original Elizabethan theatre was sited at the other end of Eccleston Street near a building known a the ‘Flat iron’ for obvious reasons.

We are all looking forward to the opening in 2022. The theatre will attract visitors to Prescot from all over the world. The renovation work to shops in the Town have been in keeping and Eccleston Street offers a café and restaurant atmosphere and is welcoming to visitors both day and night.

Prescot can look to a great future by building on its past, it has important stories to tell and will become an important visitor attraction in the North West.’

Councillor Ian Smith – Prescot North Knowsley MBC & Prescot Town Council

And here’s an interesting link about the project from the Liverpool Echo:-

Carl Cashman for Mersey Metro Mayor

Carl Cashman

Cllr. Carl Cashman

Jen and I went to a campaign meeting for Lib Dem Mersey Metro Mayor candidate Carl Cashman last night in Liverpool’s Central Library.

This was the view from from Central Library of St. Georges Hall.

This was the view from from Central Library of St. Georges Hall.

What a venue, this modern recreation of the library is wonderful; what a great place to meet.

It was a good meeting with a great cross-section of Lib Dem supporters, particularly good to see young people there too. Really nice to meet up with Fred Weavers, Nigel Ashton, Ian Smith, Phil Gilchrist and many others again.

Hardly young (sorry Fred) but redoubtable environmental campaigner and Southport Lib Dem councillor Fed Weavers was there speaking passionately about all things green at the meeting.

Hardly young (sorry Fred) but redoubtable environmental campaigner and Southport Lib Dem councillor Fed Weavers was there speaking passionately about all things green at the meeting.

It’s already clear that Carl will be pressing home his advantage over Labour in a number of key areas. He’s firmly pro-EU and Merseyside voted to Remain. Of course Labour was Pro-EU but now it is backing Teresa May and UKIP’s Brexit! He is also big on green issues and Labour’s record on Merseyside of allowing Green Belt and the highest grade of agricultural land to be built on is terrible indeed.

Carl discussing the issues of the day as the meeting closed.

Carl discussing the issues of the day as the meeting closed.

There’s more to come from Carl, a young man who is fast building a core of support for his fresh approach to politics. Not surprisingly Carl is doing very well with young voters who are walking away from Labour because of its support for Brexit.

I have watched Carl grow myself and he’s quite a contrast to the tired old type of politicians who turn voters off. What’s more he is already Leader of the opposition on Knowsley Council. Watch this young man go places.


Where on earth is Halsnead Park? Yes that’s what I thought too.

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

When I saw the list of Garden Villages to be developed obviously Halsnead in Merseyside jumped out at me and I have to confess that despite living on Merseyside for 48 years and travelling all over it this name had never been on my radar at all.

A quick Google search brought up a primary school and a caravan park near Whiston in Knowsley Borough where the M57 and M62 Motorways intersect. Then old chum Keith found a link to the document below on Knowsley Council’s web site and the picture began to emerge.

And I started to wonder because to me the site looks like it should be a part of Merseyside’s Green Belt and ‘should be’ seem to be the important words because I asked my good friend Cllr. Ian Smith of Knowsley Borough Council and this is what he said:-

‘It’s green space taken out of the Greenbelt in 2016. Once again Labour run Knowsley Council is not taking any notice of local people. This area is built up enough without further development. It is adjacent to the Lickers Lane Estate built to take the overflow from Liverpool in the 60s & 70s.
We want to see the Local Plan amended with Halsnead being returned to the Greenbelt. The site should be protected, it includes farm land, woodland, fishing lakes and football pitches, and mobile homes on Halsnead Park.’

Prescot (Clock) Museum, Merseyside

This is one of those places I had been meaning to visit for years but somehow not got around to.

My attention was drawn back to it because of of a controversial move of the Museum from its historic Georgian building into a shopping centre! You can see why it was controversial.

This is the old and seemingly now unused Georgian building:-


It really is quite a nice building and very much one that would befit a museum. So why the change? Obviously, local government funding issues were at the heart of the move but whilst having sympathy with Knowsley Borough Council for its financial dilemma I am told by Prescot locals that the Borough Council does not have the best of records in its governance of historic Prescot. I know that Cllrs. such as Ian Smith, and more recently Carl Cashman, have been fighting battles with Knowsley Borough for years to try to preserve the traditions and history of Prescot but the Kirkby/Huyton power-bases of the Borough always have had the bigger say for the socialist Borough.

The dead hand of local government can be a poor defender of traditions and local communities with its ‘Big Brother knows best’ approach to sensitive and very local issues. Here the solution is at best a halfway house because the old building is left empty and the setting of the new museum is at best odd. The comments on Trip Advisor give a flavour of what people think although not all are negative, I would add.

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-