I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the seeming demise of one of Melling’s unique sandstone built bus shelters – The one close to the Pear Tree Pub on Prescott Road. Here’s a link to that posting:-
Moving on and on one of my solo fitness cycle rides during our lock-down a couple of days ago I saw this:-
This is the bench right next to the other Prescot Road sandstone bus shelter that’s near the junction with Cunscough Lane. You can’t see the shelter in this shot but this is it:-
A view from inside the shelter of the bench on Prescot Road taken quite a while back.
What I don’t know is why the bench has been so colourfully decorated with stuffed toys but maybe you do. Anyway, in another life a few years ago I christened this seat ‘Andrew’s Bench’ because I would pick a mate of mine up there now and again. Sadly, the shelter no longer has any buses call at it since the 345 bus to Skem was cut back, although I have been known to take shelter in it a couple of times during heavy rain when cycling in that part of the world.
I’ve come across at least 3 rather grand bus shelters in Melling Civil Parish, one on Prescot Road near the junction with Cunscough Lane (now out of use because service buses no longer travel that road anymore), one in Tithebarn Lane (which is very much in use) and another one in Waddicar Lane.
All are built of sandstone and I’m guessing that they were erected by Melling Parish Council at some point in the recent past? I’m also guessing that were built after the early 1980’s construction of the M58 Motorway as the one on Prescot Road is on the new alignment of that road where it crosses over the M58. I’m open to correction here if these assumptions are wrong so please get in touch if I am or if you have more information about them.
The shot above is of the shelter in Tithebarn Lane and here’s another shot from inside the one on Prescot Road:-
Note the arrow slit type windows reminiscent of a fortified castle
Bus shelters usually have a limited lifespan due to vandalism, rot, rust or simply not being required anymore, as our public bus services continue to decline, However, in Melling these rather special shelters seem, like any sandstone building, to be here for generations.
I wonder if the stone used to construct them came from the former Melling sandstone quarry up on Melling Rock?
Please get in touch if you know their history.
The Chesterfield was a banqueting Suite/restaurant for want of a better description on Prescot Road in Melling, near to the junction with Cunscough Lane. The building was originally a school (St. Mary’s RC Primary School which closed in the 1970’s?) and the banqueting suite/restaurant itself closed around 2000?
The site has now been redeveloped as a large house and here’s a couple of photos of it with an appropriate plaque/datestone reflecting back to what used to be on the site.
The building as it was until the recent redevelopment – Photo Credit Rightmove
From talking to a Melling resident who lives nearby I think I have pieced together the rough history of this site. There seems to have been a link between the former school with St. Mary’s RC Church (of which more in a subsequent posting) just over the civil parish border and further along Prescot Road into Aughton. Also, the old school and indeed the restaurant/banqueting building was used as a polling station in elections until a few years ago.
But that about exhausts all the information that is readily available, unless of course anyone out there can fill in the gaps. Comments, additions and corrections gratefully received.
With thanks to Alan Thompson for his help with this posting