Maghull – Portillo’s Great Railway Journeys – BBC 2 – 6.30pm – 18th January

Readers may remember all the fuss on the Maghull Community Facebook Page late last November when Michael Portillo was seen on Maghull Station. Well he was there and he was making a new episode in his long-running Great British Railway Journeys TV programme.

He was in Maghull because of it’s world famous former resident Frank Hornby and the programme to be aired next Thursday picks up on how model railways became so popular.

My dear friend Les French, who is Chairman of the Maghull based group The Frank Hornby Trust, will be seen in the programme talking with Michael Portillo.

This shot was taken whilst cleaning of the display cases was taking place in 2016.

Filming was done, at Maghull Station, at the grave of Frank Hornby in St. Andrew’s Churchyard and in the Frank Hornby Room of Meadows Leisure Centre although obviously we don’t know what will be in the edited final programme.

A great piece of model engineering

So remember 6.30pm Thursday 18th January.

Maghull – Work on the new Maghull North Station

This was the scene on Tuesday 26th September as contractors were making a big impression on the site of Maghull’s second railway station which is due to open in May 2018. The 3 car Merseyrail Class 508 EMU (508 139) has left the present Maghull Station and is heading for Town Green Station in Aughton on its way to Ormskirk.

For those who don’t know where this second railway station will be in the Town, it’s on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line off School Lane (between the present Maghull & Town Green Stations) and the station building will be on the old Moss Side Hospital site. The rest of the former hospital site is being redeveloped for housing as you may be able to make out in the right background of the photo.

The housing development is being called ‘Poppy Fields’ as a nod to the great importance of Moss Side Hospital which was world famous for its treatment of Shell Shock victims in WW1. Sadly the campaign to have the new station called ‘Maghull Moss Side’ in recognition of the importance of the former hospital was turned down by the railway powers that be. Indeed, they also rejected the present Maghull Station being renamed ‘Maghull Hornby’ after the Town’s most famous resident Frank Hornby (creator of Dinky Toys, Hornby Railways and Meccano) who once lived only yards away from it.

The photo (click on it to enlarge it) is also amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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

Maghull – Frank Hormby Trust Update

I have not blogged about the Trust for a while now but it recently purchased an original postcard as depicted below:-

Whilst the used postcard is not in the best of condition it is a very significant shot of the part of Station Road in Maghull (in the 1920’s?) where Frank Hornby first lived (at The Hollies) and where English Heritage installed their Blue Plaque on 6th July 2000. The plaque had been requested by Maghull Town Council to celebrate the town’s most famous resident and it sparked a local historical plaque scheme promoted by the Town Council.

Hornby’s house, where he lived for 10 years, is the one with the bay window furthest away from you when viewing the postcard. The scene is looking down Station Road with the Great Mogul Pub and Maghull Railway Station being behind the photographer.

When he left the Hollies Hornby moved just a few yards down Station Road to Quarry Brook which is now a part of Maricourt High School.

Click on the postcard to enlarge it.

The Trust has a Facebook page at:-

www.facebook.com/hornbytrust/

It also has a significant display of Frank Hornby related memorabilia and products from his Liverpool Binns Road factory in Meadows Leisure Centre on KGV Park in Maghull. They are in the Frank Hornby Room which is immediately on your left as you enter the main doors of the Leisure Centre. The room is well used for various health, fitness and community activities so its best to check with the Leisure Centre before you set out to look at the display to see when it is free.

This shot was taken whilst cleaning of the display cases was taking place in 2016.

Frank Hornby – Maghull’s most famous resident

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Anyone who has owned a Dinky Toy, Meccano set or a Hornby Trains model will have been playing with something that takes it’s heritage from the late Frank Hornby.

rsz_hornby_11_12_2

He is probably the best known toy maker in the world and he lived for much of his life in Maghull at two houses on Station Road and later at what is now the sixth form block of Maricourt High School.

This photo shows an image of Frank Hornby as part of the logo for the Heritage Centre that the Frank Hornby Trust has created within Meadows Leisure Centre, Maghull

This photo shows an image of Frank Hornby as part of the logo for the Heritage Centre that the Frank Hornby Trust has created within Meadows Leisure Centre, Maghull

There are actually very few photos of Hornby about. The one below is a photo of a framed photo of him which is on the wall in Kensington House Sports & Leisure Club. This club is in Maghull’s Station Road, yards away from both of Hornby’s homes indeed the club (formerly known as Maghull Conservative Club) is just about slap bang in the middle and Hornby was a contributor to its construction.

frank-hornby

Maghull is also home to the Frank Hornby Trust which has a permanent exhibition to the life and works of Hornby in Meadows Leisure Centre, appropriately in the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre Room. Here’s a shot of that exhibition:-

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one has to be carefully cleaned now and again.

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one has to be carefully cleaned now and again.

So next time anyone says something along the lines of ‘who on earth famous has ever lived in Maghull’ you know the answer.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

Frank Hornby Trust – Spring cleaning in November!

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I have not mentioned the Frank Hornby Trust for a while but last Tuesday the Trustees got together for their AGM and a big clean up of our display cases in the Frank Hornby Room in Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre.

Cleaning the large display case

Cleaning the large display case

It was great to see Jim Gamble (probably the worlds greatest expert on Meccano) again – he had travelled up for the day from his Nottingham home.

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one had to be carefully cleaned!

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one had to be carefully cleaned!

If you have an interest in helping to support the work of the Frank Hornby Trust please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

Note:- Frank Hornby lived virtually all of his adult life in Maghull and his world famous toy empire of Meccano, Hornby Trains and Dinky Toys makes him Maghull’s most famous former resident. There is an English Heritage Blue Plaque on his first house in Station Road near Maghull Station. It was the first one erected outside of London.

You can contact the Frank Hornby Trust via its Chairman Les French:-

caractorgraphics@yahoo.co.uk

or you can get in touch with me at:-

t3robertson@gmail.com

Frank Hornby – A Meccano Sea Plane at the Atkinson

A visit to Southport a few days ago found me in the rather excellent Atkinson Centre on Lord Street as the rain hammered down.

The museum part of the Atkinson is one that covers all of Sefton Borough and there is a large section of it all about the products of Frank Hornby, Maghull’s most famous resident who lived in the town most of his adult life. Indeed, as I stood there looking at the Meccano exhibits I heard a chap nearby say exactly that ‘he’s Maghull’s most famous resident’.

I was particularly taken with the Meccano built model of a sea plane and took some photos of it. Trouble is the exhibits are behind glass so getting a decent photo without reflections from the glass was a bit of a challenge. Here are my efforts:-

Maccano Sea Plane 1

Meccano SEa Plane 2

Meccano Sea Plane 3

The first and third photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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