The link above is to a youtube video, shot by Mike Kirby, of St. Catherine’s Abbey otherwise know as Lydiate Abbey. It is well worth looking at.
BAD NATIONAL & GLOBAL EVENTS
* Given the biggest self-destruct button the UK electorate has probably ever been tempted by i.e the EU referendum – they pressed it!
* Sociopath Trump wins in America, seemingly with help from Putin in the Cremlin!
* We manage to get rid of a centrist (for a Conservative that is), if hardly competent, Tory Prime Minister (Cameron) for him to be replaced by someone who looks utterly lost, is in a job probably well above her pay grade and who is riding us off into a inglorious right wing sunset!
* Our NHS and elderly social care system has been systematically neglected and left to wither on the vine by our clueless government whilst we chuck goodness knows how much money on a replacement for the Trident nuclear missile programme that will never be used. There are guilty people in all political parties over this.
AND GOOD NATIONAL & GLOBAL THINGS?
* Well Lib Dem anti-Brexit candidate Sarah Olney winning the Richmond Park Parliamentary by-election comes to mind.
* The beating the right took in the Austrian Presidential election was a pleasant if somewhat surprising turn of events.
* Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shining a light for tolerant, inclusive and progressive politics from over the pond in Canada. Is there anyone else in power on the global stage who can match his progressive approach to running a country?
* The low and high of Notts and England batsman James Taylor being struck down by an almost fatal undiagnosed heart condition and then him coming through it. Yes we have lost on brilliant batsman but so glad he is still alive. And yes I am an Notts supporter.
AND LOCAL LOWS AND HIGHS?
* LOW – We had the depressing news that Labour-run Maghull Town Council was finally killing-off the innovative Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall which local youngsters had started 20+ years ago. And hey what a surprise (NOT) anti-social behaviour is a problem in the area of Maghull where it once operated!
* HIGH – The ‘Friends of the Abbey’ in Lydiate gaining a Lottery grant to start the process of trying to conserve and preserve the ruins of St Catherine’s Chapel for future generations.
* LOW – The running down of and then appalling vandalism to Maghull’s once award winning public toilets in Leighton Avenue.
* HIGH – The continuing success of the Maghull in Bloom and Maghull Station Volunteers as they try to improve Maghull’s environment.
* LOW – The rubber stamping of the Sefton Local Plan which will ruin Green Belt and kill off some of the 2% highest grade of agricultural land in England. A black cloud for for environmental campaigners indeed.
* HIGH – The Bicentenary celebrations of the completion of the Leeds Liverpool Canal
On a personal note the start of 2016 was grim as I attended 4 funerals of people I knew in the first 4 months – former Lib Dem Councillors Joan Blackburn, David Rimmer and Kath Jones together with Lib Dem activist Susan Ashton. It finished with a further death this time of a relative in December whose funeral I could not get to because of traffic jams on the M6. But of course there were personal highs as well –
* Being invited to play Santa for a session to help Maghull & Aughton Rotary Club and Maghull in Bloom fund raise was great fun.
* Being invited to rejoin the choir of St Helen’s Church in Sefton Village, where I had been a choirboy in 1970, despite being an atheist was lovely. Obviously I politely declined.
* Helping a great young man to be selected as Lib Dem candidate for the Liverpool City Region Mayoral election to be held in May 2017. Carl Cashman is that young man. I have known him for some years now and am delighted he will be on the ballot paper.
* My old chum Iain Brodie Browne becoming Mayor of Sefton. A Liberal down to his boots and one of the most radical, capable and compassionate politicians I have ever come across.
So sadly 2016 has been a year of some very significant lows indeed. Some of those lows we will be grappling with the consequences of for maybe 10 years or more. Fortunately the odd bit of good news did filter through but surely 2017 has to be better?
No sooner had I mentioned Lydiate Abbey (last posting) than I am asked to help the Friends of the Abbey publicise their Carols & Bells event to be held at the Scotch Piper Inn on Wednesday 7th December at 7.30pm.
I am informed it will be a sing along to all your favourite carols and Christmas songs and that all the money raised will go towards saving Lydiate Abbey and improving its surrounding area.
Lydiate Parish Council has long maintained the grounds around this lovely listed ancient monument in Lydiate’s Conservation Area. The PC cuts the grass empties the litter bin etc.
The site is in the ownership of Liverpool Catholic Arch-Diocese and Sefton Borough Council has a hand in the management of the site too. And, of course, there’s the voluntary group – Friends of the Abbey which has been formed. That group has recently gained a £7,000+ grant from Heritage Lottery to fund a detailed assessment of the condition of the ruins with a view to trying to preserve them for future generations.
The latest issue was that the maintenance agreement for the Parish Council to undertake grass cutting etc. had come to an end but at the last PC meeting on 22nd November there was agreement for the PC to continue to provide such support.
If you are interested in joining the volunteer group their e-mail address is:-
I posted quite recently about damage to the ruins of Lydiate Abbey which could have been an attempt to extract some dressed stone from it. Here is a link back to my original posting:-
The latest on the damage is that after a bit more digging into the situation things seems to be like this.
Sefton’s Council’s Conservation Offer was aware of previous similar damage to the Abbey and was in the process of agreeing a repair process with the Catholic Archdiocese, who are the owners of the site/ruins. If I have understood the position correctly a further inspection of the ruins has now taken place as a consequence of the alarm being raised by Cllr. Edie Pope being contacted by the member of the public as mentioned in my original posting. Further repairs have been identified and and the Archdiocese will be engaging a specialist repair contractor to deal with the damage. I also understand that Sefton Council will pay for the repairs.
Just to clarify some things from my original posting – Sefton Council has an agreement with the Archdiocese about maintenance of the stonework of the ruins but this comes to an end later this year. Indications are that it will not be renewed by Sefton. Lydiate Parish Council is involved in a sub-lease for it to do the grounds maintenance – grass cutting, litter removal etc. It is because of the impending end to this agreement that the Friends of the Abbey (Dave Russell’s voluntary Group) are trying to sort out a new agreement with the Catholic Archdiocese for sustainable management of the ruins and site for the future. It is this later process that is worryingly stuck at present.
If you would like to know more about Lydiate’s Conservation Area please follow the link below:-
When you reach the page please scroll down until you see Lydiate Hall and Chapel Conservation Area and click on that link.
This quote from the document on Sefton’s web site is sadly quite telling:-
Consolidation of the ruin has taken place during the 20t century; however ongoing vandalism, stone-robbing and the natural process of deterioration mean that the ruin needs careful and consistent management.
The photos above are also amongst my Flickr photos at:-
I hope I now have presented a clearer/fuller picture of this issue but please shout if not.