Maghull – Stafford Moreton Youth Centre demolished

My previous posting about the the demolition of this and the old Maghull Library refers – see link below:-

Maghull's former Stafford Moreton Youth  Centre boarded up.

Maghull’s former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre boarded up.

The Youth Centre was a 1960’s building named after a prominent local councillor called Henry Stafford Moreton, indeed the adjacent Stafford Moreton Way is also named after him of course.

I did not know him as my time in local politics (starting in 1980) coincided roughly with him retiring from it. I do know his nephew Chris Bayliss though and Chris’s Uncle Frank Bayliss was also a local councillor during my early years on the council.

Many Maghull folk will have memories of attending the Youth Centre although I am not one of them. For some reason, despite the fact I came to live in Maghull in 1968 at the age of 10, I never set foot in the place as a youngster although I don’t know why.

I became aware of it though in my years as a Maghull councillor with various of my councillor friends being members of the Management Committee. Phil Watterson and Andrew Blackburn, Merrick Stott, and Cliff Mainey come to mind but I am sure there were others.

The Youth Centre bobbed along although the opening of the Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall some 20 years ago, which became very popular, must have had an effect on the numbers of youngsters attending it. I also recall that Stafford Moreton YC had a local group for youngsters with disabilities meeting there each week for many years.

Then the recession hit us and Stafford Moreton was slated for closure, this must have been late 2010 or early 2011. Indeed, you may recall that Labour led a march around the Maghull to try to stop the closure from happening, which is quite ironic based on what actually happened later on.

My view was that the Youth Coffee Bar, a specifically developed (by young people) modern youth facility in Maghull Town Hall, could have been used more often and Stafford Moreton’s groups moved there but the powers that be seemed more concerned with just closing things down.

Youth facilities across Sefton Borough continued to decline with the Youth Coffee Bar being a beacon of hope in Maghull because the Town Council funded it rather than Sefton Borough Council.

Of course Labour then took control of Sefton Council and what did they subsequently do? They closed down Stafford Moreton Youth Club which they had marched young people around the streets of Maghull to stop the closure of!

And it has stood there rather forlornly for a number of years awaiting someone to buy the land. Readers who are close to local issues will recall that at the very time Labour-run Sefton Council was meeting to sell the Youth Centre and Old Library land to the highest bidder (which turned out to be Netto) Maghull’s Labour Party commenced a sham consultation exercise about the future of the site in community use via the Champion newspaper! Yes, you could not make it up but it happened. Of course the consultation was was never heard of again as it was just a Labour publicity stunt.

Stafford Moreton Youth Centre gone - June 2016

Stafford Moreton Youth Centre gone – June 2016

So here it is being demolished for a supermarket to take its place. What’s even more sad is that Labour has recently also shut the doors on the Youth Coffee Bar in Maghull Town Hall for the last time. Now which political party marched youngsters around Maghull to fight for local youth facilities? Oh yes, that’s right, the one that closed them all down!

Maghull – Henry Stafford-Moreton – The Youth Centre and his wife’s dress?

What do we know about this former Maghull Councillor who had both a Youth Centre (now sadly closed and about to be demolished and replaced by a Netto store) and a road named after him?

I ask as his name has popped up twice in the last week or so. Firstly, a query came my way with regard to a dress that his wife Jane wore and which I am told is presently displayed in the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight. Secondly, I have been asked whether I know any detail about his connection with the former Stafford-Moreton Youth Centre in terms of whether he donated land and/or money to it.

Well a little Googling and I came across this link to the dress care off National Museums Liverpool web site:-

A little bit more poking around on the internet and I found a photo of Maghull Parish Council (it only became a Town Council in 1974) on the ‘I grew up in Maghull’ facebook page:-

There is speculation on this facebook page from one lady that Stafford-Moreton gave the land for the youth centre to be built on and separately I have had a query about this from another resident who feels that the money from the sale of the land should be ploughed back into youth facilities in Maghull. Regular readers of this blog site will be aware that Sefton Council has just sold the site (together with the adjacent former Maghull Library site) and that a Netto store is due to be built there if planning permission is obtained from Sefton Council.

If the speculation is right i.e. that Stafford-Moreton did give land or money to help get the youth centre built then yes the proceeds of the sale of that part of the site should indeed go to local youth facilities. I would be pleased to know if anyone can shine any further light on this youth centre matter.

Anything more about this former Maghull resident and councillor that folks know about would also be of interest to me. Please get in touch.