Maghull – Campaign to gain a cenotaph for the Town

I lived in Maghull (1968 – 2011) long enough to have heard this talked about before, indeed having Bruce Hubbard as a friend I have often listened to him talk about the Town’s war memorials and war dead.

Readers may recall that I blogged in 2015 about the video Bruce made with St Andrew’s Primary School children about those from Maghull who lost their lives in the 1st World War. Here’s a link to that posting and the YouTube video:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/03/18/maghulls-great-war-bruce-hubbard-presents-an-excellent-madcos-video/

Now John Sayers, a local councillor for Maghull, is proposing that he and his fellow Maghullians campaign to get a formal cenotaph for the Town.

The Lychgate of St Andrew's Church, Maghull

The Lychgate of St Andrew’s Church, Maghull

The present main war memorial is in reality also the lychgate (I appreciate that there are differing ways of spelling this) to St. Andrew’s Church.

John’s idea sounds like a good one to me although there will be two significant problems to overcome i.e. raising sufficient funds (that could be many thousands of Pounds) and finding a suitable space where it can be erected bearing in mind it would become the place to hold Remembrance Day events in Maghull.

A quick glance at the internet threw up this Heritage Lottery Fund advice/guidance:-

www.hlf.org.uk/about-us/news-features/funding-historic-war-memorials-funding-and-protection

It will be interesting to see how this project develops but with a fair wind you never know.

But for what it is worth my personal view (as an outsider now living in Lydiate) is that the best war memorial I have seen is the very modern one in Lostock Hall, Preston but it may not be to everyone’s taste of course:-

1914-1918

The inside curve of this war memorial carries the names of all the locals who died in the 1st World War from the Lostock Hall area.

The inside curve of this war memorial carries the names of all the locals who died in the 1st World War from the Lostock Hall area.

A close 2nd for me and more local war memorial is in Burscough. It was also recently erected, in this case in remembrance of those who fought from the Royal Naval Air Station of HMS Ringtail. It is right outside the new Booths Supermarket.

Royal naval memorial to those who served at HMS Ringtail, Burscough during WWII

Royal naval memorial to those who served at HMS Ringtail, Burscough during WWII

HMS Ringtail – Burscough

Royal naval memorial to those who served at HMS Ringtail, Burscough during WWII

This memorial is to Royal Naval Personnel who served at HMS Ringtail, Royal Naval Air Service, Burscough September 1943 to June 1946. HMS Ringtail was for radar training and as a base for squadrons disembarking or working up for shipboard operations during World War 2. Burscough, West Lancashire, UK.

www.lancashireatwar.co.uk/hms-ringtail/4586007873

I have always been vaguely aware that Burscough once had a significant airfield but it was only recently that I started to wonder about it.

This scan of a 1958 based Ordnance Survey map shows the airfield's location.

This scan of a 1958 based Ordnance Survey map shows the airfield’s location.

My first visit to the former airfield was to a Merseyside Transport Trust building on the site in 2015 to have a look at progress on rebuilding a former Merseyrail 502 EMU. Here’s a couple of links to the postings I did about that visit:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/07/13/merseyside-transport-trusts-burcough-open-day/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/07/19/friends-of-the-502-group/

My next reason to visit the former airfield was to take a look at the new Booths Supermarket which opened not so long ago and which occupies part of the site. Interestingly, it is also designed to look somewhat like an aircraft hanger.

IMG_7253

However, my attention was drawn to the memorial at the side of Booths to the servicemen and women who served at this Royal Naval Station, for it was not an RAF Station. The stone plinth with plaque sits opposite to a statue of an airman.

IMG_7251

The link under the 1st/headline above photo takes you to a ‘Lancashire at War’ web page which details the history of this fascinating Royal Navy Station. This lead photo was a very fortuitous one that I took as Burscough was having a wonderful sunset on 20th January 2016 which was reflecting in the windows of the new Supermarket. Another shot looking straight at the sunset with the Royal Naval airman statue in shot as well is below.

HMS Rigtal memorial set against sunset

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

The 1st and 4th photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-

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