Coming from a coal mining family (both by grandads were miners and two of uncles as well) I’ve long taken an interest in it and not so long ago I picked up a fascinating Knowsley Council information sheet (in Kirkby Gallery) about mining in the Prescot area.
It seems that mining in the area commenced as early as 1510 but the first solid evidence comes from a court roll in 1552.
Prescot was above some very rich coal seams that were near the surface so easy to access. Seemingly a new shaft was sunk each year but each one had to be abandoned after it became flooded and this meant mining in winter was not really a possibility. This problem was not of course unique to the Prescot area and it was the invention of the steam pump which made year round coal mining possible. Whiston Mine had one of the first such pumps from 1719.
The coal dug was going to the nearby port of Liverpool but when the Sankey Canal was opened in 1757 everything changed as collieries further away from the port could now more easily get their coal to Liverpool. This led over time to the demise of pits at Prescot Manor (mid 1800’s), Whiston (1897) & Halsnead (1900). Interestingly Halsnead was effectively reopened during the First World War but under the name of Cronton Colliery – it was finally closed by the National Coal Board in 1984.
The scans of the information sheet which forms the basis of this posting are at the head of and below:-
Click on the scanned document to enlarge for reading
Michael Portillo with Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French as seen on BBC TV’s Great Railway Journeys.
Yesterday saw our trustees meet up at our Frank Hornby Experience exhibition space within Maghull’s Meadow’s Leisure Center for a day of work on our exhibits.*
We had a lot to do to sort through recent donations and start a cataloguing process for the charitable trust. We were also installing new exhibits, erecting some really nice new graphics and generally tidying things up.
It was great that Ray Clarkson came over from Bolton and Jim Gamble from Nottingham to assist us.
Last Monday we picked up all the items we had loaned to Knowsley Council for their Made on Merseyside exhibition at Kirkby Gallery, which we understand was a great success. The graphics we were erecting yesterday had been donated by Kirkby Gallery and had been created specifically for their exhibition. The Frank Hornby Trustees are very grateful to Kirkby Gallery for the donation of them at the end of their exhibition. This is how they look in Meadows Leisure Center:-
A few months ago, we were approached by Mark Ravenscroft whose Dad John had been a technical drawing expert at Hornby’s Binns Road factory in Liverpool. Mark donated to us a rather nice drawing his Dad had done in 1969 of a Range Rover car as part of the production process for a then new Dinky Toy’s new model of it. We’ve now had the drawing framed and mounted on the wall, together with a Dinky model of the car, within our exhibition area. Here’s a shot of it:-
As with any exhibition things are always changing due to new donations of Meccano, Dinky Toys and Hornby Railway items made to our Trust by local people and those further afield.
The exhibition is open for the same hours as those of Maghull Library.
* Frank Hornby lived most of his adult life in Maghull at two houses – The Hollies in Station Road and Quarry Brook in Hall Lane which is now the 6th Form building for Maricourt RC High School. Frank is buried in the graveyard of St. Andrew’s Church.
This fascinating exhibition opens at Kirkby Gallery on Monday 23rd September and runs until 16th November. I blogged about it back in August and here’s a link to that posting:-
As I mentioned in my original piece the Frank Hornby Heritage Center, which is based within Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre, has loaned some items to the Hornby/Meccano part of the Made on Merseyside Exhibition. Indeed, this is the first time we have loaned out items to another exhibition.
The preview opening was yesterday evening and I went along to have a look taking my Merseyside Maritime Museum Assistant Curator daughter with me. We were genuinely impressed with what had been done with the Hornby/Meccano items loaned to Knowsley Council and of the wider exhibition which covers a number of historic and more modern day companies operating in Knowsley Borough and across Merseyside. Here’s a few photos of some of the other displays:-
These photos cover less than half of what’s included in the exhibition I might add.
One of its the aims is to teach local school children about the things that were once made locally and in some cases still are so bookings are available for school visits. All in all a great piece of work by Tina Ball of Knowsley Council and her volunteers.
And to close this posting another Binns Road, Liverpool Meccano factory product photo:-
Yes, it really is my old Meccano set which I donated to the Frank Hornby Trust a few years back. To find it on display at a public exhibition was a strange feeling when all I wanted to do was get into the case and start making something.
If you can get along to this great local exhibition to learn more about what was ‘Made on Merseyside’ then I hope that, like me, you’ll think it was time well spent.
Please click on the photos to enlarge them
I’m always happy to promote local history events and this looks to be one to check out between the 23rd September and 16th November:-
Poster for Made on Merseyside Exhibition at Kirkby Gallery
Click on the poster to be able to read the text on it.
And here’s a map showing how to access Kirkby Gallery:-
The Frank Hornby Heritage Center, based in Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Center, is pleased to be lending some items to Kirkby Gallery as one part of this exhibition will cover the Binns Road Meccano Factory in Liverpool and its products.
Ever heard of Kirkby Gallery in Knowsley Borough? Well it’s a great exhibition space presently housing an art display – Northern Stone and Peat Smoke by Anthony Ratcliffe. Here’s a couple of photos I took whilst visiting it recently:-
And in case you’re wondering where it is in Kirkby here’s a map:-
I went to the gallery with fellow Frank Hornby Trust trustee Les French as our Frank Hornby Heritage Center exhibition, within Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Center, is likely to be loaning some items to Kirkby Gallery for their up and coming exhibition ‘Made on Merseyside’ which opens in September. I’ll expand more on that exhibition soon…….
Here’s a link to the Gallery and it’s present exhibition ‘Northern Stone and Peat Smoke’:-
I like that this great exhibition space does so much work with school children from Knowsley and beyond.