Lydiate – Reclaying a canal aqueduct

A few days ago a Canal and River Trust dumb barge with an excavator on it was being pushed northwards through Lydiate and it passed the end of our Lydiate garden.

A brief chat with the chap in charge of the movement led me to understand that work was going to commence just north of Jackson’s Bridge (where Hall Lane/Pygons Hill Lane cross over the LLC) on reclaying the canal over the small aqueduct that takes the Leeds Liverpool Canal over what I think is still called Sudell Brook at that point.

The brook is also the Lydiate/Merseyside boundary with Downholland/West Lancashire and I’m guessing that the canal has been leaking into the brook below it hence the need to reclay the canal. The photo below shows the dumb barge with the excavator in it on Saturday 14th April over the position of the small aqueduct.

Lydiate – More work on that Neighbourhood Plan

Yes I know it seems to go on forever, putting one together for Lydiate Civil Parish that is. And yes I’m still a skeptic of them, seeing NP’s as of little or marginal benefit only, at best.

But whatever I’m doing my bit to help put together the Lydiate one.

Our last Neighbourhood Plan meeting went into all kinds of detail but two particular areas really interested me, the lack of a cycle path on the A59/Northway through Lydiate and the poor state of the canal tow path through Lydiate.

What have these issues got to do with a Neighbourhood Plan you might ask. Well the connection is that when house building does takes place in Lydiate developers have to provide money to support local infrastructure. Presently that’s via a process known as Section 106 agreements. They may be morphing into CIL – Community Infrastructure Levy – but Sefton Council can’t seemingly make up its mind whether to make the change or not. But whichever process is used it means that the Parish Council can try to direct how up to 25% of that money is spent.

The two major areas that we have identified, via our NP process, are upgrading the tow path of the Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path through Lydiate and addressing the lack of a cycle lane alongside the A59/Northway through Lydiate.

The following 2 photos from 2014 show the canal tow path as little more than a rut in the grass alongside the canal:-

Looking north from Pilling Lane bridge along the canal

Looking south from Pilling Lane bridge along the canal.

It’s still the same now and we want it upgraded so that cyclists and pedestrians can make greater use of it. A wider hard wearing surface is required.

With regard to the cycle path along the A59/Northway, it comes to an abrupt halt at Robin’s Island. North of here there are cycle paths on either side of the dual carriageway through Aughton Civil Parish. We would like to see a safe cycle path/route coming into Lydiate. Here’s a photo of the end of the cycle path as you reach Robins Island from Aughton direction:-

A59 Cycle path becomes narrow pavement at Robins Island.

So there are a couple of our stated ambitions in the draft NP for Lydiate. Lydiate folk will get to vote on the plan, via local referendum, before it is finalised I might add.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Lydiate – Canal safety barrier comes crashing down at Rimmer’s Swing Bridge.

Above is the Green’s Lane swing bridge in the open position for a narrow boat. Green’s Lane becomes Eagar Lane in Lydiate.

The second photo shows one of the barriers snapped off and on the ground awaiting repair. The damage was caused by the very high winds associated with the ‘Beast from the East’ storm.

From talking to the Canal and Rivers Trust staff attending the broken barrier it was not the only location where such barriers were snapped off by the high winds. I guess they are a bit like a sail when in their open position. A new barrier will have to be ordered and fitted in due course.

And for the picky amongst you:-), yes I do realise that this bridge (Rimmer’s Bridge) is just outside the Lydiate Parish boundary in Downholland.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Scrambler bikes – The menace that is never far away

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/man-arrested-after-pedestrian-hit-14063772

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

And here we see the sad consequences of irresponsible scrambler bike riding.

It’s far from being a new problem though, indeed it goes back 25 years or more at least. In my years as a councillor one consistent complaint that has come my way, especially in the summer months, has been the menace of scrambler bikes on the Cheshire Line Path/Trans Pennine Trail, on The Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path and on Jubilee Woods between Maghull and Sefton Village.

But now they are all over our roads and one was even driven through Bootle Strand Shopping Centre not so long ago!

In my experience the Police are quick to react to information about where the bikes are being stored because seizing them at such places is far safer than trying to catch them when they are being driven at speed.

I recall one occasion when a sharp eyed resident spotted a van that regularly parked up near the River Alt on Bridges Lane and from which scrambler bikes were unloaded. The boy and girls in blue dealt with that one.

My advice is always tell the police when you see a scrambler bike being driven erratically as it helps them put together a picture of where they appearing. Even better if you know of where any of them are being stored, please ring Crime Stoppers.

It’s so sad that an innocent pedestrian has been run down by an irresponsible scrambler bike driver.

Lydiate – Accessing (or not) the Leeds Liverpool Canal from Southport Rd/Lollies Bridge

Steps could be erected here but cost and land ownership issues will be factors.

It was recently suggested to me that there should be pedestrian access/steps down from Lollies Bridge on Southport Road to the Leeds Liverpool Canal tow path.

Presently the only access to the canal is on the opposite side to the tow path along a footpath that enables you to join the tow path at Lydiate Hill bridge (otherwise known as Billy’s Bridge), the next bridge north of Lollies Bridge.

The photo above is taken from the footpath which runs along the opposite bank to the tow path looking south towards Lollies Bridge and Southport Road. The problem being that to walk northwards along the canal is quite easy as you join the tow path at Lydiate Hill Bridge. However, if you want to walk southwards (towards Maghull) along the canal from Lollies Bridge you first have to walk north, along the parallel footpath, to Lydiate Hill Bridge then back again along the tow path. The only alternative is to join the tow path at Pilling Lane bridge which is the next bridge/access south of Lollies Bridge.

I raised this issue not so long ago at a Sefton Rights of Way Liaison Group meeting and was advised to contact a specific Sefton Council officer who holds regular meetings with the Canal & River Trust. This I have done with the help of the Clerk to Lydiate Parish Council. What will happen from here is presently unknown. Whether it is possible to build steps at Lollies Bridge I do not know. Clearly, land ownership and the cost of such works will be significant factors but the pebble has been thrown into the Canal & River Trust’s pond (or is that canal?) and we will see if progress is possible in due course.

Lydiate – Its Listed Buildings

I recently came across a list provided by Lydiate Parish Council detailing the Listed Buildings within the Civil Parish and thought it worthy of sharing.

All the listings are grade II with the last two below being grade II*. The date after the grading is when the building was actually listed. I’ve added photos where I have them in my collection.

Barn to Lydiate House Pilling Lane II 17-01-1986 Barn and former stable – lintel inscribed 1611

Carriage House at Lydiate House Pilling Lane II 17-01-1986 Carriage house – probably early 18th century

Church House Southport Road II 11-10-1968 Farmhouse – 17th century

Church of Our Lady Southport Road II 17-01-1986 Catholic church – 1854/5

Church of St Thomas Church Lane II 11-10-1968 Church – 1839/41

St. Thomas Church

Church View Cottages Southport Road II 11-10-1968 Two houses – 17th century

Cross (approx 10m north of Church of Our Lady) Southport Road II 11-10-1968 Cross – upper part medieval, lower part a 19th century restoration

Lydiate Bridge Pilling Lane II 17-01-1986 Bridge over canal – c.1770

Looking through Pilling Lane canal bridge at boats moored outside Mersey Motor Boat Club.

Lydiate Hill Bridge Approx 40m from Southport Road II 17-01-1986 Bridge over canal – c.1770

Lydiate Hill (also known as Billy’s Bridge) Bridge over the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

Meadow View Farmhouse Pilling Lane II 17-01-1986 Farmhouse – datestone inscribed 1753

Remains of Lydiate Hall Southport Road II 11-10-1968 Remains of Hall – 15th & 16th century, with 19th century additions

Rose Hill Pygon’s Hill Lane II 17-01-1986 House – 18th century

Scotch Piper Public House Southport Road II* 11-10-1968 Public house – said to date from 1320 but probably 16th century

The Scotch Piper. Recently re-thatched after a serious fire.

St Katherine’s Chapel (Lydiate Abbey) Southport Road II* 11-10-1968 Ruined chapel – late 15th or early 16th century

St Catherine’s also known as Lydiate Abbey

I hope this posting helps fill in some gaps about Lydiate’s history, I know it has filled in some of my own.