And there was my old school – Maghull’s Woodend Primary

The Liverpool Echo has an article on its website, which prompted this posting as Woodend is not amongst the schools listed – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/nostalgia/72-closed-demolished-schools-arent-17782814

The photo above was taken in April 2018 and shows the former Woodend Primary School on the right. It was, on closure, merged into Maghull High School, as it shared the same grounds, and became its 6th Form Block.

I only did my final 2 terms of primary school there when we moved into Maghull in December 1968 yet I have happy memories of that short time – Mr Hadaway the Head teacher and Mrs Hughes my form teacher. I then, almost literally, walked across the playing field into Ormonde Drive Secondary Modern School in September 1969. Woodend School opened in 1968 just months prior to my going to it

My other memories of Woodend are sad though as I was involved in helping my good friend Andrew Blackburn in a campaign to try to save it from closure. Another of the campaigners, Pam Edwards, was given the Maghull Civic Award in 2001 (see photo above) for her efforts in setting up a nursery there. Sadly the number of children attending the school was falling in the late 1990’s and Sefton Council’s Education Department had their eye on it for closure.

A significant campaign was put together by people such as Andrew and Pam to try to keep the school going. Leaflets were printed advertising the school which were distributed by the campaigners across Maghull and parts of Aintree but we just could not drum up the numbers needed to save the school. As the end came nearer children moved to other schools locally and closure became an inevitability.

What was so sad about the closure was that the school was a good one, with a great Head (Alex Blythin) and a team of very dedicated staff & teachers. It’s big disadvantage though was that it was all but hidden behind housing in Ormonde Drive and Liverpool Road South so if you were not aware of it you’d hardly be likely to stumble across it.

That it continued to have an educational use was a bit of a blessing but I’m sure there must be many Maghull residents who remember it fondly and regret its demise.

Maghull Town Council recognised the contribution the School had made to the Town when they had this photo taken and distributed to each person in it. It was taken in early 2002, the School closed in July 2002:-(

Please click on the photos to enlarge them

Northern Powerhouse Rail and thoughts about the future of northern towns

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/manchester-26-minutes-london-90-17781826

That we northerners are pretty much all sceptics about investment in the north is probably a given, after all we’ve seen precious little of it for generations and through many governments. So it’s really no surprise when you hear Northern Poorhouse as opposed to the ‘correct’ Powerhouse; folks just don’t trust governments to deliver sustained investment in the north other than a light sprinkling of cash every now and then. Trouble is when government does send sixpence up the M6 some northern political leader gets far too over excited about it and says all kinds of daft over the top things which end up all but justifying the crumbs off the south eastern table of plenty.

Now don’t get me wrong I really do want to see significant sustained investment in the north, although I do fear that concentrating in and on the major cities is a big mistake as towns around the north suffer the greatest problems. The real danger of the present ‘City Region’ concept is that it will suck life out of towns surrounding major cities and concentrate it in major cities and I fear that this is process is already happening ‘up north’. Stripping civil service jobs out of Bootle and putting them in central Liverpool comes to mind.

The reality could end up being a Northern Powerhouse for the cities and Northern Poorhouse for the towns!

Note – The photo at the head of this posting is of a Northern Franchise Class 150 DMU carrying livery in support of Northern Powerhouse Rail. It was seen at Chester Station.

Sefton Borough of Culture Light Show – But not in the East Parishes

St. Helen’s Church, Sefton Village, where the Borough gets its name from.

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/unique-light-extravaganza-illuminate-sefton-17721699

This sounds great but as a resident of one of Sefton’s East Parishes (Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree Village, Sefton & Lunt Villages & Melling) I had to have a sigh as unsurprisingly, at least from my perspective, there’s no light show planned for our part of the Borough.

It takes me back to my time as a Sefton Borough Councillor when I always felt I had to fight to gain recognition for my part of Sefton as you could almost guarantee that whatever was being planned it would only encompass the coastal communities of the Borough.

And it’s not as if the most historic building in the Borough, from which Sefton gains its name, is in the Borough’s coastal communities – It’s Sefton Church in Sefton Village and what a back drop to a light show that would make.

Sefton Council’s BIG earners

Bootle Town Hall

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/six-members-staff-one-cash-17703787

How ever you look at it this situation is one where it’s an every which way but lose scenario for cash strapped Sefton Council and it’s Labour rulers.

Joe and Jane public will be horrified, especially as their ever increasing council tax bills will be landing on Sefton doorsteps very soon.

Cllr Leo Evans (Lib Dem) says that only his group of councillors voted against this at the last full council meeting.

Who’s got the Momentum within the Labour Party?

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/anger-momentum-accused-ignoring-locals-17700135

Well that was an odd read in a number of ways. Firstly, why should anyone be surprised that a political organistion is seeking to influence things within the Party whose Leader that very organistion was created to back up? Secondly, is this not yet just another example of Labour’s internal difficulties with its warring factions trying to gain the ascendancy? Thirdly, this is politics in Liverpool, it’s always been ‘lively’ to be polite about it so let’s not be so shocked that Liverpool’s Momentum faction is at odds with their London comrades.

Let’s be honest if Liverpool Labour were not kicking lumps out of each other we would think there was something wrong!:-)

Liverpool Echo story says what many of us have been saying for years about air pollution

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/nearly-300-deaths-just-one-17614406

But how long do we have to keep saying it before the powers that be, nationally and locally, actually take useful and positive action to stop us all being poisoned?