Having a friend who is blind and has the use of a guide dog makes me acutely aware of how those of us who drive vehicles make the lives of those with disabilities, the elderly and indeed Joe and Jane Pedestrian difficult and at times dangerous.
I took the two photos above on 16th October around 1.45pm because I just could not believe what I was seeing as I tried to navigate the section of pavement in front of these shops. One vehicle actually pulled onto and over the pavement right in front of me to access the private land which is actually the majority of what looks like pavement.
And thereby hangs the problem. The pavement is probably about 3ft wide from the kerb line, the rest of the hard standing is private land belonging to whomever owns the shops. Vehicles want to park on that private land as it’s free to do so and parking is very limited in the immediate area. To get to it they have to cross the pavement and with successive road resurfacings making the kerb level quite low it means that in reality vehicles bounce across the pavement wherever they can/want. In turn this makes a pedestrian’s life quite exciting and akin to running a gauntlet, at least it is for the abled bodied who can do that. The elderly, people with disabilities and the blind just have to hope they won’t be knocked over!
But in fact things are even worse than that because the pavement part is often parked upon too so there’s no clear footway at all as you can clearly see from one of the shots where there’s a parked car all but abandoned at an angle over it. A few days prior to taking these photos I had reason to walk in front of the same shops and I found a van parked pretty much the same way as the abandoned car. On that occasion there were a couple of blokes unloading the van and I decided to tackle them. That may not have been a wise thing to do but I stayed calm and simply said they should move their van because it was making the pavement dangerous particularly for people with disabilities. Half expecting some abuse in return they just looked at me and said nothing. However, when I went past again in the other direction a little later the same van was sensibly parked against the kerb. It seems they got what I was saying.
The black bollards you can see in one photo had to be put there to try to stop vehicles using the dropped kerb of the Pelican Crossing to access the private land about a dozen years ago so the problem is far from being a new one. However, it has got so much worse in recent times and I fear that there’s an accident just waiting to happen.
I’ve asked Sefton Council Highways to have another look at this area to see what can be done to make things safer.
I’ve blogged about the The Dell and the trees growing in it previously but the issue came back to mind today following a significant bow of one of the trees breaking off and blocking Liverpool Road North. This very situation (a tree falling) has been what a local resident has been asking Sefton Council to deal with back at least as far as February of this year as my last posting on the subject makes reference to – see link below:-
The photo at the head of this posting shows the scene earlier today as the tree surgeons were dealing with the consequences of the large bow breaking off. I had a brief chat with one of the workmen and if I understood him correctly he seemed to think more of the trees needed to be checked out. Let’s hope the joint land owners NHS & Sefton Council do get an inspection done.
I love trees but they do need to maintained. The Dell is a lovely green oasis at the heart of Maghull’s shopping area.
Liverpool Road North shops in 2015
It’s normally very hard to access the shops on Liverpool Road North Maghull by car as the few parking spaces there are will usually occupied most of the time. C19 changed all that as the businesses closed and there were no cars wanting to park apart from those belonging to a few very local residents.
And then yesterday I went to deliver food to our isolating daughter and found pretty much the last parking space; the world has moved on or is that moved out very fast indeed!
Oddly though it seemed only 3 or 4 of the shops were actually open yet the cars and vans were back in numbers; a couple of days ago the only vehicles would have been those travelling through this small shopping area on their way to elsewhere.
I’m still of the view that it was just a little previous (maybe a couple of weeks previous) of government to ditch the ‘Stay at home’ message in favour of ‘Stay Alert’ as it may, on the limited evidence of Liverpool Road North yesterday, have sent the message ‘Go out’ even if that was not what was intended.
I’m guessing that similar scenes will have been replicated across England although probably not in Scotland or Wales?
And here’s an historic shot of the same shopping area in much quieter times, all the time:-
NHS, Maghull in Bloom and project partners meet at The Dell – 31st Jan 2014
I’ve blogged about this prominent piece of land at the heart of Maghull a couple of times before in 2011 and 2014 – here are links to those postings:-
What I did not do was to follow up on the last posting but contact from a Lydiate resident recently has reminded me to do so. The resident was talking to me as they are of the view that some of the tree branches overhanging Liverpool Road North may well be a danger to pedestrians and vehicles on the highway. In short Sefton Council has been informed and they have undertaken, I understand, to sort things out whilst holding the line that the land on which the trees are growing does not belong to the Council. On that basis the trees must be growing on the part of the site owned by the NHS.
Hare and Hounds in background
Readers who have read my links above will note that I make reference in those previous postings to The Dell belonging to the NHS. But that is only partly the case, indeed my present understanding is that a small part of The Dell actually belongs to Sefton Council. That part is a narrow strip along the Liverpool Road North boundary (possibly just the stone wall?) and a small section of the site around the Liverpool Road North/Westway corner. Interestingly, the Council also owns the grassed areas fronting the Health Center site on Westway. I say all this as I’ve seen copies of the Land Registry documents detailing it.
Going back to the attempt by Maghull in Bloom to take over the management of the land in 2014, one of the issues which caused the volunteers to call a halt to the project was the split ownership. As their volunteers were relying on a successful Lottery bid to fund the proposed works the project went no further as the Lottery would, I understand, be reluctant about investing in a site with split ownership.
Previous tree works being carried out in 2013
I wonder if there will be a 3rd attempt to get this green lung at the heart of Maghull managed in the long term?
The derelict Old Forge as it was in 2002
I’ve blogged about the Old Forge in Liverpool Road North a number times and as a consequence of those blogs another photo of it has come to light via Joan Neville a committee member of Skem Heritage and here it is:-
Turns out that Joan was helping a friend sort out some photos and it popped up. The source of the photo is not known I understand but some Googling by Joan led her to my blog postings and my being sent the photo with permission to share it.
Here are a couple of my previous blog postings about the the Old Forge.
I’m guessing that the gents in the photo are the owners-Barnes family/workers at The Old Forge but please readers fill in any details that you can. I’ll also post the photo on Maghull & Lydiate in Old Photos Facebook Group.
My thanks to Joan for sharing this smashing old photo.
Click on the photo to enlarge it
Byant House, at the junction of Shop Lane and Liverpool Road North, used to be leased to Sefton Council who had an outpost of its Social Services Dept. in there and some other municipal functions. However, the Council moved out some years ago. Since then it’s really not had any occupancy at all although it has been touted for use as a children’s nursery and even a Wetherspoons Pub. The latter caused a real stir in the nearby community back in 2011 but of course, it never came to fruition.
The photo above was taken a few days ago and the building has looked like this for quite a while now with little if any sign of it being occupied – so what’s the back story? Answers on a postcard………..
Oh and by the way, when I came to live in Maghull back in 1968 this site was derelict and the ruins of the former Wadworths Butchers’ Shop were still clear to see. John Rowlands in his 1986 book Lydiate & Maghull in Times Past says of this site – ‘In about 1890 William Wadsworth moved from Northampton to take over the butcher’s business’ – ‘The building at the back was the slaughterhouse. Mr Wadsworth owned the field on the left of Shop Lane to graze sheep and cattle. The open area at the front faced the largest of the Maghull [canal] wharves know as Wadsworth’s Wharf’ – ‘Following her husband’s death in 1925 Mrs Wadsworth sold the business to Ernie Cobham’. I’m not sure when the butcher’s business closed down.
What goes around comes around with the site seemingly having no purpose again – unless you know better that is………….