‘Melling through the Ages’ book review

I was delighted to see that Melling resident Carol Fitzgerald has written a comprehensive book on the history of Melling so purchased a copy direct from her. I was not to be disappointed, this book is an excellent read.

My connections with Melling are that I have lived in neighbouring Maghull and now Lydiate for 52 years, I represented Melling Civil Parish as a Sefton Borough Councillor from 1999 to 2011, my Dad was once given a cabbage (I kid you not) for playing the organ at the church of St. Thomas’ on Melling Rock by local farmer Mrs Roby and I regularly cycle the country lanes through the rural parts of it.

My first thoughts on starting to read the book were – it does not have an ISBN number or a date of publication. I’d not seen that before with such a significant publication but then it dawned on me that it’s a self-publication*. I think it was published in 2020 but stand to be corrected.

What I like about reading through a local history book is that you get to know the meaning of words you know well but have never actually known the meaning of. A case in point is ‘Cunscough’ as in Cunscough Lane, Melling. I now know it comes from Old Norse and means ‘Kings Wood’. And what about the ‘Woodend’ area of Maghull? Well it seems that it was quite literally the end of a forest that stretched from Waddicar to Wood End Maghull as detailed in the Doomsday Book.

Considering the modern-day flooding issues which the East Parishes area of Sefton Borough suffers from the historic references to the draining of the waters of Hengarther Lake and the ditches dug to drain the area into what was then the tidal River Alt (at the direction of the monks of Cockersands) some 800 years ago are interesting. Clearly, the rich arable farmland for which our parts of both Sefton and West Lancashire are famous hark back to such works but it also shows how such interventions (and the more modern works) have not really solved the flooding which was once a natural occurrence.

Melling Rock is the highest natural point in Sefton Borough and that fits uncomfortably well with the previous references to flooding.

There’s an interesting reference to the Tatlock Charity dating back many years to a John Tatlock born in 1653 and which still pays out today. Then there’s the Formby charitable work associated with the Industrial Revolution and the destitution it caused in Melling leading to Poor Relief administered by the Church. The Rev. Miles Formby being the Vicar 1829-1849.

Melling Tithebarn known these days for being a social, artistic and meeting venue was originally built to house the ‘tithe’ which was due to the Rector of Halsall who also collected such tithes from Lydiate, Halsall, Downholland etc.

There’s quite a bit about the development of farming across Melling and a connected modern day project to find evidence for occupation of a possible medieval moated site on the land around Wood Hall Farm which dates from around 1642. I recall having the opportunity to visit that farm, run by Christine and Henry Glover, during my time as a Sefton Cllr for Melling. Great buildings and lovely folk I might add.

I could go on but I hope you get my drift; this is a very significant piece of historical work which covers all aspects of Melling over hundreds of years. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in this historic community.

If you want to obtain a copy (£10) you can e-mail Carol Fitxgerald – cf83230@gmail.com

*Note: This is a self-published book which is printed in batches of 20’s or more, so Carol asks people to pre pay.

Bootle & Litherland in times past

I came across this youtube video of old photographs of Bootle & Litherland recently and thought it was worth sharing:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmvoYiILFQc

I spent my whole working life in Bootle so got to know parts of it well indeed. Here are a few of my own more recent photos of the area:-

Bootle’s North Park

Bootle Village Gateway

Bootle Golf Course at dawn

Balliol Road buildings

Bootle Townscape

Liverpool – Southport Merseyrail line in the snow just north of Bootle New Strand Station

St Monica’s Bootle

Wallart in former railway tunnell

Leeds Liverpool Canal in Bootle

Johnsons the Cleaners factory

Great Altcar – Old Gore Farm House

Literally a few yards outside of Lydiate, at the bottom of Bells Lane where the road takes a sharp right hand turn and becomes Altcar Lane in Great Altcar Civil Parish stands this house. The datestone goes back to 1596 and looks like this:-

The building has always interested me because of the date stone, so I’ve tried to find out a bit about it. Here are a couple of links that offer more information:-

historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1073148

www.hslc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/58-7-Rylands-and-Price.pdf

You’ll need to scroll through a couple of pages of the 2nd link to find the relevant part.

A bit of history right on Lydiate’s doorstep and I’m guessing that as the name mentioned is Gore that there’s likely to be a family link to the Gore’s Charity which is for the benefit of Lydiate and still gives out grants even to this day. If I have made a wrong connection here please let me know and I will correct things.

Click on the lead photo (which is also on my Flickr Page at www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/) to enlarge it.

A new Maghull memories web site & don’t forget Lydiate too

I GREW UP IN MAGHULL (so did I – lived in Maghull from 1968 to 2011)

www.igrewupinmaghull.com/

The editor of this new site asked me to put a link from my web site to theirs and I am happy to have done that.

Local history is fascinating so take a look if you have ever lived in Maghull and consider yourself a Maghullian.

And don’t forget there are a couple of other Maghull and Lydiate based sites that I am aware of which may be of interest:-

LYDIATE WORLD

www.lydiateworld.com/news.htm

MAGHULL SCENE

www.philcdav.webspace.virginmedia.com/local.htm