Lydiate/Maghull – Their former Cheshire Lines railway stations

A close up of Lydiate Signal Box

I have blogged about the isolated former Lydiate railway station before but to recap it was not even in Lydiate Civil Parish but just over the border in Altcar Civil Parish off Carr Lane*. It closed on 7th January 1952 and all trace of it has effectively gone. Interestingly though Lydiate does have a Station Road which joins Southport Road adjacent to the Scotch Piper Pub and does eventually lead to the former station.

Lydiate Station sat on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway and the tracks were lifted after June 1960. The station site is still accessible though as it is on the Trans Pennine Trail/Cheshire Lines Path and the station site is one of the access/parking points on the footpath/cycle path. Here are a couple of signs that have been placed on the station site:-

I bet there are folks still around who can recall getting the train from Lydiate Station to Southport or indeed Liverpool. Indeed, when I moved into Sefton Lane, Maghull in 1968 an elderly couple next door would tell me of their travelling by train from the former Sefton and Maghull Station on the same line. That station has also gone now although the platforms were still there in 1968 – it’s all now part of Sefton Lane Industrial Estate. Then around 1970 I met a chap called Jack Petty who taught at Ormonde Drive Secondary Modern School (now Maghull High); he was my form teacher. He told stories of using the railway after the war to get from his Southport home to work in Maghull and how he was often the only person on the train and the station staff at Sefton & Maghull made him a brew each morning when he got off the train.

Memories…….

*Altcar Civil Parish was split as a consequence of local government reorganisation in 1974 and the part in West Lancashire is now called Great Altcar Civil Parish – The part in Sefton Borough is called Little Altcar Civil Parish and its the most southernmost part of what most folks will think of as Formby.

Lydiate – Play Equipment at Ridgeway Park

My previous posting from July ’17 gives the background to this issue and is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/07/30/lydiate-asb-and-play-equipment-at-ridgeway-park/

At our Lydiate Parish Council meeting held on 26th September we decided to remove the top section, top floor, tube slide and carry out other alterations to this piece of play equipment whilst installing a new open stainless steel slide.

It’s rather sad to have to do this but anti-social behaviour and vandalism has bedeviled this particular piece of play equipment meaning that it will be less adventurous, when the work is completed, for the youngsters it was aimed at as originally constructed.

Lydiate – Will a volunteer ‘In Bloom’ type group take off?

Well I would like to think so as it could build on the work of Lydiate Parish Council which created the lovely garden area at Southport Road/Nedens Lane and the grassed/planted area outside St. Gregs Church on Liverpool Road. My previous blog posting about the gardens at Nedens Lane refers at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/02/10/lydiate-a-lovely-oasis-amongst-its-urban-surroundings/

And here’s a shot of the flower beds outside St. Gregs Church:-

Of course Lydiate Parish Council also used to provide beautiful hanging baskets along Southport Road and outside the Coronation Road shops but it stopped them a couple of years ago due to the cost implications. If a way could be found to reinstate them that would be a great.

And now a bit of history. Maghull in Bloom and its award winning volunteer groups used to be called Maghull & Lydiate in Bloom but became Maghull in Bloom due to the vast majority of its volunteers coming from Maghull. That volunteer group together with Maghull Maghull Station Volunteers has been going for 10 years now.

Sheila and I whilst living in Lydiate these days have been volunteering for Maghull in Bloom for two or three years now and we maintain the Lydiate/Maghull boundary planter on Southport Road outside Astor Court flats.

Helen Jones is trying to pull together a Lydiate volunteer group and she can be reached via this e-mail address:-

lydiateinflower@outlook.com

If you want to get involved please get in touch, Sheila and I have found working with Maghull in Bloom a real treat as you get to meet locals who also care for the local environment and make new friends too.

Lydiate – The condition of Southport Road surface

The part of Southport Road in Lydiate from the junctions of Hickson Avenue to Highbanks is made up of concrete sections and just past Hickson Avenue and opposite Astor Court (more or less on the Maghull/Lydiate boundary) is a part of it that has been dug up a few times.

This digging of trenches, for utility works etc. over the years has ended up with the surface being uneven. What’s more concrete is not flexible like tarmac so when the filled in trenches settle and sink down the edges of the concrete do not ‘bend’. In turn this creates a lot of noise and vibrations for folks living close to these repaired sections.

Unsurprisingly the noise and vibrations have got too much for some residents and an approach was made to Lydiate Parish Councillor Edie Pope to see if she could assist. Edie had a site meeting and met with Sefton Council Highways to see what could be done.

After some consideration Sefton Council sent out a contractor to start to put matters right. Here’s a shot of them working on the road only a few days ago:-

Some work was clearly done but it was stopped; I understand this was because of the cost of it. Edie and indeed I thought that the solution would be to find a suitable way of filling in the ‘dropped’ trenches but it seems that either Sefton or their highway contractors thought the best way of doing it would be to to take out more of the concrete before filling it in.

So a small area has been completed but far more needs to be done. We hope that Sefton Council is simply trying to find a more cost effective way of finishing the job as opposed to just not doing any further work. Watch this space as Edie tries to get things moving again.

Lydiate – ASB and Play equipment at Ridgeway Park

Anti-social behaviour is nothing new in parks and gardens and in my experience it sporadically pops up in some play areas and then stops as it pops up elsewhere.

In my 30+ years as a councillor there’s not much I have not seen related to ASB in parks and gardens.

Lydiate’s Ridgeway Park (often called Coronation Park) presently has some issues which involve older youths abusing the play equipment intended for much younger children. The law of unintended consequences seems to come into play (no pun intended) here in that the item of play equipment concerned was meant to be a big improvement on what was there before it and indeed it is. Trouble is the play item has provided a place for inappropriate activities to take place which damages the play area and can also upset the surrounding neighbouring property owners.

At July’s Lydiate Parish Council meeting a member of the public (sorry I did not catch his name) attended to ask the Council to reconsider the play item and here’s a photo of it:-

It has suffered from vandalism in recent months and is awaiting repair (note it presently has no roof) but as a consequence of the gentleman’s representations (supported by Borough Councillor Pay O’Hanlon) the Parish Council agreed to review all options with regard to the future of this play item. This could mean a range of things from repairing it, remodeling it or possibly even replacing it.

More news when I have it.

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.