Maghull – It’s Hornby Town

Maghull Station

Quite some years ago (February 2015 to be precise) I recall standing on Maghull Station with fellow Frank Hornby Trustee Les French, a rep from the Station Volunteers and a chap from Merseytravel. We were talking about making a story board for display on the station linking it to the life and works of world famous toy maker and Maghull’s most famous resident, Frank Hornby. A bit of back tracking on this blog site and I found what I said at the time. Here it is:-

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And the reason for mentioning it again now? Well the plan of February 2015 went nowhere for reasons I am not really aware of but it’s been one of those matters that from time to time I’ve promised to resurrect but then failed to follow through. So imagine my delight when I was contacted last week by a lady who’s one of the Station Volunteers and who’s clearly determined that the story board idea will see the light of day.

History board about Moss Side Hospital on the platform of the new Maghull North Station

I met said lady last Monday at the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre, within Meadows Leisure Centre, so she could photograph some of our display items which are normally behind glass. My understanding is that the plan is to put together boards akin to those at the new Maghull North Station which in that case tell the story of the work of the world famous Moss Side Hospital.

My very best wishes for the project, the Frank Hornby Trustees will be very pleased if it comes off this time around.

Maghull – Hornby Heritage Centre Moves – An Update

Clearing out the Hornby display display cabinets at Meadows Leisure Centre ready for their move upstairs.

Things seem to be moving along well and it looks like the timetable for the move is on track.

We expect our moved display cabinets to be in place by this coming weekend. Once that is done we will need to organise the rehanging of pictures, signage etc. together with the refilling of the cabinets of course.

The 14th May is presently the target date for reopening of the remodeled Leisure Centre, I understand.

An issue we picked up on, due to the keen eye of one of our trustees, is about sun light going onto the cabinets in their new position (this was not an issue in the original space downstairs) and blinds for the windows are being sourced. Some of our exhibits are very old and sunlight will degrade them so they need to be protected from it.

More news when I have it.

Meadows Leisure Centre & Library – Frank Hornby Trust Displays

If you live in the Maghull area you will have seen the headlines in this week’s Aintree & Maghull Champion about the contraction of the Town’s library into a space only about one third the size of what it was when the new library was opened in 2010.

The demise, reductions and contractions of public libraries is sad in any circumstance and it is a matter I have blogged about on many occasions. However, this particular posting is more about the consequences of the major changes at Meadows Leisure Centre and Library. In particular the remodeling of the Centre/Library is having a significant impact on the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre which is based within the building.

The Heritage Centre is run by the Maghull based charitable trust – The Frank Hornby Trust – and it helps celebrate the life and works of Maghull’s most famous resident. On display in the Frank Hornby Room on the ground floor of the leisure centre has been a large museum quality display case with many Hornby related artifacts within it. Here’s a photo of it:-

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one has to be carefully cleaned now and again.

But the Franky Hornby Room is being repurposed into offices for Sefton Council so our display cases are on the move. They are moving upstairs into part of what was the 2nd floor of Maghull Library and the move starts tomorrow Saturday 21st April when Trustees will be packing up the items ready for the display cases to be moved. This means that for a period of a few weeks, whilst the works are ongoing, there will be no access to the Hornby items.

The good news however, is that when the works are complete the display cases will be accessible whenever Maghull Library is open. This is a significant improvement on the present situation because the Frank Hornby Room has always been multi-use, so access to the displays has depended on other activities in the room.

Since Michael Portillo visited the Frank Hornby Room on one of his Great British Railway Journeys the Frank Hornby Trust has had many enquiries from folk across the UK who want to see the display of Hornby items:-

In the Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre – Michael Portillo with Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French as seen on TV this year.

There’s much work to do over the next few weeks but the Trustees hope that following the move the displays will be back up and accessible for people to see towards the end of May this year. More publicity will follow.

Maghull – It was the Frank Hornby Trust Open Day yesterday – What a day!

Wow what a day. On the back of the BBC plugging our small Frank Hornby Heritage Centre within Meadows Leisure Centre via an edition of Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys (screened last Thursday) we held an open day and the world turned out to have a look at our display cases and a visiting Hornby tinplate O gauge modelrailway layout.

Here’s the model railway being set up on the previous day:-

The layout, as seen on TV with Michael Portillo wanting to take it home, was set up by a couple of good friend of the Frank Hornby Trust.

Here’s a shot of visitors (we think around 500 turned out to see the displays) enjoying the day:-

Thanks the Champion newspaper for giving our Trust such great publicity and the staff of Meadows Leisure Centre who were only too willing to assist us.

Maghull – Frank Hornby Trust Open Day

To celebrate the fact that our Maghull based Trust made prime time TV on Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys programme on Thursday evening last we are holding an Open Day at Meadows Leisure Centre from 11.30am to 5pm this Sunday 21st January.

Above you can see our display case with many Hornby historical items held within it. We will also have a large Hornby tinplate O gauge model railway up and running in the Hornby Room thanks to a very good friend of the Frank Hornby Trust. It’s the same layout that was seen on the TV programme.

In the Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre

Meadows Leisure Centre is at the junction of the A59 (Northway) and Hall Lane in Maghull – access is off Hall Lane.

No charge and all are welcome to come have a look

Frank Hornby – Maghull’s most famous resident

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Anyone who has owned a Dinky Toy, Meccano set or a Hornby Trains model will have been playing with something that takes it’s heritage from the late Frank Hornby.

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He is probably the best known toy maker in the world and he lived for much of his life in Maghull at two houses on Station Road and later at what is now the sixth form block of Maricourt High School.

This photo shows an image of Frank Hornby as part of the logo for the Heritage Centre that the Frank Hornby Trust has created within Meadows Leisure Centre, Maghull

This photo shows an image of Frank Hornby as part of the logo for the Heritage Centre that the Frank Hornby Trust has created within Meadows Leisure Centre, Maghull

There are actually very few photos of Hornby about. The one below is a photo of a framed photo of him which is on the wall in Kensington House Sports & Leisure Club. This club is in Maghull’s Station Road, yards away from both of Hornby’s homes indeed the club (formerly known as Maghull Conservative Club) is just about slap bang in the middle and Hornby was a contributor to its construction.

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Maghull is also home to the Frank Hornby Trust which has a permanent exhibition to the life and works of Hornby in Meadows Leisure Centre, appropriately in the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre Room. Here’s a shot of that exhibition:-

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one has to be carefully cleaned now and again.

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one has to be carefully cleaned now and again.

So next time anyone says something along the lines of ‘who on earth famous has ever lived in Maghull’ you know the answer.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them