Maghull – Audrey Beattie – Sorry you’re leaving

Audrey Beattie has been well known face across Maghull for many a year now having lived in in the Town since the 1960’s firstly in Pimbley Grove West and in more recent times at Mayhall Court on Westway. She worked for quite a number of years at the Maghull Homes (now Parkhaven Trust) at both the Kiffin Taylor and Alexander Homes.

She has served as a Maghull Town Councillor and her son Andrew Beattie was both a Town and Borough Councillor (and indeed Town Mayor in 1996/97) who sadly died suddenly in 1999. Audrey has been a regular attender at St. Peter’s Church in Moorhey Road and with the Focus Group at Maghull Baptist Church

Now in her 80’s Andrey is moving to Cleveleys to be nearer to her daughter Alison.

I first got to know Audrey when I was around 12 years of age and she was a tough lady indeed. Any teenagers larking around could expect her to stand no messing. I still expect her to shoot first and ask questions later so to speak. My abiding memory of Audrey is that she is not someone to suffer fools gladly and we came up with a phrase that we thought summed her up when she was a councillor. The phrase? – Audrey has just given so and so a good hand-bagging. I think I may have been on the end of a few of them myself:-)

We will miss you Audrey – good luck for many more happy years in Cleveleys.

With thanks to Andrew Blackburn for his help with this posting and providing the photograph

Maghull – News on Parkhaven Trust’s new dementia care home

www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/robertson-chosen-for-maghull-care-home/

Place North West has news about Maghull’s Parkhaven Trust and it’s soon to be built dementia care facility – see link above

The former Maghull Homes sites at both Liverpool Road South/Green Lane and Deyes Lane/Damfield Lane in Maghull have changed almost beyond recognition since I ceased working there 1994 and here is another change on the way. I have blogged about developments on these two sites previously but this particular change is likely to most welcome due to the sadly rising demand for dementia car facilities.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Maghull – Where once there was farmland – Green Lane/South Meade

People who know me will realise how hard I have fought over the years to try to protect the character of the community around Maghull & Lydiate and indeed across wider Sefton Borough from what I see as inappropriate development.

Building on high grade agricultural land has long been an issue with me and it’s why I have opposed much of the land development that has recently been given the green light by Sefton Council.

The other day I drove past the building site off Green Lane/South Meade in Maghull where houses are presently being constructed. When I was a Sefton Councillor I voted against this site being developed. Sadly, I and my then fellow Maghull Councillor Andrew Blackburn were in a minority and permission was granted.

The land had until reasonably recent times been in agricultural use but that was not the only reason I was unhappy to see this particular site being concreted over. What Maghull has been losing over quite a number of years now has been the unique parkland landscape of the former Maghull Homes, now the Parkhaven Trust. This landscape once covered many, many acres over the two sites of the Maghull Homes off Deyes Lane/Damfield Lane and Sefton Lane/Green. I think it’s really sad that so little of it is left and for how much longer will what is left be there?

Yes I know that the Parkhaven Trust does all kinds of essential work (I worked for them myself in the 1980’s and early 1990’s) looking after the elderly and people with disabilities and I also realise that they have been selling off the land to develop that work, but the parkland type landscape has still been lost and two marvelous green lungs in the Maghull community are now much reduced.

Here’s how the Damfield Lane site is now looking as development takes place:-

Maybe it’s called progress but at what cost to the wider environment?

Stop Press – The recent announcement (In the Champion Newspaper) that building on site off Green Lane and adjacent to South Meade is to be extended further is a concern obviously, even though it is said to be for ‘affordable housing’. Of the many definitions of ‘affordable housing’ I wonder which it will be and how ‘affordable’ the houses will be?

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Name new station ‘Maghull Moss Side’

Local chap Ross Ferguson is, together with a team of supporters, trying to push the railway powers that be to name the new and soon to be built Maghull North Station as ‘Maghull Moss Side’.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station.  Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

Site for the new Maghull North Railway Station. Photo taken looking north from School Lane road bridge. The former Moss Side Hospital site is to the right and Mersey Avenue to the left.

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I support their campaign as Moss Side Hospital is another of Maghull’s claims to world fame along with Frank Hornby and the Maghull Homes. There is a petition running on Change web site which I would urge you to support:-

www.change.org/p/jan-chaudhry-managing-director-for-merseyrail-director-of-merseyrail-customer-services-new-railway-station-for-maghull-let-s-call-it-maghull-moss-side?recruiter=295238821&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-custom_msg&fb_ref=Default

Below is why the group are pushing for a change in the present project name for the new station. This is what they have to say in support of their campaign:-

We as members and former members of staff from Ashworth Hospital and the former Moss Side Hospital, would like to have the proposed new Maghull railway station named ‘Maghull Moss Side’ after the former Moss Side Hospital on who’s grounds the new station will be built. The former Moss Side Hospital has had a major influence on worldwide medicine and psychiatry, it was hailed as the first school of ‘Clinical Psychopathology’ in Britain and one of the first institutions in the world to recognise ‘Shell Shock’ (known today as ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ or PTSD) as a medical condition. Also as a one time major employer and housing provider in and around the town of Maghull, Moss Side Hospital has had a major influence in the shaping of Maghull from a one time small village into a modern town and a desirable place to live. Therefore, we feel the least that can be done to honour this groundbreaking institution is to have the new railway station named after it.

As an aside I also think that the present Maghull Station should be renamed as Maghull Hornby when the second railway station is built.

Why I voted against more building on the Parkhaven Trust site in Maghull

At the Meeting of Sefton’s Planning Committee last night I opposed the building of more housing on this piece of urban green space, off Green Lane and South Meade, because I am really concerned that the parkland aspect of this site is going to be lost forever if plots of it are incrementally built on. The plan was however approved but 3 councillors from Southport supported the view of myself and Cllr. Andrew Blackburn, meaning 5 of us opposed the plan with the rest (including 2 other Maghull councillors) supporting it.

The Parkhaven Trust site off Green Lane and South Meade in Maghull

The Parkhaven Trust site off Green Lane and South Meade in Maghull

I am not opposed to this great and historic local charity but neither was I prepared to vote for a plan that will reduce the amount of urban green space within this part of Maghull and mean that the site can’t being used as agricultural land ever again.

It’s only months since we had that huge community/political bust-up about the land off Damfield Lane, on the other side of Maghull, and that bust-up was over what had previously been another piece of the Parkhaven Trust’s (previously Maghull Homes) estate. If you recall Labour backed residents opposing the development there and then did a ‘U’ turn and voted the plan through!

Maghull Lib Dems opposed the Damfield Lane development and we remain deeply concerned about the loss of urban green space, just as we are Green Belt. Labour may well be prepared to vote through building on our green spaces and Green Belt but we do not share their vision for Maghull or Sefton Borough.

Maghull Homes – Now Parkhaven Trust – 125 years of social care in Maghull

From the age of 17 to my mid 30’s I worked on a part-time basis at what was then the Maghull Homes which was originally set up as an epileptic colony. My job was assisting the disabled residents to participate in social and sporting activities such as snooker (I was taught to play this by residents of the Maghull Homes), cricket and football on the charity’s Liverpool Road South site.

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The second site, located off Deyes Lane, was where a school for children with epilepsy was based and which operated until the mid 1980’s, if I recall correctly. The Liverpool Road South site is substantially intact and still serving the needs of those with disabilities but the Deyes Lane site is very much smaller these days with grand houses covering some of what was attractive parkland that the epileptic residents helped to maintain. Indeed, the redevelopment of a large part of the Deyes Lane site, which also had a number architecturally pleasing buildings, was recently approved in extremely controversial circumstances I am sorry to say. I think it is also fair to say that those who fought the redevelopment will never forgive those local socialist politicians who allowed it to happen in the way that it did. We have indeed lost a significant green lung in the Maghull community.

Anyone living in Maghull when I was growing up (1968 onwards for me as I came to live in Maghull then at the age of 10) will have been used to seeing the residents of the colony out and about on Maghull’s streets going to the shops etc. Of course, being epileptics they had attacks and a group of folk surrounding someone on the floor in Maghull inevitably meant one thing – someone was having an epileptic attack.

You can imagine that this was all new to me as a 10 year old lad and not easy to get your head around but I quickly began to resent the remarks and attitude of some of my fellow school children who would make fun of the residents of ‘The Homes’. I appreciate now that the poor taste remarks were little more than fear of the unknown and a childlike reaction to such but never the less those reactions have never left me.

At some point whilst I was a young teenager my Mum started work at the Maghull Homes organising holidays and social activities so I found out more about the charity, its residents and indeed epilepsy. I got to know many of the residents and in due course enjoyed working with and helping them.

Some of them had been put there many years previously as having an epileptic in your family particularly during Victorian and Edwardian times was an embarrassment; hence the setting up of epileptic colonies such as the one in Maghull. There were others and Langho, up Blackburn way, was another that I became aware of. Indeed, when Langho closed some of its long-term residents came to live in Maghull.

The majority of Maghull Homes residents that I knew throughout the 1970’s, 80’s and early 90’s have now passed on but I like to think of them as my friends who were both unfortunate to have a condition that was hard to control and which in some cases made their families find them to be an embarrassment. Of course some had other disabilities as well but a more cheery group of folk you would look hard to find.

I know that those residents had a profound effect on me and the way I look at the world and I would not have missed the opportunity to work with them for the world. I lost count of the number of huddles of folk on pavements I came across when driving around Maghull. Of course I stopped, had a look and often put the Homes resident in my car to take them home. On the odd occasion the attack would lead to a serious injury as the epilepsy sufferer hit a hard object as they fell and medical attention would be required.

And my reason for relating this? The Maghull Homes, now a social care charity catering for all kinds of disability called the Parkhaven Trust, is 125 years young in 2013 having ben established in 1888.

These days epilepsy is well controlled by medication and we may all know a person well who has epilepsy without ever being aware of their condition. Indeed, I know two people well who take medication for this condition and they have no connection what so ever with the friends I made at the Maghull Homes many years ago.

http://www.parkhaven.org.uk/