Maghull – A wildflower meadow for Stafford Moreton Way

This is a piece of land which I have blogged about before – August 2017. Here’s a link back to that posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/08/09/maghull-weeds-festooned-around-new-home-bargains-site/

And now the good news, because unconnected with my previous moaning about the state of the site, a group of volunteers has come together to tackle the unkempt plot of land and I’ve been asked to publicise their project.

www.spacehive.com/stafford-moreton

This week they launched a crowd funding campaign to raise over £6000 before 31 October, to improve the beginning of Stafford Moreton Way. Sefton Council award up to £5000 or 40% of the target fund (whichever is the lesser) and the volunteers have progressed their application through to the 1.4.19 deadline set by the Council. My understanding is that Sefton make their decision for funding just prior to 10.5.19, basing their funding awards mainly on community engagement, indicated by the number of ‘likes’ and ‘pledges’. Consequently, the volunteers urgently need to generate as many of the likes and pledges before the May decision, as they anticipate this is their best chance to obtain a significant amount of funding towards their target.

If you feel, like I do, that this is a worthwhile project, please consider backing it and spread the word around as many local people as you know. I will certainly be letting the Maghull in Bloom team, that I’m a part of, know about it. The minimum pledge that can be made is £2 but a ‘like’ can also be really useful so here’s a link to the web site where you can back the project:-

www.spacehive.com/stafford-moreton

And here’s a note in more detail from volunteer Frank Sharp about the project:-

‘I can imagine, (like myself) that initially people may think introducing a wildflower meadow to such a prominent large area could look as unkempt as the original concerns in 2018. But if you look on the website under the timeline entitled ‘Journey’ there is a subtitle – ‘Our Plan’ hopefully gives a reassuring explanation. In essence, both sides will have an oval shaped area of medium-sized trees, under planted with 1000 Bluebell bulbs and under covered by bark chippings, the circumferences of these areas will have a 2 m and a 1 m strip on each side of the road respectively comprising of wildflower turf (which will not look as scruffy as wildflower seeds), the backdrop on the smaller left-hand side plot will have 28 m of blackthorn hedge. The company providing the wildflower turf are the same ones that created the amazing wildflowers at the London Olympic Park.

We negotiated the plan with Mersey Forest who came to the site in February and donated the trees and hedging. They also suggested planting in the National tree week in November. We have also been amazed by the generosity of the Ashworth hospital gardeners who have volunteered to undertake the work in one day utilising their staff and machinery. However, we are keeping the news about Mersey Forest and Ashworth hospital, quiet for another media release to maintain some media momentum. London and Cambridge Properties have given permission following reassurances about maintenance liability and where obviously pleased that it may in fact reduce the level of maintenance due to the reduced grass areas to be cut, whilst the wildflower turf as you demonstrated with the scythe video (Cheshire lines) generally only needs cutting once a year, and hopefully the bark chippings should suppress any weeds.

It is quite a responsibility, to shape such a prominent area, but hopefully this should be a change for the better.

One of the more touching donation pledges was made by my disabled nephew in Devon (who contracted meningitis at two years of age, which left him with multiple disabilities connected to cerebral palsy and has had a lifetime of crowdfunding initiatives for himself and others) who when he asked what I would like for my 60th birthday. I said, just a couple of quid for this project. His response was £60, £1 for each year of my life!’

And finally a flash back to October 2014 when the old library and former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre were still standing:-

It’s a radically different view now but the plot of land for the wildflower meadow is the piece of greenspace in the front center of this now historical view.

Maghull – Oh for goodness sake do something with the Square

This is Maghull Square in the 1970’s but the buildings are substantially as was. It was built in the 1960’s. Photographer unknown.

What’s going on at Maghull Square/Westway shopping centre or more to the point why is little or nothing seemingly going on there? I refer of course to the oft promised refurb/upgrade.

The previous owners (The Maghull Group) put in for planning permission to do it up but sold it on prior to doing the upgrade and the present owners have seemingly gone to ground after much talk of them upgrading the down at heal 1960’s buildings and the appalling car parks surfacing.

Apart from the works by Maghull in Bloom’s volunteers what else has been done to try to uplift the Square? I’m struggling to think of any positive actions other than the larger shop units in one corner of the Square.

Thinking back the original owners were I understand a company called Ravenseft (or a title something like that) and I believe that Mars Pension Fund once owned it too.

Despite the many and various hands it has gone through Maghull still has a shopping centre that needs updating other than via the hands of volunteers!

Come on, please get a move on London and Cambridge.

Lydiate – Boundary sign that is literally on its last legs

Enter Lydiate from Great Altcar where Altcar Lane makes the sharp turn into Bells Lane and you will be greeted with this sign:-

Well let’s be polite, it’s seen better days!

Indeed, near the top on the left hand side it is all but rusted through so it will soon become a real danger to road users and the public:-

I have asked Lydiate Parish Council to work with Sefton Council to have it replaced because of the danger.

Also, at some point down the line it could provide a nice place for a Lydiate in Flower boundary planter like the ones we see on Maghull’s boundary signs provide by Maghull in Bloom volunteers:-

Lydiate – First public meeting of Lydiate in Flower

I went along to the first public meeting of this new volunteer community group last night in Lydiate Village Centre.

It was pleasing to see Lydiate residents turning out for the meeting where we all learned about progress in setting the fledgling group up.

John and Madelaine Harrison came from the Maghull in Bloom volunteer group to give advice and assistance which was gratefully received.

The plan is to try to start with some spring planting in 2018 possibly via some ‘gateway planters’ on Lydiate’s boundaries with Maghull, Aughton and Down Holland. Other ideas are being considered too but the big job will be to bring in the finances to pay for such projects.

The volunteer group is looking for sponsorship from local businesses and to make grant applications. Lydiate Parish Council is putting £100 in the pot to start things off and helping with grant applications.

As a former Maghull resident I have been volunteering for Maghull in Bloom in recent years and now as as Lydiate resident I’m happy to get involved in Lydiate in Flower as well.

For more information look for and like the Lydiate in Flower News page on Facebook – see link below:-

www.facebook.com/Lydiate-in-Flower-News-Page-347570162369636/

Maghull – So who were/are the people who have made a difference to the community and won the Town’s Civic Award?

Two honours boards in the Council Chamber of Maghull Town Hall tell part of the story about who has won the Town’s Civic Award since its inception in 1981. But for how many of those winners do I know the reason why they won the award (as the boards do not give such detail)? Here’s a couple of photos of the boards – Click on each board to see it enlarged:-

Well here goes with my recollections:-

Neil Burslem –
Anthony J Brooks –
Joseph Fay – For his long membership/service to Maghull Town Band
Mark Thompson –
Arthur Dwyer – heavily involved with the youth at St. Andrews Church – Sunday School and Scouting. Also a Burma Star Veteran *
Elizabeth Supple –
Patricia Minshull –
Joan Currall – for her Guiding work where she was County Commissioner *
Andrew Settle –
Mable Lone – For her work with the former Maghull Pensioners Association
Patricia Donnelly –
George Parker – For his volunteer work for Maghull Air Training Corps ATC
Stephen Quilliam – For his volunteer work with Maghull St. John Ambulance
David Fearn – For his volunteer work with Maghull British Legion
Eric Deacon – For his Lifesaving swimming tuition
Arthur Bailey – For his campaign to stop the demolition of the former Whinbrook House old peoples home
Jacqueline Whalley –
Nicola Smith – for her volunteer work with Maghull & District Youth Council and Maghull Youth Coffee Bar
Tim Ashley – For his volunteer work with the Scouts
Pamela Edwards – Helping to set up a nursery within Woodend Primary School
Dr. John Rowlands – For his work as a local historian publishing local history books
John Johnson – For his work as Chair of Governors at Deyes High & Lay Preacher at St. Andrews Church *
James T Baldwin – For his volunteer work with St. John Ambulance
Paul & Sue Clare – For their volunteer work with the Scouting movement *
Alan Bentley –
Mark Andrew Thomas –
George Baker – For is volunteer work with Maghull in Bloom
Nigel Winchester – For his work with Maghull Station Volunteers
Bill Howarth – For his volunteer work with Maghull University of the 3rd Age
Liam Cunningham – For his work with local youth
Steven Heron –
Alan Charnock – For his volunteer work with Maghull 7 Lydiate Homewatch
Lynn Billingham – For her many years volunteering in the swimming and lifesaving arena *
Anne & John Hill – For their volunteer work with Maghull in Bloom
Year 6 Pupils at At Andrews C of E Primary School –
David Hughes –

So the question is can you fill in the gaps i.e. tell me what good works the people did that I can’t personally recall the detail of? Any additional information I receive will lead to another blog posting as all these people certainly did more than their bit for my former home town of Maghull.

Comments can be left on this blog site or you can e-mail me at t3robertson@gmail.com

* Stop Press – Many thanks to Mary and Mike who have separately provided information which has enabled me to add to the list above in respect of Lynn Billingham and Sue and Paul Clare.

Thanks also to Eileen Pritchard for her information about Arthur Dwyer, Joan Currall and John Johnson.

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.