Maghull – Historic maps on display in Town Hall

A while back a lady contacted me saying she had a 1930’s map of Maghull which she was happy to donate for public display. I put her in touch with the Town Clerk of Maghull Town Council and the matter then passed me by so to speak.

Imagine my delight then when I went into the Council Chamber of Maghull Town Hall (for a Maghull in Bloom volunteers meeting) recently and saw 3 historic maps of the Town up on the wall where there had been none before. A closer inspection made me realise that one of them was from the lady I whom I had spoken to a few months ago.

I love maps, always have done since I discovered Ordnance Survey maps as a late teenager for country walking. Here are the 3 on display in Maghull Town Hall:-

This is the one (above) the lady mentioned to me, it’s dated October 1933 and intriguingly said to be the work of the ‘Maghull Advisory Committee’. James Longridge, whose name appears on the map as the Hon Sec of this committee was also Chairman of Maghull Parish Council from 1934 to 1938. My guess is that it was put together as part of the work to significantly expand Maghull in the 1930’s and after WW2.

The Town had other periods of rapid development in the 1960’s and 70’s and it is all happening again with the vast urban extension to the east of the Town having been designated for @1600 additional houses and business premises via the Sefton Council Local Plan adopted in April 2017.

This one is a 1908 Ordnance Survey map

I’m struggling to make out the date properly on this map but think it is 1840 – correct me if I’m wrong please.

Really pleased that Maghull Town Council has displayed these historic maps as they are a part of the heritage of a community that I lived in for 43 years and represented as a councillor for 30 years.

Click on the maps to enlarge them

Maghull – Leeds Liverpool Canal swing bridge at Green Lane – Closure for repairs

Sign on Green Lane Maghull adjacent to canal swing bridge. A Maghull in Bloom planter can just be seen behind it.

I saw this sign and wondered what the long closure was all about. The Canal and River Trust website gives the answer and the link below refers:-

canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices/15189-bridge-15-methodist-swing-bridge-maghull-leeds-and-liverpool-canal

The odd thing is that the C&RT says the bridge will be closed for longer i.e. until 13th March? This longer period could just be for canal boats though? I’ve run this past Sefton’s Highway Engineers for clarification and will update when I know more.

Barge at Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull

14/01/20 Update from Sefton Council:- The date on the C&RT link is for the closure of the actual canal which needs to be done in 1 phase as the bridge will need to remain in the canal closed position during the upgrade works.

The highway part of the bridge will be closed twice. Phase one to remove the working parts that require attention (27/1-7/2) Then it will be closed again (24/2 -11/3) to install the upgraded parts.

A floating walkway will be installed during the closures to minimise disruption for pedestrians. A diversion will be in place for vehicles.

MIke & Viv Penn and their recent award

There’s a lovely write up on the front page of this week’s North Liverpool Champion newspaper all about Mike and Viv Penn being nominated for and indeed winning a BBC North West Christmas Star award.

I’ve known Mike for many a year and count him as a friend so I’m delighted that he and Viv have won such a prestigious award for their efforts on behalf of those who are less fortunate. What’s more this award follows one they were given by Rotary quite recently.

I first got to know Mike when we were both governors of Green Park Primary School many years ago and it quickly became apparent to me that Mike was at heart a volunteer who just wanted to help people and his community. As a team Viv and Mike have established a great facility for people with disabilities and what a Christmas present for them to be handed a BBC North West Christmas Star.

Every community has people like Viv and Mike doing their bit to make things better but when when you know them and you have a personal insight into their work it makes you so pleased that they have been recognised for their efforts.

Well done Mike and Viv, we are all so proud of you.

Maghull – The Old Forge – A new old photo comes to light

The derelict Old Forge as it was in 2002

I’ve blogged about the Old Forge in Liverpool Road North a number times and as a consequence of those blogs another photo of it has come to light via Joan Neville a committee member of Skem Heritage and here it is:-

Turns out that Joan was helping a friend sort out some photos and it popped up. The source of the photo is not known I understand but some Googling by Joan led her to my blog postings and my being sent the photo with permission to share it.

Here are a couple of my previous blog postings about the the Old Forge.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/12/01/maghull-the-forge/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/11/11/maghull-the-forge-historic-plaque-where-did-it-go/

I’m guessing that the gents in the photo are the owners-Barnes family/workers at The Old Forge but please readers fill in any details that you can. I’ll also post the photo on Maghull & Lydiate in Old Photos Facebook Group.

My thanks to Joan for sharing this smashing old photo.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Maghull – Town Council’s Parks Survey

Maghull’s Moss Park photoed a few years back

Maghull has quite a lot of parks and gardens and they’re all under the control of Maghull Town Council – none are run by Sefton Borough Council. They are:-

King George V Park,
Glenn Park
Whinneybrook Field
Moss Park
Mersey Avenue Park
South Mead Park
Round Meade Park
Bobby’s Wood
Ball’s Wood
Dodds Park
Old Hall Park
Old Hall Field
Moorhey Park

Some years ago, during the Blair Government when I both lived in Maghull and was a Town Councillor*, the Town Council had a ‘Best Value’ report done by an independent person to assess the quality of its park and gardens and whether the maintenance of them should be put out to tender. The end result was that the report showed they were best run in house and that the parks were a positive factor in people coming to live in the Town as they were so well presented.

Now some years on the present Town Council is conducting a survey of what Maghull residents feel about their parks in 2019 and here’s a link to that survey:-

www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MTCparks2019

Any user of Maghull’s parks can take part so why not have your say.

Maghull’s KGV Park

Note – Click on the two photos to enlarge them

Thanks to John Harrison for the lead to this posting

* I now live in Lydiate and am a Lydiate Parish Councillor

Lydiate (and Maghull) – Primary NHS services – This one keeps doing the rounds with sadly little if any progress

The last Lydiate Parish Council meeting was attended by the Director of Place – North Southport & Formby Clinical Commissioning Group South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and if that title has not made you turn away from this posting already (have you ever seen a job title so long?) then please read on.

As a bit of context the Director told us there were 30 GP practices in South Sefton and she was keen to promote the new 7-Day Access Service. I’ve provided a link to that service below:-

mysefton.co.uk/2018/10/04/people-in-sefton-now-have-access-to-primary-care-services-7-days-a-week/

This service may be an important break-through as the reason we Lydiate Parish Councillors had asked to see a representative of the local NHS was due to us being aware of the difficulty many locals have booking GP appointments. Have a read of the link above as it may well be of assistance.

We made various points to the Director such as:-

* There are no GP facilities in Lydiate at all – everyone has to travel to a GP practice in Maghull.
* The NHS Drop-In facility at Litherland Town Hall is inaccessible to Lydiate folk who do not have access to a car.
* There are some local concerns about the long waiting times for blood tests at Maghull Health Center.
* The need for Maghull Health Center to be enlarged/rebuilt to offer a greater range of NHS services.

Our points were noted and there was a promise to raise them within the appropriate NHS circles and to be honest I found the Director both approachable and interested in our concerns. We will see what flows from us raising them.

But of course I had to raise with the Director that many of the concerns we were flagging up now have years of history attached to them and after the meeting I went back to look at my previous postings about NHS facilities (or the lack of them) locally.

Going back to the days of the former South Sefton Primary Care Trust (abolished some years ago in another of the NHS reorganisations so loved by politicians in Westminster) there has been a consistent message that the East Parishes part of Sefton Borough is not well served in terms of access to primary NHS facilities. And two local projects illustrate how hopes have been raised only to be dashed due to NHS pull-outs. Firstly, there’s Meadows Leisure Center, which was originally planned to have NHS facilities within it. Indeed, the idea was to be able to have GP’s working in the building who could refer patients directly to facilities within the same building where exercise was the prescription. The innovative plan fell when the NHS pulled out and the space it was to occupy was then taken up by Maghull Library moving into it. Then there was Lydiate Village Centre where the plan was to have some NHS facilities delivered from it but, yes you’ve guessed the NHS pulled out so the new community building went ahead without them.

Both the projects above were being planned and indeed built some 10 or more years ago and still there’s been no progress and it’s nearly 2020! But if ever there was a project involving the NHS which failed to deliver it was and presently still is the lack of movement to rebuild Maghull Health Center.

I recall like it was only yesterday (it was also about 10 years ago) when I was a Sefton Borough Councillor and had been chasing the the Primary Care Trust for longer than I wish to recall to get the Health Center rebuilt and for it to have an NHS Walk-In facility too. And then one day I got a message from a senior Sefton Council officer who had been helping me lead the campaign and I was told that the NHS had allocated the money and we had a green light. Well, jubilation initially (I saw plans to remodel the site), but as soon as I made this information public the NHS ran for hills, denied everything and blamed me for raising expectations! Never have I felt so let down and some 10 years on we still have not moved an inch. Call me an old cynic but you’ll understand if I have a hugely sceptical eye for NHS facility planners who have to date let Maghull and Lydiate down badly.

However, I remain optimistic despite the bruising I’ve had from the NHS locally because we all know that Maghull Health Centre is beyond capacity, that it fails to deliver all that we and indeed the NHS desires and only a new building can hope to rectify this situation. And did I detect a note of optimism from the Director of Place on this front? I hope I did……