The much missed 311 bus route (particularly in Lydiate)

A visit to Merseyside Transport Trust’s open day in Burscough yesterday and what should I spot but a heritage bus in Ribble/North Western livery numbered for the now lost and much missed 311 route which ran from Liverpool through to Ormskirk taking in the Old Roan, Maghull and Lydiate.

It brought back memories of the campaign and petition to try to stop Arriva abandoning the route back in 2015. Here’s a link back to my postings about the matter back then:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/08/21/petition-to-try-to-save-the-311-liverpool-ormskirk-skem-bus/

Four years on since the bus was withdrawn and Lydiate residents without access to a car are still struggling to get to Ormskirk, which is just 4 miles away, with only the 310 bus to use and that just skims the very edge of Lydiate.

Dinky Toys – Do you have any in your attic or loft?

If suburban Maghull, a dormitory town of Liverpool, is famous for anything it’s the fact that world famous toy maker Frank Hornby made it his home and there’s a small Hornby Heritage Center within the Town’s Meadows Leisure Center for folks to visit. It’s open whenever Maghull Library is open, so check the current times on the web and come and visit.

The Frank Hornby Trust, who set up the Heritage Center, have been fortunate to either purchase, have donated or be loaned many items in its display (Meccano, Hornby Trains, Dinky Toys etc.) but one area of our collection that could do with expanding is Dinky Toys. Do you have any in your loft or attic which you would be prepared to donate to the Trust for display in our collection?

The bus featured in this posting has just come into our collection:-

If you can help please email me at t3robertson@gmail.com

I am by the way a Trustee of the Frank Hornby Trust.

Maghull/Lydiate – Sefton Bus Review implications

Maghull Station buses back in the 1970’s

I’m told that as a result of the recent Bus Review by Merseytravel in Sefton, the following alterations are proposed from 1st September:

* New service 32A introduced to offer a peak hour service for South and West Maghull to Maghull Station and Westway/The Square.

* Service 32/33 hours extended to run of an evening and Sunday.

* Peak hour service 34/34A to be withdrawn due to low usage following the opening of Maghull North Station.

Anyone spotted any other local implications on Maghull/Lydiate from this review please let me know.

Here’s a link to the detail for changes across Sefton Borough from the Merseytravel website:-

www.merseytravel.gov.uk/about-us/Pages/Sefton-Bus-Network-Review-2019.aspx

Note:- Still no proposal to route a circular bus serving Lydiate to the new Maghull North Station via Maghull Square, a request I have heard on a number of occasions from Lydiate folk. There’s clearly a view out there that some Lydiate folk feel that a bus to the new station would be a much quicker link to Merseyrail. Would be interesting to hear why it has not been trialed…..

With thanks to Kevin Duggan for the lead to this posting

Maghull – Alan Charnock RIP

Having read in this week’s edition of the Aintree & Maghull Champion that Alan Charnock had passed away my thoughts went back to 2012 when I nominated him for Maghull’s Civic Award. Here’s the nomination detail:-

*****

Nomination of Mr Alan R Charnock for Maghull’s Civic Award

Alan has been involved in helping to run Maghull & Lydiate Homewatch for many years and has been its Chairman/Leader/Coordinator for a long time. He cares about our community and always tries his best to help and support it.

If the Council chooses to honour Alan with its Civic Award it will also be saying a big thank you to the many volunteers who have worked alongside Alan over many years to try to make our community safer and raise awareness of the things that householders can do to make their homes more secure. Presently there are 4,618 households that are members of Homewatch across Maghull & Lydiate; a significant proportion of our local community.

Homewatch is a vital part in making Maghull a pleasant community where people want to come alive and we can be rightly proud of the work of our local group.

Under Alan’s Chairmanship Maghull & Lydiate Homewatch has thrived and unlike many other similar groups operating under Homewatch/Neighbourhood Watch banner they have consistently and regularly delivered Homewatch newsletters to as many local properties as they can year in year out.

Alan has often approached councillors for help and advice or sometimes funding to assist with a Homewatch project such as Smartwater protection for the homes of elderly residents.

By the time the Civic Award Committee meets to decide on this year’s award Alan will have retired as our Homewatch Chairman at his Association’s October AGM.

But Alan has been involved in other community issues as well. His long term friend John Johnson (himself a local C of E lay preacher, Scout Master and volunteer for Sefton based charity Autism Initiatives) tells me that:-

* Alan has previously fund raised for Guide Dogs for Blind in Maghull by organising raffles, sponsored walks etc. with at least 8 guide dogs being handed over. The former Everest Pub displayed photo’s of Alan’s endeavours for this charity.

* Alan successfully worked to try to resolve problems with the A59 underpass.

* Alan is a life Governor of the RNLI

I think that to present him with Maghull’s Civic Award in his retiring year from Homewatch would be a fitting tribute to someone who really does fit into the ‘Mr Maghull’ category for his hard work and dedication to our community.

Cllr. Tony Robertson
1st October 2012

*****

History tells us that Alan did indeed win the Civic Award that year and his name is on the honours board in the Council Chamber of Maghull Town Hall.

I also recall Alan, as does Keith Page, from his Friday evening visits with a group of friends to the Derby Arms Pub where we often had a laugh and a joke with him about many things. And talking of pubs Alan would regularly have a meal at the Stanley Arms and I know how the staff there looked after him especially in his latter years when he was far from well.

RIP Alan, ‘a quiet guy who just got on with what he had to do and was respected in the community’ to quote his friend John Johnson who gave me background information in 2012 that I included in the Civic Award nomination.

Maghull – 2020 will be 100 years since the Town’s most famous resident brought his ‘O’ Gauge trains to the market

I still have to pinch myself when I think that world famous toy manufacturer/inventor Frank Hornby lived for most of his adult life in Maghull on Merseyside, but live in this dormitory suburb of Liverpool he certainly did at two houses – The Hollies on Station Road and Quarry Brook off Hall Lane. Both houses still stand and whilst The Hollies is very much still a private residence (with the first ever English Heritage Blue Plaque on it outside of London) Quarry Brook is now the 6th Form Block of Maricourt High School.

Michael Portillo with Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French as seen on TV.

So having rehearsed that bit of local history what about the upcoming anniversary? Hornby’s most famous products are Dinky Toys, Meccano and Hornby Trains. It’s the latter we looking at now as his first ‘O’ gauge trains appeared in 1920, so 2020 is a big year particularly for those who collect them. And it’s a worldwide hobby too as the transmission of Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys TV programme has demonstrated. I’m talking about the one that was filmed in Maghull and related the story of how model railways became so popular as a consequence of people riding on real railways. As that TV programme gets shown around the world the Maghull based charity the Frank Hornby Trust gets queries quite literally from across the world. Only recently I had an email (I’m one of its Trustees) from Australia asking me what the opening times and days are for Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Center so the enquirer could see the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre displays within it on a visit from Down Under.

100 years of Hornby ‘O’ Gauge

And even more recently I had the pleasure of meeting an elderly lady called Noel from Ashton-In-Makerfield who called at the Heritage Center to donate some items of Hornby ‘O’ gauge tinplate which had belonged to her now deceased husband who wanted the items well looked after. The items date from the 1930’s and are in lovely condition, so of course we were delighted to accept them into our collection. The engine and carriage below are from that donation:-

I understand that members of the Hornby Collectors Association are in the process of organising a 100 years celebration event next year that it will likely be held on Merseyside, so once details are finalised I’ll return to this matter with more information.

Oh and by the way our small Hornby Heritage collection in Meadows Leisure Center is a little short of good condition Dinky Toys if there are any potential donors out there?

Maghull – Now about that vast urban extension to the east of the Town

The vast Maghull East urban extension (presently high grade agricultural land) site as seen from Poverty Lane, Maghull

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/housing-company-banned-joe-anderson-16287342

I wonder where this is heading and will Sefton Council take the same approach to these developers as Liverpool City Council seems to be doing? It feels like a long time now since Sefton Council picked the vast Maghull East site for an urban extension to the Town on what is presently high grade agricultural land. And it was a hugely controversial move which created a significant environmental protest movement in the Town and indeed across the Borough of Sefton, which I was a part of – see my many previous posting about it on this Sefton Focus Blog Site.

But there is danger here in thinking that Sefton Council or indeed Liverpool City Council can achieve much on land which is in private ownership. Yes, if the land to be sold is owned by a Council it gives it far more leverage as to the use it is put to otherwise, if the land is in private hands, the leverage is far, far less.

Like many I want to see the end to leasehold and ground rents etc.