Boundary signs – Seen in Tosside – A mixed message?

Boundary signs always make me wonder about the messages that are being delivered and how the visitor may see them. The one below is in Tosside in the Trough of Bowland – its seems to mix the messages of welcome and crime in one place.

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Not so long ago there was a boundary sign as you left Lydiate (Merseyside) and were entering Lancashire and it read ‘Lancashire a place where everyone maters’. It has now been replaced by another one that reads ‘Lancashire welcomes careful drivers’, like the one in the photo.

Apart from the cost of changing them (just think how many there must be in a vast place like Lancashire) do these vague ‘welcome’ messages really serve any purpose?

I can see the point of say a Town like Maghull making a big fuss on its boundary signs (hint, hint) about Frank Hornby because he created a worldwide brand that makes Maghull unique and lived in the community for many years. But really, ‘a place where everyone matters’, no wonder they took it down.

The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Maghull canal breach 1994

In 1994 the Leeds Liverpool canal through Maghull/Lydiate breached, houses in Hickson Avenue were flooded and fish were left flapping in the fields on the opposite (western) side of the canal.

I recently found and scanned some photos of the disaster which occurred between Green Lane (Methodist Turn Bridge), Maghull and the Bells Lane swing bridge, Lydiate. The cause was the canal collapsing into a culvert that went under it which carried and indeed still carries Maghull Brook under the canal. Maghull Brook is in fact the boundary between the Civil Parishes of Maghull and Lydiate.

This is looking northwards towards the Bells Lane swing bridge which is out of sight around a bend in the canal. Most of the water had run out of the canal by the time this shot was taken.

This is looking northwards towards the Bells Lane swing bridge which is out of sight around a bend in the canal. Most of the water had run out of the canal by the time this shot was taken.

This is Bells Lane swing bridge with a makeshift dam in place to try to hold back the water. The houses by the bridge look significantly different now.

This is Bells Lane swing bridge with a makeshift dam in place to try to hold back the water. The houses by the bridge look significantly different now.

This shot looks at the Bells Lane swing bridge from the other side. The breach is a few hundred yards behind the camera.

This shot looks at the Bells Lane swing bridge from the other side. The breach is a few hundred yards behind the camera.

This is where the breach happened. the flooded houses in Hickson Avenue being on the left of the photo.

This is where the breach happened. The flooded houses in Hickson Avenue being on the left of the photo.

Grounded canal boats

Grounded canal boats

The reason so much water escaped is that there are no locks between Stanley Dock in Liverpool and Burscough in West Lancashire, many miles away. In effect all the water between Liverpool and Burscough was trying to leave the canal via the breach which was roughly half way between the two.

I recall watching what was then British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) desperately trying to stop the flow by dumping rubble into the canal at Bells Lane and it being washed away by the force of the water.

My good friend Cllr. Bruce Hubbard was Mayor of Maghull back then and he launched a public appeal to help those whose houses were flooded.

Oddly, we now live in a house that backs onto the canal along this very stretch of water.

The photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Maghull in Bloom Volunteers do it again

I know that a regularly bang on about the excellent work that the Maghull in Bloom volunteers do, these days very much in partnership with offenders from Kennet Prison, but they keep on churning out great projects to uplift the Maghull community.

This time it’s new planters outside Meadows Leisure Centre. We have a lot to thank Maghull in Bloom for:-

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Flooding – Dovers Brook , Maghull – Environment Agency to issue warnings of ‘overtopping’.

No sooner had I had the site meeting (see last posting) in Lydiate than Radio Merseyside called me to ask my views on a new warning system that the Environment Agency is to put in place with regard to Dover’s Brook in Maghull.

This brook feeds into the River Alt but can ‘overtop’ its banks/bunds causing big flooding issues in Fouracres and to the small group of houses on Sefton Lane where it crosses the brook.

Dovers Brook behind Fouracres which over-topped September 2012

Dovers Brook behind Fouracres which over-topped September 2012

Affected cottages in Sefton Lane (September 2012) - Sadly flooding here has a long history; I recall it happening in the early 1970's

Affected cottages in Sefton Lane (September 2012) – Sadly flooding here has a long history; I recall it happening in the early 1970’s

This is the statement I gave to Radio Merseyside:-

Anything that helps people in Fouracres and on Sefton Lane to react to Dovers Brook overtopping is to be welcomed but news of a warning system is only part of the solution. The big issue is the capacity of the River Alt, which Dovers Brook flows into, to cope with very heavy rainfall such as happened in September 2012. We need to stop the overtopping happening.

Village Greens – You don’t get many of them in modern communities

What an odd thing to ponder on you may say yet England’s rural communities were often built around greens. By greens, I don’t mean churned up former large grass verges or houses built around play areas but I do mean grassed areas that are reasonably maintained as local green lung and/or community space with houses surrounding them.

What got me thinking were two areas of Maghull, Hinchley Green off South Meade and Parkbourn Square. The former I have blogged about before associated with United Utilities recently trying to install a monster control box taller than my 6ft – see photos below. Fortunately it ended well after a bit of Lib Dem campaigning alongside local residents.

This was the supersized one which had to go!

This was the supersized one which had to go!

The latest UU green box, quite an improvement on the monster sized one they put in earlier this year

The latest UU green box, quite an improvement on the monster sized one they put in earlier this year

The later is now a quite picturesque green on the far eastern side of Maghull right next to Ashworth Hospital. Indeed, the houses were built for the NHS many years ago but now are mostly privately owned with a few belonging to Riverside Housing Association. Frankly, the Square never looked its best when the NHS owned it but now it looks really smart, just look at the photo below.

Parkbourn Square

Parkbourn Square

But are there any other greens in Maghull, a mostly post IIWW town that long ago lost its 1930’s rural feel? Well there is the oft mentioned Kennessee Green near Maghull Station and yes Kennessee Close does have a small green at its heart. Then there are the modern greens that the houses off Deyes End are built around. And now I think about it East Meade has a large green and Church Road has a couple of greens. I am sure I have forgot one or two though despite being nearly a local now, having moved to Maghull in 1968.

Leeds Liverpool canal in Maghull

Some nice shots here of a barge negotiating the pedestrian swing bridge at Shop Lane in Maghull on Thursday 19th September. Click on each photo to make it larger.

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There can be little doubt that the canal through Sefton is now seeing a much high volume of traffic than for many, many years. Just behind the bridge is the busy Liverpool Road North, a former Turnpike Road, and the contrast between its congested traffic and the tranquillity of the canal is all too obvious to me as a local resident.