Maghull – Frank Hornby Heritage Center is back up and running

Below is a press release from Les French Chairman of the Frank Hornby Trust who manage the Frank Hornby Heritage Center in Maghull’s Meadows Library and Leisure Center:-

‘We are absolutely delighted to announce that the FRANK HORNBY HERITAGE CENTRE is now BACK OPEN FOR VISITS following the completion of the move from the ground floor of Meadows Leisure Centre to our very own dedicated space above the library.

This means that as of NOW, our Heritage Centre, which is the only one in the world solely dedicated to Frank Hornby, his life and his products, is available to everyone during Maghull Library hours.

It is totally FREE to enter during weekdays between 10am and 5pm and Saturdays between 10am and 2pm, just follow the signs from the front entrance.

We hope that we will now be able to hold more events like the open day following the BBC2 programme ‘Great British Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo’ which gave the Heritage Centre and our Town some tremendous publicity.

Some of our trustees have managed to get the display up and running, and whilst there is still some work to do and spaces to fill, despite having more to look at that before, we have plans to further expand the displays.’

‘It is hoped to have an official opening when we are ship-shape and Bristol fashion, so keep in touch via facebook and we’ll keep you updated.

Massive thanks to Mike Woodruff, Meadows Centre Manager, and Sefton Council for the concept, care and realisation of the project which will be a massive boost to our work in commemorating the home town of the World’s Greatest Toymaker, and of course the Trustees of the Frank Hornby Charitable Trust for giving their time and expertise so freely’

‘p.s. If anyone out there has anything associated with Meccano, Hornby, Hornby Dublo or Dinky then please consider lending or giving it to us so that we can share it with everyone. We would particularly love anything that has a family or works connection, he is our most famous ever resident!’

Note:- The lead photo was used by the Champion Newspaper in its article on this matter dated 27th June 2018.

Maghull – Latest Frank Hornby Trust developments

Things continue to progress with regard to the move of the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre displays within Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre and it won’t be long before you visit them whenever the library is open. Here are the latest photos:-

More news about a re-opening date for the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre when I have it.

The Frank Hornby Trust is a Maghull based voluntary organisation which seeks to celebrate the life and works of Maghull’s most famous resident – Toy Maker Frank Hornby – Known the world over for Meccano, Dinky Toys and Hornby Railways

Maghull – Car parking ‘disagreement’ between Councils over Meadows Leisure Centre

I’m hearing that Maghull TC and Sefton MBC are tussling once again over the issue of car parking spaces around the Leisure Centre and Town Hall.

If this is indeed the case it is yet another chapter in a very long running saga as the success of the Leisure Centre has always meant that the car parking provision, as originally planned for back in 2010 when the Centre opened, is inadequate.

Maghull’s KGV Park and Meadows Leisure Centre

When I led the campaign for the Leisure Centre to be built I always had a feeling that it would take off but even I have been surprised by how many locals from the East Parishes part of Sefton Borough have been using it. The consequence of this success is the lack of car parking spaces.

Sefton allocated money a few years a back to enlarge the car park but at Maghull TC’s request this ‘offer’ was withdrawn. Now I hear that Sefton has once again put up money but that Maghull TC is still not supportive. As Maghull TC owns the land (KGV Park) then stalemate has been reached again.

The dilemma is of course green-space/parkland V car parking spaces. But if the matter is not successfully resolved then there are of course other consequences. Those consequences are:-

* Grid-lock in the car parks surrounding the Leisure Centre and Town Hall (I’ve been in one!)
* Parking in surrounding residential roads – L’pool Rd Sth, Northway Service Road
* Users of facilities at the Leisure Centre/Town Hall going elsewhere because of lack of car parking

There’s no easy answers but which Council will blink first in this battle of grass V cars?

Meadows Leisure Centre & Library – Frank Hornby Trust Displays

If you live in the Maghull area you will have seen the headlines in this week’s Aintree & Maghull Champion about the contraction of the Town’s library into a space only about one third the size of what it was when the new library was opened in 2010.

The demise, reductions and contractions of public libraries is sad in any circumstance and it is a matter I have blogged about on many occasions. However, this particular posting is more about the consequences of the major changes at Meadows Leisure Centre and Library. In particular the remodeling of the Centre/Library is having a significant impact on the Frank Hornby Heritage Centre which is based within the building.

The Heritage Centre is run by the Maghull based charitable trust – The Frank Hornby Trust – and it helps celebrate the life and works of Maghull’s most famous resident. On display in the Frank Hornby Room on the ground floor of the leisure centre has been a large museum quality display case with many Hornby related artifacts within it. Here’s a photo of it:-

There are a lot of Meccano, Hornby Trains and other items on display and every one has to be carefully cleaned now and again.

But the Franky Hornby Room is being repurposed into offices for Sefton Council so our display cases are on the move. They are moving upstairs into part of what was the 2nd floor of Maghull Library and the move starts tomorrow Saturday 21st April when Trustees will be packing up the items ready for the display cases to be moved. This means that for a period of a few weeks, whilst the works are ongoing, there will be no access to the Hornby items.

The good news however, is that when the works are complete the display cases will be accessible whenever Maghull Library is open. This is a significant improvement on the present situation because the Frank Hornby Room has always been multi-use, so access to the displays has depended on other activities in the room.

Since Michael Portillo visited the Frank Hornby Room on one of his Great British Railway Journeys the Frank Hornby Trust has had many enquiries from folk across the UK who want to see the display of Hornby items:-

In the Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre – Michael Portillo with Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French as seen on TV this year.

There’s much work to do over the next few weeks but the Trustees hope that following the move the displays will be back up and accessible for people to see towards the end of May this year. More publicity will follow.

Maghull – Meadows courtyard in volunteers sights

The courtyard that was created when Maghull’s Meadows Leisure Centre was constructed behind Maghull Town Hall is rather nice although sadly only rarely used. Here are 3 photos:-

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When the Leisure Centre was built after 20 or more years of campaigning, which had the privilege to lead, the idea was that the Town Hall (run by Maghull Town Council) and Meadows Leisure Centre would be jointly run but from the public’s perception it would be a seamless joined up indoor Leisure facility. Sadly that vision has yet to be realised and the two buildings, despite being connected at both levels, often have the feel of being awkward neighbours – engaged but not willing to set the date you might say.

One thing that I thought was very clear from day one was that Maghull Town Council would do all the grounds maintenance work around the Leisure Centre, after all it is their land that is leased to Sefton Council for Meadows and its car park. But for reasons unknown this plan never really came together and the planting in the courtyard is, you could say, a victim of this lack of clarity.

Yes Sefton Council’s staff have had the odd prod at maintaining it but it clearly needs a little more attention than that. Step in Maghull in Bloom Volunteers who have agreed to try to look after the area on behalf of Sefton or is Maghull Town Council? Well whomever it is behalf of the work of the volunteers has already started.

The day I took these photos in September it was a delightful place to sit with a cup of coffee yet the door to it from Meadows is rarely if ever opened, even on nice days. I do hope Sefton Council gives some consideration to welcoming Leisure Centre and Town Hall users to visit it after all that’s what it was created for.

Holocaust Memorial Day in Maghull

I attended a presentation by children from Maghull’s primary and high schools today in the Library at Meadows Leisure Centre. It was organised by MADCOS (Maghull & District Cluster of Schools) by my old friend Kath Coyle and and representatives of the Ann Frank Trust.

Below are 3 photos I took at the event, two of them are of slides being shown during the presentation.

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The last photo carries a staggering but hugely powerful measage