‘Life on Board’ Exhibition at Mersey Maritime Museum

Yesterday we went to have a look at this new exhibition which has recently been put tpgether by curators at Merseyside Maritime Museum. I say recently but it should have opened back in March however a certain lockdown stopped that happening. But with the relaxation of Covid 19 rules the exhibition indeed the Museum itself is now open for public viewing again, although it’s wise to pre-book your visit. It’s all free I might add.

‘Life on Board’ is a look into the lives of both crew and passengers of merchant ships and passenger vessels and it tells a story, indeed many individual stories, via the people who experienced work and travel by ship over many decades.

Now having been shown around this new exhibition by our daughter (one of the team behind it) means that my view of it must be biased; that said both Sheila and I really did find it fascinating and well worth the visit. What’s more, clearly great thought has been given into trying to keep visitors and staff safe during this awful pandemic.

I’m no maritime historian so the best way I can illustrate the exhibition is via the photos I took while at it. So here goes:-

There’s quite a bit about the loss of this ship including video interviews. So sad but the families got to the truth in the end thankfully.

The medal above was interesting to see as I’d blogged about Samuel Plimsoll a while back – Here’s a link to that posting:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/06/21/plimsoll-the-man-the-mp-and-the-line/

I picked this shot of a Harrison Line poster due to it’s connection with my former home town of Maghull – Historic England says – Harrison Home [at the junction of Sefton Ln & L’pool Rd Sth] was named after Frederic Harrison, the President of the [Maghull] Homes in 1902 who operated a shipping line out of Liverpool. The home was constructed by Brown and Backhouse at a cost of £5421 and opened in June 1902.

To add to the photo above my Mum worked at the Harrison Home in the 1970’s and early 1980’s and I recall going into the building (which is Listed) at the time and thinking how beautiful it was and indeed still is. The Maghull Homes, as it was then known, was an epileptic colony and this was one of their buildings, it’s now known as the Parkhaven Trust.

I took a lot more photos as the exhibition covers many shipping issues and matters but the ones I’ve picked for this review are those which particularly interested me. Of course, other aspects will be of greater interest to others so if this review has piqued your interest it’s best to go see the the exstensive collection for yourself – I’m sure you’ll not be disappointed.

Please click on the photos above to enlarge them.

Maghull – News on Parkhaven Trust’s new dementia care home

www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/robertson-chosen-for-maghull-care-home/

Place North West has news about Maghull’s Parkhaven Trust and it’s soon to be built dementia care facility – see link above

The former Maghull Homes sites at both Liverpool Road South/Green Lane and Deyes Lane/Damfield Lane in Maghull have changed almost beyond recognition since I ceased working there 1994 and here is another change on the way. I have blogged about developments on these two sites previously but this particular change is likely to most welcome due to the sadly rising demand for dementia car facilities.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Maghull – Where once there was farmland – Green Lane/South Meade

People who know me will realise how hard I have fought over the years to try to protect the character of the community around Maghull & Lydiate and indeed across wider Sefton Borough from what I see as inappropriate development.

Building on high grade agricultural land has long been an issue with me and it’s why I have opposed much of the land development that has recently been given the green light by Sefton Council.

The other day I drove past the building site off Green Lane/South Meade in Maghull where houses are presently being constructed. When I was a Sefton Councillor I voted against this site being developed. Sadly, I and my then fellow Maghull Councillor Andrew Blackburn were in a minority and permission was granted.

The land had until reasonably recent times been in agricultural use but that was not the only reason I was unhappy to see this particular site being concreted over. What Maghull has been losing over quite a number of years now has been the unique parkland landscape of the former Maghull Homes, now the Parkhaven Trust. This landscape once covered many, many acres over the two sites of the Maghull Homes off Deyes Lane/Damfield Lane and Sefton Lane/Green. I think it’s really sad that so little of it is left and for how much longer will what is left be there?

Yes I know that the Parkhaven Trust does all kinds of essential work (I worked for them myself in the 1980’s and early 1990’s) looking after the elderly and people with disabilities and I also realise that they have been selling off the land to develop that work, but the parkland type landscape has still been lost and two marvelous green lungs in the Maghull community are now much reduced.

Here’s how the Damfield Lane site is now looking as development takes place:-

Maybe it’s called progress but at what cost to the wider environment?

Stop Press – The recent announcement (In the Champion Newspaper) that building on site off Green Lane and adjacent to South Meade is to be extended further is a concern obviously, even though it is said to be for ‘affordable housing’. Of the many definitions of ‘affordable housing’ I wonder which it will be and how ‘affordable’ the houses will be?

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull – Houses for Parkhaven Trust site off Green Lane

This is the site looking towards the Allotments from Green Lane. It has been used as farm land in the recent past.

This is the site looking towards the Allotments from Green Lane. It has been used as farm land in the recent past.

This story goes back to July of 2013 when Andrew Blackburn and I voted against this site (bounded by Green Lane and South Meade) being developed for housing but Labour’s councillors voted for it to be built upon. That vote was on Sefton’s Planning Committee when we were both Borough Councillors for Park Ward in Maghull. I posted twice on the matter back in July/August 2013 and the links to those postings are below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/07/25/why-i-voted-against-more-building-on-the-parkhaven-trust-site-in-maghull/

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/08/22/peat-now-heres-a-thing-i-had-not-heard-of-before-in-relation-to-a-planning-application/

Now it seems that Redrow the house builder is going to take the planning permission forward and start construction of 57 houses.

Frankly my views have not changed in that the unique parkland layout of the former Maghull Homes Estate is being irrevocably compromised and will be lost for ever.

What I also fear is that we will get more 3 and 4 bedroom Houses when what we need are 1 and 2 bedroom properties. Having said that I still would not build on this parkland area of the Town. So if the development goes ahead which it now surely will, following that vote back in July 2013, we could not only lose more unique parkland heritage but also ‘gain’ houses that don’t address local housing need. What a double whammy!

Oh and to answer a query I have heard. The site is not mentioned in Sefton Council’s infamous Local Plan, I assume, as it was given planning permission 3 years ago. If my understanding is correct a new planning application is being submitted for the site but the principle of it being developed was agreed in July of 2013 sadly.

NHS GP Services in Sefton’s East Parishes – It’s been a roller coaster of a journey with few ups and too many downs

The recent talk and publicity in the Aintree & Maghull Champion made me think back to the many disappointments and frustrations we have had in trying to improve the NHS primary care facilities in Sefton’s East Parishes.

Sefton’s eastern parishes cover Melling, Aintree Village, Maghull, Lydiate and part of Sefton Parish and in all my many years as a councillor rarely have there been many positives with regard enhancing local GP/primary care facilities/services.

nhs-logo

The one really big and bright exception was the building and opening of the new GP premises in Oriel Drive, Aintree Village in 2012 after considerable campaigning by Aintree Village Parish Council, The Aintree Park Practice and the then Borough Councillors for Aintree.

July 2012 at the formal opening of the new GP Surgery

July 2012 at the formal opening of the new GP Surgery

But just look at the other miss-steps or missed opportunities:-

Lydiate Village Centre – opened in 2010 – this was originally to include GP facilities but the then Primary Care Trust backed out. Lydiate does not have a GP practice at all.

Meadows Leisure Centre (Maghull) – also opened in 2010 – was also meant to have GP provision within it. Indeed, the idea was for the GP’s to be able to refer appropriate patients directly to the Leisure Centre’s gym for fitness and rehabilitation/recovery purposes. Sadly the then Primary Care Trust backed out of that project too.

Maghull Health Centre was down to be rebuilt some years ago and councillors were told that the money/authority had been obtained for that to be done. That was as I say some years ago but nothing has happened to date.

rsz_maghull_health_centre

What’s more the then Lib Dem Borough Councillors for the 3 East Parishes Wards pressed for and gained a commitment that NHS Walk-In facilities would be provided within a rebuilt Maghull Health Centre, as the nearest one in Litherland is hardly easily accessible. This we were told was given the green light but when it went public health officials said they were not now going to do it!

Melling’s GP surgery was relocated to Kirkby in Knowsley Borough not so long ago, causing great concern to the village residents.

The GP practice on the Parkhaven Trust site in Maghull needs to relocate, so are told, and this is causing all kinds of concerns as to where it will go to. The same GP practice has had its problems in recent times and originally it had been down to be run by a big private company (possibly American) under the last Labour Government’s NHS privatisation plans promoted by Tony Blair and, I think, Andy Burnham. That idea was fought off by local campaigners.

All in all it’s fair to say that folks in the East Parishes communities just want high quality GP services, a locally accessible NHS Walk-In facility and as many medical tests done locally as possible rather than having to get to the very busy Fazakerley Hospital. Not much to ask for and much of it previously possible/promised but then backed out of by NHS officials.

I am sure that the numerous NHS re-organisations by all colours of Government have not helped over the past 20 years or so but the bottom line is little has moved forward and many problems persist with primary care NHS facilities in Sefton’s East Parishes.

Please no more promises, just deliver!

Peat – Now here’s a thing I had not heard of before in relation to a planning application

When Sefton’s Planning Committee recently voted to approve development on the Parkhaven Trust’s land off South Meade and Green Lane in Maghull (my posting and why I voted against the development are in my posting of 25th July) a surprising and in some ways puzzling late report was made to the Committee about the possible consequences of peat being in the sub soil.

The development site off Green Lane and South Meade in Maghull where peat is now an issue

The development site off Green Lane and South Meade in Maghull where peat is now an issue

As far as I could ascertain even long-standing members of the Planning Committee had not come across this type of report before. This is what the report says:-

There are significant bands of peat deposits in Sefton and this development is in an area where these deposits may be substantial. Peat produces naturally occurring methane and carbon dioxide and if sufficient amounts of these gases are allowed to collect under or within a newly erected or extended building, there is a potential risk to the development and occupants.

It goes on further but I think you get the drift i.e. developers who are told this need to think about what measures they will need to put in place to protect against the effects of methane gas.

Strangely, I could not find the document that was submitted to the Planning Committee, on Sefton’s web site in connection with this application. Also, when I made further enquires about where the peat deposits are (i.e. show me a map) I was told there was no map and that, in effect, it was down to council officers knowledge of the land in question when individual planning applications are made.

If you hear rumbling in the night it could be methane building up……………………