I blogged a couple of weeks ago about the seeming demise of one of Melling’s unique sandstone built bus shelters – The one close to the Pear Tree Pub on Prescott Road. Here’s a link to that posting:-
Moving on and on one of my solo fitness cycle rides during our lock-down a couple of days ago I saw this:-
This is the bench right next to the other Prescot Road sandstone bus shelter that’s near the junction with Cunscough Lane. You can’t see the shelter in this shot but this is it:-
A view from inside the shelter of the bench on Prescot Road taken quite a while back.
What I don’t know is why the bench has been so colourfully decorated with stuffed toys but maybe you do. Anyway, in another life a few years ago I christened this seat ‘Andrew’s Bench’ because I would pick a mate of mine up there now and again. Sadly, the shelter no longer has any buses call at it since the 345 bus to Skem was cut back, although I have been known to take shelter in it a couple of times during heavy rain when cycling in that part of the world.
Whilst I was away on holiday last week a Melling resident contacted me regarding the removal of what looks to me and indeed the resident like a perfectly good and substantial bus shelter yards away from the Pear Tree Pub. This is it:-
The poster advertising the potential removal is on the bus stop sign and this is what it says:-
I took the photos today when I went to have a look at the shelter. Apart from perhaps a bit of pointing the sandstone built shelter is in excellent condition and it’s one of a number of similar shelters erected around Melling Civil Parish by Melling Parish Council quite some years ago. Indeed, I’ve blogged about the shelters a while back (January 2018) and here’s a link to that posting:-
After I penned that posting I realised I missed out a 4th one, also on Prescot Road, i.e. the one now under threat of replacement.
So, why do the powers that be want to exchange it for a modern shelter? What’s wrong with the historic one? Are they going to try to get rid of all of Melling’s sandstone shelters? Is the construction of a cycle path alongside this incredibly busy road a factor in the proposal?
But really, there’s nothing at all wrong with the shelter at face value, so how about just keeping it and the other ones too – just in case someone somewhere has the eye on them as well for ‘modernisation’.
Having spent 12 years representing Melling on Sefton Council (up until 2011) I’m well aware of its worsening public transport options over a long period now. The knotty problem has been withdrawal/reduction of bus services, which is in no way unique to Melling but has had a significant and detrimental impact on this predominately rural community.
One part of Melling that could do with a positive public transport move in the right direction is that along Prescot Road from the Pear Tree Pub to wards Maghull – it presently just has an hourly 133 bus. It’s been suggested that with the opening of the New Maghull North North railway station there’s an opportunity to provide a regular connecting/circular bus service which could serve the rural parts of Melling. Possibly this could be done by amending/extending the run of one of the present circular bus services that covers Maghull/Lydiate?
This sounds like an idea that’s worth pursuing to me so I’m hoping that Merseytravel will at least try to see if such a move can be seriously investigated/trialed. I’m happy to add my voice to those calling for a better bus service for Melling.
Having previously represented Melling Parish on Sefton Council I have often pondered and why at times some Melling addresses are said to be in Maghull.
A lovely view of Melling Rock and St. Thomas Church
Take the Pear Tree Pub that is closer to Kirkby than it is to Maghull, yet its web references, at least some of them, say it is in Maghull when it is very firmly in Melling.
Then there is HMP Kennet, not a part of it is in Maghull yet it promotes its self as having a Maghull address. It’s in Melling.
I also recall having an odd conversation with a resident about a road called Beechway in Melling, odd because whilst the whole of the road is in Melling Civil Parish the resident was most insistent that she lived in Maghull.
But you could say this identity issue goes back at least as far as the late 1800’s when the former Maghull and Melling railway station was renamed just Maghull. Agreed, the station is wholley within Maghull Civil Parish but on its far eastern side and clearly serves Melling as well.
If some folks think that Melling may be having an identity crisis let’s help it fight back. Here are some interesting Melling links:-
A final word. Some years ago, whilst I was a Borough Councillor for Melling, I was given a book called ‘A Melling Lassie’ by Irene Birch which told the story of the Scottish potters who came to live and work in Melling. How many people know that Melling once produced pottery?