Prescot and district coal mining

Coming from a coal mining family (both by grandads were miners and two of uncles as well) I’ve long taken an interest in it and not so long ago I picked up a fascinating Knowsley Council information sheet (in Kirkby Gallery) about mining in the Prescot area.

It seems that mining in the area commenced as early as 1510 but the first solid evidence comes from a court roll in 1552.

Prescot was above some very rich coal seams that were near the surface so easy to access. Seemingly a new shaft was sunk each year but each one had to be abandoned after it became flooded and this meant mining in winter was not really a possibility. This problem was not of course unique to the Prescot area and it was the invention of the steam pump which made year round coal mining possible. Whiston Mine had one of the first such pumps from 1719.

The coal dug was going to the nearby port of Liverpool but when the Sankey Canal was opened in 1757 everything changed as collieries further away from the port could now more easily get their coal to Liverpool. This led over time to the demise of pits at Prescot Manor (mid 1800’s), Whiston (1897) & Halsnead (1900). Interestingly Halsnead was effectively reopened during the First World War but under the name of Cronton Colliery – it was finally closed by the National Coal Board in 1984.

The scans of the information sheet which forms the basis of this posting are at the head of and below:-

Click on the scanned document to enlarge for reading

Prescot and its ‘Flat Iron’ building

The steeple of Prescot Parish Church just as the sun was going down.

Local history has always fascinated me and I often blog about it across Sefton and indeed Merseyside and West Lancs.

This piece – see link below – in the Liverpool Echo took my eye:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/prescot-flat-iron-building-its-16553994

Prescot’s connections with clocks is well known but this significant Lancashire town also has some interesting historic buildings too – my shot of its parish church heads up this posting.

Prescot – Maghull Wind Orchestra to perform in Festival Finale

The now well established Prescot Festival runs from 21st June until 30th June this year and Maghull’s very own Wind Orchestra has been invited to perform in the finale with soprano soloist Danielle Louise.

I hear that the orchestra went down very well at Lydiate Festival recently so if you want to hear them you know where to go – a quick trip down the M57 to Prescot on Sunday 30th June.

Prescot – It gets that Shakespeare feeling

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/work-finally-start-merseysides-globe-14520495

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

Must admit this clearly long running story has not hit my radar previously.

Is this in a round about way (and never to be admitted officially of course) some form of apology from Knowsley Council for demolishing Prescot Leisure Centre?

Prescot murder – Carl Cashman speaks out

Carl Cashman

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/prescot-councillor-says-town-safe-13860776

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

Carl is a friend of mine and a more dedicated community campaigner you would do well to find. He steps into matters that other politicians shy away from. Every community needs a councillor like Carl.

Where on earth is Halsnead Park? Yes that’s what I thought too.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38486907

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

When I saw the list of Garden Villages to be developed obviously Halsnead in Merseyside jumped out at me and I have to confess that despite living on Merseyside for 48 years and travelling all over it this name had never been on my radar at all.

A quick Google search brought up a primary school and a caravan park near Whiston in Knowsley Borough where the M57 and M62 Motorways intersect. Then old chum Keith found a link to the document below on Knowsley Council’s web site and the picture began to emerge.

www.knowsley.gov.uk/pdf/SD02a%20Addendum%20to%20Report%20of%20Representations%20Made.pdf

And I started to wonder because to me the site looks like it should be a part of Merseyside’s Green Belt and ‘should be’ seem to be the important words because I asked my good friend Cllr. Ian Smith of Knowsley Borough Council and this is what he said:-

‘It’s green space taken out of the Greenbelt in 2016. Once again Labour run Knowsley Council is not taking any notice of local people. This area is built up enough without further development. It is adjacent to the Lickers Lane Estate built to take the overflow from Liverpool in the 60s & 70s.
We want to see the Local Plan amended with Halsnead being returned to the Greenbelt. The site should be protected, it includes farm land, woodland, fishing lakes and football pitches, and mobile homes on Halsnead Park.’