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’.
I’ve come across at least 3 rather grand bus shelters in Melling Civil Parish, one on Prescot Road near the junction with Cunscough Lane (now out of use because service buses no longer travel that road anymore), one in Tithebarn Lane (which is very much in use) and another one in Waddicar Lane.
All are built of sandstone and I’m guessing that they were erected by Melling Parish Council at some point in the recent past? I’m also guessing that were built after the early 1980’s construction of the M58 Motorway as the one on Prescot Road is on the new alignment of that road where it crosses over the M58. I’m open to correction here if these assumptions are wrong so please get in touch if I am or if you have more information about them.
The shot above is of the shelter in Tithebarn Lane and here’s another shot from inside the one on Prescot Road:-
Note the arrow slit type windows reminiscent of a fortified castle
Bus shelters usually have a limited lifespan due to vandalism, rot, rust or simply not being required anymore, as our public bus services continue to decline, However, in Melling these rather special shelters seem, like any sandstone building, to be here for generations.
I wonder if the stone used to construct them came from the former Melling sandstone quarry up on Melling Rock?
Please get in touch if you know their history.