Waste, fly-tipping & The Cheshire Lines Path in Maghull

Right on the western edge of Maghull, there’s an industrial estate on one side of Sefton Lane and a waste disposal/recycling centre together with a garden centre and a few houses on the other. Leaving Maghull you go over a significant mound which is the remains of a railway bridge taking Sefton Lane over the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, now the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail. You then pass by the industrial estate (on your left) and recycling centre & garden centre (on your right) before a small bridge takes you over Dovers Brook, which is the boundary between Maghull and Sefton Civil Parishes.

The area has two significant problems, flooding at times of heavy rain being the most obvious and well known one which I’ve blogged about many times. The other problem is less obvious unless you walk around the perimeter of the waste recycling centre which backs onto Dovers Brook and open countryside. The problem? Rubbish, waste, litter strewn around. Here’s a couple of photos I’ve taken recently:-

View of rear fence of Sefton Meadows Recycling Centre

Rubbish stewn along the eastern bank of Dovers Brook.

When you see the rubbish your first thought (or at least my first thought) is how did it get here? You see where it has been dumped is not close to Sefton Lane so it surely can’t be casual fly-tipping. Having visited the area, twice now, with other concerned local residents and an environmental officer of Sefton Council there’s a possibility that the waste is coming from within the recycling centre. Yes, I know at face value that may seem odd but one theory is that scavengers operating within the recycling centre, out of hours, may be dragging stuff out of the centre and sorting through it on the other side of the fence, taking what they find to be of value whilst leaving everything else.

The problem could do with getting to the bottom of with Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) and their site operator Veolia. If the waste is being brought from inside the recycling centre compound then shouldn’t MWDA/Veolia take action to collect it up on a regular basis? Again, if it is coming via the route suggested does this not mean a beefing up of security is required?

It will be interesting to see how the Sefton Council environmental officer gets on with her piece of detective work. She seemed keen to get to the bottom of the growing environmental mess around this area.

And then just yards away you can walk over to the Cheshire Line Path/Trans Penning Trail which is maintained by the Merseyside North Volunteers and you see the other and very much positive side of our local environment:-

Maghull – An insight into its long closed Cheshire Lines railway & station

Maghull presently has two railway stations both on the Merseyrail Northern Line to Ormskirk but it once had what was then the town’s second station on the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway which ran from Aintree Central Station to Southport Lord Street Station. The station closed on 7th January 1952.

I’ve blogged about this long lost station, which was actually called ‘Sefton & Maghull’, previously and here’s the most relevant link back to one of my postings:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2013/11/22/sefton-maghull-station-cheshire-lines-southport-extension-railway/

I return to the subject of this station now because of some historic photographs from the 1960’s which have been passed onto me by the family of former British Rail employee Neil Reston. Here they are:-

This shot is noted as being taken on 28th February 1960. It looks southwards in the direction of Aintree. It will have been taken from the road over- bridge.

This shot of roughly the same area was taken in 2017

This shot also looks south and it’s noted as being taken in March 1960. It looks to have been taken from Cabin Lane which is between Lydiate and Sefton & Maghull Stations so the shot looks towards Sefton & Maghull. The occupation bridge in the shot, which still stands, as a continuation of Bells Lane where it turns sharply right to become Altcar Lane. My thanks to Alan Bolton for correctly identifying the location. This posting has been updated to take this into account.

Here’s a shot looking south from Cabin Lane as it looks now:-

This shot is taken from the bridge parapet which carried Sefton Lane over the railway. It’s looking north in the direction of the next station on the line Lydiate. It’s dated 28th February 1960.

This final shot is also looking north and the track has been removed. It’s dated March 1960.

The present view of the former trackbed looking north, replicating the final photo, is this:-

The telegraph poles are all that remain.

My posting about Lydiate Station using photos from the same collection and taken at the same times is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2020/12/14/lydiate-remembering-its-long-lost-railway-station/

What happens to Merseyside’s rubbish that can’t be recycled?

All lined up – Merseyside’s waste packed into containers for a ride to the north east.

Well it’s sent to Kirkby (Knowsley Freight Terminal to be precise) where it’s loaded into containers, put on the 2 trains that leave each day and taken to the north east of England to be burned.

The destination is a power station called Wilton which uses the waste to generate electricity. Wikipedia has a page on the power station – look for ‘Wilton 11’ down the page for comment about Merseyside’s waste:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilton_power_stations

A double-headed (2 loco) train departs Knowsley Freight Terminal on its way to Wilton Power Station.

Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste, or the processing of waste into a fuel source. WtE is a form of energy recovery. Most WtE processes generate electricity.

Landfill is now a very expensive and an environmentally dubious process although it is hugely more regulated than it used to be when rubbish was literally tipped into a hole in the ground with little if any thought as to the consequences of such tipping.

I recall as a child living in Maghull the tipping that was once done on Sefton Meadows during the 1960’s and 1970’s on land north and south of Sefton Lane/Bridges Lane. The southern tipping land is now forested and called Jubilee Woods and as a youngster at Ormonde High School cross country runs took you on a public footpath right through the tipping land – the smells were appalling. That same footpath is still there but walking it now you would never realise what’s under your feet.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority set up and negotiated the contract to send Merseyside’s non-recyclable waste to Wilton.

Class 66 diesel locomotives 66040 and 66145 leaving Knowsley Freight Terminal on 24th August 2018 with another trainload of Merseyside’s waste.

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

The 2nd photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Maghull – It’s 2nd railway station opens tomorrow 66 years after it lost its original 2nd station

Maghull lost its original 2nd railway station when it closed on 7th January 1952. That station (Sefton and Maghull) was on Sefton Lane and was a part of the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway.

I’m told by an old Maghullian in the know that the first talk of a 2nd station for Maghull, on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line, was just after World War 2, so its taken a while you might say to get it built.

The serious talk has been going on for I suppose over the last 25 years and it took some time to secure the station site. My good friend and former Sefton councillor for Maghull, Roy Connell, had a hand in that effort and the battle was won some 10 or more years ago when the rest of what was then called the Ashworth South Site* was down to have a prison built on it. That prison, which was never built of course**, is not to be confused with the temporary prison (HMP Kennet) which did operate from the former Ashworth East site for just under 10 years until quite recently.

Maghull North Station site – 27th September 2017

Construction of the new station (somewhat unimaginatively called Maghull North***) started last September and when it became apparent that it was due to open alongside the May 2018 railway timetable changes some of those in the railway know scratched their heads and said ‘that’s not going to happen’ or words to that effect. And indeed it did not and the opening was put back a month until 18th June.

This photo shows, on the left hand side the shortish back gardens of the Mersey Avenue houses.

The building of the new station has not been without considerable upset though for the residents of Maghull’s Mersey Avenue, who will have the station at the bottom of their back gardens. Noise, overnight working and the height/scale/position of the lift towers became huge issues and it led to demands for compensation payments which remain unresolved I understand. So it’s worth those standing on the platform of the new station taking a few moments to think of the troubles of the Mersey Avenue residents.

Having fought for the station to be built for more years than I care to recall I’m obviously pleased that it’s finally arrived. Now we want Merseyrail’s Liverpool – Ormskirk Line extended to its logical end of Preston. The present arrangement of a poor and unreliable service by Northern Trains onward from Ormskirk is a hang over from the decline of our railways in the 1960’s. I hope I’m still breathing when Northern are kicked off that line and we can all once again travel the length of the Preston to Liverpool railway.

Welcome Maghull North, your birth has been a long and tough one but you should be of benefit to many future generations.

* Former site of the world famous former Moss Side Hospital which pioneered the treatment of shell shock during and after World War 1.

** When the new prison was cancelled @2010 the site was designated for housing and presently the Poppy Fields and Pavilions housing estates are being built on the site.

*** Campaigners seeking to acknowledge the world groundbreaking medical history made at Moss Side Hospital wanted the new railway station to be called ‘Maghull Moss Side’ but the dead hand of railway administration was having none of it. They had made a decision and we were stuck with it so to speak just as they refused a quite sensible request to change the name of the old Maghull station (which was once called Maghull & Melling) to ‘Maghull Hornby’ in recognition of former Maghull resident and world famous toy maker Frank Hornby.

Click on the photos to enlarge them

Maghull North Station – Latest construction photos – It’s also 66 years since Maghull lost its original 2nd Station

Here are a couple of photo’s taken on Sunday 14th January of work being undertaken on the site of the Town’s new and soon to be second railway station, which is due to open in May of this year:-

It is 66 years this month since Maghull lost its original second railway station on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway. That station was on Sefton Lane and it was called Sefton & Maghull.

Sefton & Maghull Station @ 1930 – Photo D Thompson

The station closed on 7th January 1952 and the site has been built over by what was originally the Koters factory.

The site of Sefton & Maghull Station in 2017

The only reaming thing associated with that station is what is now a hump in Sefton Lane. The hump was until not so long ago a bridge carrying the road over the old railway. It was too expensive to take away the whole bridge and ramps up to it so the open part, where the tracks originally were, was filled in by Sefton Council in the 1990’s. Here’s an old photo from when the bridge and its parapet wall was still in place – the copyright owner is unknown to me:-

So 66 years after losing it’s second railway station Maghull will get it back all be it on the same Liverpool – Ormskirk line as the present Maghull Station.

Click on the photos to enlarge them – The 2nd one from the top of this posting is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Maghull – The worst local road surface?

My money is on the short (seemingly unnamed road) road which links Sefton Lane to Sefton Meadows Waste Recycling Centre and which also serves Sefton Meadows Garden Centre and the businesses operating out of our long lost snooker hall. Just look at the state of it!

Suggested names for the road are Rubbish Road, Landfill Lane, Waste Way and Recycling’s Close.