I went along to the still new Maghull North Station (on Merseyrail’s Northern Line to Ormskirk) today to have a look at the just installed piece of artwork which celebrates the work of the former Moss Side Hospital and its pioneering treatment of shell shock. Of course, the hospital is long gone and the new Poppy Fields Housing Estate now occupies the site.
Here are some shots of what I think is a quite striking piece of artwork which is sited adjacent to the station ticket office:-
It was unveiled by local historian and former Maghull GP Dr John Rowland who has published a number of books on the history of Maghull and Lydiate.
A fine tribute to Moss Side, its staff, doctors and indeed patients who benefited from its pioneering treatments during and after World War 1.
The 3rd photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
As a follow up to my preceding posting about how Maghull’s world famous former Moss Side Hospital is being recognised at the new Maghull North Station here are some details of a project and research concerning the hospital which is now on public display at Southport’s lovely Atkinson Museum and Gallery.
History board about Moss Side Hospital on the platform of the new Maghull North Station
Here’s a link to information about project and when you can visit the gallery:-
Extract from Atkinson web page – Local volunteers have been unearthing fascinating stories relating to Moss Side Military Hospital in Maghull. The hospital pioneered treatment for soldiers with shell shock during the First World War & treated over 3,600 patients between opening in December 1914 and 1919. Moss Side became renowned in the developing field of psychological medicine, with clinical staff at the time were described as “the brilliant band of workers who made Maghull the centre for the study of abnormal psychology”.
The Atkinson Southport photographed in November 2015 – Photographer unknown
With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting
PS. On an unrelated matter if you are a Maghullian or anyone else for that matter and visit The Atkinson look out for their large display of Hornby related Toys and models. Other than the Frank Hornby Experience within Meadows Leisure Centre The Atkinson display is probably the most extensive you can find in the Liverpool City Region
Readers of this blog site will recall how disappointed I was when the railway powers that be refused to acknowledge (in the name of the new Maghull North Station) the part the former Moss Side Hospital had played in the treatment of Shell Shock during and after WW1. Indeed, that disappointment was felt across a large number of campaigners as we wanted the station named ‘Maghull Moss Side’ because it sits on the site of the former hospital as does the new Poppy Fields housing estate.
View of platforms at Maghull North Station
My blog posting of December 2015 refers:- tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/12/07/maghull-name-new-station-maghull-moss-side/
We may have lost that particular battle but things have moved on in a far more positive way since and users of the new station will probably have seen the display boards that have been erected on the station’s platforms detailing the history we all wanted recognised. Here’s a photo of one of the boards:-
Now Maghull Town Council has stepped in and is to provide a piece of public artwork for display at the station. Details of the artwork can be found, via the link below, to the planning application documents recently submitted to Sefton Council (look at the Design & Access Statement):-
Local history is important in any community but in Maghull, which is world famous for 3 things, it is vital that the past is not forgotten. And the 3 things? This issue of course because of the pioneering medical work into trauma, the fact that Maghull had one of the first ever epileptic colonies (The Maghull Homes) and finally because it was the home of world famous toy maker Frank Hornby of Meccano, Dinky Toys and Hornby Model Railways fame. Who’d have thought that a town, which many think is just a post 2nd World War suburb of Liverpool, had such a history!
With thanks to Nigel for the lead to this posting.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
The following is from a Merseytravel staff briefing:-
‘Following on from the official station opening last month, a special event took place at Maghull North on Wednesday which saw local schoolchildren burying a 50-year time capsule. With support from Merseytravel, Sefton Council and Merseyrail, the pupils from St Thomas C of E Primary School in Lydiate have been busy planning the capsule over the last couple of months – items added included LFC/EFC match programmes, an unused mobile phone, popular books and a film which they created.
As well as the capsule being buried, a series of storyboards were unveiled on both platforms reflecting the fascinating history of Moss Side Hospital, which was located on the land on which the station now resides, and how it became a leading institution at the forefront of research into mental health and PTSD during and after the First World War.’
Indeed, Moss Side Hospital was world famous and that was why local campaigners requested that the new station be called ‘Maghull Moss Side’ but their request fell on deaf ears in the railway industry. Maghull is world famous for 3 things – being the home of toy maker Frank Hornby, being the town that established one of the first ever epileptic colonies and being the place where ‘shell shock’ was first researched and treated at Moss Side Hospital. It’s great that the latter is being recognised but would it have hurt to have listened to the campaigners who wanted the station named Maghull Moss Side? An opportunity lost in my view.
Work continues apace with the construction of Merseyrail’s new Maghull North Station with the station building itself start to rise from the ground. The photo below illustrates the situation on Monday 05th February:-
Click on the photo to enlarge it
Behind the station the progress of house building on the Poppy Fields/Ashworth South site can also be clearly seen. This was the site of the former Moss Side Hospital which became world famous for its treatment of shell-shock sufferers during WW1.
I have been keeping an eye on the progress of these two adjacent developments off Maghull’s School Lane and here are are some photos of things as they were on 11th November.
Station platforms beginning to emerge
Almost completed houses on ‘Poppy Fields’, the former site of Moss Side Hospital and subsequently Ashworth South Hospital
Looking over the recently created rainwater collection pond (Sustainable Urban Drainage or SuD in drainage engineer’s speak). School Lane is behind the fence in the background.
Of course the Maghull North Station construction process has become hugely controversial with neighbouring residents in Mersey Avenue in recent weeks due to intrusive night time working, noise and flood lighting.
Merseytravel/Network Rail are promising a residents meeting we are informed in an attempt to find a way forward. There was no work taking place when the photo above was taken.
The housing development on Poppy Fields or the Moss Side Hospital/Ashworth South site (all are used to describe this site and its history) was not controversial when the wedge shaped piece of land was designated for housing in Sefton Council’s otherwise hugely controversial and recent Local Plan. But the site sits across the road (School Lane) from the most controversial of all the sites in that Local Plan – The Maghull East Urban Extension of around 1,600 houses plus a business park.
Poppy Fields in its former guise as a mental health treatment hospital site and before that, in World War 1, as a world leading center for the development of treatments for those suffering from ‘Shell Shock’ is of huge historical significance.