Southport’s Lakeside Miniature Railway

I recently purchased the old postcard shown below of Southport’s Lakeside Miniature Railway:-

There’s a date on the reverse of the postcard – 10th August 1971 but no other writing.

The caption, also on the reverse, says – SOUTHPORT, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND. A delightful resort with beautifully laid-out gardens and a famous Marine lake. The Lakeside Miniature Railway is a scaled-down version of the real thing, and is an ever popular source of enjoyment for children and adults alike. Original by T. R. McIlroy

Click on the postcard to enlarge the photo

Memories of Sunny Southport

Having found these two videos – see links below – on You Tube about Southport, it’s history and how it was promoted in the 1970’s (both uploaded by Michael Dawson) I had to share them:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgLAZ90BXNQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6MyE-ptbK8

And how the seaside resort is presently promoted in Covid 19 times:-

www.visitsouthport.com/

What’s interesting is that clearly in the days of the former Southport Borough Council and indeed into the early days of Sefton Borough Council there was significant promotion of the famous seaside resort by or at least organised by the council. That this lead in the promotion of Southport has been all but lost via the changing priorities of the present Council and indeed austerity measures must surely have had a detrimental effect on the local economy.

I recall that during my time on Sefton Council (1999 – 2015) with 7 years of that period being as Council Leader one of my long-term concerns was that the Council was always under pressure to reduce spending on the promotion of Southport. So yes the issue well pre-dates modern-day austerity. And the reason for this pressure? The need to spend an ever greater proportion of the budget on adult social care and children in care. Now you can see why politicians of all parties had to put the elderly and children first but never the less the effect was an ever dwindling amount of money to promote our local seaside resort.

Now probably more than ever Southport needs to be promoted so this proud and historic seaside resort can return to prosperity returns after the pandemic.

Southport – When Patrick the fastest bowler in the world bounced into town

Sunny Southport’s Cricket Ground

My love of cricket will be known to people who drop into this blog-site and that one of my Nottinghamshire cricketing heroes is the legendary fast bowler Harold Larwood – we both originate from the same district of Notts, Kirkby-In-Ashfield. But being a Notts lad exiled on Merseyside my cricket watching has been Lancashire based via catching County Championship matches at Aigburth (Liverpool) and Birkdale (Southport) for many a year.

The other day, You Tube, suggested a video to me about Patrick Patterson, probably the fastest bowler of modern day cricket. I watched said video (linked below) which has more than a tinge of sadness about it as seemingly Patrick can’t really remember much about his playing days.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpT5TPUmeCQ&t=220s

And what’s all this got to do with Southport? Well Patrick played for Lancashire from 1984 to 1990 and from checking the LCCC website archives I identified that he played at Southport’s Trafalgar Road ground in August 1984 against Northants and in July 1987 against Warwickshire. I was at one of those matches, I may have been at both, but my memory is hazy as to whether I was there in 1984 & 1987. Chances are that I was there with my old chum Chris Reilly and probably other Bootle Inland Revenue colleagues as many of the male members of staff would often take a day off to watch the cricket when Lancs were playing locally.

But what my memory is very clear about is the bowling of Patrick at the ground on the occasion I saw him. I recall that he started his run-up outside the playing area i.e. beyond the boundary rope within the crowd. He bowled incredibly fast and with Trafalgar Road being a smallish ground when he bowled a bouncer which evaded batsman and keeper it could and easily did make the boundary for 4 byes/wides!

On a sunny day there’s nothing quite like watching County Championship Cricket at Trafalgar Road and it is a matter of some sadness and frustration that Lancashire seem reluctant to make it an annual fixture of recent seasons. Here’s a link to the matches that have been played at the ground, the last one being 2018:-

cricketarchive.com/Lancashire/Grounds/751_f.html

Note:- Click on the photos to enlarge them. Neither were taken when Patrick Paterson was playing I might add.

Southport – Betting on a bright future for our local seaside town

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/seven-reasons-2019-could-southports-15593282

A really positive article here which can only help our local seaside town – well done Liverpool Echo

Sunset -As seen from the end of Southport Pier

But what else could help Southport develop its potential? Well, a bypass around Ormskirk would be a big boost as would regaining the once excellent rail link to Wigan and Manchester which has seen very poor services in recent times.

Remember Southport was built on the success of its railway connection to the east because Manchester business people came to live in the Town due to its once excellent and reliable trains to Manchester. Restoring reliable, comfortable, fast and regular trains on this line could work wonders for Southport. And reconnecting Southport to the north and Preston would be a welcome positive step as well and all it will take is the rebuilding of a short section of connecting track at Burscough.

Departure board at Southport Station.

The Liverpool City Region and indeed Sefton Council needs to stop looking at the Lancashire boundary, which surrounds most of Southport, as a no-go barrier and instead see it as an opportunity. For too long Southport has been held back by an invisible on the ground local government boundary. The transport solutions to help Southport develop are mostly in Lancashire and it’s not rocket science to see what they are!

Southport – The bucket list

Sunset as seen from the end of Southport Pier

The Liverpool Echo has come up with a bucket list for Southport and it’s on the newspaper’s web site – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/things-southport-before-you-die-14353042

Come to Sunny Southport and do the Echo bucket list!

Southport – An open top bus tour

Well it was an open top bus tour and it was on a vintage Southport Corporation bus, but the tour was actually around St. Helens rather than Sunny Southport.

A visit to an open day at the North West Museum of Road Transport (see previous posting) in St. Helens on 6th May brought about my open top bus tour. It was great that they had got out a vintage Southport Corporation bus to do honours, not least because the sun was cracking the flags in St. Helens just as it was in Sunny Southport that day.

The colour scheme of the former Southport Corporation (red and cream) was just made to make their buses stand out. So sad that our local seaside Town has lost all its colourful buses.