Maghull – My old school is changing fast

I was at Maghull High, previous names Ormonde Drive Secondary Modern & Ormonde High, from 1969 to 1975 and recall the multi-storey block which you can just about see in the background (almost covered by the tree) of the shot being built. That was in the days when disability was hardly a consideration – the block was built with no lift!

I also recall the old Woodend Primary School (which was on the same site) and which I attended for my last two terms of junior school (I’d moved from Rochdale) before going to the high school across the playing field. Sadly, Woodend Primary School closed some years back despite huge efforts by campaigners, with my old friend Andrew Blackburn being just one of them. Indeed, I recall us delivering leaflets in the locality trying to persuade parents to send their youngsters to the ‘hidden’ school. By hidden I mean that it could not be seen from any road as it was tucked away behind houses on Ormonde Drive and Liverpool Road South and its secluded location may well have contributed to its demise. But then in an odd twist it rose from the ashes to become the 6th Form block of Maghull High.

Teachers? I recall the head of Woodend a Mr Hadaway and a teacher Mrs Hughes. From Maghull High I recall teachers Jack Petty (what a lovely man), Ken Livesey, Annabella Cowel, Ray (Rog) Jeffreys, Miss Rimmer, Mr Grindrod (red faced and nearly always shouting I recall)…

Kids I recall? Just one from Woodend and I only recall his nick-name ‘Trolley’ – I wonder who he is? At Maghull High I recall many fellow pupils – Tony (Tad) Jarrett – died @1990, Pete Roberts, Jenny Webb, Russell (Fod) Foderingham, Andrew Beattie – died 1999, Phil Keeling (now Watterson), Keith Connor, Mike Ashley, David Johnstone, Gill Bryers, Alan Latham, Paul Gardner…………. and many others.

And all these memories came flooding back as a consequence of my stopping on a cycle ride along the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail to photo my old school being rebuilt.

Sustrans has big cycle route projects on the go but will the Trans Pennine Trail through West Lancs get an urgently needed upgrade?

This was the state of the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail through Great Altcar Civil Parish in the winter of 2017 – it’s not got any better.

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport has the article on its website, see link below :-

ciltuk.org.uk/News/Latest-News/ArtMID/6887/ArticleID/20306/New-projects-to-improve-access-and-safety-on-National-Cycle-Network-underway?gator_td=107QxtmDbxphgZPEl3MiUiwBbsbInstb%2bwwl6QjANKIN%2bkGPiAQn1eF%2boToMyy2jMURXokt1%2fFuRUftQqh%2f8WYuH0yKeXpWBUp3XSTR8rGwTqLJ6ORGTSNsCUnNgoqARgCXHl0wc974RlfQHmXxFDIq9werhM6BVGCiKVL4WU1%2fy656KO1e9jqVnprtBewe5

Quoite from the article linked above – ‘At least 55 new projects will be delivered over the next five years across the UK to kick-start the major overhaul of the National Cycle Network to transform it into paths for everyone. The projects are a result of the first ever review and an independent audit of the 16,575-mile Network, published in November 2018.

The “Paths for Everyone” report classified 54% of the Network as “good” or “very good” and unveiled a long-term plan to make it traffic-free and tackle physical problems. These include poor surfaces and barriers that prevent access for many people, particularly those with adaptive bikes, wheelchairs or prams.

Among the key measures to improve the Network are 55 “activation projects” which we aim to deliver in partnership with local authorities and other landowners across the UK. These range from improving signage, to removing unnecessary barriers and creating new traffic-free sections. The projects are to be finalised by 2023, at a cost of approximately £60 million.’

With thanks to Mike Perkins for the lead to this posting

Lydiate/Great Altcar Footpath Mystery

I’ve been trying to find the public footpath that starts (or finishes) at the junction of Bells Lane/Altcar Lane* right on the boundary of Lydiate and Great Altcar. It runs from this point in a southwesterly direction over the Cheshire Lines/Trans Pennine Trail footpath/cycle path and then on via Showicks Bridge to Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve.

Actually, it’s just the short section of it from Bells Lane/Altcar Lane to the Cheshire Lines Path that I’m trying to trace because when I travel along the CLP I can’t find it at all. Below is a photo of the general area of the CLP that I’m referring to and the footpath should cross it just a few yards to the north of the concrete posts according to the Ordnance Survey map that I have:-

The concrete posts denote where a farmer’s track crosses the CLP (although on the right-hand side it is clearly out of use – note the fencing) and I think the path should cross it more or less where the large tree is.

I’ve raised the matter with West Lancashire Borough Council’s Footpaths Officer to see if they can shine any light on the matter.

If any local walkers or indeed Maghull Ramblers can assist with this mystery please do so…..

* The starting/finishing point which I refer to used to be through Upper Gore Farm but that was redeveloped for housing some years ago and it’s now called Mercer Court.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Cycle Routes – They are generally poor

The BBC has the article on its website – see link below

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46179270

As a cyclist, I find this article interesting and to the point. I’ve commented before along the similar lines by highlighting local cycle route inadequacies which I have encountered.

Often segregated cycle routes do not have logical ends and are in effect bits and pieces between destinations. The route from Switch Island to Ormskirk along the busy A59 is an example. From Switch Island to the Maghull boundary there’s a brand new cycle path but it stops well short of Liverpool Road South. Yes, I know that Sefton Council intends to address this but really it should have been done in tandem with Highways England doing the first stretch.

But then moving north through Maghull & Lydiate a safe cycle route has yet to be sorted out. It’s either the busy dual carriageway or pavement for cyclists.

A59 Cycle path becomes narrow pavement at Robins Island.

Then at Robins Island, a cycle path appears again, on both sides of the A59. Generally, it is in good condition but parts of it are not – patches of grass, poorly completed surface repairs & tree roots make the later stages of these cycle lanes poor. But then as you climb into Aughton the cycle route peters out altogether just like through Maghull & Lydiate. This makes the last mile or so into Ormskirk a cycling challenge.

This was the state of the Cheshire Lines Path through Great Altcar Civil Parish in the winter of 2017 – it’s not got any better.

I could illustrate other problem routes where cycling facilities in Sefton and West Lancashire are inadequate but will settle for just one. The Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail. This former railway track is in very poor condition through West Lancs because since it was created there has not been the regular maintenance that is clearly required. Some of the route is now really only suitable for mountain bikes and a once wide path where cyclists could pass each other is presently very narrow in places.

There is much to do to make our cycling routes safe, logical and well maintained.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Maghull – Footbridge to where?

The other day I was cycling the short path that leads from Green Lane to the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail when I noticed workmen reconstructing a footbridge across Maghull Brook.

Maghull Brook is the boundary between Maghull & Lydiate and it also forms part of the boundary between Sefton and West Lancs. It was indeed this very brook that the Leeds Liverpool Canal collapsed into in 1995. Here’s a reminder of that day:-

Anyway I digress as this posting is about what seems to be a rarely used Maghull Footpath which the bridge pictured above serves. Trouble is I have never seen anyone use that footpath, a point also made to me by one of the workmen who clearly lived locally. The path runs northwards effectively alongside Maghull Brook towards that group of houses on the sharp bend in Bells Lane. The houses, once known as Upper Gore Farm but now called Mercer Court, are actually just in West Lancashire. In fact two footpaths radiate from that group of houses, the one we are talking about here and a second which ends up crossing the Cheshire Lines Path and then the River Alt on Showicks Bridge and leads you to either Sefton or Lunt Villages.

Showicks Bridge over the River Alt

Um, I seem to digressed again! Anyway a footpath sign showing where the path across the recently rebuilt bridge goes would be handy, then maybe it would be used by walkers who don’t have a local Ordnance Survey Map.

Maghull – Sympathetic Scything at the Meadow

Meadow Community Wildflower Garden behind Sefton Drive on the Cheshire Lines Path in Maghull.

merseysidenorth.blogspot.com/2018/06/sympathetic-scything.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MerseysideNorthVolunteers+%28Merseyside+North+Volunteers%29

The link above is to a short time lapse video of scything being undertaken at the ‘Meadow’ behind Sefton Drive in Maghull on the Cheshire Lines Path. It’s worth watching to see how this old and environmentally friendly grass cutting method actually works. It’s being done by volunteers from the Merseyside North Volunteers Group.