Maghull – Sustrans – Merseyside North Volunteers win the TESCO jackpot!

merseysidenorth.blogspot.co.uk/2016_03_01_archive.html

Here’s some great environmental/green news for Maghull – see link above

I covered this story a while back – here’s the link back to that article:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/03/03/sustrans-the-cheshire-lines-path-merseyside-north-volunteers/

A shot I took a couple of years ago of the access path off Sefton Drive to the Cheshire Lines Path and the dumped rubbish that the area suffers from.

A shot I took a couple of years ago of the access path off Sefton Drive to the Cheshire Lines Path and the dumped rubbish that the area suffers from.

So congratulations are due to the intrepid Merseyside North Sustrans volunteers for winning the top prize. It will be interesting to see how their project develops as this access point to the Cheshire Lines/Trans Pennine Trail has long been a mess.

By the way I found this old photo amongst my collection. It is taken from the very spot that the volunteers are going to improve looking up at the old Cheshire Lines Sefton Lane railway bridge parapet. Of course that is now long gone with the bridge gap itself also filled in. All that’s left is a hump in Sefton Lane. The photo is from the early 1980’s and the people in it are Marie Borland, Andrew Beattie (sadly passed away) and Dave Roscoe. Marie and Andrew were both Maghull Town councillors at the time.

Marie Borland, Andrew Beattie & Dave Roscoe - Old Cheshire Lines Bridge Sefton Ln ,Maghull

Sustrans – The Cheshire Lines Path – Merseyside North Volunteers

merseysidenorth.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-us.html

The other day at a Maghull in Bloom meeting Ed, a local volunteer, told us about another Maghull volunteering project that he is involved with and a great project it is too.

Ed’s other volunteering group is called Merseyside North Volunteers who support the work of the environmental footpath/cycle path charity Sustrans. Sustrans, of course, are responsible for the Cheshire Lines Path which runs from Southport to Maghull and onwards into Liverpool as part of the Trans Pennine Trail.

This is the old Sefton & Maghull Station just prior to demolition in the early 1960's. A factory now stands on the site.

This is the old Sefton & Maghull Station just prior to demolition in the early 1960’s. A factory now stands on the site.

The main access to the path in Maghull for those using it to travel northwards to Southport or indeed those coming into Maghull from the other direction is at Sefton Drive, only yards away from the former Sefton & Maghull railway station. Now frankly this gateway to the path is not all that it could be, often covered with rubbish and litter and dog fouling. I have covered this problematic area previously on this blog site and my last posting about it is accessible via the link below:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/01/28/maghull-sefton-drive-and-cheshire-lines-path-is-a-dumping-grownd/

What Ed had to tell us was that his group of volunteers and Sustrans are working on a small project to try to improve things and here’s a link to that project:-

www.merseysidenorth.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/the-meadow-we-need-your-votes-on-27th.html

If you shop at TESCO you can help by voting for the ‘Meadow Project’ until 6th March.

Let’s hope this volunteer initiative is a success.

Old Map of Southport – 1958 – Some of it’s former railways were still on the map

I mentioned a few days ago (see link below) that I had come across an old Ordnance Survey Map of Liverpool from 1958.

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/04/07/old-ordnance-survey-map-of-liverpool-in-1958-maghull-lydiate-the-cheshire-lines-railway/

The map also covers Southport so let’s have a look at that part of the map which I have scanned:-

Southport 1958

Click on the map to enlarge it.

The most noticeable thing is that the former West Lancashire Railway line from Southport to Preston is clearly still up and running. No way would that line have been closed now if it had only just survived the Beeching era. It was of course 3rd rail electrified from Southport to Crossens.

The trackbed of the former Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway from Aintree is also just about visible along the coastline. It had been closed in July of 1952 and is now Southport’s Coastal Road from Ainsdale to near the old Lord Street Station. It also serves as the Cheshire Lines Long Distance Footpath which is part of the Trans Pennine Trail to Hull.

The former Liverpool, Southport & Preston Junction Railway (LS&PJR) line from Meols Cop/Blowick to Hillhouse Junction (on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway) is still denoted as being in use as far as Shirdley Hill. Whilst the line closed in January 1952 it was retained as far as Shirdley Hill and used for the storage excursion carriages until 1964.

If readers want to no more about the West Lancashire Railway or indeed the LS&PJR there is an excellent book on it by J E Cotterall which was published by The Oakwood Press in 1982, that may be available in second hand book shops.

My 3rd posting based on this map will appear soon regarding railways around Ormskirk, Burscough and Skelmersdale.

Switch Island – Thornton Link Road moves on apace

Progress on Broomscross Road, as it is to be called, is really moving on apace probably because of the excellent summer weather we have had.

It is to be called Broomscross Road after an historic cross that stood just to the east of Thornton where those carrying coffins to Sefton Church would rest on their sad journeys in times past. The new road passes close to the site of the cross.

I decided to have a look at progress of the road from a rarely seen location – Chapel Lane in Netherton (part of the Trans-Pennine Trail). This is a short dead-end (for vehicles) lane that serves just a few properties/farms off the Northern Perimeter Road. But there is an historic building here – have a look at this link for details:-

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Benet%27s_Chapel,_Netherton

This was the scene looking north and south a few days ago:-

From Chapel Lane looking south towards Switch Island.

From Chapel Lane looking south towards Switch Island.

From Chapel Lane looking north towards Thornton. You can just see the spire of Sefton Church on the right horizon.

From Chapel Lane looking north towards Thornton. You can just see the spire of Sefton Church on the mid-right horizon.

I can’t help but be pleased to see this progress after years of campaigning with the likes of Thornton Parish Council (who don’t get the credit they deserve in my book) to get this vital Link Road built.

The second photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-
www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Lydiate Station – Cheshire Lines Committee (Southport Extension Railway)

rsz_lydiate_1949

The photo above was probably taken in the late 1940’s. It’s a long time since Lydiate had a railway station, 7th January 1952 in fact, and it was hardly close to the Village Green as was so often the case in rural England. In fact it was quite a way from inhabited Lydiate well down Station Road (and Punnell’s Lane) which joins the main drag (Southport Road) through present day Lydiate. Or put in a different way Lydiate is in modern day Merseyside, the station site is in modern day West Lancashire! The station was never within the Lydiate Civil Parish boundary.

As is well documented elsewhere the Cheshire Lines Extension Railway which ran from Aintree through to Southport was hardly a huge success, so much so that its closure was well prior to that man Beeching who decimated our railway network in the 1960’s.

There is no sign of the station now although the Cheshire Lines Path (part of the Trans Pennine Trail) lets you walk the former track bed of this long lost railway from Maghull (Sefton Lane) through to Ainsdale. From Ainsdale into Southport the track bed is now the Coastal Road but it long straight sections and sweeping curves give it away as being a former railway line.