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Southport falls silent to honour Victoria Cross hero

A Special commemorative paving stone has been laid in Southport to recognise war hero Private Richard George Masters VC.

The laying of the commemorative stone is the latest of five permanent tributes to former residents across Sefton who received the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

Members of Private Masters’ family joined the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside and Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, to unveil the VC Commemorative Flagstone as part of special service held at the War Memorial, Lord Street, Southport on Saturday April 21.

Prior to the service, 238 Sefton Squadron RLC paraded from Nevill Street to the Monument in tribute to him.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “It was an honour and a privilege to pay tribute to a true Sefton hero.

“Private Masters did what nobody else thought ever possible and his actions on the battlefields of France saved hundreds of lives in just a day.

“So many men from across the borough fought in the Great War and this is just the latest in a number of events taking place across Sefton to remember their sacrifices.”

Private Richard George Masters was a 41-year-old Ambulance driver stationed near Bethune, France in 1918 when an enemy attack left his fellow soldiers cut off and facing certain death.

Although thought impassable, Private Masters single-handedly drove his ambulance across the battlefield, through a barrage of heavy fire and bombing, in a bid to rescue the wounded.

He made journey after journey throughout the afternoon. When the gunfire stopped and the dust settled, Private Masters had rescued nearly 200 men.

His heroics did not go unnoticed and Private Masters was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

June opening date confirmed for new Maghull North station

Residents of Maghull will benefit from better links to the local rail network from June 2018 after the opening date for the new station in the town was confirmed.

The first services, operated by Merseyrail, will run from the new Maghull North station from the morning of Monday 18th June.

The opening date was confirmed as the first of several community projects involving local groups and schools was unveiled at the station site – artwork designed by local school children.

A number of schools in the Maghull area have come together to produce community artwork to help brighten up the station site. Seven schools, both primary and secondary, from the Maghull area took part in the project, which was unveiled along the site hoardings on School Lane last Friday (16th March).

Students from Maghull High, Deyes High School, St Andrew’s Primary, St Georges Primary, St Gregory’s, St Thomas Primary and Summerhill Primary schools showed off their artistic talents for the project, covering a wide range of subjects from butterflies and trains to the Three Graces and other landmarks within the Liverpool City Region.

After the unveiling Rob Grey from Network Rail gave the students a presentation about the work involved in building a new station, the jobs and skills that are needed to work in the rail industry and railway safety. This was followed by a question and answer session.

A number of other community projects are planned for the new station, including a time capsule prepared by a local school and display boards covering the history of the former nearby pioneering Moss Side Hospital.

 

Councillor Gordon Friel, Lead Member for Rail on Transport Committee of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “The new Maghull North station will be of huge benefit to local residents when it opens in June, giving more travel options while playing a big part in helping the on-going development of the area in the coming years.

“This fantastic art project involving local schools is a great example of the community getting involved and will help to bring a bit of colour to the new station site.

“There are a number of other community-based projects planned for the station and we would encourage local residents to get involved and give their support in the coming months.”

Andy Heath, Managing Director of Merseyrail said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming Maghull North station on to the Merseyrail network. These investments, including the new fleet project, are really enhancing rail services for local people.

“Maghull North will make our rail network much more accessible for those living nearby and it’s great to see the station already becoming part of the community with the artwork that has been created by local schools.”

Rob Grey, Network Rail project manager for the scheme, said: “The new Maghull North station forms part of a massive £340m railway investment in the Liverpool City Region. This major investment is about boosting connectivity and capacity – making room for new, longer trains, with more space for passengers.

“It has been fantastic working with local schools to create the new artwork which will be enjoyed by Maghull North station passengers for decades to come. We look forward to future projects with the local community before the station officially opens in June this year.”

Sally Ralston, Merseyrail Corporate and Social Responsibility Manager, said: “We approached the schools and asked the children what they would like to see at the new station.

“We gave them a blank canvas to produce what they wanted for the project and were delighted with the quality and quantity of work that came back.”

June Burns, Mayor of Maghull said “It was an absolute pleasure to attend the event and meet all of the children who have helped brighten up what is currently a construction site.

“I would encourage mums, dads, grandparents, brothers, sisters and the wider community to come along and have a look at the display on School Lane”

 

The new Maghull North station will be located just off School Lane next to the former Ashworth Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line.

The station forms a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting local public transport demand from a nearby new housing development that will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future.

It also forms part of the wider £340m investment of rail improvements across the Liverpool City Region over the next three years, and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform train travel across the North.

Facilities at the new station will include:-

  • Staffed station building and ticket office with passenger toilet.
  • Passenger waiting facilities on the platforms.
  • Step-free access with lifts and a bridge to, from and between both platforms and the station building.
  • 156-space car park with blue badge and motorcycle parking facilities, as well as cycle storage.
  • Pedestrian and cycle routes from School Lane and Park Lane to the station, and bus stops on School Lane.
  • Future provision for electric vehicle charging points.

The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned the land on which the station will be built. Network Rail is building the station, which will be operated by Merseyrail.

More details on the scheme can be found on the Merseytravel website at www.merseytravel.gov.uk/MaghullNorth

Southport Pier reopens

Southport Pier has fully reopened to the public following the completion of vital improvement works.

The landward end of Southport Pier had been temporarily closed while contractors carry out the second stage of £2.9m improvement works.

The project will create additional jobs, increase visitor numbers and secure Southport Pier as a valued asset for many years to come.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “We’d like to thank residents and visitors for their patience while the majority of the works were carried out.

“Southport Pier is a marvellous asset and millions of pounds have already been spent on redevelopment work to ensure this fantastic structure continues to be a top tourist attraction

“As part of the Royal Birkdale Open Golf legacy fund, £40K will now go towards improving ‘green’ tourism and connectivity on Southport Pier for more people to enjoy.”

 The additional works will include new RSPB telescopes on the oldest cast iron constructed pier in the country to view wildlife and terrestrial and underwater webcams and television screens to view other marine life.

 A new access point to the pier will also be constructed.

Ultimate Frisbee and Zorb Football come to Sefton parks

Active Sefton is proud to announce the launch of Sefton Park Nights.

The Easter evening events are a new scheme designed to give youngsters across the south of borough the chance to enjoy a host of free and fun activities.

Hosted at various locations throughout South Sefton, the early evening events aims to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour by encouraging them to take part in fun filled activities

Throughout the fortnight (Monday March 26 – Thursday April 5) youngsters can take part in a raft of free activities including street golf, zorb football, climbing walls and more!

Park Nights is organised by Active Sefton and funded by the Merseyside Police Community Cash Back Fund.

Activities include:
• Street Golf & Football at Derby Park (6-8pm) on Monday March 26
• Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball at Killen Green ( 5-7pm) on Tuesday March 27
• Zorb Football at North Park (6-7.30pm) on Wednesday March 28
• Climbing wall and games at Crosby Coastal Park (6-8pm) on Thursday March 29
• Street Golf & Football at Derby Park (6-8pm) on Tuesday April 3
• Ultimate Frisbee and Dodgeball (5-7pm) on Wednesday April 4
• Zorb Football at Marion Square Gardens Park (6-7.30pm) on Thursday April 5
• Street Golf & football Kirkstone Park (5-7pm) on Thursday April 5
Heather Redhead, Sefton Council’s Health and Wellbeing Development Manager , said: “We are delighted to be able to launch Park Nights after huge successes with other events in the past such as Sefton Lights.

“Park Nights promises to be two weeks of fun and free activities and thanks must go in advance to Merseyside Police who have worked so hard to help us bring this great programme together.”

For more information contact the Active Sefton Team on 0151 288 6286.

Longer hours for Merseyside Recycling Centres

Residents will have the opportunity to recycle more from Sunday, April 1 as the region’s Household Waste Recycling Centres open for an extra three hours every day.

The 14 Recycling Centres, which are provided by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and operated by resource management company Veolia, will be switching to their summer opening hours, meaning they’ll be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm*, seven days a week.

The Recycling Centres are situated throughout the region with all 14 available to use for all Merseyside householders. They accept all sorts of household materials for recycling, from batteries, cans and cardboard, through to garden clippings, glass bottles, wood, and white goods. They also accept lesser known items such as takeaway coffee cups, clothes, furniture and electrical items.

A Van Permit scheme is in operation at all the sites meaning if you are planning to use a van or large trailer then you will need a Permit. Permits can be obtained free of charge by calling 0151 236 0305 or visiting www.merseysidewda.gov.uk.

The Recycling Centres are open every day of the year, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

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