July 27, 2011

Gas leak repairs to effect traffic

NationalGrid logoExpect long delays and tailbacks this week as National Grid repair a gas leak in Meols.

Temporary traffic lights are now being used on Birkenhead Road between Station Approach and Fornalls Green Lane. Expect disruption, especially at peak travel times in the morning and evenings.

High voltage power cable could be next to Meols homes

Meols is being considered as the “landfall” location for a subsea high voltage direct current power cable and local residents are concerned that the cable is too close to residential property.

HVDC landfall MeolsPower company National Grid are proposing the laying of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable from Scotland to a power station Connah’s Quay, north Wales. The HVDC cable will be under the sea until it reaches land, when it is then laid underground across Wirral. The cabling technology is new and such there is no past-usage safety history available. Full information about the proposals are available on this official website.

The location at which the HVDC cable reaches land is termed the landfall location and there are currently two preferred locations along the Wirral coastline. The location that has possibly received most publicity on regional TV and news is at the car park at Leasowe, near the lighthouse. Moreton & Leasowe Conservative Councillor Ian Lewis has outlined his concern about Leasowe being the landfall location on his blog.

The other location is at the end of Meols Parade in Meols. A suggested landfall location is at Meols slipway where the HVDC cable would run underground between the last house on Meols Parade (no. 298) and the Hoylake Coastguard building (see map – click for larger). The cable would then run under fields behind properties on Bennets Lane, where an inspection building will also be built, and then subsequently across Wirral. Local residents say that they met with and have been assured by National Grid experts that the technology is harmless and that a static, electro-magnetic field emitted by the HVDC cable is safe.

Meols residents Deana and Dave Kay who live next to the landfall location on Meols Parade believe that there are other options for the  HVDC cable route which avoid passing closely to residential properties,  They believe that without enough objection and registered concern from Meols residents the chosen landfall location for the HVDC cable will be very close to Meols as it is an easier and cheaper solution for Scottish Power than Leasowe.

If you want to register your objections or concerns about Meols being the landfall location before the public consultation ends at the end of March you can:

  1. Use the official contact details page on the Western HVDC website – all forms of contact (letters, phone calls, web forms, emails are counted)
  2. Complete this petition campaigning against the cable being located within 100m of residential properties
  3. Contact Deanna Kay directly via email at mail@deanakay.co.uk

Please leave any potential comments or questions you might have on this feedback page as that way they can be properly answered and recorded by National Grid.


Sewage Outfalls

sewage 1

Many thanks to Ian Powers for sending in this detailed article about the sewage outfalls near Meols:

If you walk along the sea wall from Meols slipway to Moreton, you might notice that there is a kink half way along the route. As well as defending us from the sea, the sea wall was also used as a defence from potential invaders during WWII.  Positioned on the kink was a large concrete pill box which has now vanished.

This area was also the scene of a major civil works project, and those works were the subject of very heated discussion. A lot of seaside towns were seeing population growth, and they wanted to dispose of the increased sewage in the sea. There was much discussion both locally and in Parliament throughout the 1960s. During one YMCA Pantomime, our resident dame Bill Stanley composed a parody on Eartha Kit’s “Old Fashioned Millionaire” where he sang “I’d build a huge Atomic Sewage Scheme” during civic night when Hoylake Councillors attended the show.

I believe Hoylake originally had a number of sewage outfalls, including the Dovepoint Road outfall and one at this location called Crawford’s sewer.

To dispose of the increased sewage, the North Wirral Sewage scheme was created, and in 1971 a 900mm steel pipe encased in concrete was assembled on the grass at this point. At high tide a tug pulled the pipe out to sea over Spencer’s Spit whilst welders attached length after length of pipe together. When the pipe was about a mile and a half in length, it was sunk to the sea bed and buried with jets of water. The striped post in the photographs marks the sewer, and you can see a disturbance in the water of the gulley as it goes over the concrete protection.

I am not sure what happens to the sewage today, but I think the effluent was screened before entering the pipe and there was a macerator at the far end. The sailing club knew where the far end was, and they tried not to capsize anywhere near that point!

The capacity of the pipe was about 4.5 million gallons a day, and the Atomic Sewage Scheme parody nearly became true when Capenhurst applied to dispose of low level waste down the pipe.

Hoylake cine club used to hold an annual competition for amateur movie
makers, and I remember one winning entry was a film about the whole project called “Outfall”. I wonder if a copy of this film still exists?

sewage 2

Tea & Toast At St Johns

Every Thursday at St Johns Church there’s a coffee morning at the church centre from 10am til 12pm. Along with a warm welcome, tea, coffee, biscuits and sometimes bacon sandwiches are served. Once a month the Community Support Officers (from Hoylake Police station) have a table where you can talk to them and voice any concerns/ideas.

The now-removed scaffolding was there whilst the gutters were repaired late last year. St Johns has also had a new heating system installed over the last few months.

Great Meols Bowls Club

bowlsDid you know that the Great Meols Bowls Club has a website? Well it does and you visit it right here.

Situated in School Lane opposite Meols Park, the well maintained bowling green has proved to be popular for many years. Older Meols residents will recall that on the other side of the much-improved club house there used to be a few lawn tennis courts. I can even remember buying the odd ticket myself from the lady in the ticket office back in the late 70′s

Friday Photo: Meols Station

meols station

Here’s the view from the platform at Meols Station taken on a recent family trip out to Liverpool. It only cost £4 return for all of us thanks to the Christmas Cracker fare promotion.

You’ll be seeing some improvements being made to the station soon – Meols has been selected as one of 7 stations on the Merseyrail network to receive funding from the National Stations Improvement Programme. I can’t find details of improvements are to be made …so we’ll just have to wait and see!

Friday Photo: Green Cabinet

parkway cabinet

Can anybody tell me what’s inside this little green cabinet that’s on the corner of Parkway (Park Road end)? It’s quite an unusual looking cabinet and I guess it holds a meter or phone equipment of some sort?

The padlock looks reasonably new suggesting the cabinet is being maintained.

Friday Photo: Bennets Lane Post Box

post box

Do you ever have those moments when you see something somewhere and you ask yourself …is that new or has it always been there?

Well I had such a moment with this post box that’s on Bennets Lane, just past Guffitts Rake. I was kind of sure it was reasonably new but then I started to doubt myself. Fortunately, I know that it is reasonably new because in the photo below taken in June last year (when they resurfaced the road) it wasn’t there. So how long has that post box been there then?

Bennets Lane

Friday Photo: Dead Calm

boat at meols

I took this photo at around 8.30 this morning and as you can see, the Irish Sea at Meols was dead calm. I suspect that won’t be the case over the weekend though as some pretty horrible weather is on it’s way.

Does anybody know if these fishing boats are still in commercial operation? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Friday Photo: Church Spire

church spireHappened to be walking along Forest Road the other morning when I noticed the spires on St Johns Church. I presume that’s a lightning conductor running down the brickwork? Can’t say that we get many lightning strikes in West Wirral – do we?