How to beat the problem of traffic

Town Centre

Continuing a series of posts from the Liverpool Daily Post’s Changing Face of Ormskirk supplement is this map of Ormskirk Town Centre showing plans for pedestrianisation.

The problems facing Ormskirk are similar to those facing most towns large and small in this country – problems created and aggravated to a large degree by the motor vehicle.

[T]he Ormskirk town centre control map was prepared in 1964. This plan endeavours to retain the character and atmosphere of the existing town whilst encouraging redevelopment and revitalisation of those parts of the central area which are less attractive or in danger of becoming rundown from a business point of view.

The four chief factors which have governed the preparation of the plan are:

  1. The segregation of pedestrians and vehicles within the shopping centre.
  2. Circulation of traffic
  3. Rear servicing
  4. Adequate car parking facilities.

The article goes on to suggest some of the more outlandish ideas of the time including the M59 running from Bickerstaffe to Preston!

Changing Face of Lancashire Map

Liverpool Daily Post Map of West Lancashire

© 1968 Liverpool Daily Post. Based on the Ordnance Survey map; Crown Copyright reserved.

Today’s post also comes from “The Changing Face of Ormskirk”, a supplement published in 1968 in the Liverpool Daily Post.

Looking at an older map of the region shows just how much has changed over the last 40 years. When this was first printed, Skelmersdale had been designated a New Town for just seven years; the railway passing through is still present even though it was axed by Beeching.

The villages marked are quite different to those one would highlight today – Newburgh outclasses Parbold, Mere Brow has been relegated by the rise of Tarleton, Burscough and Burscough Bridge have all but merged into one and I imagine only the people who live say Pinfold rather than Scarisbrick.

The M6 from Warrington to Preston opened five years earlier but the M62, M57, M58, M65, M61 and M55 were just a glint in an over-enthusiastic urban planner’s eye.

Next time we’ll look at what The Changing Face of Ormskirk has to say about Ormskirk town centre itself.

Sculpture Found!

As Margie pointed out and Howard Turpin from Learning Services spotted, the Unknown Sculpture can be found in Southport and thanks to the scary wonders of Google Street View we can even see it!

Update: I should have thought to look in Fiona Montgomery’s book earlier as it tells us (almost) everything we want to know:

The Eternal Struggle by Dan Manning is one of the best known of the Edge Hill sculptures. In the tradition of Henry Moore it was originally on show at the Crystal Palace. Constructed from preformed concrete, at first sight it seems to be two separate parts, closer inspection reveals that it is two separate parts, but linked. This gave the title ‘Eternal Struggle’ and, in a burst of irony (?), is was located outside the Chief Executive’s window!

OS OpenData Street View

Contains Ordnance Survey Data (c) Crown copyright and database right 2010

If you’re not a map geek you may want to move along now. For those that are left, above is a map of Edge Hill taken from Ordnance Survey’s Street View product. On 1st April, OS released OpenData under a liberal attribution licence so anyone can use it. The detail on some of the maps is fantastic and while it’s not bang up to date – above you can see the Faculty of Health but not the new Business and Law School – it’s better than anything else out there.

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of what the Ordnance Survey have released, but that’s probably a post for another time and another place.

To Ireland; To Scotland; To London!

To Ireland; To Scotland; To London!

It’s been far too long since we’ve had a decent post about maps! This one comes from the 1992 prospectus that described a region of contrasts and has all the quirky features we love to pick apart!

Just the one road is present – the M6 showing how to get to Scotland and London but none of the other roads that might actually get you to Ormskirk. The ferry route to Ireland is a nice touch. The best bit, however, has to be the coastline. I appreciate the sand dunes at Formby may have changed significantly over the years but it appears to be drawn from memory or possibly to make the Mersey look like a smiling face!

Edgehill Mountain Park, San Francisco, California

Ocean View Cantilever

People have now started telling me about other Edgehills and Edge Hills they’ve heard of and today’s hat tip goes to Andy Butler for pointing me to Edgehill Mountain Park in the Golden State.

Edgehill Mountain Park might be stretching the definition of mountain a little but it looks interesting nonetheless. A little searching led me to and some photos on Flickr. Paul Furman of Bay Natives (San Francisco’s premier source for California native plants :-)) has kindly said I can use a few of the photos and pointed me to some more information.

Edgehill Mountain Park was founded in 1985:

Edgehill Mountain is part of a western San Francisco greenbelt which stretches through the center of the city, connecting Mt. Davidson, Hawk Hill, Twin Peaks, and the area around Laguna Honda reservoir. Originally part of Adolph Sutro’s San Miguel Ranch, the property was sold following his death in 1898. After the land became one of the city’s first subdivisions, known as Claremont Court, houses were built on the mountain’s western and southern slopes. The first major problems began in 1952 and ’53 when winter rains sent part of Edgehill Way and one home sliding down the mountain. In 1985, Edgehill Mountain Park was established when the city purchased one acre of the mountain’s undeveloped western slope and designated the area an Open Space Park. In 1997, a slope above some newly constructed homes collapsed during a rainstorm, cascading mud and rock onto the houses below and sending an unmistakable warning that the park could not survive the environmental destruction generated by further residential development.

We also have maps of Edgehill Mountain Park allowing me to satisfy one of my other obsessions!

It’s a shame I hadn’t heard of Edgehill Mountain Park last year when I drove from San Francisco to New York – maybe I’ll pay a visit next time I’m over there!

Ormskirk in 1609


A very special guest map this week that doesn’t even feature Edge Hill.  Above is a map of Ormskirk from 1609.  The original is held by Ormskirk Library and this scan is available on the Lancashire County Council website.  This map explains why Aughton Street and Moor Street are much wider than the other two streets and predates by quite some time the clock tower which now stands at the cross roads.

Ormskirk’s changed quite a lot over the last 401 years, and not just because of the University!

Give Way


Time once again for my regular look into maps of Edge Hill and today we feature a map which is still in use.  That means I have to be careful not to offend anyone by picking holes in its design and bizarre choices of locations, but fortunately that’s not a problem as I really like this set of maps.

The one above shows directions to the Ormskirk campus but we have maps for most of Edge Hill’s other campuses too.

They’re created by Give Way and show just the roads and junctions you’re likely to follow to get to your destinations, showing which way to go and even signposts to look out for.  They’re simple yet packed full of extra information like contact details.

Frequent electric train MERSEYRAIL

Undergraduate Prospectus 1983-84 Map

Keeping up the weekly posts of maps from years gone by is this lovely example from the back cover of the 1983 prospectus. It’s similar in design to last week’s example from 1989 but with even less concern that roads should go where they actually are. The appearance of St Helens and Warrington on this map makes it even stranger that they’re absent six years later. Salford is cryptically plotted by an unfilled circle as if to say “well done Salford, but you’re no Manchester, are you?”

My favourite bit of the map is probably the note about rail connections:

Main Line INTER-CITY services to Liverpool (Lime Street)
Frequent electric train MERSEYRAIL Liverpool to Ormskirk