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Irby, Thurstaston and Pensby Amenity Society Established over 30 years

ITPAS NEWSLETTER Volume 10, Issue 2 - August 2008

Page 2 Editorial Village Hall

Parks Upgrade

Page 3 Country Park Wind turbine ITP Bits

The Parks in Irby and Pensby supply the recreational needs of children in our community. Page 4 Additionally, in Irby we have Green Status bowling facilities and two tennis Radio courts. These parks are well used Clatterbridge in the summer and winter, but due to lack of investment, the equipment is rapidly deteriorating, therefore restoration is absolutely essential. ITPAS has previously contributed for two of our community benches. Page 5 Heswall Medical One in Irby Park and the other in Pensby Park at a cost of ÂŁ600 each. Centre Plaques were placed on each to endorse our involvement, of which the one in Irby Park remembered our founding Chairman, Alex Blackburn OBE. Recently, we have become aware that substantial lottery funding is Page 6 available, and although Committee competitive ITPAS are keen to Diary apply for potential grants in an Membership

attempt to improve the quality of our parks. If successful, we can begin to create ongoing projects to benefit our community. However, for the application of such proposals we need evidence, full cooperation and support to demonstrate that our community places a high value on its parks. Officers at Wirral Borough Council are liaising with our newly appointed research funding officer for the prospective development of both Irby & Pensby parks. Before we can go any further, we need YOUR opinion though. We will not be successful in obtaining any grants unless it is with the consent of the Community at large, not just ITPAS members, we need to cast the net far and wide and obtain as many opinions about the project as possible. This cannot happen without positive feedback from our members and residents/users of the parks.

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Irby, Thurstaston and Pensby Amenity Society Established over 30 years

balance between the more experienced members and those who have just joined us. Whilst such a blend of experience and new members with new ideas will invigorate the Society, we will always be looking for more to help out. Ideally another Research Officer (Local History) will assist with some of our more ambitious projects, but anyone who can assist with Membership, Planning or General Committee matters, please do get in touch – just to add the icing on the cake! As a Society, we have always maintained Thank you. healthy membership numbers, but as a Committee, we have been pretty much the same team over the last 10 or so years, sometimes struggling to make a quorum for our regular constructive meetings. It doesn’t feel that long ago that the ITPAS Committee were fixing a date to discuss the topic we hoped we would never hear being discussed for a Society that has meant so much over the last 20 – 30 years, that is the dissolution of our assets.

Thankfully, we no longer need to dwell on those dark days and thanks to those who answered our appeal to save the Society, we now have committee numbers that are almost idyllic, leaving us far better off than ever. We should all be grateful to Janet Parsons from Pensby for standing in to help on the Committee; Tony Arnould of ‘Forget-me-Not cards’ in Irby village for agreeing to act as the Irby Traders Rep; Roy Fisher of Irby for agreeing to takeover the Newsletter production. Roy will also be doing the Flyers and any other graphic work and will be able to assist with our Video productions. Dr Carol Porter of Irby has also joined our ranks. Carol has a wealth of knowledge in respect of grant funding and has set to work already on sourcing funds to replenish and revitalise parks in Irby & Pensby . In doing so, Carol has already built a good network of contacts at Wirral Borough Council who have showed a positive reaction to ITPAS, its aims and objectives. Last but by no means least; we have to thank Melanie Walker of Thurstaston for standing into the post that nobody wants, that of Secretary. The Committee have no doubt about Melanie’s capabilities and we look forward to her settling down and keeping us in tow! Of course, we should not forget the other Committee members who continue to contribute with their experience of ITPAS matters. This will serve to act as the perfect

Irby Village Hall 70 years old this year The Village Hall was opened on October 15th, 1938 on a site donated by Miss L.V.L. Townshend. It was intended as a community centre for the village of Irby and was administered by a Council of Management. Over the years it has served as a school for evacuees and a base for the Home Guard. In 1947 the Wirral Players produced Cinderella as Irby’s first pantomime. There have been extensions to the original building funded in part by local organisations. Famously The Beatles played here in 1962 as did Frankie Vaughan, The Big Three and Freddie Starr. The Hall has had its ups and downs since 1938 but through the dedication and hard work of the Council of Management the hall at the present time has a high level of usage and is financially secure but still has difficulty obtaining people to serve as Council Officers and members.

rthday! Happy Bi Page 2

Irby, Thurstaston and Pensby Amenity Society Established over 30 years

Wirral Country Park Developments

ITP Bits Our AGM in June exceeded all expectations with a head count of over 100 – this has to be the best turn out ever. Of course there was a very full and entertaining Agenda with Professor Stephen Harding talking about an ambitious project of a Viking Heritage trail for Wirral, which would take in many points of local interest. Our DVD review of the year revealed most of what we had been up to during the last 12 months and our ‘intermission’ allowed members to look at the various displays by other Wirral groups and take on some refreshments provided by the young Girls from Pensby Interact Club who were raising money for good causes by accepting contributions for their efforts. We also held a raffle for them and topped it all off with an ITPAS donation which resulted in over £100 total for them. This was thanks to our raffle and Professor Harding who donated the proceeds from the half price sale of some of his books to ITPAS and the Interact Club. Of course a big thank you to all those members who came along to support us. Most of the issues prevalent in our area are a continuation of old matters that have not gone away. We still gasp at some of them, as you will read below, as to why they have been ongoing for so long. Starting on a positive note, at the time of writing, we had just received notification that work is to commence at Thurstaston Crossroads on the new roundabout. No doubt we shall have to endure months of disruption whilst the work progresses, but all should be worthwhile in the end – no more nightmare right turns! We shall monitor the progress of this long awaited construction. The planning application for a Radio Broadcast Mast near to Irby Cricket Club prompted us to get together a petition in a relatively short time, to which we have to thank ITPAS member Sheila Baron for all her hard work in getting this in within the time limits. Sheila called at local addresses along Heathbank Avenue and surrounding areas and we were surprised at the amount of complacency for this issue. I’m sure we would have heard from many people if the mast were to be erected in view of its close proximity to residents rear gardens! Decision is still pending at the time of writing. The marquee at Hillbark House has been in situ for over 3 years when a retrospective application was made for a temporary structure, which would be up for a maximum 12 weeks per year! Despite an enforcement notice being issued by WBC Planning, the marquee remains for all to see. We have been constantly emailing about this matter and were recently appalled to find that instead of backing up its enforcement notice, the planning are actually in consultation with the owners about taking forward a permanent structure! The matter was due to be heard before the planning committee many months ago, but has been repeatedly postponed each month and at the time of writing, the matter has – you guessed it – been postponed once more! The ongoing saga of White’s Farm has kept us busy also as Mr White submitted a retrospective application despite the Appeal hearing last March. The planning committee met on 31st July 2008 when a recommendation for refusal was upheld by the Committee. This was great news for us, but may possibly be only another hurdle crossed as we await a possible further appeal against that decision. Nonetheless, this is a major victory for us and demonstrates we now appear to be drawing attention to all the wrong doings that have been going on down at Thurstaston on this very special landscape. Thanks to all those who signed the petition, we may however have to do another one in the not too distant future to generate even more support in objecting to these ludicrous proposals, which are no doubt made by the applicant as a means to a personal end and not for the general well being of the community

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Irby, Thurstaston and Pensby Amenity Society Established over 30 years

and surrounding landscapes. We have still heard no update on the Thurstaston Wind Turbine and the controversial Thingwall Road Traffic Calming has still not been re-drafted – to our knowledge! Likewise we await to hear more about the equally controversial proposals about proposed fencing on Thurstaston Common. This issue alone caused quite a stir at the AGM as did the proposed Medical Centre at The Warrens which incidentally has not gone away. An appeal hearing is scheduled for later this year. If you want to keep up to date, don’t wait for the next Newsletter! Log on to our website at where we try to keep as up to date as possible all the ongoing issues for our area.

Eight of Wirral’s most attractive parks and open spaces have received the prestigious Green Flag award this year. In the ITPAS area both Wirral Country Park and Royden Park have achieved this status for the first time. As part of the government's drive to improve the standards of management and maintenance of parks, the Green Flag Awards recognise top quality parks and green spaces across the country. Winners are judged against stringent assessment criteria and need to be welcoming and well maintained with the support and involvement of the local community. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Baroness Andrews, has presented the awards. She said: "I would like to congratulate all those whose hard work has resulted in this year's green flag winners. In our busy modern lives, parks and green spaces are invaluable as areas where young and old can come together to relax, exercise and play. "The winning parks provide great examples of this and show just how important green spaces can be for everyone as centrepoints of the community." Cllr. Bob Moon, Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Leisure, added: “It is fantastic that the quality and beauty of Wirral’s parks and countryside areas are recognised in this way. It is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of those responsible for managing and maintaining these facilities and to the parks friends groups which play an active role in the development of the parks. I am delighted that Wirral has doubled its tally of Green Flags from four to eight.”

Radio Clatterbridge

What’s your definition of boredom? Being away from your friends and family? Being cut off from the outside world? If you have ever had to stay in hospital for any period of time, you will know just what we are talking about. Now imagine that you are bed-bound for weeks, maybe months on end. Despite all the technological advances of the last six decades, the need for R&R is as important as ever. Yet this crucial time can often feel like an eternity for patients. 57 years ago, a small group of boys from Wirral decided to do something about it. The members of the Port Sunlight Boys’ Club got together and started to visit patients at Clatterbridge General Hospital. The youngsters were complete strangers to the patients, and yet their visits were something that those stuck on the wards started to look forward to. However, it was about more than just talking to the patients. The boys thought that, if they could bring music in to the hospital, it would actually speed up the patients’ recovery. So that is exactly what they did. They asked the patients what tunes they would like to hear, before raiding each others’ record collections to find the songs that had been requested. Armed with a portable record player, the boys would then return to Clatterbridge to play the songs to the patients. It was a huge success. Before long, the volunteers decided it would be better if all of the patients could hear the music they were playing, so they set up one of the first hospital radio stations in the country. The service expanded rapidly. New programmes were broadcast, and we started playing interviews as well as music. Gerry Marsden and Ken Dodd were among the early interviewees, along-side various members of the public and business community from across Wirral. The presenter of our Sunday Spin programme, a young Monty Lister, even conducted the first radio interview with a new up-and-coming band called The Beatles! Radio Clatterbridge is still going strong today. A small army of volunteers still play requests to patients. But the station now broadcasts 24 hours a day, and also plays dedications for patients received by phone or via the charity’s website from friends and family around the world. 57 years on, the need for the service remains the same: to put a smile on someone’s face. We like to think that we’re still doing a good job of helping people on the road to recovery. Andy Bonner * For more information about Radio Clatterbridge, visit their website at

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Irby, Thurstaston and Pensby Amenity Society Established over 30 years

Heswall Medical Centre and Clinic or the independent or to us at ITPAS or 648-2105 Other methods include Freephone on 0800 085 1547 or text to 07781472493 September consultations are: Tuesday, 4th September from 4 pm to 8 pm at St. Michael’s and All Angels, Gills Lane, Pensby. Wednesday, 10th September from 5 pm to 7 pm at Heswall Medical Centre. Saturday, 13th September from 10 am to 2 pm at Alexander Hall, Rocky lane, Heswall. Patients from the Pensby Surgery and the Friday, 19th September from 10 am to 2 pm at Heswall Medical Centre have been offered a 12 Pensby Recreation Centre. week period of public consultation over plans to redevelop the Medical Centre and relocate the The current Heswall Medical Centre will need to Pensby Surgery into it. The consultation lasts be vacated during the construction and it is from July 28th until October 22nd and there will hoped that there will be a temporary facility be a series of public consultation events where situated in the grounds of the Heswall British Legion. they can express their views. The artist’s impression above shows how the new-look Centre is likely to appear. Quoting from the PCT leaflet - “The Telegraph Road site is large enough for the Practice to finally come together in one building incorporating modern facilities, enabling us to develop and expand the range of health services that can be provided to the patients and residents of the Heswall, Pensby, Thingwall and Irby area in a community setting.”

Improved facilities and additional services will include: Disabled access Electrocardiogram heart testing Hearing tests Diagnostic and screening tests Minor surgery Specialist clinics Advice services Increased car parking facilities

The diagram above shows how the present car parking will be utilised for patients and that there will be a temporary building constructed for the purpose. It is also hoped It may be that patients from Thingwall, Irby and this temporary arrangement will only last for Pensby would find it too far or difficult to travel 12 to 15 months.

Make your views known!

into Heswall for these facilities. Conversely it may be more convenient to go to a central location opposite a large supermarket and other shops. Whichever it is up to you to make your views known either at the consultation meetings or by emailing Wirral PCT on:

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Irby, Thurstaston and Pensby Amenity Society Established over 30 years

ITPAS Subscription increase

Chairman Tim Mobbs – 648 2105 Vice Chairperson Mollie Rogers – 648 4580

When we looked at the actual cost to mail out each member 2 newsletters; 4 flyers about open meetings; the cost of hiring a venue; donations to speakers and our website, it all equated to £4.97 per member. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that we have been dipping into our reserves for the last few years, so to that end we raised a proposal at the AGM to increase the subs to the grand sum of £5/anum. This was unanimously accepted and realistically speaking no other outcome was possible. This makes for good accounting sense and remains a minimalist sum of money for a household to pay out each year. This will of course mean we will have to contact all members who pay by Standing Order next year to change their records in time. This method of payment has been a huge help to us. Your continued support would be much appreciated.

Secretary Melanie Walker – 648 6780

Watch this space!

Treasurer Joe Lacey – 648 8163

Autumn Talk Wednesday, October 1st

Planning Alan Butterworth – 648 4580 (volunteer required late 2008) Greenbelt Mollie Rogers – 648 4580 Rights of Way Barbara Lacey – 648 8163 Newsletter Roy Fisher – 648 7671 Researcher (Funding) Dr Carol Porter – 648 6736 Membership Tim Mobbs – 648 2105 Irby Traders Representative Tony Arnould Forget-Me-Not-Cards, Irby Village Website Tim Mobbs Researcher (Local History) Position Vacant General Committee Positions Vacant

Member Records When you received this Newsletter, did you check the mailing label to ensure we have your correct details. We need every bit of information to be accurate to comply with the law in respect of holding personal details about people, so please tell us if its incorrect, even if its just your initial or title, please check and let us know. Phone 648 2105 or email When something sudden happens and we need support from our membership, it can be a costly exercise to mail out each member if we are not due to send out a Newsletter etc. This came true earlier on in the year when we had just a few days to get together a petition in respect of White’s Farm so we could have the matter removed from delegated powers. Thankfully, we were able to email those of you who have registered your email address. This got us the response in the short time we had, so please, if you have an email address, let us know. Simply update us at: From time to time, we may also email you as to what’s going on, but we will never disclose your email address to any third party. © ITPAS – Contact the Newsletter editor, details on this page, if you wish to extract information from this Newsletter. For externally drafted articles, contact the copyright holder or author direct (details will be shown). We are more than happy to receive articles, comments, letters or suggestions though they may or may not be included in our forthcoming Newsletters or on the ITPAS website. Any such articles may also be edited at the discretion of the Committee. ITPAS committee members can be contacted by phone or email as detailed above.

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ITPAS Newsletter