Saturday, 23 June 2007

Hidden Fazakerley



Higher Lane, Fazakerley

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There is more to Fazakerley than meets the eye. Fazakerley maybe a couple of miles inland but its history and geography is intertwined with the river Mersey and all the good and bad tides that it brought to the city.

Hidden under the council houses, high security prison and ever growing hospital are tales of men who made fortunes from slavery, sugar, cotton, and guano. Then there were others who looked to the greater good and used their knowledge and influence to help fight diseases which were prevalent in a city where people came from all over the world in the hope of finding a better life and mostly finding poverty, deprivation and disease.


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University Hospital Aintree from Fazakerley Brook


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One of the highest points in Fazakerley is University Hospital Aintree. A functional rather than attractive building, it can be seen for miles and offers amazing views over the surrounding countryside. Looking out of the hospital tower block, you can see how close we are to the river. The wind turbines and the cranes at the docks in Seaforth are hardly ever still, reminding us of how busy this port has been and continues to be despite the changes in technology. Beyond them lies the Wirral coast rising upto the magnificent Ss Peter and Paul's church dome at the highest point in New Brighton. This must still be a comforting site to sailors returning home. Look further up the coastline and you can see the pine trees at Formby outlining the beautiful Sefton coast. Look further north and your eyes are drawn up the slopes of the Lancashire plains over the solitary smoking chimney in Kirkby, the lonely Clieves Hill in Ormskirk, then more dramatic rise of Parbold and Rivington Pike. On a clear day you can see the transmitter on Winter Hill. Best time to look is in the winter when the hilltops are snow covered and the air is crisp and clear. Turn again and the land rises to Gateacre Brow in the distance. The flat plain of Norris Green, Walton and Everton is deceptively green, despite being heavily populated.


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Fazakerley Brook
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Farrer & Brownbill wrote in 1907 that the area was flat, treeless and devoid of beauty. They didn’t have the vantage point of the hospital or they would have seen that it is not only surrounded by beauty but there are hidden gems such as the beautiful Bluebell Woods and Fazakerley Brook.


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Bluebell Woods

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Since beginning this blog the area has changed significantly; Sugar Brook has been realigned as part of the new Stonebridge Business Park , and Stonebridge Lane has changed beyond recognition. The hospital has grown and old wards demolished. Coronation Court has been and gone. Recording the history now is important before the memories are lost forever.





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