So despite being in our new house over 6 months we have still to fully clear out the old house, which we are finally getting around to. The biggest job was saved to last and the clearing out of the loft. The loft is traditionally a space where you put stuff that you really should throw out but don’t. When moving house or clearing the loft you then again decide to keep the stuff that should be thrown out and in the loft it goes again. So to cut a long story short your loft is littered with shite. No exception in our old house and some of the shite found in ours were a collection of 7 and 12 inch singles from 1985 onwards, over 300 cassettes, my collection of Liverpool football club programmes, my 1986 all merseyside F.A.Cup final scarf. All the football trophies I won as a child, a full Star Wars Tazo collection. Hang on a minute this isn’t shite its my life story. None of this can go, no way. Just one problem the loft is converted in our new house and storage space is at a premium. Then inside my “The Christians” scrapbook (do kids do scrap books these days ? ) the piece of history I was looking for. What surely what is the Fay family heirloom. The item the kids will queue up for hours at St George’s hall when the BBC antiques roadshow is in town and then act all shocked when the true value is revealed and say “Oh we will never sell it” whilst the brain is engaged on deciding what holiday location is to be picked once we have flogged my old mans bit of shite in the loft. So without keeping you in suspense any longer I will reveal the item.
This is a genuine first day certificate commemorating the opening of Liverpool South Parkway on June 11th 2006. It certifies that I was one of the first passengers to use the new station on 12th June 2006. This fine document in pristine condition is a near 7 year old piece of scouse history. I mean who genuinely could be arsed keeping this in grade A1 condition for future generations. Maybe I should be contacting the museum of Liverpool life and getting them to have this on display next to the historic overhead railway carriage. At minimum I need to get this framed and kept in a temperature and humidity controlled environment and make sure no flash photography is used to keep this amazing artefact in the great condition it is.
Now mention Merseytravel and I think straight away of great failure that was the merseytram. I was in Edinburgh last week and they are in the process of installing a tram system and I found it funny that we had trams and got rid of them only to decide that many places are returning to them. Liverpool’s had an extensive tram network in the early 20th century, which was one of the most advanced in the UK. The network included large sections of reserved track in the centre reservations and side reservations of the dual carriageway system that was developed by Liverpool City Engineer, John Brodie. Brodie understood that ordinary railway sleeper track was less expensive than road tram track and thereby justified the increased width of the new roads. The reservations also allowed trams to by-pass road congestion. After World War II, trams fell out of favour and Liverpool City Council voted to scrap the system in 1957. The controversial decision was made by the casting vote of the mayor – a protocol requirement in the event of a hung vote. Anyway the new plans for Merseytram collapsed and the estimated bill for the development of noting was put at around £70 million. So if by the last census 466,415 people lived in Liverpool that £150 each we could have had !! Or even better instead of handing out a certificate to the people who used South Liverpool Parkway on the first day (generous estimate 2000 people) £35,000 each !
For the record I think Liverpool South Parkway is a good idea but a bit grand in its final presentation. Originally costing £16 million but rising to £32 million still after nearly 7 years of being open it doesn’t have ticket machines and its sods law when your running late for work you are behind the person who wants to know the time of every connection to the outer Hebrides and what cost it is and then produce a rail card for another price up. I am also a sucker for retro and think the Merseytravel logo is poo compared to this retro gem on the bus below.
So with £70 million on a tram that wasn’t and £32 million on a station thats far too big coupled with the decision to jib the original tram and well as the act of vandalism to knock the overhead railway down I come to the same conclusion as ever, backhanders (allegedly)
Fay x x x x