I WHOLE-heartedly agree with council leader Phil Davies for his response to the Government's decision not to give financial support to the New Ferry blast victims.

It was heart-breaking to see the aftermath of the explosion.

Like the Grenfell Tower fire, no-one expected this.

But like the distressed community in Kensington the Wirralians rallied around, too.

They were (and are) all in it together.

There is still that "Dunkirk Spirit" on show.

Real people don't want to hear political in-fighting, they want to get back to the way they were.

New Ferry now looks like a place in isolation.

This is all about re-building their lives.

This is why we elected politicians to fight our corners.

Governments and local authorities should all be prepared for the unexpected.

Have cash for rainy days but of late there's been too many downpours.

Have a heart you politicians from all parties.

If there's not an emergency money tree for such eventualities, it's time you created one.


TAKE a letter, Miss Jones...

Dear Jan Chaudry van der Velde, MD of Merseyrail and Frank Rogers, CEO of Merseytravel.

It was illuminating to read your correspondence to the Globe in response to my reservations about driver-only trains.

Your trip down memory lane reminded me of my time as a book editor researching and writing numerous local heritage titles - especially one on the iconic Overhead Railway.

I was honoured to be one of the first journalists invited to see the permanent exhibition when it was installed at the Museum of Liverpool.

And your flashback to Stephenson's Rocket made me want to search out my interview with Michael Portillo in the first episode of his long-running BBC documentary series Great British Railway Journeys, which is still being shown on the Yesterday channel on what you might call a "loop."

Former MP Michael and I chatted about our mutual love of trains and he asked me about Edge Hill Station.

We also reminisced about statesman William Huskisson - the first railway fatality.

The tragedy occurred during the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on September 15, 1830.

At a water stop this politician, like some other dignitaries, did not heed the advice of guards for all passengers to stay on the trains.

Huskisson alighted to shake the hand of the Duke of Wellington in another carriage.

Tragically, he was distracted and fell on an adjacent track and was killed by the approaching Rocket.

But I too (like you) digress.

I would like to thank the readers who wrote in to our website who also are not convinced that driver-only trains are the way forward.

Maybe we should have a referendum as public opinion seems to be divided.

I put it all down to a points failure.

Yours sincerely.


TALKING of history lessons, one group of people who could not afford rail travel were the Jarrow Marchers of 80 years ago.

The North East unemployed who marched to London to protest at the lack of work is now the subject of a very readable book by Stuart Maconie.

Whiston-born author of the brilliantly titled Pies and Prejudice is Britain's answer to Bill Bryson.

Next Wednesday he will be at Liverpool's Philharmonic music room to read from his new book Long Road From Jarrow in which he actually physically traced the footstep of the Jarrow lads.

Go and see the pun-loving man I call Him Up North.


FROM one Macca to another.

Sir Paul McCartney's LIPA - Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts - will have its graduation ceremony this Friday.

And along with third-year students getting their caps and gowns so will the "Companions" - LIPA's equivalent of honorary degree for those who excel in their fields.

Chris Difford of Squeeze and American superstar Woody Harrelson are just two people being honoured for giving Masterclasses – LIPA service, indeed.

Paul once told me he would aim to be at every graduation ceremony and he has been as good as his words.

And we all know how good they are.


WIRRAL is making other local authorities in the North West green with envy.

We have 25 Green Flags.

This is a real triumph for the borough from the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

Can I suggest to the aptly-named cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Phillip Brightmore, that we now have an annual "Wirral Green Flag Day."

It would be a real tourist attraction showing off this green and pleasant side of the Mersey.


GOOD riddance Love Island.

Like Channel 4's grotesque Naked Ambition we are in an age where non-entities are becoming celebrities for doing very little.

I am now distraught to hear that BBC TV commissioning editors are revamping The Generation Game with ex-Bake Off's Mel and Sue doing the job once done by Bruce Forsyth and Larry Grayson.

TV is calling out for fresh new ideas not regurgitated concepts on the conveyor belt of light-entertainment dross.

Peter Grant