Tuesday, 30 April 2013

History repeating itself

I am borrowing a few history books from Morecambe library at the moment and one is called 'The History of Morecambe and Heysham' by R.C. Quick. If you want to borrow it I'll take it back to the library next week. I can't see a publication date but it does have lists of the great and the good which finishes in 1962/63 so I would guess it was published in the same year.

On page 25 you can read about how Morecambe made progress as a holiday resort because the civic leaders took their opportunities which included an emphasis on road links. What is now the main road between Morecambe and Lancaster was only built in 1922, 'a fine wide road'. The building of Westgate was 'bitterly opposed'  by several members of the town council but that is how Morecambe's West End was opened to tourism. That is how it thrived. Who would have thought it but we now have some councillors who remain bitterly opposed to the building of the link road to the M6. This road which hasn't been built even yet, is mentioned in the library book from 50 years ago.

Get to page 29 and it tells you that the development of Morecambe and Heysham is tied to the link road to the M6 and after it is built there will be an additional road from Lancaster and Morecambe College to Heysham. This is the Heysham bypass and has already been built, so the history book couldn't quite look into the future. On the other hand there is no mention at all of the now discredited western route.

Compare that to the front page of today's Visitor. The headline is 'Fresh bid to halt M6 link project'. Protestors have launched another legal challenge. It would be interesting to note how much the legal challenges have cost the taxpayers. This one is based on five grounds, one of which is 'that the scheme was never a nationally significant infrastructure project'. Never? Well I don't think Alfred the Great thought too much about it but the infrastructure developments of the twenties helped Morecambe to become an attractive destination for the nation, but they are right - it isn't now. However it is essential for the economic development of the Morecambe and Heysham peninsula just as it was in the twenties.

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1 comment:

  1. I was a student at Lancaster in the late sixties and a name which stuck in my mind was that of Councillor Mrs Nellie Bolton of the Borough of Morecambe and Heysham. Perhaps wrongly, I recall that she was against the University and particularly the lax morals of the students despite the income that they gave to the guest houses and self caterers of the Borough.