Day One Liverpool to Maghull
Eldonian Village in Liverpool to Maghull in Sefton Merseyside – Distance Remaining 127 Miles
Except for the Stanley Dock branch that gives direct access to the Liverpool Canal link and direct access to the Pier Head, Royal Liver Building and the Albert Dock, the canal basin at the Eldonian Village is the start of the journey from Leeds to Liverpool by canal.
The canal at this point used to run further to coal yards, but they were closed in the 1960s, filled in and they redeveloped the area.
Although the canal starts here, it is not where it all began. The first sods were cut in Halsall Lancashire some miles further into our journey.
This part of our canoe journey takes us from the start of the canal in Vauxhall Liverpool to Maghull. Along the way we pass through the industrial areas that were the reason that the canal was cut, before moving out into the rural areas of Aintree the home of the Grand National, passing under the Old Roan bridge where my grandfather a policeman was fatally injured in a car accident, before moving onto Melling, Maghull and Lydiate.
The Eldonian is a quaint well managed housing estate in Vauxhall Liverpool that has the canal running through its centre. The village was formed and is managed by local residents in who were in danger of having their community broken up because of economic decline and local factories closing.
Large employers in the area like British American Tobacco closed, the nearby docks were in decline and in 1981 the Tate and Lyle sugar refinery closed. My friend worked as a maintenance engineer at the refinery, but when it closed, the Eldonians were able to purchase the land and have it cleared for the first of 145 homes, and by 1994 they completed another 150 social housing homes. The area now attracts private developers and commercial landlords, making the regeneration of the area complete and the area an attractive place to live.
Priscilla Maria Veronica White known as the actress and singer Cilla Black was born on the 27th May 1943 at Vauxhall in Liverpool on or very near to where the Eldonian Village stands today. In 1994 Cilla was invited to open the newly refurbished Vauxhall Bridge at the heart of the Eldonian Village.