FOBL (Friends of Birkdale Library) were a group that were set up in order to campaign to prevent the council run library on Liverpool Road Birkdale, from closing down. Having lost this fight, a core committee from within the group set about trying to find alternative premises in the area where they could establish a library/community hub to continue to serve local people. They are excited that at last a new home has been found, bringing back into use a building that was the one time station masters house adjoining Birkdale Railway Station.
The Station Master’s House has been unused for many years and Merseyrail, who lease the building from Network Rail are very keen that it should be brought back into use. We are extremely supportive of the plans.
FOBL have worked alongside a local architect who has drawn up detailed plans incorporating the necessary alterations required to make the building suitable for use as a library/community hub. It is envisaged that the centre would include a library for adults and children, use of computers, meeting rooms for community use and a signposting service to other local organisations. There are a whole host of possible activities and services such as children’s story time, yoga classes, music tuition and social interaction groups to combat loneliness.
At a site meeting on 1st March, the architects plans were provisionally approved by Merseyrail and are now awaiting final approval by Network Rail (the landlords) prior to commencing work on the proposed internal alterations.
The intention is that the house should reflect its Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) heritage roots including pictures and memorabilia alongside its community use and this will be reflected in its restoration.
With the house being situated in the centre of Birkdale Village, with excellent public transport access, FOBL feel that the Station Master’s House will provide a welcoming community focal point and heritage experiencefor the Village.
If you would like to contribute funding or would like to be involved in this exciting project please contact FOBL secretary Sylvia Thompson on 0756 183 8818 or visit the website www.thestationmastershouse.co.uk