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SKELMERSDALE /ˈskɛlməzˌdeɪl/ is a town in West Lancashire
Lancashire
, England. It lies on high-ground on the River Tawd , 6 miles (10 km) to the west of Wigan
Wigan
, 13 miles (21 km) to the northeast of Liverpool
Liverpool
, 15 miles (24 km) south-southwest of Preston . As of 2006, Skelmersdale had a population of 38,813, down from 41,000 in 2004. The town is known locally as SKEM /ˈskɛm/ . The first recorded use of the name Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
appears in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
of 1086. It was under the rule of Uctred as part of the hundred of West Derby .

The urbanisation and development of Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
. Industrial scale coal mining began in the early 19th century and continued to expand during that century to give rise to Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
as an important colliery village . The town forms part of the Wigan
Wigan
Urban Area .

Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
was designated as a new town in 1961.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography

* 2 History

* 2.1 Toponymy * 2.2 Early history * 2.3 New town

* 3 Transport

* 3.1 Road * 3.2 Bus * 3.3 Rail

* 4 Education * 5 Economy * 6 Shopping centres * 7 Sports

* 8 Cadet Forces

* 8.1 Air Training Corps
Air Training Corps
* 8.2 Army Cadet Force
Army Cadet Force
* 8.3 Sea Cadet Corps

* 9 Twin towns * 10 See also * 11 References * 12 Further reading * 13 External links

GEOGRAPHY

THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (October 2010)

Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
is situated in a small valley on the River Tawd . The town was designed to accommodate both plant life and compact housing estates. Even in the town centre there is an unusually large amount of forestation. The large Beacon County Park lies to the east of Skelmersdale, where the iconic Beacon Point lies, along with the golf club.

The town borders the village of Upholland to the east, eventually leading into the Wigan
Wigan
area of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
, West Lancashire's administrative centre Ormskirk
Ormskirk
to the north-west, and Saint Helens to the south. The M58 runs through Skelmersdale.

The New Town is the larger eastern half of the town, the Old Town 'Old Skem' is the smaller portion to the west.

HISTORY

TOPONYMY

Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
means "Skjaldmarr's valley", from the Old Norse
Old Norse
personal name Skjaldmarr + probably Old Norse
Old Norse
dalr (or Old English
Old English
dæl) "dale, valley". The name was recorded as Skalmeresedel in 1136. One placename book suggests that it may be of Celtic origin, with the placenames being in Celtic placename order: "Element/personal name/word", rather than "Personal name/word/element", as with Old English
Old English
placenames .

It is known locally as "Skem", with a further distinction being made between "Old Skem" (the area which was a small mining town prior to 1961) and the broader swathe of development on the east side of the town.

EARLY HISTORY

Until the creation of Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
Urban District Council at the end of the 19th century, the town was part of the Parish of Ormskirk
Ormskirk
in the West Derby hundred , an ancient subdivision of Lancashire, covering the southwest of the county.

In the mid-14th century, the manor of Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
was held by William Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre .

Skelmersdale's population in 1851 was only 760, but 50 years later it had increased to 5,699. It was a busy coal mining town. Sadly, there were over 100 fatalities in Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
collieries from 1851 to 1900, according to the Reports of the Inspectors of Coal Mines, and an unknown number of serious injuries. In 1880 there were 14 Skelmersdale collieries—most of them closed in the 1920s and '30s. Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
War Memorial

The miners, many of whom were Welsh immigrants, brought with them their own brand of Nonconformist
Nonconformist
Christianity. By the start of the 20th century there were at least six dissenting chapels in the town: two Wesleyan (Berry Street, closed in the 1920s, and Liverpool
Liverpool
Road, closed 1969), an independent Methodist, a Primitive Methodist
Primitive Methodist
, a Congregational
Congregational
and a Welsh Chapel (closed in 1963).

Today, there is little to remind people that the town was ever associated with the once great Lancashire
Lancashire
Coalfield .

There were also numerous brickworks in the area, and in the early-20th century Victoria County History
Victoria County History
, Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
was described as "a particularly bare, unpleasing district" owing to its coal mines and brickworks .

NEW TOWN

Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
was designated a New Town in 1961, designed to house overspill population from the north Merseyside
Merseyside
conurbation. The town was the first in the second wave of designations.

Due to the arrival of a large number of former Liverpool
Liverpool
residents, the town retains a strong cultural association with Liverpool. Although the traditional accent may perhaps be exaggerated upon in younger generations, the role of Liverpool
Liverpool
in the recent history of Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
cannot be understated, and many do still feel a close connection with the city.

Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
endured mixed economic fortunes during the last three decades of the 20th century. With the economic downturn in the late 1970s large industrial employers left the town en masse, resulting in an increase in crime, drug abuse and poverty. Today, West Lancashire has a crime rate well below the national average. 2006 was to see a regeneration drive for the town coordinated through English Partnerships and the Northwest Regional Development Agency and publicly headed by the designer Wayne Hemingway . Among the proposals was a new central focus for the entertainment and commerce for the town in the evening.

In 2012, a £20m vision to create a thriving town centre for Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
was revealed. It is expected to create as many as up to 500 permanent jobs, and current projections seem to satisfy that target. Although Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
faces a looming employment crisis, the regeneration of the town centre is a step towards recovery, and up to 100 extra jobs would be generated during the scheme's construction phase alone.

Proposals include a new food store as well as a number of bars, shops and restaurants, and plans to include a five-screen cinema are also in the works. A new promenade would be fronted by these establishments to overlook the Tawd Valley Park, and a new civic square would also be created between the Concourse Shopping Centre and the town library. Regeneration specialists St Modwen have been working on the proposals with West Lancashire
Lancashire
Council and the Homes and Communities Agency. As of February 2017, none of these developments have yet been realised.

According to urban planning consultancy Space Syntax, Skelmersdale's fragmented streets have made its city centre relatively incaccessible and has resulted in a segregated land use.

TRANSPORT

ROAD

Hope Island, one of many roundabouts found within Skelmersdale.

Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
was originally designed to work on a roundabout system, on which it still sits today. For ease of access there is a vast subway network allowing pedestrians to move through the town without needing to cross potentially hazardous roads. However, in recent years, the subway system has been called into question with regards to its safety and sustainability, as they are not regularly maintained by the county council.

There are no traffic lights in the town. Skelmersdale's road system has improved with better signage, although visitors still frequently get lost.

The M58 motorway ( Liverpool
Liverpool
Wigan
Wigan
Motorway) runs along the south of Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
from the nearby M6 motorway
M6 motorway
to the Switch Island interchange at Liverpool. The A570 and the A577 both provide connections.

The New Town areas of Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
have a road-naming system where "Road" and "Street" are rarely used and single-name roads are common, e.g. Abbeywood, Fairburn, Brierfield, Thornwood. "Road", "Street", "Lane" and "Drive" do appear in road names, but only in the parts of the town (bordering on Ormskirk
Ormskirk
, St. Helens and Wigan
Wigan
) that pre-date the New Town development. The road names in New Town areas are also arranged in a loosely alphabetical format with large areas being defined by a single letter, for example Larkhill, Leeswood, Ledburn and Lindens all connect to Ashley Road in the Ashurst area.

Roads in the industrial estates and the main roads in the town such as Gillibrands Road follow the usual naming conventions, although the industrial estates do feature street names beginning with the same letter (such as Pikelaw Place, Penketh Place, Pinfold Place, Priorswood Place) all part of the Pimbo Industrial Estate.

BUS

From September 2011, the company providing most of Skelmersdale's bus services, Arriva
Arriva
, closed their depot in Skelmersdale, which employed 129 people. The depot was first constructed for Ribble Motors in the 1970s, and the premises will now be sold. Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
is now served by buses from Arriva
Arriva
depots in St. Helens, Bootle and Southport.

RAIL

Since the closure of Skelmersdale railway station
Skelmersdale railway station
in 1956, the town has become the second most populous town in the North West Region (after Leigh, Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
) without a railway station. The nearest railway station is Upholland railway station on the Wigan Wallgate to Kirkby branch line (historically part of the Liverpool
Liverpool
and Bury Railway line. ) The Skelmersdale Branch previously connected Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
to Ormskirk
Ormskirk
and Rainford Junction.

In March 2009, Network Rail
Network Rail
proposed to extend the existing quarter-hourly Liverpool
Liverpool
Central to Kirkby service, to terminate at a new station in the centre of Skelmersdale. Rainford will then become an interchange station for services to and from Wigan
Wigan
Wallgate. In June 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies
Association of Train Operating Companies
published a report, Connecting Communities, which also recommended the opening of a new rail link to Skelmersdale. This time the recommendation was via the Skelmersdale Branch from Ormskirk. In February 2017, Lancashire County Council identified the site of the form Glenburn Sports College / Westbank Campus site as the preferred location for a railway station for the town. Despite the Glenburn Sports College being owned by the council, the Westbank Campus site is owned by Newcastle College
Newcastle College
and requires purchase by the council in order for the station to be built.

EDUCATION

Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
has a number of primary schools, and had three high schools: Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Engineering College , Lathom High School and Glenburn Sports College, though the last of these closed on 31 August 2016.

In 2013, Our Lady Queen of Peace achieved a 99% GCSE pass rate, with almost every pupil achieving 5+ A* to C's. Lathom High School attained its best GCSE results ever, with 66.2% of pupils receiving 5+ A* to C's.

West Lancashire
Lancashire
College has a campus in the centre of the town. The college merged with Newcastle College
Newcastle College
in 2007 and was recently graded as 'outstanding' in a recent Ofsted
Ofsted
inspection.

There is a Transcendental Meditation movement community within Skelmersdale, called "European Sidhaland". It has a Maharishi School that has performed well in Ofsted
Ofsted
and school league tables. In 2011, it was one of 24 schools that applied for and received government funding as a flagship free school .

Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
also is home to a large public library whose facilities include free internet access and an extensive local history section.

ECONOMY

Although consisting predominantly of housing estates, Skelmersdale's industry includes the Co-operative Bank (Skelmersdale's single largest employer), distribution centres for Asda
Asda
, P"> 1439 Sqn Crest showing Ashurst Beacon and Canadian Maple Leaf

AIR TRAINING CORPS

1439 (Skelmersdale) Squadron, Air Cadets, formed at Upholland Grammar School in 1941 as the 'Beacon Squadron' and provided airmanship training for young men and those about to join the RAF in time for the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
. The squadron continues to provide airmanship training to young men and women in addition to other activities. They are based on Daniels Lane.

ARMY CADET FORCE

The Army Cadets are part of 'S' Company of the Lancashire
Lancashire
Force. They are based at Daniels Lane.

SEA CADET CORPS

The Sea Cadets are also well established in Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
as "TS Rodney" and are based at Tawd Road.

TWIN TOWNS

West Lancashire
Lancashire
is twinned with Erkrath (Germany), Cergy-Pontoise (France).

SEE ALSO

* Lancashire
Lancashire
portal

* Listed buildings in Skelmersdale

REFERENCES

* ^ ""Great Britain" World Gazetteer". Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. * ^ A B Ward, David. "Back to the drawing board", The Guardian, 18 January 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2008. * ^ Edward Baines, William Robert Whatton, Brooke Herford, James Croston, The history of the county palatine and duchy of Lancaster, vol. 5 (J. Heywood, 1893), p. 2 * ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus, Sir (2002) North Lancashire
Lancashire
Yale University Press, New Haven ISBN 0-300-09617-8 p. 226; * ^ "Townships: Skelmersdale". A History of the County of Lancaster Volume 3. Victoria County History. 1907. pp. 282–284. Retrieved 2 January 2010. * ^ "座りっぱなしの生活と老化の関係". * ^ "Your smart home is trying to reprogram you. It’s failing". CityMetric. Retrieved 2017-07-27. * ^ Network Rail
Network Rail
(November 2008) Merseyside
Merseyside
Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) Draft for Consultation, Page 93 * ^ "Disused Stations: Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
Station". * ^ Network Rail
Network Rail
Merseyside
Merseyside
RUS Draft * ^ "Transport Briefing subscriber log in". * ^ Council, Lancashire
Lancashire
County. "Details - Lancashire
Lancashire
County Council". Lancashire.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 February 2017. * ^ "Half-empty Glenburn Sports College in Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
to close". BBC. 20 May 2015. * ^ http://www.olqp.lancs.sch.uk/index.php/component/content/article/531-gcse-2013-pictures * ^ ljepson. "Best GCSE Results EVER!". * ^ " Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
College (Dissolution) Order 2007". Office of Public Sector Information. 1 August 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2008. * ^ Ofsted
Ofsted
(25 July 2008). "Full college inspection report". Archived from the original on 28 June 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2008. * ^ "Maharishi European Sidhaland". Maharishi European Sidhaland. * ^ Byrne, Michael (1 September 2011). " Maharishi School in Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
hits back over Free School status criticisms". * ^ "Welcome to the Library and Information Service web site". Lancashire
Lancashire
County Council. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2008. * ^ "The Co-operative Group – Project Formation". Business in the Community. 2010. Archived from the original on 26 September 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010. * ^ " Asda
Asda
Wal-Mart UK logistics and distribution centres". The Tracing Paper. 1 February 2009. Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010. * ^ "Proctor & Gamble Celebrates Investment in Skelmersdale". Northwest Regional Development Agency. 11 October 2004. Retrieved 2 October 2010. * ^ "Skelmersdale, Here We Come! Victorian Plumbing Bathroom Blog". www.victorianplumbing.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-15. * ^ "Bathroom firm acquires new Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
site". * ^ Heller, Lorraine (5 October 2005). "Walkers to open new snack factory in UK". Bakery & Snacks. Decision News Media. Retrieved 2 October 2010. * ^ " Turtle Wax gets £1.6m to expand". Crain's Manchester Business. Crain Communications. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2010. * ^ Wainwright, Martin (14 October 2004). "Industrial retreat opens way for a 21st century city". The Guardian. UK: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 2 October 2010. * ^ "New Cadbury ice cream range for winter". Talking Retail. Metropolis International Group. 4 December 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2010. * ^ "Concourse Shopping Centre". * ^ A B " Alan Boyson – Sculptor of Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
New Town\'s Pyramid". Modernism North West. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2016. * ^ "Bowmen of Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
Archery
Archery
Sports Club - North-West Lancashire". * ^ "Flight Records". * ^ Result from National Flight Championshions 2006

FURTHER READING

* Wilson, L. Hugh (1964) Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
new town planning proposals : report on basic plan prepared for the Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
Development Corporation by L. Hugh Wilson, Hugh Wilson & Lewis Womersley Chartered Architects * Riley, Frank (1986) People in Need of a Future: A Survey of the Long-term Unemployed in Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
Ecumenical Centre, Northway, Skelmersdale; * Howe, Don and Frank Riley (1982) Skem – The Broken Promise: Unemployment in Skelmersdale
Skelmersdale
New Town Liverpool
Liverpool
Industrial Ecumenical Mission;

EXTERNAL LINKS

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