Care home to reopen as Priory hospital
ASOUTHPORT business owner has bought a replacement bicycle for a teenager whose new bike was stolen outside Funland.
Herbert Silcock Jr, whose family run several amusement arcades in the town centre, felt compelled to help after being reminded of a time when his own bike was stolen when he was a similar age.
Alfie Foreman, 13, visited Funland with friends Josh Keen and Charlie CannonNoren but was devastated when his Carrera bike was taken. The bike had been bought a month earlier as a birthday present.
While Josh and Charlie rode to Southport Police Station to report the theft, Alfie stayed at Funland, where Herbert Jr’s daughter Serena searched the centre’s CCTV footage. The cameras showed someone dressed in black hoodie and black trousers taking the bike from outside the Promenade entrance but the culprit could not be identified.
Alfie headed home to Marshside, distraught at the loss of his new bike but Herbert Jr then decided to write a cheque to the family so they could buy a replacement.
Alfie’s mum, Debbie Vickers, said: “On Sunday morning I had a wonderful, out of the blue phone call from Mr Silcock Jr saying he had been very empathetic with Alfie’s upset and impressed with his good manners and that it had touched their hearts and that his family would like to buy Alfie a brand new bike to replace the one stolen outside Funland.
“As you can imagine, Alfie was surprised and utterly delighted and beaming.”
For Herbert Jr the incident was all too reminiscent of when his bike was stolen from Meols Cop School in the 1960s.
He said: “When I saw that young man’s face, it had quite an effect on me. He was absolutely distraught.
“It took me back to when I was his age and and had my bike stolen.
“The similarity was unreal, it was a brand new bike and you didn’t lock them back then.
“They were such a nice family as well and I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I went home.
“I said to Serena, ‘I feel like buying him a new bike,’ and she said, ‘Dad, let’s do it!’ It just felt a good thing to do.”
While there was happy ending for Alfie, for many others it is not the case.
According to police data, 1,983 bikes were recorded stolen in Merseyside in 2017/18, an average of five every day.
The figure is up by almost 100 from the 1,898 bikes stolen the previous year and is the highest since 2014/15, when there were 2,030 bike thefts.
The local surge reflects a similar pattern in England and Wales. A HOSPITAL will soon open in Banks after a healthcare company received permission to convert an empty care home.
The former Rose Lodge Care Home, on Church Road, can now be converted to a “small hospital” by the Priory Group, which runs 24 other similar facilities nationwide.
The exact services provided have yet to be decided. Priory offers healthcare in areas including mental health, addiction and eating disorders. It also provides a range of NHS services.
Rose Lodge, also known as The Village, had also been run by Priory but was permanently closed down earlier this year. In its most recent Care Quality Commission inspection, published in January, the service was rated as “Requires Improvement”.
At the time of the inspection, last September there were 26 residents.
A Priory Group spokesperson said: “We’ll be working with health commissioners and the local authority to see how we might help meet the needs of the local community..”
Debbie’s partner Robbie McMahon, Herbert Silcock Jr, Josh Kean, Alfie Foreman and his mum