Mark Connolly Island
Mark Connolly was the first Labour man to be appointed to the office of Mayor of Bootle, 1952-1953. He was 64 years old. As far as I am aware, this traffic island is the only one anywhere to bear a nameplate and after researching my great-grandfather I can understand why this island is dedicated to him. At the top of Merton road there used to be a complicated set of traffic lights. Amongst this jungle of lights was a small triangular island on which there was a seat. This is where my great-grandfather Mark would sit and wait to meet his friends before heading to the pub of an evening. It was said that all of the road schemes in Bootle at that time were hatched out sitting on that very seat. In May, work started on building a new much bigger island to improve traffic flow crossing this junction.
Mark died in May 1960, aged 72. He had served Bootle on the council since 1919 and his death was very sad news to the whole town. His funeral took place in St. Monica's Church and at the next Council meeting his colleagues paid tribute to express their deep respect and love for their friend. The new traffic island was now complete, built on his favourite resting place, and what better way to remember this wonderful man and friend than to name it after him. An inimitable honour and a homely tribute only possible in a place like Bootle.
The photo above is taken on Remembrance Sunday of 1952. This is not the island, I couldn't find a photo of it in the photo albums. I don't know who captured this shot, but it is brilliant.