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 The Community Website of New Ferry, Wirral, UK

 

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WHAT'S NEW IN MEMORIES AND PHOTOS:

 

The New Ferry Summer Community Event was held in July 2014.  See the 2010s page.

 

 photo 1937-38WChurchDriveSchoolMissJohnson_zps9681e1a7.jpg

You can also see Miss Johnson's class of 1937-18 at Port Sunlight Church Drive School. See the 1930s page.

 

You can read the e-book about the Bromborough Ju88 incident in 1940.

 

 

 

MEMORIES AND PHOTOS - 1910s


ST MARKS CHURCH  c.1910

The Church of St Mark's the Evangelist (Church of England) on New Chester Road was founded in 1866 as a chapel to Bebington.  It became a parish church in 1888 serving part of Lower Bebington and the growing community of New Ferry.

The church hall was built in the corner nearest the camera in the 1970s, at the same time as the Vicarage (seen with the tall chimneys behind the church) was demolished and replaced with the current house.

 

NEW FERRY PARK LODGE  c.1910   

Let's just cross the road, enter New Ferry Park and look back past the Lodge towards the church.  In this photo, the Lodge is looking very new, as is the park where the little boys are sitting.  You can see this same view in the 1920s on the next page, but by that time the gardeners had planted shrubs and flowers in this area.

 

NEW CHESTER ROAD  c.1910

All the buildings seen at the Toll Bar crossroads are still with us today.  The grand building to the left now houses Shillings Bar.

In this view, the trams are still the primary form of public transport - although by the end of the decade this will change.  Note the gas lanterns and the telegraph poles bringing the first phone lines to the township.

 

TRAMS ON NEW CHESTER ROAD  c.1910

Single deck trams were converted to double deckers, but were kept as low as possible to be able to pass beneath the various railway bridges on the route between New Ferry and Birkenhead.  You can see and ride on trams like these at the Wirral Transport Museum in Birkenhead.  The more distant tram is passing the junction with Grove Street.

 

ELECTRIC CAR SMASH IN THE FOG   23rd October 1913  

Oh dear!  It would seem that dense fog caused a traffic accident in autumn 1913.

Judging by the height of the damage, it would seem that maybe one double decker tram must have hit another, since there would not have been as much damage to the roof of this one in the picture had the collision occured with a car or truck. 

Bemused rubber-necking residents were obviously keen to speculate, just as they are today whenever traffic accidents occur.

 

BEBINGTON ROAD  1913  
Photo submitted by Martin Morrow, 12th March 2012

An interestingly detailed photo from 1913, looking towards the Toll Bar crossroads.  On the right is the Cleveland Arms Pub, now empty - but nearer to the camera on the right we can see that some of the buildings started out as terraced houses before being converted into shops.  It would also seem that litter was a problem one hundred years ago as it is today!

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THE ESPLANADE  c.1911   

These fine terraced houses, built at the start of the 20th century, were not the first houses to be here.  Old Ordnance Survey maps reveal that a series of detached houses and cottages stood here (albeit closer to New Ferry Road than these) until an enterprising builder decided that waterside living was very popular with retired sea captains who liked the sound of water lapping close to their homes.  The Esplanade remains one of New Ferry's unique architectural features.

 
 

The caption on the postcard of the above tells us that it was "Captain Laimey's house".  We can clearly see his children posing by the front door of the first house on the corner, with its ornate corner turret.  This fine terrace of houses is still with us today.

 

THE ESPLANADE  c.1913 

Although heading out of New Ferry and into Rock Ferry, here we can see Edwardian residents out for a stroll along the Esplanade.  The "date" on the bottom right suggests it is September, and judging by the coats worn and the cloudy sky, the weather looks like it was not necessarily warm.  In the distance we can see Rock Ferry Pier, and a number of steamers in the Mersey.

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NEW FERRY ROAD  June 1911 

22nd June 1911 saw the coronation of HM King George V, and the whole country celebrated with parades and gatherings.  Here we can see the naval recruits from the training ships marching along New Ferry Road with their band who are playing a variety of brass instruments.  In the distance, the New Ferry Hotel can be clearly seen.

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NEW FERRY ROAD  June 1911 

Further up the road, on the same day, we are near to the junction with New Chester Road.  Residents have put up bunting, whilst a trio of young ladies in their best outfits pose for the camera.  The lighter building behind them is the Traveller's Rest public house shown lower down on this page, whilst to the right are the cottages also shown and described below.  The date has been written onto the bottom of this postcard view.

  Photobucket

NEW FERRY ROAD  c.1910s 

We are not certain of the exact date of this rare photo postcard image, but judging by the practice of colourising photos, we think this is most likely to be the early 1910s.  The picture was taken on New Ferry Road looking southwards towards the Great Eastern which is just visible through the trees where the road bends to the right.  The junction to the immediate right is Beverley Road.  All the houses seen here are still standing - which is more than be said for the magnificent line of trees in the front gardens of the properties on the eastern side of the street to the left.  It is amazing how many trees once lined the route from the Gap to the Toll Bar.  Today, half the front gardens have been cleared and replaced with concrete to park cars on.

 

THE GREAT EASTERN HOTEL  c.1912

The Great Eastern Hotel as it looked just before WWI.  (You can find a more detailed description of it on the 1890s page).

To the right, the sign informs us that New Ferry had its own "milk store".  Presumably, local farms brought milk to the building that stood here (in what was more recently the pub garden) and local residents would go there to buy it.  The building was still standing in the 1970s, but would have stopped selling milk many decades before that.

 

NEW FERRY PIER  c.1912

Looking back along the pier to the shore, we can see the Esplanade to the right, the ferry office building with the New Ferry Hotel beyond.  The boy posing for the photographer (about 13 years of age) was from the training ship Indefatigable that was moored in the river.  The pier, built in 1865, was the longest on the Mersey, stretching out 850 feet into the river.  It was demolished in 1929, seven years after it was seriously damaged by a steamer.

 

THE ROYAL GEORGE AT THE TOLL BAR  25th January 1913

The Royal George was one of seven buses brought to Wirral by the newly formed Crosville Bus Company just before WWI.  The buses took passengers from New Ferry to Chester.  The Royal George is seen here on its first day of service as it emerges from New Ferry Road onto New Chester Road.

 

NEW CHESTER ROAD  c1912 

Most period photographs taken at the Toll Bar junction of New Chester Road look northwards towards Birkenhead.  Here is a rare shot which looks the other way towards Bromborough.  We can see the last overhead cable carrier pole leaning out across the road where the trams terminated their journey out of Birkenhead.  If travellers wanted to go further to Bromborough or Chester from here, they had to find another means of transport.

 

NEW FERRY ROAD  c.1914

A group of Edwardian-period residents are curious to know what the strange looking vehicle parked outside the dairy shed that would later become Sayers actually is ...... and so are we!  If anyone knows what the vehicle was for, please let us know.

 

NEW CHESTER ROAD 25 March 1914

In March 1914, King George V and Queen Mary visited Port Sunlight.  During the day, they paid a short visit to New Ferry.  In this photo we can see that the residents of New Ferry had put out some bunting to greet the visiting royals.

In the background, the building on the corner of New Chester Road and Beaconsfield Road was - at the time - New Ferry's post office (which explains why there is still a post box outside it today!). Today, it is the office of Wirral South MP, Alison McGovern.

Next door was the business premises of J.G. Davies, a local photographer who took many pictures and printed them on postcards to be sold in local shops.  It is these postcards from which many of the period pictures on this website and in the book collections come from.

 

TECHNICAL INSTITUTE  c.1910s 

On the opposite side of New Chester Road to the photo above we can see the former Technical Institute that was built as part of Port Sunlight Village.  Today it is used as a club by the British Legion.  At one time, growing ivy or virginia creeper on the walls of public buildings was fashionable. However, these needed to be kept in check and required a high level of maintenance to prevent damage to brickwork. Modern maintenance programmes would not tolerate such practices.

 

NEW FERRY BRICKWORKS  c.1914

During the latter half of the 19th century, clay was excavated from the fields in the New Ferry area, including the site where New Ferry Park now stands.

The largest clay pit was dug where the Mayfields football pitches now stand.  In the days before the silting ponds were built out into the river (in the late 1920s) a brickworks stood on the old shoreline.  Bricks were pressed, baked in kilns and then loaded onto barges to be taken down the river either to Birkenhead or over to Liverpool. 

 

The work must have been hard and the pay poor. In this picture, the boy on the right and the young man in the centre both have bare feet. The large chimney stack - behind the boy on the right - was demolished in 1924 (the event was photographed and appears on the next page). The brickworks were demolished to make way for the Bromborough Dock and silting pond (now the landfill site) that was built out into the river in 1931.

This very spot is now occupied by the United Utilities water treatment works which is next to the football pitches.  The rest of the massive pit resulting from decades of clay extraction were used as a landfill site which today sits under the football pitches.


PARADE AT THE LYCEUM, NEW CHESTER ROAD  February 1915

New Ferry once boasted four picture houses.  This was the Lyceum, opened in 1913 and demolished in 1962 to be replaced with the bland building that today houses Iceland.  This view shows the 'Bantams' regiment on their way to the docks before being shipped over to France during World War 1.  (You can see more of the exterior of the building at its best on the 1930s page).

 

THE LYCEUM PICTURE HOUSE   1910s

The Lyceum opened on 30th August 1913.  Attendance at the opening performance at 3pm was by invitation only.  The programme comprised a special selection of musical items by the Lyceum Bijou Orchestra under the direction of Mr A. Davies together with a wide range of films including The Lighthouse Prisoners. 

The entrance lobby of the picture house looked very ornate, with potted plants and a surprisingly multi-coloured carpet.  (Yes, we know the picture is in black and white, but you know what we mean!)  How many of New Ferry's older residents remember queuing inside for tickets to see the various films that were shown here until its closure and demolition in 1962?

 

THE LYCEUM PICTURE HOUSE   c.1910s

We can even take a peek inside the cinema's auditorium.  This looks like the back of the upper stalls, near to where the projectionist would have worked.

The inaugural ceremony was conducted by Councillor J. McLeavy, of the Lower Bebington Urban District Council whose vision was that the Lyceum would provide entertainment, recreation, education and relaxation for local people after the heavy turmoil in the factories of the confinement of offices.  Admission charges were from 3d (old pence) to 1/- (1 shilling).

 

THE TRAVELLERS REST, NEW FERRY ROAD  c.1915

This pub, originally opened in 1860, stood at the corner of New Ferry Road and Marquis street until 2005, after which it was converted (and extended) to form five terraced houses. 

 

COTTAGES ON NEW FERRY ROAD  c.1914

These cottages, built in the 1870s and inhabited by employees of the local brickworks, once stood to the right of the Travellers Rest Pub.  In 1906, some of the old cottages off to the right of the photo had been pulled down to make way for Hope Hall, whilst the rest you can see here were demolished in the 1950s. 

Today, garages back onto this site, and a few years ago the Council ripped out the rose bushes that once grew in the small garden here.  Now it is just tarmac, mud, and a broken bench.

 

See New Ferry in the 1920s...    

Picture Sources:

Some of the photos on this page are sourced from two excellent books we thoroughly recommend:

  • For more excellent photographs of the local area, try to find "Around Bebington" compiled by Pat O'Brien, first published in 1995 by the Chalford Publishing Company.  ISBN 0752401211     I think this may have been republished in 2005 by Nonsuch Publishing Company with a new ISBN 1845881303.  You can buy copies of this book on eBay or on Amazon.co.uk.

  • More difficult to find as it has long been out of print is "Old Bebington - A Portrait in Old Picture Postcards" by the late Dave Mitchelson.    It was published by S.B. Publications in 1991.  ISBN 1870708733

If the current copyright owners of these books object to their photos being used on this website, please contact us and we will remove them.  However, if they have websites where current versions of the books can be ordered online, please let us have those details as there are many people here who would love to buy these books.

 

To have your photos and stories posted on this page, please send them to newferryonline@gmail.com