NEW FERRY ONLINE

 The Community Website of New Ferry, Wirral, UK

 

HOMEPAGE


About New Ferry


Clubs & Societies


Community in Action


Community Consultations


Events & Meetings


History of New Ferry


Latest News, Hot Topics  & Announcements


Local Services & Facilities


Memories & Photos

Pre 1900

1900s

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

Further reading/viewing


Parks and Open Spaces


Shopping in New Ferry


Useful Information


 

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 - 1940s


SHOREFIELDS    1939-42

Text submitted by Mrs Joyce Wharton, 14th October 2009

"During the war years, I remember the Ack-Ack guns on Shorefields.  They were manned by Poles, who lived in the barracks next to the guns.  Barrage balloons were kept in the sky above the field. 

"The Luftwaffe bombers stopped coming after January 1942, and later that year the soldiers and the guns went away.  After that, the barracks were used as a small internment camp for German prisoners of war (1946-7), and subsequently as temporary homes for people who had been bombed out in Birkenhead.  Pre-fabs were also built, and these and the former barracks were not demolished until the early 1970s."

 

BROMBOROUGH DOCK  1940

On the 8th October 1940, a German Junkers Ju88 bomber aircraft arrived in the skies above Merseyside on a mission to bomb the Rootes aircraft factory at Speke and photograph the results of its attack.  The aircraft was loaded with four 250kg bombs.  It had flown from Caen in France over Southampton, Droitwich, Ellesmere Port and finally to Speke, arriving in the target area around 4pm.

However, before it could reach its target, the bomber was spotted by Czech pilots flying three Hurricanes of yellow section No.312 (Czech) Squadron based at Speke.  They had just taken off on a routine mission to patrol the skies above Hoylake.  The Hurricanes attacked the Junkers aircraft, which fired back - causing some damage to the Hurricanes.  

Eventually, the Ju88ís starboard engine was hit and damaged. The pilot, 26 year old Oberleutnant Helmuth Bruckmann, jettisoned two of his bombs into the River Mersey. With two bombs still in their racks, the Ju88 was seen gliding down towards Bromborough Dock where the pilot made a forced landing with the undercarriage retracted. The Ju88 slid across the field for thirty yards until it came to a rest near to an anti-aircraft gun post with the port engine ripped out of its mounting. One of the bombs was torn from its rack and was found lying in the field near to the aircraft along with a fully inflated dinghy. 

A bullet wound to the head had killed the observer, 24 year old Leutnant (Pilot Officer) Herbert Schlegel.  The pilot, Oberleutnant Bruechmann was uninjured but 37 year old Sonderfuhrer Horst Lehmann the air gunner and 26 year old Unteroffizierer Helmuth Weth wireless operator were injured.

The three Hurricanes landed back at Speke, the whole sortie had taken just eleven minutes.

 

Images showing RAF personnel inspecting the JU88 which crashed next to Bromborough Dock on 8th October 1940

Read our new e-book about the incident.

Newspaper article from the time

Buy a print of the painting "First and Fastest Victory" depicting the attack in the air over Bromborough.


ST JOHNS THE EVANGELIST CHURCH, BEBINGTON    1943

Photo submitted by Liberator31.co.uk

'St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church' is pictured in 1943 in Bebington Road. The spacious, airy church which was free from pillars, was opened in November 1934 and consecrated August 1943. 

 


GIs IN NEW FERRY    1944  

Photos and text submitted by Ken Charlton, 01 March 2010

"In 1944, in the build up to D-day, the American army had a camp in Port Sunlight.  Local residents were asked if they had spare rooms to take in U.S. N.C.Os.  At that time we lived just across the road from Port Sunlight in Winstanley Road.  Two U.S. soldiers came to stay with us until shortly before D-day.  The soldier in the photos was Bill Streder.  He survived the war and died about five years ago in Springfield, Illinois.  These photos were taken outside 35 Winstanley Road." 

 

MERSEYBANK ROAD   1945

Text and photo submitted by Mrs Joyce Wharton, 13th October 2009

"I was born in New Ferry and lived at 31 Merseybank Road for many years.  All our neighbours helped each other when the war was on. 

"There was plenty to do for us children in those days.  We loved going down to the shore, making sandcastles on the beach and collecting shells (the beach had both at that time!).  My father used to carry buckets of sand up the cliffs to put onto the garden to break down the soil.

"On Saturday afternoons we would go to the pictures, which cost six pence to get in.  I also loved New Ferry Baths - we would stay there all day and have picnics in the parkland next to it ..... even though it was only at the end of our road.  I miss both the pictures and the swimming pool and wish they were still here.

"I always loved living in New Ferry, despite seeing the rats running everywhere from the Mayfields tip.

"I emigrated to Australia in 1966, but returned to New Ferry in 1969 and bought my current home in Merseybank Road for the massive sum of £6,900.   I love my home and will stay in it until my dying day. "

 

Our previous home - 31 Merseybank Road as it was during World War II.  Click to enlarge this photo.


 

 

AERIAL VIEW ABOVE BOLTON ROAD AND GRAYLANDS ROAD  1946

Photo "borrowed" from www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/eaw000423

In this super shot, you can see Bolton Road North and Graylands Road, just a few years after the housing estate was built.  At the bottom centre of the photo is the site of the PLUTO storage tanks built during the second world war to store oil brought by tankers to Bromborough Dock, and stored for use after the D-Day landings.

To the bottom right is the massive Mayfields clay extraction pit and one of the many brickworks the popped up and disappeared over the years.

 

BEBINGTON ROAD  c.1947

Photo submitted by Christine Glover, 19th October 2009

Christine says: "I don't know much about this photo except it's 1947 and looks like a pensioners group.  My Great Gran is in the middle of it somewhere!".

On 29 April 2012, Lorna Johnson told us: "The man standing in the middle front was Edward Buckley (my Great-Grandad) and to the left of the little woman was his wife May Buckley.  Next to her is Edward's sister Margaret aka "Aunt Happy" because as you can see in the photo she was always happy (she is the one holding the ukulele). They were all aged about 48, so not quite old aged pensioners lol. I am sure my Grandad can give you much more information on New Ferry if you would like".

The photo was taken outside the social club on the junction of Windsor Close and Bebington Road.  The wooden building would later be replaced by the Windsor Close Community Centre.  If you know any more about the picture and the people in it, please let us know.

 

WARTIME AND OTHER MEMORIES

submitted by Ron McVey, 23rd December 2011

Ron says: "I now live in London, Ontario. I was born at the maternity home at Poulton-cum-Spital.  I was illegitimate and have no idea who my father was.  My mother was Winifred McVey.

"From 1929 until 1946 I lived at 22 Napier Road, New Ferry and went to Grove Street and to New Chester Road secondary schools.  Later, I served my time as a maintenance engineer at Stork Margarine works, known to most people then as Planters.

"During WW2 my grandmother and I were the only ones that lived at 22 Napier Road.  My mother married and moved to Birmingham.  Her brother, my uncle Tom married and moved to Bromborough Pool and my other uncle, Jim, was called up to the army but spent most of his time in a sanitarium for TB patients.

"In October 1940, when I was eleven, I had a half day off school, so I took a bus to Eastham Woods to look for conkers.  We used to soak them in vinegar to help harden them up and hopefully win a game of them against someone. There were few decent ones to be found at Eastham, so I returned home.  As I was getting off the bus at the Toll Bar, the bus conductor told all the exiting passengers to hurry home as he had heard a plane droning in the clouds all afternoon, and he was sure it was German. Sure enough, not long after I got off the bus, the air raid sirens were screaming away.

"I hurried down New Ferry Road, and I was half way up Napier Road and saw a woman pushing a pram on the opposite side with a small child holding on to it's side. We both heard the rat tat tat of gun fire and the woman ran screaming up the street while I looked up and saw a Hurricane fighter plane on the tail of a German Junkers 88 bomber with smoke coming from it's tail.  The German plane vanished below the chimney pots of Merseybank Road (it actually crashed at the entrance to Bromborough Dock - see above).  About a minute later I saw the Hurricane do a Victory Roll above New Ferry.

"My mother worked at several jobs at New Ferry baths and was a Walls ice cream sales person at times.  She also used to take in washing for gypsies and others who had their caravans on the waste land by Wallace Pit.

"Once, I remember seeing an elephant being walked down New Ferry Road; maybe it was associated with a circus? 

"Going towards the Toll Bar from Napier road was a dairy with what I thought was a large yard, then a builders yard known to one and all as Putty Hugh's.  I was sent there for nails and putty.  A little further up, before Hope Hall, lived a very kind Missionary lady who would play an organ in her front room. If anyone in the neighborhood got sick she would send them fruit.

"My grandfather had a boat yard on the Pool by the ancient Courthouse.  I cannot remember much about him as he died young from eating poisoned shellfish from the Mersey.

"After having an argument with my uncle I went to live with an aunt in Brownlow Road for a few weeks.  Then I lived with Uncle Tom, his wife Cis, and daughter Anne at 2 South View, Bromborough Pool (long demolished).  I lived there for about three years then was a boarder at a couple of places before I married a Rock Ferry girl and moved to Canada in March 1952."


WISTFUL DAYS AT NEW FERRY BATHS

submitted by Mrs Eileen Harman to the Wirral Globe mailbox, 16th April 1997

A previous letter to the Wirral Globe in early April 1997 discussing the height of the high diving board brought back my own childhood memories of New Ferry Baths.

Even I ended up arguing with myself over the height of the top diving board. I say it was 25ft - or was it just my child's eyes that made it look so big?

The baths were a haven of safety. We lived there whenever we could, a tribe of us along with our bottles of water and butties with our navy blue knickers wrapped in so-called towels - we didn't need the towels, the sun dried us!

Through the turnstiles we'd go - admission weekdays 4d, weekends 6d. If we didn't have money, we would try and 'bunk in', but were soon showed the exit!

There were nine diving boards on different levels, two springboards, a wooden shute and two metal silver shutes - exciting but terrifying!

Tannoys blasted out whenever someone was lost and within the huge park beautiful big oak trees gave shade from the sun. An ice cream parlour provided the rich with ices, lollies, pots of tea and jugs of water - and there were tables and chairs for them to sit on.

Alongside the baths was a small hospital, but it was a mystery to us kids why it was there.

What New Ferry Baths did for us was nothing but . . . magic!


See New Ferry in the 1950s...    

 

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