MEMORIES AND PHOTOS
submitted by Mrs Joyce Wharton, 14th October 2009
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.
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
print of the painting "First and
Fastest Victory" depicting the attack in the air over Bromborough.
ST JOHNS THE EVANGELIST CHURCH, BEBINGTON
Photo submitted by Liberator31.co.uk
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
loved living in New Ferry, despite seeing the rats running everywhere
from the Mayfields tip.
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
Photo "borrowed" from www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/eaw000423
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.
bottom right is the massive Mayfields clay extraction pit and one of the
many brickworks the popped up and disappeared over the years.
Photo submitted by Christine Glover, 19th October 2009
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
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.
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
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
"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
"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
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.
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
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
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