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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 - 1950s


BEBINGTON ROAD  c.1950   

Let's now take a look at the decade when huge changes took place.  This interesting picture is near the junction of Bebington Road and Boundary Road.  The premises occupied by W.J. Gregory (we think clothing store) is today occupied by Griffiths the Butcher.

All the shops seen in this row were originally built as terraced houses with front gardens, but were extended to the front in the early 20th century as New Ferry district centre continued to grow and thrive.  Notice how full the pavements are with shoppers.  At this time, in the first half of the 20th century, you could buy anything and everything you needed in traditional centres like New Ferry.  So called progress from the 1980s onwards killed off centres like this as larger supermarkets set up on new shopping parks elsewhere, soon attracting all the larger brand names - and customers - with them.

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BEBINGTON ROAD  c.1952

Let's move slightly backwards from the above photo to little further towards Bebington - still looking east towards the Toll Bar crossroads. 

The shops to the left still stand today, as do the houses and the shops going further down the street.  However, the Wesleyan Church (constructed in 1892) on the corner of Bebington Road and Boundary Road to the right was demolished in 1963 to be replaced by a rather drab, flat rooved building which was originally the Co-op foodstore.  Until 2012 it was occupied by Connexions. 

This time, the shop with its awning down to shelter shoppers (and the goods in the window) from the harsh sun is Okell's, the famous shop where mums from all over the north-west came to buy everything they needed for their new-borns.

Particularly note the absence of traffic.

 

BEBINGTON ROAD  c.1952

Perhaps trying to prove how quiet the road is, the photographer has obviously walked back up the middle of the empty street to turn around and take a photograph looking the opposite way towards Bebington Station.  A car has parked itself outside the Okells baby clothes shop which many older residents remember.  The quaint houses at the top northern end of Port Sunlight Village (to the left) look just the same today.

Both these two photos of Bebington Road are available to buy as prints from Reflections, 65 Park Avenue, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 2PW (UK) Tel: 07967 396594

 

OKELLS, BEBINGTON ROAD  c.1952    

Okay, you wanted it!!!  Here is a closer look at Okell's - as always, with the awning pulled down to offer browsing mums shelter from the sun and rain alike. (Awnings also tried to keep the inside of the shop cooler in the summer weather).  Several mothers have gathered outside the shop - with their young ones in prams - to catch up on some local gossip. 

On the wall at the side are large posters advertising not only the shop itself, but also Heinz Salad Cream and Guiness, which was recommended to be drunk "every day".  Was it really supposed to be "so good for you"?

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NEW FERRY BATHS  c.1952

Photo submitted by Christine Glover, 19th October 2009

In this photo supplied by Christine, we can see what the changing rooms looked like (far left).  The houses at 51 to 63 Shorefields are now built on the site of these.  The high diving board can be seen in its full, terrifying (to some!) glory.  Also note how full the pool is, showing just how popular an attraction it was in its hey day.

 

MORRIS EDWARDS, BEBINGTON ROAD  c.1952

How about a closer look at one of the shops in the 1950s?  For many years, Morris Edwards at 56 Bebington Road was where men could buy their clothes.  He had opened his first gents' outfitters at 290 Old Chester Road, and then another outlet in Well Lane.  Together with his two sons he would later establish other gentlemens' stores at New Ferry and Heswall

This shop in New Ferry opened in 1935 and was later doubled in size.  It supplied many local people with wedding suits and school uniforms.  Suits  were much better made in those days, with quality cloth - unlike the paper thin material that you buy today. 

As can be seen inside the shop, the choice of shirts was huge.  In this lower picture, Morris Edwards stands to the left and his son, Gordon, stands on the right. Though Morris Edwards was crippled in the 1930s and walked with the aid of sticks, he became the Chairman of the Bebington Chamber of trade in the 1950s.

The shop closed in 2007 and the building is now occupied by the Da Da Chinese restaurant (currently closed and for sale).

(Pictures supplied by www.liberator31.co.uk)

 

 


NEW CHESTER ROAD  c.1952

....And of course, one last quick look at an (almost) tranquil New Chester Road.  The trams have long gone (seen off by competition from the buses), whilst the Wynnstay Arms still sells Peerless Ales which it was advertising in the 1920s and 1930s ...who says brand loyalty is a common phenomenon? 

But, hark!  What is about to happen next...?

 
 

NEW CHESTER ROAD c.1954

This is!!! The 1950s saw an explosion in traffic as more people were able to afford cars.  In this photo, sent in by Christine Glover, we can see the number of vehicles is growing as we look at the Toll Bar Crossroads.  Edge the Butchers is still doing business on the right, whilst the Westminster Bank is still going strong at the junction with Bebington Road long before the building would become Shillings Bar.

 

CELEBRATING THE QUEEN'S CORONATION  1953  

Photo and text submitted by Ken Charlton, 28th February 2010

Ken says: "This picture was taken at the Co-Op Hall which stood in a small side street off Grove Street (Olinda Street) at the back of the Lyceum Picture House and the shops.  The occasion was a party to celebrate the Queen's coronation in 1953.  The people were from Winstanley Road, Egerton Road and Brownlow Road.  My brother and I are in the group of children on the far right below the window.

"The photographer was E.N. Hemmings, 99a New Chester Road".

 

CELEBRATING THE QUEEN'S CORONATION AT MERSEYBANK ROAD  c.1953

Text and photos submitted by Christine Glover, 19th October 2009

I was born in 1951 in Clatterbridge Hospital.  My early years were spent living with my Nan at 25 Merseybank Road with Mum, Dad, my brother, auntie, uncle and a couple of cousins as well as Nan and Granddad, until we got our first house at 51 Beaconsfield Road.  We lived there for a few years.  I don't remember much about it, but I remember coming to visit Nan after we had moved and we would walk over a field where New Ferry bypass is now.

I was about 5 years old when we moved back to Merseybank Road to No21.  That was when I met my friend Teresa who came to live next door at No 23.  We remained best friends for 19 years until she died aged 24.

I remember Merseybank Road being tree lined with grass verges which were always kept neat and tidy.  (Most of the trees are gone now, and the grass strips replaced with tarmac!)

All summer long we would play outdoors.  We would tie a rope to a tree and play skipping, or we would all play on what we called ''the green'', where we would play rounders, british bull dog, post-man's knock, tick, or war where the girls were nurses and the boys were soldiers and got shot! It was unheard of to stay indoors!!

Our mums used to take us down on the shore for picnics, and we would be there all day.  There used to be lovely sand there, nothing was ever dumped then!

Then there was the baths at the end of the road. Sometimes we would bunk in and then run like hell to the park area incase anyone saw us!! We never got caught! My brother practically lived there all summer.  He would get a season ticket every year.  One year he had sun stroke because he fell asleep in the sun.

When I was 19 we moved, but I came back in 1986 and I am here to stay.  It's like I've come back to my roots!

In the top four photos, above, we can see Merseybank Road residents celebrating the Queen's coronation in 1953.  One of the four year old boys seen in the picture is David Wrench who now lives in Cheshire.

In the sixth photo (opposite below) we see the junction of Merseybank Road, looking at the row of shops on New Ferry Road.   The man on the right in the belted mac is my dad Ted Glover.  He died in 1966.  The man in the middle looking at the camera is Frank Kierans, who lived at 15 Merseybank Road with his wife Joan and son Michael.

The shops at the top were: the chandlers, Talbots, the chippy [don't know who was there then] ''Ickeys'' the barbers, Sharrocks where we got newspapers etc and bundles of wood for the fire, and Burnhams.  Further down was the Co-op, and Malpases.

The man on the right in the belted mac is my dad, Ted Glover.  He died in 1966.  The man in the middle looking at the camera is Frank Kierans; he lived at 15 Merseybank Road with his wife Joan and son Michael.

The shops at the top were: the chandlers, Talbots, the chippy [don't know who was there then] ''Ickeys'' the barbers, Sharrocks were we got newspapers etc, and bundles of wood for the fire, Burnhams.  Further down was the Co-op, and Malpases.

 

 

 

 

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SHOREFIELDS  c.1954

A quick look at an Ordnance Survey map of Shorefields in 1954.  Interestingly, we can see the former barracks buildings used by the Polish soldiers during WWII whilst they manned the Ack Ack gun (I have marked the position of the gun on the map although it had been removed 10 years earlier).  By this time, even the POWs had left, and the buildings were in use as temporary housing for people whose Wirral homes had been bombed whilst they waited to be rehoused.  Some of the small trees that grow on Shorefields today were originally "garden" trees planted by the residents.  These pre-fab buildings had been demolished by the early 1970s.

You can see more maps of this and other periods on www.old-maps.co.uk

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THE DELL  c.1957                                                Photo submitted by Liberator31.co.uk

Nearer to Rock Ferry and its wealthy villas, The Dell once retained an almost rural village charm.  Even in 1957, the road still resembled a country lane with plenty of trees and hedgerows marking the boundaries of gardens and undeveloped land.  To the left is the Dell Primary School which closed in 2007 and has since been demolished to make way for new apartments.  Just around the bend in the road seen in the distance, the Rock Ferry bypass would span this little valley just 19 years later, whilst the land to the left would be developed for yet more housing.


GROVE STREET SCHOOL  1958  

Christine Glover sent us these photos from Grove Street School in 1958.  The top photo shows a particular class with their teacher, Mr Shuttleworth.

In June 2011, shortly after the upper photo was published here, New Ferry resident Sue Lockett wrote to tell us the following:

"What a surprise to find the New Ferry web site and even more of a surprise to find my face staring out of an old school photo!

"I am fourth from left on the back row- Susan Williams as I was then.

"My cousin May Hill is standing sharp left wearing a dark coloured cardigan.

"On the same row, extreme right is Corinne Gates.  To the left of Mr Shuttleworth is "Little Jan" - Janet Howes.

"I can also see Paul Traynor, Richard Jones, Elaine Baldwin, Derek Taylor, Peter Clinch, Alec Peers, Jimmy Bywater, David Wrench, Linda McBride, Sheila Mennie, Pat Burkey, Lyn Frisby, Marion Hoffman, Janet Hamer, Brenda Pickstock, Annette Grimmer and Ann Gregory.

"Sadly, some of these are no longer with us. Mr Holtham the headmaster was a tall imposing figure, other teachers I remember were Miss Waugh, Mr Davies and Mr McEvoy."

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In the second picture we see a group of boys in the football team.  Paul Parnell supplied us with the names: Front Row (left to right) Jimmy Morrison, Ray Watkinson, Steve Trowler, Colin Crossley, John Bevan.  Second Row (left to right) - Bill Jackson, Les Dickson, Bryan Lomas, Alan Jones, Ray Kendall, Mickey Roberts, Paul Parnell.  Back Row - Mr. Holtham (the Headmaster).  Paul commented: "This team never lost a game and many went on to do the same at Beb."

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NEW CHESTER ROAD  c.1959

By the end of the decade, New Chester Road, the main artery between Birkenhead and Chester, was clogged with cars, lorries, buses and traffic fumes.  The poor cyclist must have been choking on the poisons in that smoky air.

Behind the double decker bus, the tower on top of the Lyceum Picture House on the corner of the junction with Grove Street can be seen enjoying its final decade before demolition.

 

NEW CHESTER ROAD  c.1959

A number 63 bus turns right into Bebington Road.  The group of people are standing outside the building that would later become the HSBC bank (now Cash Converters).  The shops to the left were derelict by the late 1980s, and demolished in 1990 to make way for the new Kwik Save store (now Co-op).

 

 

 
 

See New Ferry in the 1960s...    

 

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