TOLL BAR CROSSROADS (4th February 1901)
Let's start this particular decade's photo tour with the news that Queen Victoria has just died, and as the country is in mourning, the single-deck electric service started at 5.30am without pomp and ceremony as the down-hearted townspeople gather to start their day.
This postcard image (originally photographed in black and white) has been partially - if very
TOLL BAR CROSSROADS (early 1900s)
Another view very similar to the above, but this time recoloured by someone with a little more talent. Note the more subtle colouring around the windows of the Wynnstay Arms public house to the right of the junction which had only recently been built at the very end of the previous decade.
The large gas lantern stood in the middle of the Bebington Road/New Chester
GREAT EASTERN HOTEL BOWLING CLUB, 1901
This photo was sent to us by Andrew Scott Benson in Australia who was going through his late father's belongings and discovered this photo which shows the Great Eastern Hotel (New Ferry) Bowling Club in 1901. Andrew says his great-grandfather is one of the gentlemen pictured. The Great Eastern Pub originally had the bowling green behind it; the houses of C
STAGECOACH LEAVING TOLL BAR CROSSROADS c.1903
This photo could potentially have been taken minutes after the photo above. A horse drawn vehicle is just exiting to the left, and a group of schoolgirls remain in the road, posing for the camera.
TRAM NUMBER 5 EN-ROUTE TO NEW FERRY (c.1908)
As detailed on these pages, New Ferry was an important terminus for trams which came as far as here from Birkenhead. As the lower sign tells us, they were run by the Birkenhead Corporation Tramways Company which had subsumed the Wirral Tramway Company amongst other local transport conpanies in 1901.
Although this view shows a New Ferry bound tram on New
TRAM NUMBER 6 AT THE NEW FERRY TERMINUS c.1908
New Ferry also seems to be an important place for trams and showing them off to visiting dignitaries. So many photos are clearly posed for the camera - perhaps commemorating the arrival of a new tram to the route? We have no way of knowing who is posing here and why. The tram shed behind is seen elsewhere on these pages - today it is the site of
TOLL BAR CROSSROADS & BEBINGTON ROAD (1903):
Back to the crossroads for a proper look into the top end of Bebington Road just prior to the introduction of the electric trams.
The toll bar building on the left had just been replaced by a new building after the tolls were abolished in 1883. It was originally a pub selling North & South Ales, but at the end of the late 20th century it was the Midlan
BEBINGTON ROAD, 1903
Let's take a look in the opposite direction from the photo above, in what is now the Bebington Road precinct, looking back towards the toll bar cross roads. To the left is what is today New Ferry Discount Carpets, with the Shillings Building (originally Parr's Bank!) next door to it. The black and white building on the opposite side of the junction was the former Wynnstay A
TOLL BAR CROSSROADS, NEW CHESTER ROAD, 1905:
Here is a very rare postcard of New Ferry sent in 1905. On the extreme right of the picture is the shop of Robert Baines Pawnbrokers, established in 1880. On its left is Makeham's Hosiery shop, and towards the corner is a chemist called Night's.
NEW FERRY TRADESMENS' WALK, 1906:
Here's a mystery card. Photographed in 1906, it is called ''New Ferry tradesmens walk, the competition, and the committee''. The banner in the background declares 'Boycott New Ferry Tradesmens walk, money collected in New Ferry for prizes has been spent out of the district. Don't Walk!!!'
Those responsible for the above banner clearly didn't contribute to the
NEW FERRY CARNIVAL, TOLL BAR CROSSROADS c.1907
Edwardian crowds eagerly await the arrival of the street parade during the annual New Ferry carnival.
I think this view is at the Toll Bar crossroads looking down New Ferry Road. This would have been before the bus station (later market; today Rocket Training) was built.
The carnival ran most years throughout the early 20th century. The carnival pa
BEBINGTON ROAD c.1904
This is the clearest oldest photo of the middle of Bebington Road (in what is today the pedestrianised area) that I have ever found.
The largest building on the right is the Cleveland Arms. Notice the bay windows it had in those days, now long since replaced.
You can also see that the last buildings in the terrace on the right are still houses. Most of the terrace was origin
COMMUNITY WEEK IN NEW FERRY, BEBINGTON ROAD c. 1907
The same view as in the above photograph, but this time it is "community week" and the winning horse-drawn float/display is at the front of the parade passing through the crowds.
Some of the participants are dressed in colourful colonial Indian inspired costumes. At that time, the British Empire was still at its height, and residents - fascinated
WESLEYAN (METHODIST) CHURCH, BEBINGTON ROAD c.1905
Here is another of the very crudely hand painted postcards from the early 20th century. We can clearly see the superb church (called a "chapel" here). What a shame it was pulled down in the 1960s and replaced with the flat-rooved carbuncle that finally disappeared in the 2017 explosion.
Of particular note here are the terrace of houses with front
TECHNICAL INSTITUTE, BOUNDARY ROAD c.1906
Although part of Port Sunlight Village, what was originally constructed as the Technical Institute is a landmark marking the beginning of New Ferry's district centre. For many years at the end of the 20th century it was the British Legion Club, but in the early 2000s, faced with mounting maintenance costs, the building was sold and converted to apartments
NEW FERRY FIRE STATION, GROVE STREET c.1906
Yes! New Ferry was once an important township, including administratively, and had not only its own police station next to the school, but also its own fire station until the mid 1910s when it was taken over by the Council and used for many years as a depot for Council vehicles.
But where was it, you might ask? This is, today, Grove Street Car Park (the
VICTORIA PLACE, OFF GROVE STREET c.1906
Despite all the housing it still may have, New Ferry is like so many other urban areas where swathes of older buildings (mostly residential) are no longer with us. Victoria Place was one of two terraced streets which once stood on the flat area of what is now New Ferry Park, opposite the side of Iceland and where - until the early 1990s - the portakabin sty
THE PARK LODGE, NEW FERRY PARK c.1905
As we saw on the previous page, the FIRST New Ferry Park was located down near the pier. However, as the land there became more valuable for house building close to the river, in 1898 the Council found a new location for the park opposite St Marks Church.
The Park Lodge at the park's official entrance was constructed in 1904 as a home for the park keeper. It
NEW FERRY ROAD c.1909
Its another of those colourised postcards, but you must be wondering where in New Ferry Road this is? The junction with Beverley Road is to the right, and we are looking back towards where the Great Eastern stood at the bend.
All those houses you see here are still with us today, but what is so different is all the trees in the front gardens, now all long gone to make way f
HENTHORNE ROAD c.1909
The early 20th century witnessed a revolution in demand for housing as the increasingly wealthier middle classes found they had sufficient cash to buy their own homes in increasing numbers.
Henthorne and Seafield Roads off New Ferry Road, both leading down to the river, were often bought by local shopkeepers who could now afford better quality living accommodation NOT above th
NEW FERRY ROAD c.1906
Let us continue down New Ferry Road towards the Pier again, past more of the fine terraced homes built for the rising middle classes. To the right is a small shop. handy for the local newspaper and a pint of milk.
At the end of the street, however, we catch a first glimpse of the replacement New Ferry Hotel with its grand dome above a tower. The dome would be badly damaged i
BEACH AND RIVER c.1909
Before we get to the Pier area, let's just take a peak at the shoreline before the Esplanade. This picture was taken at the southern end the Esplanade. There used to be a cut through from New Ferry Road through a rose garden of an old cottage that was there, through some bushes and you'd reach this very nice sandy bay - now, alas, all gone. The land has since been fi
NEW FERRY PIER APPROACH c.1905
Back to our second journey to the Pier. To the left we can see the new New Ferry Hotel with its dome atop the tower, whilst to the right we get another glimpse of those shops (including the post office) we saw from the opposite angle in the previous decade. What is so striking about the early 20th century is the almost complete lack of vehicular traffic; so safe tha
THE APPROACH TO NEW FERRY c.1906
And here we have yet another colourised postcard of almost the same view as the picture above. Those children had better watch out as there is more traffic on the road! The shops must be happier too, as there are a few more potential customers on the pavement outside them.
In this colourised view, the detailing on the New Ferry Hotel has been enhanced, showing the
NEW FERRY PIER AND NEW FERRY HOTEL c.1906
Here is an interesting view from the middle of the pier, looking back towards the shore and the ferry terminal. Behind the terminal, dominating the centre of the photo is the replacement New Ferry Hotel with its tower and dome. Keep that dome in mind, because on the next page - as you will see - the hotel didn't have it for long.
This photo has been touc
Here was can see the same photograph, uncropped, colourised for a postcard.
To the left, the grand terrace of houses known as The Esplanade had only recently been built. They replaced a row of older, detached cottages - the owners having been offered enough by the developer to quit their homes and let him build the finest of New Ferry's houses facing the river, and whose new residents could listen
"THE GAP" c.1909
The bottom of the Dell, where the slipway is, is known locally as "The Gap". We have seen it in the earlier decade, and will see it again in the coming ones. How many children played in the sand over the earliest years of the 20th century before the mud began encroaching and the sand slowly disappeared. The sailing ship seen here is the HMS Conway.
The riverside walkway going of
INDEFATIGABLE TRAINING SHIP c.1907
More detail of one of the wooden sailing ships anchored in the river. Originally known as the Indie, she was built in 1848 and was replaced by an iron ship in 1914 that was also given the Indefatigable name.
Along with the HMS Conway which trained future officers of the Merchant Navy from 1859 onwards, the two reformatory ships – the Akbar, for the reform of Prot
THE TRAINING SHIPS c.1904
Here are the other ships seen at the turn of the 20th century: the Conway and the Akbar. Indefatigable is just seen to the right. The Clarence was set on fire and destroyed in 1899., so was gone by the time this picture was taken.
ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP, 1898
An interesting divergence. Did you know that part of what could have been called New Ferry once started close to the railway bridge by Bebington Station. "Primrose Hill" was part of a settlement of terraced cottages and a small chapel that developed in the latter half of the 19th century.
However, as Lord Lever started building Port Sunlight Village for his workers, he
PRIMROSE HILL c.1903
I found this very poor quality photograph amongst a collection acquired by the late Mel Roberts, a local historian, who died in 2004. For many years I wondered where it was taken from, but now I finally know thanks to a search on the 1898 map.
Note the large building on the right, which matches the large building near the centre of the map above. It was the St Barnabas Missio
PRIMROSE HILL, Today
...And this is the exact same viewpoint today, with the wonderful homes that Lord Lever replaced the cottages with. These were amongst the last of the houses to be built as part of the historic village and were completed along with the Duke of York Cottages behind them in the late 1910s.
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