ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP 1913
This map of the main centre of New Ferry shows several of the places mentioned on the previous pages. Near the centre of the map is the Council Depot which had previously been the fire station. Just above it is Victoria Place off Grove Street. Manley Place is now the start of Longfellow Drive, the housing on either side of it long having gone.
In the very centre of the ma
BOWLING GREEN, NEW FERRY PARK c.1919
Here is what the bowling green looked like a few years after it was created. It was lower than the surrounding ground, having been constructed in a partly filled in brick pit (the land on which the park was established had previously been used for extracting clay for brick-making).
Notice the pride of the Council's Parks Department evident here with not only th
TOLL BAR CROSSROADS c.1911
Another familiar view of the Toll Bar crossroads, looking northwards towards Birkenhead as a double-decker tram departs.
In the latter half of the 20th century, the grand three-storey building to the left was the NatWest Bank, but it closed around 1990 and later became Schillings Bar until that also closed in recent years.
One of the shops on the immediate right has a si
NEW CHESTER ROAD c.1911
A similar view to the photo above, but this one has been colourised for the New Ferry postcards collection. This particular colouring artist clearly liked the colour blue, as it seems to dominate the scene.
Notice the chunky telegraph poles which also dominate the street during this and subsequent decades. The poles had grown in height as the number of lines increased. Cabl
NEW CHESTER ROAD c.1912
Here is another photo of the same view, but closer and we can see a little more detail of that strange frontage that would be replaced by Woolworths.
Apart from the occasional tram passing along New Chester Road, there is still very little traffic and pedestrians obviously feel comfortable walking off the pavements onto the road space.
You will also see that apart from the
TRAM LEAVING NEW FERRY c.1912
A single decker tram leaving the Toll Bar crossroads. Note that lamp post visible at the junction in the previous decades has now gone.
We can see how the tram tracks converged into one line here, right on the junction itself. I wonder how long the tram then stood and waited on the junction before it set back off on its journey to Birkenhead. No doubt, had there been
Lots to see in this rare aerial photo looking north. The dark terraced row in the lower foreground are the buildings on Bebington Road destroyed in the 2017 explosion (the spire of the Wesleyan Church can be seen on the right; it was replaced in the 1960s with the flat rooved building which housed the ill-fated furniture shop).
To the left is the newly built Grove Street School. Behind it, the area with the hedge around it was the bowling green in New Ferry Park. The houses beyond the park are the ones in Sefton Road overlooking the park.
Notice the dark single storey building to the right in the park. It appears on the map at the top of this page. Was it some kind of (timber) club house?
BEBINGTON ROAD, 1913:
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. Further down the street, away from the camera, The Wirral Hotel also has bay windows on its upper floors. You can
NEW FERRY LANDING STAGE, 1910:
Passengers boarding a ferry at the end of New Ferry Pier. Note how well dressed the Edwardians were in those days.
TRAMS ON NEW CHESTER ROAD 1915
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.
The more distant tram is passing the junction with Grove Street. A little difficult to see is the newly built Lyceum Cinema just before the junction. Today it has been replaced b
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 a
BEBINGTON ROAD c.1914
A group of 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.
In the meantime, let us inagine the smells of freshly-baked bread coming from inside Delamore's Bakery. Those smells are no more. 20 Bebington Road
NEW FERRY POST OFFICE, 99 NEW CHESTER ROAD 25 March 1914
During their visit to Port Sunlight on 25th March 1914, King George V and Queen Mary paid a brief visit to New Ferry. In the background is the Post Office and the business premises of J.G. Davies, a local photographer who took this and other photos featured on these pages.
New Ferry's post office has been located in several different buildin
NEW CHESTER ROAD c.1915
What a difference to today! In this photo, close to the junction with Boundary Road, we are looking southwards along New Chester Road towards Bromborough. Only one car is seen chugging up the hill towards the crossroads. So little is the traffic that the owner of a tricycle has left it parked at the side of the road.
The houses on the left are all still with us, although s
THE ROYAL GEORGE LEAVING NEW FERRY 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.
As the decade continued, the Birkenhead Tram Company would
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.
It originally formed part of a terrace, the other part of which you can see below on the next photo.
COTTAGES ON NEW FERRY ROAD c.1914
These cottages adjoined the Travellers Rest. They were built in the 1870s and for the next few years were inhabited by employees of the local brickworks. In 1906, some of the old cottages off to the right of the photo had been pulled down to make way for Hope Hall which is today clad on one side with green and yellow panelling and is the Winston's Place Day Nurser
CORONATION DECORATIONS, NEW FERRY ROAD June 1911
We're looking back towards the toll bar crossroads and now we can see the Travellers Rest and the cottages from the centre to the right on this photo. It was taken on 22nd June 1911 which saw the coronation of HM King George V when the whole country celebrated with parades and gatherings. Residents have put out bunting, whilst a trio of young la
PARADE ON NEW FERRY ROAD June 1911
...And here is potentially what those three ladies were waiting for. This photo was taken on the same day of the King's coronation and we can see the naval recruits from the training ships moored in the river 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 se
65 NEW FERRY ROAD c.1911
Whilst we're on New Ferry Road, here is one of that street's oldest houses. Number 65 is unusual in that it doesn't front onto the road, but sits at a right angle to it, possibly because when it was built, it would have had an almost uninterrupted view across what were then fields towards the river. We can only speculate as to the identity of the teenager dressed in his
GREAT EASTERN HOTEL, NEW FERRY ROAD c.1912
The Great Eastern Hotel as it looked in its hey-day just before World War 1 .
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 to the right behind the fence, and local residents would go there to buy it. The dairy building was still standing in the 1970s, but would
Aerial view of New Ferry Pier in its hey-day. You can see how far it went out into the river.
Also of note in this photo is Shorefields (near the top) where you can see the large ponds (former brick pits from which clay was excavated) where tourists and locals could enjoy walking whilst looking out across the river. Right at the very top of the photo, just right of the centre, look for the tall chimney of one of the New Ferry brickworks - shown in the photos below this one. You can also see at the centre top of this photo where the silting ponds for Lord Leverhulme's Bromborough Dock would be later built out into the river in the 1930's, and subsequently become Port Sunlight River Park in the 2010's.
THE FERRY APPROACH, NEW FERRY ROAD c.1912
Back to our journey to the end of New Ferry Road again and - oh dear! The New Ferry Hotel, just over a decade old, has lost its cupola above the tower in a storm.
There is still no traffic on the road, so the cameraman stands in the middle of the road with his back to any oncoming horse drawn vehicles, and snaps kids playing in the street. (If anyone did
THE NEW FERRY HOTEL, NEW FERRY ROAD c.1912
The closest look we have of the second New Ferry Hotel as many older residents of New Ferry will remember it. And what a magnificent building it was!!! What a shame that this late Victorian building was demolished in the late 20th century.
The site lay empty for many years until 1990 when the Derwent Lodge Nursing Home was built on the site.
THE BEACH AT NEW FERRY c.1917
Out onto the beach when the tide was out, this cameraman/person has captured a charming composition showing New Ferry's maritime and Victorian heritage combined. From the unusual angle of the ferry terminal building to the wonderful terraced Esplanade built at a time when New Ferry was still on the rise as a desirable place to both live in and visit.
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 wat
The caption on the postcard on the right 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.
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
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 Mers
BEBINGTON & NEW FERRY STATION, c1912
We are looking at a Chester bound train pulling into the southbound platform. The houses in the distance are along Old Chester Road, going up towards Rydal Bank.
Notice the canopies over the platforms to give passengers some protection from the rain, whilst off to the extreme right is a waiting room which always had a warm crackling fire to keep waiting passeng
INDEFATIGABLE 2, 1919
In 1914, the first Indefatigable was replaced with a steamer originally called the Phaeton. She remained on the Mersey until 1941, when it was decided that the intense German bombing of Liverpool during World War II made it too dangerous to remain anchored on the river Mersey. HMS Conway was towed to Anglesey. However, the decision was made to make the TS Indefatigable a land
NEW FERRY BRICKWORKS c.1914
During the latter half of the 19th century, clay was excavated from the fields all over the New Ferry area. The largest clay pit was dug where the Mayfields football pitches now stand. Prior to Lord Lever building his new dock at Bromborough in the early 1930s and the silting ponds that were built out into the river, a brickworks stood on the old shoreline. Bricks we
DEMOLISHING THE BRICKWORKS CHIMNEY 1924
In 1924, the brickworks closest to the river were demolished to make way for the Bromborough Dock and silting pond (now Port Sunlight River Park) that was built out into the river in 1931. Here we see the same chimney coming down. The high brick wall along the top edge of the excavated pit is the sourthern wall around the Port Isolation Hospital.
Jacob Buffum/Buffham/Buffam was born in Whaplode near Holbeach Lincolnshire c1856. His father John was a publican and agricultural labourer. The family lived in the Star Inn Whaplode where Jacob is recorded as an agricultural worker on the 1881 census. That same year he married Mary Ann Burwell.
In an effort to improve his circumstances he may have been attracted to move to the NW of England whilst attending a Hiring Fair or through reading a newspaper advertisement.
Ellesmere Port: Canals
By 1889 Jacob and Mary had moved to Whitby, Ellesmere Port Cheshire with two young sons William aged 6 and John Thomas aged 2. They were living in Station Road, probably at a lodging house. William was registered at the Ellesmere Port National School and Jacob was employed as a labourer.
In 1885 a plan had been submitted to Parliament to build a canal 36 miles long running between Eastham and Manchester via Runcorn. This would divert some trade away from the expensive port of Liverpool and allow a direct connection from the manufacturing town of Manchester to the sea. After some objections the plan was passed and construction began on the first part of the canal from Eastham to Ellesmere Port in November 1887. This section was navigable by July 1891. At one time over 3,000 men were working on the digging out and construction of this section.They came long distances to find employment. It was a hard life for these itinerant workers, but they were a community who in the main drank hard, worked hard and looked after each other.
The 1891 census for Ellesmere Port shows us that Jacob was working as a Navvy probably as part of the canal construction team and the family were living in a hut on Platts Field, with other Navvies from Lincolnshire including Jacob's brother William. The huts were erected close to the work area. Mud would have been a constant companion.
At Whitby, the site engineer Mr Walker provided a hospital, mission rooms and shops constructed of corrugated iron sheets. As sections were completed the huts would be dismantled and moved on. Jacob himself does not appear again in the public record after 1891.
The Family moves again: Bricks
In 1910 Jacob's son William married Margaret Davies. By 1911, they were living in New Ferry, Wirral with 4 children and Margaret's mother Delia. At this time William was employed as a carter at a brickworks. The brickworkers took clay from the fields surrounding New Ferry, pressed and baked the bricks. The bricks were then loaded onto barges to be transported to Liverpool or Birkenhead along the River Mersey.
William's younger brother John Thomas was living nearby with their mother, Mary Ann, by then a widow, he was an unemployed labourer. John Thomas was killed during WW1 and his mother Mary received a war pension.
The brick works closed in 1924 when the new Bromborough Dock was built by William Lever to serve the soap factory.
Soap: The soap factory
At the time of the 1939 census William and Margaret were still living in New Ferry. By then he was employed as a general labourer at a soap works. This was probably the soap works in Port Sunlight owned by Lever Brothers. George Davies their son was still living with them and also employed at the soap works. William Buffham died in 1958.
William's uncle, Jacob's brother William may have moved back to Lincolnshire as there was a William Buffam on the1911 census working on a construction site in Haborough near Grimsby.
Navvies working on the Manchester Ship Canal circa 1890.
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