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#382129 - 21st Jan 2010 12:50pm Old Birkenhead Market
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
Does anyone remember the cellars of Birkenhead Market being filled in?

Whilst I remember about a third of it being dug up for new foundations, I do not recall the majority of that area being exposed.


Edited by diggingdeeper (21st Jan 2010 12:50pm)
Edit Reason: Changed to old
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#382281 - 22nd Jan 2010 10:33am Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: diggingdeeper]
MerseyMan Offline

Smartchild

Registered: 17th Jan 2008
Posts: 526
Loc: Wallasey
I'm too young to remember that, was the old market in market street situated roughly where the car park is now? I've seen photographs but never knew exactly where the market building was located.

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#382301 - 22nd Jan 2010 11:29am Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: MerseyMan]
philmch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 27th Dec 2007
Posts: 322
Loc: Wirral
I remember the old market but I was not aware of it having any cellars. The indoor bit was on cobbles if I remember rightly.

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#382306 - 22nd Jan 2010 11:37am Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: MerseyMan]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Here's a map showing the old market, about 1955. Don't know about the cellars though.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
Market.jpg


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#382316 - 22nd Jan 2010 12:32pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: chriskay]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 435
Loc: Cheshire
The market had cellars, but they weren't below ground level. The market building itself was raised and reached by a big flight of steps at its southern end. The cellars were below the main hall at ground level. During the Second World War they were used as air raid shelters.

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#382323 - 22nd Jan 2010 12:52pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: yoller]
AR_One Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 14th Nov 2007
Posts: 435
Loc: Wirral
Am I right in believing my second-hand memory that this market burnt down in the 70s or 80s and a tempory shed was put up for a couple years until the current building was built.

This tempory shed then saw several years service as the sportsbarn at Woodchurch Leisure centre.

Or was my Dad talking nonsense?

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#382324 - 22nd Jan 2010 12:53pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: yoller]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7829
Loc: tranmere
The cellars had businesses in them, the 2 i can remember for sure were Bernard's and the Hamilton club, They obviously had to move when the market burnt down.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#382336 - 22nd Jan 2010 1:41pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: bert1]
uptoncx Offline
Veteran

Registered: 24th May 2008
Posts: 683
Loc: Wirral
The fire in the old Birkenhead Market Hall was on Saturday, 9th November 1974, following the fire the empty Asda building was used as a temporary market until a new pre-fabricated building was put up within the walls of the old market hall.

From the Liverpool Daily Post, Monday 11th November 1974:

2m blaze destroys Birkenhead market

SHOCKED TRADERS IN CRISIS MEETING

Wirral councillors and officials met more than 100 shocked stallholders at a hurriedly called meeting at Birkenhead fire station last night following one of Merseyside's biggest ever blazes which totally destroyed the town's 129-year-old market hall on Saturday night.

No one was injured in the blaze which caused damage estimated at 2 million, but some of the traders - originally due to have been rehoused three years ago in the still uncompleted Grange Shopping Precinct - have lost stock worth thousands of pounds. It was in an attempt to keep in business that they met with council chief executive Mr Ian Holt and other representatives last night.

Alternative sites from which they could operate - including Woodside Lairage, Grange Road Sports Centre and the bus depot at New Ferry - were offered to the traders but they refused to make any decision and will meet again an Wednesday.

An inquiry is to be held into the cause of the fire which swept through the building on Saturday night. Arson has been ruled out but investigations are continuing.

The alarm was raised shortly before 10 p.m. by two girls who dashed into the Hamilton Club below the market. More than 100 people were evacuated from the club while 14 fire-fighting appliances from all over Merseyside raced to the scene. But by the time the blaze was brought under control, only the shell of the building remained.

Hundreds of spectators turned up to watch the fire fighting and damping down which went on until mid-day yesterday.

At the height of the blaze masonary and glass showered into the streets nearby. According to a fire brigade spokesman there was never any hope of saving the building which was also damaged by fire in 1969.

"The fire had got a good hold when arrived." he said "It obviously spread rapidly before penetrating the outer walls and being spotted."

Last night all entrances to the market were sealed off by the police because of a danger of the outer walls of the building collapsing. The Hamilton club was flooded with six inches of water and the owners said it was unlikely they would be reopening there.

The market hall was equipped with fire alarms but these were not of the automatic type and would have to have been set of manually and there was no automatic link between the building and Birkenhead fire station.

Provision is to be made for such a link in the multimillion pound Grange centre which is due to open in 1976.

A catastrophe, say the stallholders

As stall-holders begin to count the cost of the fire which destroyed Birkenhead's historic market hall, investigations will continue today into the cause of the blaze.

Scores of stalls and tons of produce were destroyed at a time when the traders would be hoping to take advantage of increasing business during the Christmas build-up.

Traders at the market last night described the fire as 'catastrophic' and many were too shocked to discuss their future.

One, Mr Charles Russell, of Upton, who ran a cooked meat stall, said: "I feel as though I were in the middle of a nightmare. I have lost in the region of 6,000 in stock and equipment, but the fire brigade managed to save 200 in cash fram a safe at my stall."

Butcher, Mr Bill Baker, of District Butchers who operate several stores on the market, was last night desperately trying to get in touch with his company director who is abroad at a business conference.

"I don't know how much we have lost as yet" he said.

Another butcher only last week stocked his stall with extra meat for the Christmas period. "I have now lost it all and it has cost me about 5,000" he said.

Urgent efforts are being made to find alternative accommodation for the traders.

But after the meeting last night between the traders and Wirral council representatives at which no agreement was reached, the stallholders will discuss the situation again on Wednesday and will have another meeting with the council at the end of the week.

Memories of blitz as wind fanned the flames

A DAILY POST reporter watching from the roof of a building only ten yards from the blaze as firemen fought it said "This was the biggest fire I have reported in more than 40 years experience. It reminded one of the wartime blitz fires and, in particular, the one which engulfed the old Custom house in Liverpool which could be seen for miles.

"The glow from the blazing market could be seen from all the high points in Wirral and the bird's-eye view from short range was astonishing.

"The one-acre area of the market hall was literally a sea of flame and at times the water sprayed down by firemen gave the effect of geysers in action with steam and smoke rising more than 50 feet into the air.

"While firemen battled to control the blaze from all vantage points, some of them perched on turntable ladders within a very short distance of the doomed building, were eerily lit against the orange background.

"A near-gale wind carried the flames from the old Haymarket area of the town diagonally across the market hall, one of the town's prized Victorian buildings and an outstanding example of the brick architecture and design of that period."

A PLACE TO START

Fortunes have been made and found on market stalls, but one of the most famous success stories must be that of Marks and Spencer, who were tenants in the market hall at Birkenhead for years.

Michael Marks first set up a market stall at Leeds in the 1890's and moved to Birkenhead open market in 1901. He amalgamated with Spencer and they were allocated stall numbers 11 and 12 in the centre aisle in 1903. There they opened the famous Penny Bazaar which eventually led to Marks and Spencer. The company left the Birkenhead stalls on February 24, 1923.




Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
market2.jpg




Edited by uptoncx (22nd Jan 2010 1:42pm)

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#382348 - 22nd Jan 2010 2:43pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: uptoncx]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Anyone got any old photos ? Iv been after some for a while for my website smile

Cheers
Doc
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Over 5000 years of Wirral History:

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#382353 - 22nd Jan 2010 3:00pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: Doctor_Frick]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 435
Loc: Cheshire
The storage rooms under the market weren't called cellars, they were known as vaults.

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#382458 - 22nd Jan 2010 9:57pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: yoller]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9559
Loc: Birkenhead
Piccies


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
Birkenhead-Market-1956-186.JPG

Description: Birknhead Market 1956

Birkenhead_market-1950-181.JPG

Description: Birkenhead Market 1950

Birkenhead-Market square.jpg

Description: Birkenhead Market Square

Birkenhead-OLD BIRKENHEAD MARKET - 1967.jpg

Description: Birkenhead Market 1967

Birkenhead-Birkenhead Market-1908.jpg

Description: Birkenhead Market 1908

BirkenheadMarket1847-MAA0847221.jpg

Description: Birkenhead Market 1847

BirkenheadMarketSquare1910-9647_1.jpg

Description: Birkenhead Market 1910


_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#382502 - 23rd Jan 2010 7:58am Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: diggingdeeper]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7829
Loc: tranmere
pics


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
mk1.jpg

mk2.jpg


_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#382521 - 23rd Jan 2010 12:16pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: ]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4945
Loc: Birkenhead
some pics
anyone remember the toilets that went underground


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
Market steps resized.jpg

side of market  free library reized.jpg



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#382547 - 23rd Jan 2010 2:47pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: derekdwc]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7829
Loc: tranmere
Remember the under ground toilets on the roundabout at central station. were where they at the market.


Edited by bert1 (23rd Jan 2010 2:48pm)
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#382548 - 23rd Jan 2010 2:50pm Re: Old Birkenhead Market [Re: bert1]
derekdwc Online   content


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 4945
Loc: Birkenhead
2nd pic just in front of white car on the left


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
market toilets.jpg




Edited by derekdwc (23rd Jan 2010 2:55pm)

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