WikiWirral its great, register, enjoy and welcome.
Forum Stats
12190 Members
65 Forums
72621 Topics
978582 Posts
56 posts in the last 24hrs
Max Online: 7831 @ 8th Apr 2013 4:18pm
Who's Online - Click Me
96 registered (8HBob, 16 invisible), 1600 Guests and 205 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Social Media : Follow Us

(Views 7days)This Weeks Most Read
Parking Charges 1071
Trump 952
Something to get a drone off a roof! 451
Paypal help 442
Question Time 417
RAC ,AA v Breakdown Recovery 381
Paper Recycling. ? 375
When we live to be a 100 yrs old 352
Best Price for Scarpping my car 350
Animal Cruelty in the Film Industry 341
New General Forums
Test on old english words
by derekdwc
20th Jan 2017 8:02pm
by cools
20th Jan 2017 12:14pm
The Scouse Accent
by palemoon
18th Jan 2017 7:49pm
birthday wishes
by sunnyside
18th Jan 2017 12:48pm
New Wirral History
753 Sea Horse, Unit 9, Wallasey Waterfront
by Norton
18th Jan 2017 9:07pm
What was County Hall, Abbey Street, Birkenhead?
by yoller
15th Jan 2017 1:28pm
752 The Old Manor Club, Withens Lane, Liscard
by Norton
13th Jan 2017 2:20pm
751 Plough Inn, Mount Pleasant Rd, New Brighton
by Norton
13th Jan 2017 1:38pm
351 Prince Alfred 30 Tunnel Road 30 30 to 32
by yoller
8th Jan 2017 7:18pm
Forum Tips
Photo Gallery Forums
fireworks on the Mersey last night
Hadlow train station
Topic Replies
Police Convoy
by diggingdeeper
2 minutes 43 seconds ago
by casper
6 minutes 22 seconds ago
What song are you listening to?
by diggingdeeper
12 minutes 51 seconds ago
Question Time
by diggingdeeper
23 minutes 52 seconds ago
Repose en Paix Gordon Kaye
by diggingdeeper
45 minutes 48 seconds ago
Canal Fishing
by Habdab
Today at 04:33 PM
33 lions
by granny
Today at 02:47 PM
the over flow on bidston moss
by Habdab
Today at 01:52 PM
Ariston hifi amplfier vgc 35
by montyz
Today at 12:39 PM
M Tu W Th F Sa Su
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Recent Posts : What's On ?
Indian/Jazz fusion music Liverpool
by buddy
17th Jan 2017 9:46am
Chinese New Year Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
15th Jan 2017 11:08am
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#405306 - 1st May 2010 1:55pm History of Wallasey Local Government

From Anglo-Saxon times Wallasey was part of the the Hundred of Wirral (also known as The Wapentake of Wirral) which was the ancient administrative area for the Wirral Peninsula. Its name is believed to have originated from the Hundred of Wilaveston, the historic name for Willaston, which was an important assembly point in the Wirral Hundred during the Middle Ages. The ton suffix in a place name normally indicates a previous use as a meeting location for officials. During its existence, the hundred was one of the Hundreds of Cheshire.

The term 'hundred' goes back to at least to the time of King Alfred. He divided the country into counties or shires and these in turn into hundreds, subdivided into tithings or towns. Historians have never agreed as to what is really meant by a 'hundred', but it seems likely that is has a military origin, i.e the district furnishing a hundred warriors. Alternatively it may signify the area occupied by a hundred families or be a unit of a hundred hides of land.

Order was maintained for the Wirral by the appointments of local palatine offices called 'Serjeants of the Peace' who were under the control of a 'Grand Serjeant'. The Hundred was 'perambulated' (inspected) by these serjeants who were assisted by staff known as 'bedells' who had knowledge of all offences against the peace. They had powers to arrest offenders, and in early days might instantly behead them, if caught in the act.

The earliest recorded History of court action was in 1309 when Thomas Ebba, of Poulton, attacked Matthew de Walley. Ebba was killed in the attack and de Walley was arrested and taken to Chester Castle. The Hundred Court found that de Walley had acted in self-defence and was released with a 40d fine.

Since 1100 the Wirral had been under Forest Laws as much of the region was forested. In 1347 many of the inhabitants were brought before the court for offences connected with the forest. Houses and mills built without licence were ordered to be pulled down, and enclosures made for agricultural purposes were thrown open.

One of the last Hundred Courts was on 3rd September, 1855, which were then held quarterly, and it sat at Tranmere Hotel. An action for damages for false imprisonment was brought by James McMahon of Liscard, a schoolmaster, against Elliot Hodson, a Birkenhead police detective.

With the increasing growth of population in Wallasey it was soon apparent that a change in the form of local government was required. On 8th May, 1845, the Wallasey Improvement Act was passed which authorised the appointment of twenty-one Commissioners, who were all local businessmen. The legislation included powers for "paving, lighting, watching, cleansing, and otherwise improving the Parish of Wallasey, in the County of Cheshire, and for establishing a Police, and also a Market, within the said Parish, and for other purposes". The Commissioners were elected for three years, one-third of their number retiring annually but being eligible for re-election. The Commissioners were empowered to construct common sewers and to drain the land for building purposes. Also powers were obtained to purchase the ferries. They met for the first time in a room above the stables of the Queens Arms Hotel, Liscard on 12th June, 1845.

The Commissioners apparently did not perform their obligations to the parish. The ferries were never purchased, no market was ever made and their provision for 'watching' consisted of only three police officers - a chief and two men. The most serious failure was the concern of neglect of public health within the parish. The whole country had already received a scare in the cholera epidemic of 1832-1833. Liverpool had suffered more then most but the cholera of 1832 had actually originated from Seacombe.

The main problem for the Commissioners was the 'Wallasey Pool', which was then a wide inlet open to the Mersey tidal estuary. At low water the smell of silt, mud and the inhabitants dumping refuse was quite revolting and nauseating. Matters were not improved with the development of Birkenhead Docks which necessitated the building of a wall across the mouth of the Pool and the damming up of the water behind it to make the Great Float. The situation was made even worse when the Dock Committee became bankrupt in 1847, leaving the area a marsh. With an increasing population and those left unemployed by the dock collapse it is not hard to understand the daunting task in public health for the Commissioners. In response to the situation the inhabitants of Seacombe sent a petition to the Board of Health in June, 1851.

An inquiry was held at Parry's Hotel, Seacombe on 31st July, 1851, by Mr Robert Rawlinson, Superintendent Inspector under the Public Health Act, 1848. The Inspector found that the problems of Seacombe was also found in the rest of Wallasey. The sewers were urgently needed but was resisted because under the Wallasey Improvement Act, 1845, it stated that the owners of the property had to pay for any sewering but under the Public Health Act the soon to be elected Local Board would have the power to levy a sewer rate on tenants. The owners reluctant's in constructing sewers was heard at the Inquiry.

Further reports was also heard at the Inquiry including a report that there was no public lighting in the Parish and only a small private gasworks which only supplied Egremont Ferry. Also urgently needing attention was the housing conditions in the district. The worst was the area known as Mersey Street, which adjoined Seacombe Ferry, and was quite abominable. In fact the mortality rate of Poulton-cum-Seacombe was far greater than even in the worst district of Liverpool

It was the Inspector's view that Wallasey was in a similar condition to that of Poulton-cum-Seacombe. The issue with Birkenhead Docks could not be solely held responsible for much of the trouble in public health. The Inspector went on to say that "if Wallasey Commissioners had put in force the powers of their Act as it now exists to their fullest extent, many nuisances complained of would have been abated. But apparently most of the clauses relating to sanitary were, have, up to this time, remained a dead letter".

The resulting Inquiry found the Commissioners being replaced under the Wallasey Order of 1852 by a Local Board of Health established under the Public Health Act, 1848.

On the 18th April, 1853 'The Public Health Act, 1853' ordered the Wallasey Local Board of fifteen persons should be elected to supersede the Commissioners. Six members were elected by Liscard, six by Poulton-cum-Seacombe and three to Wallasey. One of their first duties was to provide an adequate water supply for the district. Previously Poulton-cum-Seacombe was supplied with water from three wells. The first pump was situated at Somerville, second, a well by the road side at the junction of the Dock Road and Poulton Bridge Road and the third at Clough and Galan's Yard, on the north side and very near Wallasey Pool. Before the sinking of the wells by the Commissioners for the public water supply, the tenants were dependent on private wells, one to several houses. The landlord had to supply each house with two large wooden butts for rain water. The Local Board obtained powers to construct waterworks in 1858, which resulted in the construction of a well and pump in Poulton (later to become the Gas works which closed in 1962) and a elevated tank at Mill Lane which was completed in 1861 and formally opened by Mr Tollemache, M.P. In 1883 the Committee was advised to construct a reservoir at New Brighton and brought into use in 1887 on Gorsehill Road (the Water Tower being constructed in 1905).

The Local Board took steps to acquire most of the land along the river and, in 1860, took over the Mersey Ferries. [For further reading :- History of the Wallasey Ferries]. Other steps that the Board took was to purchase the Liscard Hall estates in 1890 at a cost of 1/10d per square yard for the 37 acre land and mansion. Later a further 20 adjoining acre was acquired and opened to the public as Central Park

The original offices of the Local Board were situated at the bottom of Church Street, Egremont, and these remained the headquarters after the Local Board was replaced by the Urban District Council in 1894 under the Local Government Act of that year. The district was divided into eight wards, New Brighton, Upper Brighton, Liscard, Egremont, North Seacombe, South Seacombe, Poulton and Wallasey. Three representatives were elected for each ward and the first chairman was Richard Steel of Zig Zag Hall.

In June, 1902 the Council seeked to increase its powers by securing authority to appoint a Mayor, Alderman and a Town Clerk as well as making by-laws and setting up a separate police force so an application was made for incorporation as a Borough. A petition was presented but was strongly opposed and incorporation was refused by the Privy Council. It was not until 1910 that Wallasey achieved Borough status, its charter being the first to be granted by King George V.

The wards were increased to ten, and the first meeting of the new Council met on 11th November, 1910 . The Council, with a Liberal majority, consisted of 10 Alderman and 30 Councillors who invited Mr James Thomas Chester, though not actually a Town Councillor, as the boroughs first Mayor. The Chains of Office of the Mayor's and Mayoress being raised by public subscription. The Arms of Wallasey, incorporated in the Mayor's Chain, were granted by the College of Arms on 8th September, 1910. It carries the Wirral Horn in the right of the shield, with three wheat sheaf's representing Cheshire on the opposite side. A fully-rigged galleon in full sail underneath, represented the town's maritime connections. The crest had a knight's helmet and trident dolphins. The motto and leaves completed the Coat of Arms. In heraldic language it reads :-

Or on the waves of the Sea a three-masted Ship in full sail proper,
on a chief Azure, to the dexter three Garbs, two and one of the
first, and to the sinister a Bugle-horn proper, stringed and
garnished gold.

And for the crest, on a wreath of the colours, a Dolphin head
downwards proper, entwining a Trident erect or Manting Or
and azure.

Motto : Audemus dum cavemus
Translated - "We are bold whilst we are cautious"

County Borough status was granted on 1st April, 1914. A decision was made that a new Town Hall should be built and the area chosen was in Brighton Street on the site of North Meade House. The foundation stone of the new Town Hall was laid by King George V on 25th March, 1914. The building was used during the First World War as a military hospital and was not opened for municipal purposes until 3rd November, 1920. In 1918 Wallasey, previously in the Wirral Parliamentary Division, became a Parliamentary Borough, and the first member to be elected was the Conservative Dr. Bouverie Macdonald, a local well-known practitioner.

A Local Act in 1920 saw the number of wards increase to 14 and the Council to 14 Alderman and 42 Councillors. The Act gave further powers concerning health and also town improvements which included the construction of libraries, schools but most importantly the building of houses and roads.

On 1st April, 1928, the Parish of Moreton and part of the Parish of Bidston, were added to the Borough. The number of wards was increased from 14 to 16, the two new wards, Leasowe and Moreton, being represented by five members, two Councillors each and one Alderman; later an additional Councillor for Moreton was added. When Saughall Massie was added to the Borough by the County of Chester Review Order, 1933, an additional ward was created represented by one Councillor and at the same time an additional Alderman was appointed. The total number of Councillors for the Borough now stood at 64. In 1950 Moreton and Saughall Massie were amalgamated and the new Moreton and Saughall Massie ward and the Leasowe ward were then represented by three Councillors each; the number of wards was reduced to 16 but the Council remained the same.

With war looming the Council in early 1939 had appointed an Emergency Committee of three members with full power to act on behalf of the Council in time of war in all matters of civil defence. This power was later extended to include air-raid precautions. Other important war-time controls was food and fuel rationing. In September 1939 a Food Control Committee, consisting of fifteen members was appointed. The Town Clerk was appointed Food Control Officer. The Food Control Committee had various sub-committees, one of which dealt with British Restaurants and communal feeding. Two Restaurants were established to provide cheap meals to the public. One was located in Borough Road, Seacombe, and the other in Wallasey Road, Liscard. The Committee was also responsible for the reissuing of ration cards.

After the war the Local Authority implemented new Acts of Parliament which included the gas and electricity being transferred to the National Board (1948), institutional care of patients in hospitals has become the responsibility of the Ministry of Health acting through Liverpool Regional Hospital Boards of the Ministry of Health (National Health Service Act, 1948). An Act of Parliament in 1949 saw Housing Improvement grants.

In the General Election of 1945 the Conservatives decided that the Candidate would be Captain Ernest Marples (9 December 1907 6 July 1978) , who stood against George Reakes and Labour's Tom Finlay Marples was returned to Westminster with a majority 3,810. Marples went on undefeated to represent the Borough as its M.P. until 1974. He was also Minister of Transport (14 October 1959 16 October 1964) in Harold MacMillan's government and introduced yellow lines, seat belts and parking meters.

The County Borough of Wallasey ended on 1st April 1974 when the Town became part of the Wirral Metropolitan District. for more info and pictures.

Wirral History Advertising
Click me for more Information......

* * * - Photographic Studios * * *
Now Advertise with WikiWirral.
WikiWirral stats 35,000 Page Views a Day +500 Search Engines.. Click Me
#405317 - 1st May 2010 4:05pm Re: History of Wallasey Local Government [Re: ]

Thanks for that Paul. As always, interesting stuff !

#405343 - 1st May 2010 9:15pm Re: History of Wallasey Local Government [Re: ]
Neil_c Offline

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
Morecambe and Wise in Wallasey Town Hall, 1962

Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me

#405345 - 1st May 2010 9:20pm Re: History of Wallasey Local Government [Re: Neil_c]
Neil_c Offline

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
32 members receive long service awards in Wallasey Town Hall, April 1962

Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me

#405402 - 2nd May 2010 2:52am Re: History of Wallasey Local Government [Re: ]

Mayors of Wallasey

1910/11 James Thomas Chester
1911/12 Dr. John Oldershaw C.B.E
1912/13 Francis Storey
1913/14 Thomas Valentine Burrows
1914/15 Benjamin Swanwick
1915/16 Sidney Stanley Dawson, M.Comm., F.C.A
1916/17 Edwin Peace, O.B.E
1917/18 Frank Fawcett Scott
1918/19 Walter Eastwood
1919/20 Edward Geoffrey Parkinson
1920/21 Charles Hewetson Nelson
1921/22 Augstine Quinn
1922/23 William Smithson Chantrell
1923/24 Alfred Henry Evans
1924/25 Robert Rawlinson
1925/26 John William Holdsworth
1926/27 James Urmson
1927/28 John McMillan, M.B, C.H.B
1928/29 Albert Wrigley, B.A
1929/30 John G. Storey
1930/31 Joseph Hughes
1931/32 David Percy Charlesworth, J.P
1932/33 Frederick Stanley Atkin
1933/34 Henry Janes Hall
1934/35 Samuel Panter Brick
1935/36 Frederick Henry Thornton, F.C.A
1936/37 George Leonard Reakes, J.P
1937/38 Alfred William Vicary Scoins
1938/39 Arthur Frank Pullen
1939/42 Percy Geden Davies
1943/45 John Pennington
1945/46 William Bruno Millard
1946/47 Bertie George King, J.P
1947/49 James Longworth Gill
1948/50 Robert Yates Knagg
1950/51 James Haywood Wensley, O.B.E,., J.P
1951/52 George Henry Young
1952/53 William Osborne Hannaford, J.P
1953/54 John Pennington Ashton, M.C., T.D
1954/55 William Hardy, F.S.M.C
1955/56 John Couper Low
1956/57 Bertram Brooker
1957/58 Henry Bedington
1958/59 Tom Fred Herbert Wilson
1959/60 Mark Edward Bogin
1960/61 Cyril George Edward Dingle. J.P
1961/62 John Stanley Kemp Morris
1962/63 Evan Glyn Roberts, J.P
1963/64 Alfred Ernest Martin
1964/65 Miriam Lyons, S.C.M., S.E.N., M.R.S.H
1965/66 Cecil George Tomkins, M.Inst., M., J.P
1966/67 Thomas Garnett
1967/68 Phoebe Bentzien
1968/69 George Raymond Holmes
1969/70 Sir Fred Harvey Hutty, B.Comm., J.P
1970/71 Walter Jones
1971/72 Harold Tom Kenham Morris, F.C.A
1972/73 John George Clarke, J.P
1973/74 Donald Buchanan Kennedy (Last Mayor)

#405458 - 2nd May 2010 1:19pm Re: History of Wallasey Local Government [Re: ]
Neil_c Offline

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
The Queen on a visit to Wallasey. Arthur Harrison, Town Clerk and Mayor, Alderman Henry Bedlington, 11/7/1957.

Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me

#405468 - 2nd May 2010 2:01pm Re: History of Wallasey Local Government [Re: Neil_c]

Cheers Neil for the added pics.

#405487 - 2nd May 2010 3:47pm Re: History of Wallasey Local Government [Re: ]
Neil_c Offline

Registered: 27th Sep 2009
Posts: 417
Loc: birkenhead
No probs Paul. I worked for Wirral MBC for many years. Always found the Town Hall to be facinating and quite liked getting IT calls out there. Parts of it were like going back in time, particulary where the Borough Solicitors reside, huge fireplaces and the like. The basement was quite interesting too.

As you probably know, Wallasey Town Hall was chosen to be the new HQ for Wirral MBC as Birkenhead had fewer seats in the Council Chamber.

I find the huge housing estates that the two CBC's built, Sandbrook, Dell, Woodchurch and Leasowe quite interesting. The local Authority did touch so much on everyday life.

I've got some good books that were published before the abolition of Wallasey and Birkenhead. I've also worked for Cheshire County and they published a History book that was free to their employees just before local govt re-org in March 2009. I'll probably scan some of the stuff on a new thread as it's really quite interesting. Many of the ex-County employees kept their books as keepsakes.

Edited by Neil_c (2nd May 2010 3:51pm)

#512975 - 4th May 2011 1:17am Re: History of Wallasey Local Government [Re: Neil_c]
fireman_fred Offline

Registered: 4th May 2011
Posts: 3
Loc: Keighley
The person between Morecambe and Wise is David Whitfield a very very popular singer in the 1950's with a string of hits including 2 number 1's Answer Me and Cara Mia.
fireman fred


Moderator:  Mark 
Random Wirral Images

Click to View Topic.
Newest Topics
Police Convoy
by diggingdeeper
2 minutes 43 seconds ago
Problem With Wifi
by Uffda
Yesterday at 04:06 PM
Trimm Rock Quarry, Cilcain
by diggingdeeper
Yesterday at 05:03 AM
Animal Cruelty in the Film Industry
by granny
20th Jan 2017 12:00pm
Question Time
by derekdwc
19th Jan 2017 11:27pm
For Sale & Free
Ariston hifi amplfier vgc 35
by montyz
Today at 12:39 PM
Technika 42" smart tv
by vw_kyle
Today at 09:38 AM
LCD/Plasma wall bracket - 10
by DavidB
Yesterday at 02:16 PM
Childs solid wood bed
by Mike_Hoylake
Yesterday at 01:01 PM
Something to get a drone off a roof!
by TheComputerLab
21st Jan 2017 4:56pm
Featured Member
Registered: 16th Aug 2013
Posts: 1560
Newest Members
Largeloaf32, techgran, Matt98, j6372, IdontKnow
12190 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
New Wirral Info
Paper Recycling. ?
by fish5133
19th Jan 2017 11:16am
Paypal help
by venice
17th Jan 2017 8:59pm
Brown Bin Collections Restarting Today 17th Jan
by fish5133
17th Jan 2017 9:04am
Indian/Jazz fusion music Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
15th Jan 2017 11:19am
Chinese New Year Liverpool
by paxvobiscum
15th Jan 2017 11:08am
News : New Topics
Repose en Paix Gordon Kaye
by diggingdeeper
40 minutes 58 seconds ago
Brides Flown In
by granny
21st Jan 2017 11:16pm
Tasering Again
by diggingdeeper
20th Jan 2017 6:14pm
by cools
20th Jan 2017 4:16pm
Nuns Abused Children in Care Homes.
by granny
20th Jan 2017 12:13pm
New Enthusiast Forums
Problem With Wifi
by Uffda
Yesterday at 04:06 PM
Trimm Rock Quarry, Cilcain
by diggingdeeper
Yesterday at 05:03 AM
Animal Cruelty in the Film Industry
by granny
20th Jan 2017 12:00pm
Question Time
by derekdwc
19th Jan 2017 11:27pm
Sanctuary awaits 5 bears
by venice
19th Jan 2017 6:25pm
(Views 24hrs)Trending Newest Topics
Repose en Paix Gordon Kaye 16
Wirral Sunrise Sunset
Sunrise Mon 8:09am
Sunset Mon 4:38pm
Local Time Mon 6:54pm
WikiWirral Can . . . .
Advertising Click me
To Advertise with
Wikiwirral Click Me