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#440902 - 3rd Nov 2010 2:48pm Woodchurch Road, before the M53
PaulTaters Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 3rd Nov 2010
Posts: 177
Loc: Birkenhead
Hi All,

I can't believe I've only just found this excellent site, crammed full of knowledgeable people.

For some reason I've always wanted to know what Woodchurch Road looked like before the Woodchurch interchange with the M53 motorway was built.

I've been fascinated with this image of the junction as it was under construction. It really shows what a huge undertaking this oversized junction was.



I know it's a long shot, but does anyone know of any photos showing this area, before the M53 existed?

On a similar note, I would love to see any photos of Woodchurch village, before it was engulfed by the estate.

Despite searching the Internet, I've not managed to find any old photos of these areas.

On some unrelated questions (sorry I have so many!), I live just off Borough Road, Birkenhead - Does anyone remember the Happy Valley Pub, and the fact that Borough Road was previously called Happy Valley Road? I wonder why and when it was renamed Borough Road. Also, did trams used to run down it?

Also has anyone heard of Chatsworth Park or know anything at all about it? (existed in Victorian times I believe), but was built over in part by Woodville Road/Briardale Road.

Thanks for any possible info on any of the above (I have even more questions, but that's more than enough for one post),

Cheers, Paul

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#440909 - 3rd Nov 2010 3:36pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: PaulTaters]
detsi Offline
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Registered: 6th Feb 2010
Posts: 225
Loc: wallasey
Hiya Paul and welcome.

My reply is not much help to you, I'm afraid, but I am interested in the Chatsworth Park part of your question as I was brought up in Woodville Rd in the 50's and 60's and this is a new one on me. Was it at the top or the bottom end? I remember the Happy Valley well (opposite the library) but I am pretty sure that no trams ever ran along Borough Rd. There are plenty of knowledgeable local historians on here so I am sure that you will be enlightened before too long.
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#440912 - 3rd Nov 2010 3:44pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: PaulTaters]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Hi Paul and welcome to the site! I haven't any photos of the area pre-motorway, but I used to live nearby. Remember the upheaval during the construction. If it's any help, Woodchurch Rd followed roughly the alignment of the "new" overbridge. From the railway bridge it was a short distance to a concrete bridge (built in the '30's) over the Fender (great playground). A few yards further on was a full-sized roundabout, with no roads leading off ! This was built in the '30's to link up with a "Mid Wirral Road". This was never built, but the roundabout stayed in situ until the M53 came along. There was a small by-pass to the south side of the roundabout. This was the last remaining length of the original pre 1930's Woodchurch Road. Nowt more than a lane really. Hardly used at all.

Proceeding along Woodchurch Road, on the left was the original turn off on the left of Landican Lane (no trace left). Then came the UCLA Laundry on the RH side. Nowt then until the kink left in Woodchurch Road (foot of climb to Arrowe Park Gates). On the outside of the "kink" was the start of Pool Lane. This led directly to Woodchurch Village.

I think old air photographs and of course old OS maps are your friends on this one Paul. I'm sure someone a bit more computer savvy than I will be able to display some pics.

Yes, trams did run down Borough Road as far as Prenton Rd West. Up Prenton Road West, terminating just short of the junction with Storeton Road (?)

There's a thread somewhere on here re: Happy Valley Pub. A couple of questions answered maybe, but hopefully other folk will chime in on this.

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#440914 - 3rd Nov 2010 4:01pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: ]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7827
Loc: tranmere
Never heard of Chatsworth park myself, Paxton (Birkenhead Park) started his working life at the Duke of Devonshires estate, Chatsworth, there may be a link.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#440920 - 3rd Nov 2010 4:26pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: bert1]
insanekitty Offline
Addict

Registered: 18th Mar 2009
Posts: 200
Loc: Woodchurch
And now the whole scene has been ruined by yet more bloody traffic lights.
I now have four sets of traffic lights just to get from my house on the Woody to the southbound M53

And at 5.30am they are all on RED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#440921 - 3rd Nov 2010 4:34pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: insanekitty]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Wirral Borough Council getting back-handers from the traffic light manufacturers ??? What ARE you suggesting ??

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#440922 - 3rd Nov 2010 4:39pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: bert1]
PaulTaters Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 3rd Nov 2010
Posts: 177
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks very much all for the welcome and the replies.

That is a great description of Woodchurch Road pre-M53, Pinzgauer.
Admittedly, I had forgotten that even before the motorway, the Fender still had to be crossed of course! Thanks for reminding me of that.

To be honest I'm not sure if I will find such photos of that particular area from that era, because when I look at old Wirral photos, they usually have some subject e.g. "Birkenhead Woodside railway terminus" or "Mother Redcaps" for example, but can't imagine many photographers going out and just photographing some relatively (at the time) unimportant road, surrounded by fields.

My interest in the area was piqued by my father (who died two and a half years ago). Although it's something of a cliché, he did always used to point out to me that he remembered when the whole area was just fields. He'd lived and worked all over the Wirral.

To detsi & bert1, regarding Chatsworth Park - some of my colleagues where I work in Liverpool found a website a few years back which had old historical maps of Liverpool on it.

If I remember correctly, one of these maps extended to Birkenhead, but alas I no longer have the map available.

Anyway, on this map, what is now the A552 Borough Road was marked as "Happy Valley Road", which made immediate sense to me as a child of the '70s and '80s I do have vague memories of the eponymous Pub.

The entire area bounded by Woodchurch Road, Borough Road, Carlton Road and Glover Street was marked as "Chatsworth Park". This was before Woodville Road and Briardale Road were built (so before 1897). Apart from learning that Carlton Road and Glover Street predate Woodville Road and Briardale Road, it was interesting that this area appeared to be called "Chatsworth Park" on that map. Apart from that, I don't yet have any further information on it.

Further to this though, I later got my hands on an even earlier map which really was quite fascinating as it predated even Happy Valley Road. Again, I no longer have this one to hand, but if I rememeber rightly, it may have had a brook or stream running down part of what is now Borough Road, which makes perfect sense since it is of course effectievly running along the bottom of a small valley.

On that earlier map it also appeared that the Birkenhead end of Woodchurch Road was a main arteriel route out of town then as Borough Road did not exist.

I've taken about 10,000 photos over the last couple of years (Many of them in the Wirral), extending from North Wirral, right down to Shotwick, Saughall, Chester, Mollington, Stoak, Ellesmere Port etc... So even places just outside Wirral.
As I'm a long-distance hiker, I tend to walk all over the place with my cheap compact camera. Particularly I like to photograph things that change. So perhaps, some of my photos may be of interest to people asking similar questions in the future.

Then again, we do have Google Street view nowadays, so not many places remain unphotographed I'd imagine.


Edited by PaulTaters (3rd Nov 2010 4:53pm)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#440930 - 3rd Nov 2010 5:48pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: PaulTaters]
lansyp Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 21st Jul 2009
Posts: 1444
Loc: rockferry
hi and welcome have you tried 20thcenturyimages there are some old photos of the woodchurch so you never know

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#440931 - 3rd Nov 2010 6:00pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: lansyp]
Capt_America Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Jul 2008
Posts: 1498
Loc: Wallasey
Welcome to the WikiWirral machine Paul.
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#440935 - 3rd Nov 2010 6:28pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: Capt_America]
PaulTaters Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 3rd Nov 2010
Posts: 177
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks both for the further welcomes.

I've just visited that 20thcenturyimages site, and I have to say it's absolutely superb.

Already I've seen some images of the then brand-new Woodchurch Estate.

Also some excellent rural photos of late 19th century Raby and Raby Mere.

(I'm also very interested in the Liverpool stuff too, as I do a lot of walking around Liverpool).

So thanks for the pointer, I've bookmarked the site and I'll be looking at it in a bit more depth soon, Cheers.

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#440937 - 3rd Nov 2010 6:47pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: PaulTaters]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7827
Loc: tranmere
Can't get the link to work



Search Again/Refine Search Back to Catalogue Home Page
Use the Back button on your browser to go back to your search results.
Showing record 247 of 839. LocalStudiesReference 405195

Title Cheshire. Sheet XIII 7
Edition 1st

Citation Ordnance Survey

Abstract Bebbington Parish, Woodchurch Parish, Bidston Parish, Birkenhead township, Claughton cum Grange township, Tranmere township, Higher Tranmere, Tranmere Park, Chatsworth Park, Clifton Park, Shrewsbury Park, Gas Works, Springhill Water Works, Tranmere Water Works, Birkenhead Union Workhouse, Happy Valley Road, Birkenhead Railway, Old Chester Road, Tranmere Hall, Woodchurch Road, Malvern Lodge, Claughton Hill, Oxton Hall, Oxton Nursery, Birkenhead Union School, St Catherine's School, St Luke's Church, The Valley Lodge, Oxton township, Clifton Park, Tranmere Park, Arno Hill, St Mark's Church, Wirral Hospital, Holthill Covent, Christ Church, Oxton Hall, The Hermitage, Wesley Chapel, Taylor's Delph, St Andrew's Mission School

Period 1870, 19c

HeldAt Cheshire Record Office

Size 1:2500 ( 25 inch )

LibFormat Maps

Notes Surveyed in 1881



First record Back 10 records Previous record Record: 247 of 839 Next record Forward 10 records Last record

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


Bertieone.

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#440943 - 3rd Nov 2010 7:31pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: bert1]
PaulTaters Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 3rd Nov 2010
Posts: 177
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks bert1 for finding the above Ordnance Survey directory mentioning "Chatsworth Park", it's great to actually see it listed there.

I found a small low-resoultion section of the 1876 OS map on the old-maps website which shows Chatsworth Park here, right between Glover Street and Carlton Road:-



As we know, Chatsworth Park didn't make it into the 20th century because of the building of the terrace houses in the 1890s.

So beyond the OS maps, it's been long forgotten about it seems!



Edited by PaulTaters (3rd Nov 2010 7:32pm)

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#440947 - 3rd Nov 2010 8:13pm Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: PaulTaters]
Geekus Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Sep 2010
Posts: 1195
Loc: Wiki Wirral
...according to Hilda Gamlin in her book 'Memories - Or The Chronicles Of Birkenhead' (1892), she described The Happy Valley as '...the most rural spot in the locality'. Adding that 'the name meant all it suggests, a lovely vale with primroses covering the banks, the wild violets and woodbine so profuse that a stroll in the early dewy morning enabled one to secure a graceful decoration for the breakfast table. Honey-suckle, wild roses and blackberries followed in seasonable succession. I made a beautiful and varied collection of butterflies, captured among the thistles which thickly abounded. What a lovely rendezvous wherein to picnic; wild flowers to collect, bird's nests to seek, mushrooms to gather'.

She then goes on to say that 'a running stream (which went by the name of "the Rubicon" at this point) meandered along the exact course now known as "the Borough Road", until it reached the vicinity of the Central Station of to-day...'.

Brings a tear to the eye doesn't it?!!

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#441014 - 4th Nov 2010 8:04am Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: Geekus]
billy_anorak59 Offline

Addict

Registered: 4th Feb 2009
Posts: 199
Loc: Cambridgeshire
The 1970's aerial view (tab on right-hand side) on the e-mapping site:

Clicky

also shows the M53 road under construction, but you can compare with the Tithe/OS maps alongside as to what was there before.

Might help a bit?

Cheers
Billy
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Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.

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#441036 - 4th Nov 2010 10:39am Re: Woodchurch Road, before the M53 [Re: billy_anorak59]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
With regard to trams on Borough Rd., here's a picture of on e at the junction of Borough Rd. & Prenton Rd. East/West. The house in the background is the first one in Prenton Rd. East & the photographer was standing where the Prenton Park Pub would later be.


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2010-11-04 10-30-05_0148.jpg


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