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Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045162
4th Oct 2017 1:10pm
4th Oct 2017 1:10pm
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Thanks for that, Billy. I'd like to see it if you can possibly sort it. I love the use of the word 'hostelries' - it'll be interesting to see how many of them are still left.

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Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045219
5th Oct 2017 7:13am
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First of all, my apologies Yoller - seems that I made it up that the key stated 'hostelries'... I could have sworn that it said that, but no, it was 'Licenced Houses'...I should always have the material in front of me when I type... confused

I've taken a few photos - they're not great, but it gives a flavour of the map. Worth a scan session?

Attached Files

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Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045223
5th Oct 2017 10:10am
5th Oct 2017 10:10am
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Thanks for the photos, Billy - they are very interesting. I'm intrigued as to who made the map, but - as you say - it certainly seems to be professionally done and connected to Tetley Walker. I wonder if the brewery was assessing the whole Pub business in that area in the wake of the demolitions?

I'd appreciate it if you could do some scans, because this is a subject I've researched for quite a while and any additional material is a bonus.

I think the mapmaker really should have used the word hostelries. Licensed houses just doesn't have the same ring!

Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: yoller] #1045228
5th Oct 2017 12:02pm
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billy_anorak59 Offline

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Yoller - you have a pm.


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Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045235
5th Oct 2017 2:29pm
5th Oct 2017 2:29pm
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Billy - Great find of yours with the overlay and pubs. We had quarter inch maps at work with our company's plant marked on it. The drawing office would update the original 'linen' as required. Always interesting to watch them do it. A round eraser on a mandrel was used in the end of a small hand-held drill (like a Dremmel) to remove the unwanted areas. The original linens came from the OS, who happened to have a branch in Birkenhead at the time, at or near Hamilton Square. Copies of the maps were done photographically, like a blueprint, hence the blue/black colour of the print which was made on sensitised paper.

Looking at these maps on a screen will never replace the touch and chemical smell of the originals, of course, but you don't get the impression of their size and borders either. Each map was indexed by its reference to 'easting' and 'northing' on the OS grid, down to the kilometer square, then sub divided to NE, NE, SE & SW quadrants. Just like almost any map from the OS, the sides had scale lines, a key, revision date etc. At this scale, only the areas with the most detail were produced, and occasionally paired with the adjacent square.
I think these maps are unique as they appear to be a specially commissioned composition from OS. This is why you won't notice the joins! Yes, joins. This is a service that the OS did and still do as far as I know. It costs a bit, but saves you buying four maps, cutting them up and taping them together.

In this case, we have parts of SJ3188NE, SJ3188SE, SJ3288NW and SJ3288SW all correctly joined with the extra data then added. The clue for me is the fact that the end of the Borough Rd flyover lands exactly right on the join between two of these, and over its length it crosses the join between the north and south maps to its east. So really, it's very nice to see them all joined up for this project with both the old and the new together on the same map.

Unfortunately, the only copy I could get my eyes on at the time were the ones where the drawing office had removed the old and added the new detail of the flyovers, which followed exactly the lines on the maps above and would indicate some central source being used.
The prime contractors (Brian Colquhune & Partners) also produced a modified aerial photograph with the flyovers and approaches superimposed on it.

I'm sure that if the maps could be displayed correctly on here then that would make a worthy (no pun intended) addition to the pubs section, given the requests for where pubs were actually located to any degree of accuracy. I already think that some pubs are missing or have not been highlighted for whatever reason.


Last edited by Norton; 5th Oct 2017 2:30pm. Reason: Spelling mistake
Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045276
6th Oct 2017 6:37am
6th Oct 2017 6:37am
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billy_anorak59 Offline

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Fascinating info Norton! I must admit, I hadn't realised that this was a 'non-standard' OS map, I just thought it to be a standard of off-the-shelf one that had been annotated.

A lot of the pubs on the map are identified by name, but I can't see all of them. Hadn't thought of the Pub section.

I'm going to have a marathon scanning session over the weekend - I might end up just posting the individual scans (if I can manipulate the map though the scanner - it's only A4), and letting someone more skilled piece them together!



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Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: billy_anorak59] #1045357
7th Oct 2017 11:47am
7th Oct 2017 11:47am
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Hi Billy,
With ref to the other 'missing' pubs, I'm attaching a composite I did a few years ago which will give you some idea of what went where before they were torn down for the approach roads. A little later, the railway bridge went as well.
If you are looking for the join on your maps, take a look at the Abbacus Engineering Works building, running down from Grange Rd East/Lane and Haymarket, next to the old Town Station and the railway lines. Notice the kink in the wall? Follow that left and right across the map and you will spot a few other misalignments between the two large scale maps.
I use a program called 'Serif Scan, Stitch & Share' which is quite good at joining maps and pictures, but is not on the market any more. I could always give it a try for you, but there must be other programs out there that could be used.
One of these days I'll get around to making a Part 2, a trip down Borough Road to the Tunnel over time.

Attached Files
Chester St Pubs Map.jpg (138 downloads)
Rough composite of old pubs, Chester St area
Last edited by Norton; 7th Oct 2017 11:50am.
Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045380
7th Oct 2017 5:53pm
7th Oct 2017 5:53pm
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Thanks for that, Norton. However, I think it’s worth distinguishing between what pubs were historically there and what pubs remained just before the flyovers ripped the heart out of the area.

Your overlay is on a map from before the turn of the 19th century. At that time, Egerton Street (aka Back Chester Street) and its environs were a notorious slum district (see 1895 Birkenhead News attachment).

In the first decade of the 20th century, the worst of these squalid, overcrowded ‘courts’ and back-to-backs were pulled down under the Housing of the Working Classes Act. They were replaced by rows of terrace houses, which stood there until they were demolished in 1966-67 to make way for the flyovers.

But by that time, most of the pubs on the 19th century map had long gone, including the Borough Inn, the Duchess of Edinburgh, the Golden Lion, the Farmers, The Feathers and (I think) the Denbighshire, Old Abbey and the Priory Hotel. And, of course, Ivy Street Lower had been cleared in the early 1930s to make way for the new Mersey Tunnel entrance.

You can get an idea of what pubs were still left around the middle of 1966 from the map drawn up by Brian Colquhoun and Partners (attached – shown in previous post). This is based on the same OS map as Billy’s.

The Commercial (Grange Street / King’s Square), the Red Lion (Tunnel Road), the Birkenhead Arms (Grange Street / Chester Street) the Letters (Chester Street) and the Shakespeare (Chester Street / Waterloo Place) are the only pubs still standing. But by that time, they were almost certainly empty shells awaiting demolition.

Interestingly, the Colquhoun map has been altered to take account of clearances that had already taken place in the run-up to the construction of the flyovers. For example, all buildings along the western side of Chester Street, between Getley Street and Waterloo place, which were pulled down around the autumn of 1965, have been erased.


Attached Files
news.jpg (126 downloads)
tunnel.jpg (126 downloads)
Last edited by yoller; 7th Oct 2017 6:07pm.
Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045396
8th Oct 2017 12:04am
8th Oct 2017 12:04am
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Hi Billy. Yes, I completely agree with your comments. The underlying map is actually 1875, and the composite was put together for a different reason, not especially to show what came down because of the flyovers and approach roads, but as a quick response to the topic. I can appreciate now that I made a misleading comment when I said 'before they were torn down for the approach roads'. Sorry about that, it could have been long before.
I might be wrong, but off the top of my head, I think the Colquhoun map is based on the 1952 edition, as revised up to the mid-sixties. From what you say, it really was an up-to-date revision. Note that if you compare that one with the 1966 six-inch map you will see differences as well.
I often wonder how old those condemned properties were in 1895

Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045444
8th Oct 2017 5:49pm
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It’s an interesting question as to how these slums grew up, but they were obviously linked to the remarkable expansion of Birkenhead in the mid 19th century.

As late as 1821, the area was still a remote rural backwater with a population of around 200. The ‘original’ Birkenhead was based loosely around the priory headland and the northern bank of Tranmere Pool. Woodside was virtually a separate community, centred around the Mersey ferry.

After the introduction of a reliable steam ferry in 1815, Birkenhead became a resort for wealthy Liverpool businessmen, some of whom built villas along the shoreline between Woodside and Tranmere Pool. See this post …
(https://www.wikiwirral.co.uk/forums...birkenhead-paradise-lost.html#Post665675)

But by 1831, the population had soared to around 2,500. In 1840, the Birkenhead-Chester railway opened and by then the population was around 8,200. In 1851, the year after the first docks opened, the figure had rocketed to more than 24,000.

William Laird had planned to develop Birkenhead as a magnificent new city, with a grid pattern of spacious, leafy streets and buildings like those in Hamilton Square. But most of the incomers were poor folk looking for work and they needed somewhere to live straight away. So the slums would probably have been thrown up by speculative builders to accommodate them.

If you look at these three maps (Greenwood 1819, Lawton 1824, Bryant 1831), you can see that in 1819 and 1824, the area is still essentially rural. But by 1831, it is beginning to be developed and there are quite a few buildings in the slum district. But it doesn’t appear to be as crowded as it is on the 1875 map.

So I reckon the slums condemned in 1895 probably dated from the 1840s-1850s. However, I’m no expert and hopefully someone will have more precise information.

Attached Files
Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045559
10th Oct 2017 12:18pm
10th Oct 2017 12:18pm
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Hi Yoller. Well, I agree with you on the dating of these buildings which, fortunately, were confined to only a small area. You wonder how they could have got into such a poor condition in such a short space of time while other buildings such as most pubs and hotels, banks etc. survived so much longer.
Then you just have to think about the lifespan of the prefabs, Oak & Eldon Gardens, Sidney Mount and more - all made with modern improved materials and techniques - and they didn't last 30 years. It would be nice to say 'They don't make them like that anymore' but only time will tell - or until another major building project comes along.

Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045629
11th Oct 2017 1:38pm
11th Oct 2017 1:38pm
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It was tricky, but I've scanned the map (14 x A4-ish sized scans). I've tried to overlap each scan with the next, but it was awkward. think

However, I'm scratching my head with regards to digitally stitching them together - I can't seem to do it! Everything loses quality when I try.

I could post each one individually here, but that may take a while as each one is about 1.5 Mb, and I think the limit is 5 Mb for each post? I could compress them, but then they noticeably lose definition too...

Any advice please?


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Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045646
11th Oct 2017 6:50pm
11th Oct 2017 6:50pm
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I had a similar situation where I had 15 part maps each about 4mbs +
Mark stitched them together for me.
I think you use an image prog to create a new canvas that is large enough in size to copy, paste and move the images to line up as you want them.
Suggest you pm Mark for help in stitching and possibly putting on wiki for downloading (that's me being selfish)

Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1045655
12th Oct 2017 7:03am
12th Oct 2017 7:03am
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Much appreciated Derek!

I tried it in Word and Paint - hopeless.

Not selfish at all - the ultimate intention in doing this was to share on wiki for downloading... if I can. (can't see the point in keeping this sort of info to myself, when it could be useful to others too)


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Re: Tunnel Flyovers Part 1 [Re: Norton] #1046075
18th Oct 2017 6:56am
18th Oct 2017 6:56am
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I'm going to have to take a pragmatic approach to posting the map on here I'm afraid. I can't get the whole map size down to below 5MB - so a low res stitched view will have to do there. I have managed to get the centre of interest (the tunnel approach roads) down to the limit and maintain reasonable resolution, so we'll see how that looks on here - I don't know how it will look until I post...best I can do though!

Please note, I think the scans have stretched a bit when I was taking them (trying to manipulate a large map through an A4 scanner was difficult), so when stitching them together I couldn't quite line things up properly in all directions - sorry about that.

This might work, or it might not.

Edit: The overall map seems to be shown - the better resolution 'TM-CENTRE.jpg' of just the tunnel approaches has to be clicked on to be seen.

Attached Files
TM-ALL.jpg (40 downloads)
TM-CENTRE.jpg (15 downloads)
Last edited by billy_anorak59; 18th Oct 2017 7:00am.

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