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Nexus Offline OP
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Hi, just wondered if anyone has any information or photographs of the construction of the Kings Parade Seawall during the 1920's. I have seen a number of interesting photographs from the era online, but none that actually show how the incoming tide was held back during the construction of the 'Seawall' which does intrigue me, especially as so long ago now.
Many thanks,
Alan

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It was constructed out of precast blocks and back-filled afterwards, there would be no great need to hold the sea back. There was wooden shuttering used but it wouldn't have been sufficient to hold back a rough tide.

I guess it was mostly created by avoiding high tides and stormy periods. Some of the pictures show a row of cranes being used implying they would create a section at a time rather than progressively moving along.

The ground was built up beforehand creating a platform for the cranes and leaving a smaller gap that needed to be infilled - this would also reduce the risk of the sea building up behind the wall and pulling it outward..

The foundations used piles and probably underwater concrete, the concrete technology has been around since Roman times and maybe earlier.

The Parade appears to have started in 1872 (on the Egremont Side) and was completed in 1939, with it being done in at least three separate projects. It was never fully completed as planned due to WW2.

Unfortunately the various engineering journals that described the construction appear to have been removed from free access on the internet.


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Thanks for the information on the construction.
I completely understand from your description and can picture the work being done.
It's a shame some basic information about its construction is not displayed on a board somewhere along the promenade, I'm sure it would be of interest to many. I'll certainly view it differently next time I'm walking on the beach there OR indeed when the high tide is breaking over the top of it!

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Many years ago (I suspect around 1967) I was playing with a very basic home made metal detector on a beach, after finding the usual few hundred coke cans which the detector only found to less than 8" below the surface (it wasn't very good), we got a massive signal by the sea wall. We dug down to about 2 feet and found nothing, bearing in mind this detector wouldn't find a chieftain tank at 2ft, it had us intrigued, but the signal was still strong.

We carried on digging and eventually came across a brass inlaid stone in the seawall celebrating its opening. The detector proved much better performing with brass than steel which was useful to know as it would be good with copper and gold as well.

I have forgotten which beach it is, New Brighton is one of the possibilities but it could also have been Hoylake or West Kirby. I remember some details about its relative location to some other features but all those beaches similar features.

The current Council and Crown Estate rules prevent me using a detector and finding it again, plus the sand has risen by at least 3 feet on all these beaches. The rules forbid "Metal Detecting" which is exactly what I would be doing (as opposed to treasure hunting). One day I may find it again.

Back to the Kings Parade seawall construction .... Wirral Archives will have the tenders, contracts and plans for the seawall, or at a minimum records of where they are, they will also probably have more photographs of the construction but they may be harder to find.


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Hey! That's a fascinating bit of history you're looking into. Have you tried checking out local archives or historical societies? They often have a treasure trove of old photos and might have something on the Kings Parade Seawall construction. Also, local libraries or even older community members could have some insights or photos. For something as specific as how they managed the tide during construction, you might find some luck with university history departments or engineering schools. They sometimes have detailed records or studies on historical construction projects. Let us know if you find anything, sounds super interesting!

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The sand for sure is much higher now which makes the height of the seawall seem lower and less overbearing than I remember as a child, at least the sinking sand OR mud! Of those days has gone!!
Interesting to read about the brass stone, which will now I'm sure, is significantly deeper. Also interesting to read that you can no longer use a metal detector on the beach! I had no idea such an interesting and harmless pastime had been banned, how ridiculous!!
Thanks for the heads up with Wirral Archives; I've just looked it up on Google as didn't actually know anything about it, always wondered what they done in that building, now I know. Just need to get the password to get in!


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