Anyone know anything on Ohmy's Circus erected in Grange Rd Birkenhead 1888 and later reconstructed as the Gaiety Music Hall. In 1898 the Gaiety was converted into the Metropole Theatre. The Metropole later became known as the Hippodrome. In the 1930s the Hippodrome was converted into a picture theatre. It didn't last long as a picture theatre and was sold to the Birkenhead and district co-operative society who built new stores on the site. Which i assume is the building occupied today by TK Max etc.
God help us, Come yourself, Don't send Jesus, This is no place for children.
Re: Grange Rd Circus
#276361 16th Dec 200812:14pm16th Dec 200812:14pm
I saw a reference to Ohmy's Circus years ago, can't remember where, maybe my grandmother mentioned it. I tried to find out about it, with little success. Here's a link to a site with a reference to Ohmy's Circus in Blackpool. http://www.blackpoolcircusschool.co.uk/circus_history.html Here's a map from about 1912 which shows the Hippodrome. It also shows a chapel on the corner of Catherine St., where Woolworths is now (not for much longer I guess), & next to that, the original YMCA, which I think is now Primark?? The Co-op buildings were called Tudor House; pic. attached. I remember being taken there to see Santa; must have been during the war. If you can find out any more about Ohmy's Circus, I'd be interested.
Not a lot more, but from Carol Bidston's Birkenhead in Times Past:
"Mr Joseph Ohmy was a famous balloonist who performed a spectacular rope trick which involved him falling from great heights. He ran a circus on a site near the old post office in Conway Street, and employed a famous clown named Tony Felix who once raced on stilts against an old cart horse from the post office to the entrance of Birkenhead Park.
The building in Grange Road opened in 1888 as Ohmy's Grand Circus, two years later the name was changed to the Gaiety Music Hall. In 1898 W W Kelly became the lessee and the name was changed to The Metropole Theatre...."
The building that was the co-op and is still there was built during aprox the 1950s. They tryed to get the brewery to sell them the snug so that they could knock it down but as you can see they had to build arround the snug as the brewery would not give up the licence. Unlike modern times in those days if a Pub was shut down the licence was lost. Thats why pubs had to keep one bar open when they where getting any alterations done, so as not to lose the licence. The days of real beer and proper drinking hours.
Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten
Chris, the circus moved to Grange Road in 1888, so the two 1887 events could have been before the move. The more puzzling event is the one in 1896, because the circus failed in 1890 and the building changed hands and was renamed The Gaiety Music Hall.
The buildings name was changed to the Hippodrome Theatre of Varieties in 1908, after being closed for three years (Mr Kelly closed the Metropole in 1905).
In 1916 the theatre was taken over by Mr Dennis Clarke, owner of the Argyle Theatre.
[The Hippodrome in the early 1930s]
The final performance in the theatre was on 10th March 1934, having been sold to Birkenhead and District Co-operative society.