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#301725 - 18th Mar 2009 3:31pm Birkenhead Cattle Trade *****
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Just finished my webpage on the Birkenhead Cattle Trade:

"Many people do not know about Birkenhead once thriving cattle trade. Developing countries like North and South America had large areas of land ideal for rearing sheep and cattle. They had more animals than they could use, and so sent huge quantities to the growing industrial towns of Britain on fast steamships many of which came to Birkenhead where they were sold to farmers or slaughterhouses.

In 1878 sickness destroys Britain's sheep and cattle trade as a disease had been imported with foreign animals. At that time it became illegal to import animals unless they were slaughtered or quarantined in licensed quays. Lairages, slaughterhouses, chill rooms and meat-stores are built at Morpeth and Wallasey Docks.

In 1886 the Birkenhead abattoir which was extensive in size was opened, followed shortly by the Birkenhead Lairage buildings three years after. 'Lairage' was a type of modern day Animal Welfare Officer who would monitor the unloading of cattle into the Lairage to ensure none of the cattle were injured or showed signs of sickness. The inspections began to work and the trade took off once again. By 1897 the imported animal trade is booming and it is estimated that 40-50% of Britain's trade in American sheep and cattle, passes through Birkenhead.

Every building below the transit sheds alongside Morpeth branch dock was involved in the Irish Sea livestock trade for which Birkenhead became the leading UK port, having been helped by a decision to concentrate all of the Mersey's Irish livestock traffic in Birkenhead for ease of control reasons following a foot & mouth outbreak in Ireland in 1913. The green line in the picture below highlights the old wooden livestock walkway which allowed transfer of animals between the dedicated 'Wallasey' livestock stage (actually sited where Twelve Quays is now rather than in Wallasey) and Woodside. It had to be elevated to enable sufficient clearance over the Morpeth river entrance which would have made it an overhead walkway. The photo also shows the livestock-dedicated north end of the Woodside stage and its high-sided linkspan which prevented animals from seeing the river whilst coming ashore and becoming distressed as a consequence.

There are plenty of local people who will tell you that in the 1960's you always know when a Irish boat had docked, as you could smell it from a good distance away. Also the tannery on New Chester Rd, was part of the site which again added a terrible stench to the area. Much of the area and buildings associated with the cattle trade was demolished in the 1970's and in the 1990's to make way for the Woodside Small Business Park

The abattoir building, now used by Birkenhead Timber; caught fire on the 7th December 2007. There is not much left of the once thriving cattle industry buildings in the area and those that still stand are falling into dilapidation. The old fountain at the front of the Abattoir still exists although now badly damaged having been exposed to the elements for over a century. The inscription on the fountain reads as follows "These Abattoirs were opened by W.Laird Esq J.P Mayor of Birkenhead".


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
abatoir1.jpg

abatoir2.jpg

Description: The Fountain at Birkenhead Abattoir

abatoir3.jpg

Description: Remains of Birkenhead Abattoir

abatoir4.jpg

Description: The Foundation Stone of the Abattoir

abatoir5.jpg

Description: Remains of Birkenhead Abattoir

abatoir6.jpg

Description: Remains of Birkenhead Abattoir

abatoir7.jpg

Description: Remains of Birkenhead Abattoir

abatoir8.jpg

Description: The Birkenhead Slaughter House - Crown Copyright NMR.


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#301729 - 18th Mar 2009 3:44pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: Doctor_Frick]
jonno40 Offline
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Registered: 7th Jan 2008
Posts: 1234
Loc: wirral
Excellent stuff.
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It all makes perfect sense expressed in dollars and cents ,pound shillings and pence

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#301730 - 18th Mar 2009 3:55pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: jonno40]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Said the URL is not valid. Is this just my 'pooter ? Couldn't view the pics/info.

I well remember seeing the cattle off-loading at the N.end of the Woodside stage for their last stroll. If you were waiting downwind of the cattle boat, it had a deeply rural odour !!

Recall the two dedicated cattle boats involved, the "Leinster" and "Ulster" ?

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#301733 - 18th Mar 2009 4:09pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: ]
ronnie Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 13th Jan 2009
Posts: 113
Loc: wirral
Originally Posted By: Pinzgauer
Said the URL is not valid. Is this just my 'pooter ? Couldn't view the pics/info.
I well remember seeing the cattle off-loading at the N.end of the Woodside stage for their last stroll. If you were waiting downwind of the cattle boat, it had a deeply rural odour !!

Recall the two dedicated cattle boats involved, the "Leinster" and "Ulster" ?

The same happened when i tried too.


Edited by ronnie (18th Mar 2009 4:11pm)

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#301746 - 18th Mar 2009 4:42pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: ronnie]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Hmmm dont know whats happening here !

try clicking HERE
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#301750 - 18th Mar 2009 4:47pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: Doctor_Frick]
ronnie Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 13th Jan 2009
Posts: 113
Loc: wirral
Originally Posted By: Doctor_Frick
Hmmm dont know whats happening here !

try clicking HERE


That works. Cheers.

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#301751 - 18th Mar 2009 4:48pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: Doctor_Frick]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7864
Loc: tranmere
Originally Posted By: Doctor_Frick
Hmmm dont know whats happening here !

try clicking HERE


works for me
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#301752 - 18th Mar 2009 4:53pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: bert1]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
Think there have been server problems today. Damn you Geocities !
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#301754 - 18th Mar 2009 5:09pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: Doctor_Frick]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Works OK now. Many thanks.

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#301828 - 18th Mar 2009 9:37pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: ]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1544
Loc: Birkenhead
My grandfather started work at the age of 11 at the woodside lairage in 1886 and by the time he was in his 20s he had become a butcher. He then in the 1920s moved the the lairage on new chester road by lairds at the bottom of Green Lane.
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#301837 - 18th Mar 2009 9:48pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: jimbob]
Doctor_Frick Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 24th Nov 2007
Posts: 308
Loc: Prenton
You got any pics of him in his work clothes or anything Jimbob ?
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#301925 - 19th Mar 2009 7:09am Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: Doctor_Frick]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19087
Loc: Bob Land
As a kid my dad used to take us walking around the docks-boring at the time-i remember running through the wooden cattle run, i recall the 'bridge' -a raised bit!
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#302260 - 19th Mar 2009 9:12pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: Doctor_Frick]
jimbob Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Nov 2008
Posts: 1544
Loc: Birkenhead
no photo's or anything else regarding my grandfather {my dads dad} he died in 1944 when i was 4 year old.
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Ships that pass in the night, seldom seen and soon forgoten

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#304179 - 25th Mar 2009 7:20pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: jimbob]
BossFan Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 5th Mar 2009
Posts: 105
Loc: In my own world,but that's oka...
I can remember my Grandad taking me to the lairage to see the cattle being slaughtered. He was probably after some cheap meat, but what a day out!
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#304225 - 25th Mar 2009 11:01pm Re: Birkenhead Cattle Trade [Re: BossFan]
pacef8 Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Dec 2008
Posts: 464
Loc: south wirral
My grandad (antrobus) lived in rest hill road storeton he was a cow hand for leverhulme farm in storeton village. It was his job to drive the cattle down leavers causeway and the wiend. Through bhead and onto the floating landing stage.

Eventually they went by truck not that my grandad was bothered as he could cadge a lift back home as in those days there was not much traffic that went that way home.

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