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BennyBoy #391089 25th Feb 2010 10:13am
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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
One of the rumours I have heard is that it was bombed during the war. After researching this I can confirm that it was not bombed during the war. There is a book that has been written, cataloguing all the bombed buildings etc in Birkenhead, and the Grapes Hotel or the Old Colonial, is not mentioned in the book.

Another piece of interesting information I have found out is that when the Alabama was built in Cammel Lairds for the American Civil War, there was a march down Bridge Street, and there were reports that some of the crew had stayed in some of the inns by the shipyards. There could well be evidence of this or there may be pictures or information of the march.

In the next few days I will be visiting the Birkenhead Library to see if I can find any pictures of the pub and read up some more about the Alabama and the march on Bridge Street.


Hope do find something on the march, that would be very interesting, good luck.

Last edited by bert1; 25th Feb 2010 10:14am.

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Originally Posted by paranoidballoon
BennyBoy Uptonx
Would like your thoughts on this. The Grapes as was is not on 1909 ordnance so this fact in itself is part of the pubs History if it was found that it had the licence removed/ change of use burn down/rebuild this small fact could be missed. It could also be a clue to a chunk of the buildings History that could be overlooked. (could also be a case of some clerk should of gone to specsavers)You could just pencil it in for now and call me a wally later
With respect P


that would be interesting. I will go back down to the archives place later this week and have a look. I will look at the map and see where it is supposed to be and I might have a better idea.

bert1 #391159 25th Feb 2010 1:39pm
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Originally Posted by bert1
Originally Posted by BennyBoy
One of the rumours I have heard is that it was bombed during the war. After researching this I can confirm that it was not bombed during the war. There is a book that has been written, cataloguing all the bombed buildings etc in Birkenhead, and the Grapes Hotel or the Old Colonial, is not mentioned in the book.

Another piece of interesting information I have found out is that when the Alabama was built in Cammel Lairds for the American Civil War, there was a march down Bridge Street, and there were reports that some of the crew had stayed in some of the inns by the shipyards. There could well be evidence of this or there may be pictures or information of the march.

In the next few days I will be visiting the Birkenhead Library to see if I can find any pictures of the pub and read up some more about the Alabama and the march on Bridge Street.


Hope do find something on the march, that would be very interesting, good luck.


It would be, there are alot of books on the building of the Alabama, and i was told that there is a reference to a march down bridge street. Its just a matter of finding it off the internet or in books.
hopefully my search in the birkenhead library may get a picture or something! Of all the old birkenhead pictures, there are alot of pictures of Cleveland street, corporation road, and the docks, and in the middle of all them is the pub, im hoping there is a picture somewhere. Ill keep you all posted

BennyBoy #391240 25th Feb 2010 4:53pm
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I thought the alabama was a cloak and dagger job built as a merchantman sailed With a local crew to Cherburg or somewhere refitted and re- crewed . smack on the bottom for Mr Laird and Co
I daubt if John Wayne was staying local as it would of given the game away.

nickynocky #391276 25th Feb 2010 6:21pm
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God help us,
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Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


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nickynocky #391278 25th Feb 2010 6:30pm
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Originally Posted by nickynocky
I thought the alabama was a cloak and dagger job built as a merchantman sailed With a local crew to Cherburg or somewhere refitted and re- crewed . smack on the bottom for Mr Laird and Co
I daubt if John Wayne was staying local as it would of given the game away.


Yeh, it was called something else, and was built as something else, because Britain was a neutral country and weren't allowed to make war ships. They made one for the confederates and snook it out. The crew were mainly british and this is where the pub comes in because they marched down bridge street. Im still searching for this information

BennyBoy #391279 25th Feb 2010 6:33pm
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I went to the Birkenhead reference library today and no look. I looked at all the pictures of bridge street that they had and none of them show the pub! Ill keep searching, I find it hard to believe that such an old pub as this wasn't photographed.Unonless all of the pictures were destroyed??

As for the pub being missing in the early 20th century map, I will be going the archives place again tommorow and will look it up. If it has been damaged or knocked down then there should be some record of this.

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Originally Posted by paranoidballoon
BennyBoy Uptonx
Would like your thoughts on this. The Grapes as was is not on 1909 ordnance so this fact in itself is part of the pubs History if it was found that it had the licence removed/ change of use burn down/rebuild this small fact could be missed. It could also be a clue to a chunk of the buildings History that could be overlooked. (could also be a case of some clerk should of gone to specsavers)You could just pencil it in for now and call me a wally later
With respect P


Done some digging today. I looked at the 1911 map and I found that there was the building on the map, bu it wansnt ised as a public house?? So I looked at a later map in 1927, and its back as a puclic house again. So I looked up the census information on John Allison and he was the owner of the Grapes Hotel between 1901 and 1911. So something must of happened in that gap between?

I got hold of a Kelly's street directory in 1902 and it has it listed there. I wondered whether there has just been some istake but the man at the archives said it is very rare that the ordinance survey people get it wrong.

The map was surveyed in 1908-09 which means that the next thing I have to do is get hold of a street directory from these years and see what the pub is listed as. Alternatively, I can get hold of the Yates Castle Brewery details and find it there.

It is really confusing. Why is it not listed as a Public House? Its interesting but it might be just a mistake on the map. Ill find out soon though and let you know

BennyBoy #391811 27th Feb 2010 7:26pm
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let us know what year it changed its name from the Grapes to the Old Colonial if you can please

BennyBoy #391829 27th Feb 2010 8:59pm
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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
I can get hold of the Yates Castle Brewery details and find it there.


Do you know were the Yates's records are? I've been trying to find them for some time (for information on the Horse and Jockey in Upton).

The Yates Castle Brewery in Birkenhead closed in 1934 and the Manchester Brewery was taken over by John Smith's in 1961.

The Liverpool Record Office has some financial information on the Brewery, and a file of bills, invoices and business letters (1888 - 1924) [Ref No M380YCB/6].

If you go to the Liverpool Record Office you need a 'Reader's Ticket', you can get this by taking proof of your name and address with you (it's much more formal than the Wirral Archives).

Note that the Liverpool Record Office is closing for two years in June while the library is re-built, they will open in a temporary location, but I suspect that access will be more restricted).


derekdwc #391847 27th Feb 2010 10:09pm
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Originally Posted by derekdwc
let us know what year it changed its name from the Grapes to the Old Colonial if you can please


1996 I think, it was when Cains took over the pub did they rename it to the Old Colonial

uptoncx #391848 27th Feb 2010 10:12pm
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Originally Posted by uptoncx
Originally Posted by BennyBoy
I can get hold of the Yates Castle Brewery details and find it there.


Do you know were the Yates's records are? I've been trying to find them for some time (for information on the Horse and Jockey in Upton).

The Yates Castle Brewery in Birkenhead closed in 1934 and the Manchester Brewery was taken over by John Smith's in 1961.

The Liverpool Record Office has some financial information on the Brewery, and a file of bills, invoices and business letters (1888 - 1924) [Ref No M380YCB/6].

If you go to the Liverpool Record Office you need a 'Reader's Ticket', you can get this by taking proof of your name and address with you (it's much more formal than the Wirral Archives).

Note that the Liverpool Record Office is closing for two years in June while the library is re-built, they will open in a temporary location, but I suspect that access will be more restricted).




Yeh they only have financial information in there. The archive people said that I might have to go to Manchester to get some other information...
If you want any information about that pub then I think you might have to go there. I think my best bet is to go to the Birkenhead reference library and get the gore street directory.

BennyBoy #397348 24th Mar 2010 9:23pm
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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
Originally Posted by derekdwc
let us know what year it changed its name from the Grapes to the Old Colonial if you can please


1996 I think, it was when Cains took over the pub did they rename it to the Old Colonial


I used to drink there in 91/92 and it was the Old Colonial then.

BennyBoy #398516 31st Mar 2010 12:11pm
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Originally Posted by BennyBoy
Originally Posted by uptoncx
Originally Posted by BennyBoy
I can get hold of the Yates Castle Brewery details and find it there.


Do you know were the Yates's records are? I've been trying to find them for some time (for information on the Horse and Jockey in Upton).

The Yates Castle Brewery in Birkenhead closed in 1934 and the Manchester Brewery was taken over by John Smith's in 1961.

The Liverpool Record Office has some financial information on the Brewery, and a file of bills, invoices and business letters (1888 - 1924) [Ref No M380YCB/6].

If you go to the Liverpool Record Office you need a 'Reader's Ticket', you can get this by taking proof of your name and address with you (it's much more formal than the Wirral Archives).

Note that the Liverpool Record Office is closing for two years in June while the library is re-built, they will open in a temporary location, but I suspect that access will be more restricted).




Yeh they only have financial information in there. The archive people said that I might have to go to Manchester to get some other information...
If you want any information about that pub then I think you might have to go there. I think my best bet is to go to the Birkenhead reference library and get the gore street directory.


FYI - 'The Brewing Industry: A Guide to the Historical Records' says that all they have at Manchester Central Library is a plan of the Ardwick Brewery in 1896. There are some Yates's records with John Smith's at Tadcaster, but they're just listed as 'Miscellaneous records (unlisted), so I've no idea what they are.

If you just want to trace the history of the pub, you would probably be better off going to Wirral Archives in the Cheshire Lines Building at Woodside, as they have the Birkenhead Licence Registers covering the period from 1880 to the early 1960s.

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No luck with the Gore street directory. I cant find the book on 1909. Ill keep looking for it though.

In the meantime I was thinking about the old bridge that made up part of bridge street, does anybody know about it? It was knocked down a while back and im sure that there would be some pictures and documentation of it surely.

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