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Wallasey Recollections #443101
12th Nov 2010 5:32pm
12th Nov 2010 5:32pm

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PaulWirral OP
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Hey guys,

I am asking members who have a good recollection of their earlier life in Wallasey. A good example of what I am looking for from your goodselves


Aldra Smith
Written in 1991.

My very first recollection is of our house in Bristol Avenue, and must have occurred when my young brother was born in 1924; Nurse Halfpenny was a formidable-looking lady with a long dark blue uniform, stiffly starched apron, and stiff white cap with two long streamers down her back. She appeared with a white bundle which let out a loud squawk, and asked me how I would like another brother - to which I replied that I would rather have a tricycle!

In the mornings the little trap would come along with the pony trotting briskly and stopping at each door; the milkman would get down and go round to the back of the trap where the large churn of milk was sitting, and proceed to ladle out the milk into a large white china jug which our Mother provided. I think the first sight of bottled milk wasn't until quite a few years later.

Next door there was an elderly little Welsh lady who was a widow; sometimes we were taken to visit her, and if we were very good she would allow us to look through the book of 'scraps'; some of them were very beautiful, especially the ones of angels or baskets of flowers. Occassionally, my older brother would walk her wheelchair up and down the avenue to give her a breath of fresh air. Her cheeks were so soft and pink, and her hair was silvery white and kept in place by a very fine hair net.

At that time it was not common to see a lot of invalid chairs or beds which were more often than not made of cane; the mothers or nurses would parade the invalid to the Central Park and back. These children either had rickets or tuberculosis, or perhaps just went under the heading of 'a delicate child' who must be nurtured. Beef tea and calves foot jelly were the delicacies most favoured as a diet for for invalids.

When I started school, it was at Manor Road School where Miss McGuire was headmistress; the downstairs classrooms had doors, which could open out onto the playground in good weather, and there were several small trees planted into circles in the playground which were pretty in the spring and summer. Sometimes daffodils were planted around them to make a splash of colour, so one found the attention wandering from school subjects and looking out at the sunshine instead.

The children in my class were mostly children of the local shopkeepers; Jackie McKay from the bakers, Dorothy Siddall from the chemist, and Marion Bird from the gents tailors on King Street. I used to like going with Marion down into the basement of the shop, where one got the smells of the various bolts of materials. the pressing iron and the chalks.

Saturday afternoon was matinee day at the Lyceum cinema with its pillars outside making it look a very imposing place; the favourite programmes were Rin-Tin-Tin, and Scottie the Boy Scout. Admission was 2d., but discipline was strict, and anyone that didn't behave was soon thrown out.

Eventually we moved from St. Brides' Road to Rake Lane and to Egerton Road School; at that time they were just beginning to build the Hebron Hall. We had a little tuck shop nearby where all the children spent their Saturday pennies. The lady who owned the shop had two tables - one with halfpenny sweets on it, and the other was farthing things on it. It took quite a while to decide what to choose from a selection of liquorice laces, sherbet dabs, caramels, palm toffee, gob stoppers, coconut strips, rosebuds, marzipan teacakes, chocolate chewing nuts etc.

Playtime games were kept to quite a strict timetable; the skipping season - with a piece of Mother's washing-line rope, exchange scraps, ball games, dancing and singing games, whips and tops and iron hoops, and of course - cowboys and indians.

I remember the police station on Urmson Road, and the builder's yard nearby; the Gregson family used to play with us, but the girls went to the Stella Maris Convent in New Brighton. The Queen's Arms was the bus stop for the red Crosville buses, and when we were small there used to be a regular 'hurdy gurdy' man there with his little monkey sitting on top to collect pennies.

Yes, the monkey house was a very familiar sight, and a favourite meeting place for people, and we were always taken to Panter Brick's for shoes. This was another shop that used to sell all the school uniforms, but I forget its name; I used to send occassionally to get an old Grammar School tie for my older brother. He was always very proud of being at the Grammar School.

We hadn't long been in the house in Rake Lane when we heard that the circus was coming to the Delph; the three of us got up very early one morning to watch all the paraphernalia arriving, then the cages with the animals, and the elephants walking in front - a wondrous sight in our eyes. We were taken to see the circus (Bertram Mills) and it was like a new world.

Liscard was a very good shopping centre, and I remember quite a lot of the shops; there was a wonderful needlework shop at one of the corners facing the monkey house, and my most vivid memory of Strother's music shop in Seaview Road. When Mother went in there to choose a record, she was ushered into a little glass-sided booth where the two or three records were brought for her to listen to before she made her choice, I still have a couple of these original records in their Strother's stamped sleeve.

Woolworth's made quite an impact when it was opened, and I still recall being sent there for Father's favourite ginger nut biscuits - one pound for 5d! The tins used to have glass lids on top to keep them fresh and the dust out.

The trams used to rattle along the various routes, and had letters instead of numbers - i.e. RL for Rake Lane, WD for Warren Drive, and P. for Poulton, NB for New Brighton.

Time came for going to Wallasey High School, with the horrors of blazer and panama hat in Summer, and heavy navy nap coat and black velour hat in winter(compulsory!) We could take one of three ways home from school; the shortest being through the grounds of Earlston Library and out through the cemetery gates. Secondly, by walking the full length of Mount Pleasant Road and back along Rake Lane, or going the other way to visit the little park known as 'The Captain's Pit' and along Seaview Road. It depended how much homework you had and how heavy the case of books was!

With our house being on the main road of the cemetery, we used to see a lot of funerals passing by; in those days the hearse was drawn by black horses with black feathers plumes in their headgear; the cortege was always carriages, the men with long coats and black top hats with a black crepe sash, the women in black from head to toe and black veils covering their faces, handkerchiefs bound with black at the edge. When we left Wallasey in 1933 this was still the custom.

I can remember our local GP's surgery; he was a red-haired Scot, and if we were taken to see him, he was always patient with us. On top of his rolltop desk stood a sharp's toffee tin which was shaped like a parrot's cage and had a brightly coloured relief of a parrot on the outside. If we opened our mouth to let him see our throat, we were allowed to open the tin and take one toffee for good behaviour. Magic.

Long before the esplanade was built at New Brighton, we had happy times as children along the sand dunes there, and watched all the big liners sailing in and out of the Mersey. The boys used to be able to recognise all the house flags of the various shipping lines, and we had to watch we didn't sit too near the incoming tide, as a few minutes after a liner had gone down river there was a huge backwash, and if you weren't careful it would dowse everyone in sight!

The strip of shore between Egremont and New Brighton was a lovely stretch, and we spent many happy hours with spade and bucket, hunting through all the rock pools for small crabs or pretty shells.

I vaguely recall being taken to one of the houses ay the Mariner's Home to visit an old sea captain. Friends of my parents were a captain and Mrs. Holmes. 'Cappy's' boats used to ply between Jamaica and Milford Haven.

This was a very happy time in my life, and leaving Wallasey was heartbreaking; nevertheless, I shall always recall the place with great affection

Please post your story. We would love to read about your recollections from the 1930s, 40s, 50s. 60s.... Thank you.

Last edited by Mark; 16th Jan 2011 2:23pm.
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Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: ] #462260
15th Jan 2011 7:14pm
15th Jan 2011 7:14pm
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Egremont wallasey
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sarahdavo Offline
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Hi paul i enjoyed this piece, i would like to put together a collection of my memories, i was born in 1968, so a lot of mine will be through my nans and my mums eyes, but let me know if that would be ok.

sarah xx

p.s also i dont know if this would be of intrest but my nan has an album with letters that she and my grandad exchanged when the war was on, its like a love story it would be wonderful if it could be published.although i would have to ask her. she probly has lots of old pics as well. let me know if ther are bits missing of your History surches, that i could ask my nan about.

xx

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: sarahdavo] #462262
15th Jan 2011 7:18pm
15th Jan 2011 7:18pm
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Egremont wallasey
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sarahdavo Offline
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Egremont wallasey
also the name nurse halfpenny rings a bell, although obviously im 42 so shouldnt have met her, but my aunty mavis who lived in southcroft rd wallasey village had her son robert deliverd by the local nurse, who was the wallasey midwife type nurse of the times. I looked after an elderly lady breifly who lived around the brow in wallasey village, some years ago now, and she deliverd babies in the wallasey area, im just wondering if it could have been the same lady. although its a stretch i know, but i can,t remember her name, she was very frail, and quite tall , and at the end of her life.xx

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: sarahdavo] #462265
15th Jan 2011 7:23pm
15th Jan 2011 7:23pm
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Egremont wallasey
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sarahdavo Offline
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also just a memory, but my mum janice vick-hughes, daughter of tom vick. used to play along the sea shore and sandhills at leasowe bay along up to harrison drive end. she used to collect hangrinaids in her tin bucket. quite bizzare i know, but my grandad said he used to man the guns along the shore in the war, can,t clarify this as he has passed away. but my mums grandad, norman morgan, used to have to dispose of these hangrinades over the side of the local ferry boat, when nobody was looking he would tip them out of his pockets. funny little story.

xx

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: sarahdavo] #462267
15th Jan 2011 7:29pm
15th Jan 2011 7:29pm

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PaulWirral OP
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PaulWirral OP
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Originally Posted by sarahdavo
Hi paul i enjoyed this piece, i would like to put together a collection of my memories, i was born in 1968, so a lot of mine will be through my nans and my mums eyes, but let me know if that would be ok.

sarah xx

p.s also i dont know if this would be of intrest but my nan has an album with letters that she and my grandad exchanged when the war was on, its like a love story it would be wonderful if it could be published.although i would have to ask her. she probly has lots of old pics as well. let me know if ther are bits missing of your History surches, that i could ask my nan about.

xx


If people do not submitt their memories to 'paper' then it is lost and forgotton.

Sarah - you were born in the same year as me. I would be more then happy to add to my site your grandparents memories and love letters. In fact I would even like to hear your memories of your childhood growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. It is not always about pre-war Wallasey! Putting a piece together about anyones memories can include The Tower Grounds, it can include going to RJ's/Chelsea/ The Grand or even remembering the day you heard that Liscard Hall was burnt down.

I am confident to say that anyone who contributes their membories will have an audience.

Good luck.

Last edited by Mark; 16th Jan 2011 2:46pm.
Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: ] #462268
15th Jan 2011 7:34pm
15th Jan 2011 7:34pm
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Egremont wallasey
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sarahdavo Offline
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another memory of my mums, my mums uncle arthur used to run a zoo at new brighton, when my mum was a child, and she used to help out.
she thinks the zoo was owned by gerald durrell, the writer, although he never had anything much to do with it. one of the small bears escaped from the zoo one day, and went up molyneux drive, all the way up the road, and turned left, and went into the local newsagents that was ther at the time.
my mothers uncle arthur , also ran the wax works, the big wheel, and a ride called the moon rocket or catterpillar, a ride that went round like a train and green hoods used to cover you, so you went round in the dark.

i wonder if anybody remembers the zoo .

xx

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: sarahdavo] #462377
16th Jan 2011 7:30am
16th Jan 2011 7:30am
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Tatey Offline
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Originally Posted by sarahdavo
also just a memory, but my mum janice vick-hughes, daughter of tom vick. used to play along the sea shore and sandhills at leasowe bay along up to harrison drive end. she used to collect hangrinaids in her tin bucket. quite bizzare i know, but my grandad said he used to man the guns along the shore in the war, can,t clarify this as he has passed away. but my mums grandad, norman morgan, used to have to dispose of these hangrinades over the side of the local ferry boat, when nobody was looking he would tip them out of his pockets. funny little story.

xx


I used to work with your grandad Tom Vick at Telefusion in Liscard!

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: ] #462465
16th Jan 2011 2:03pm
16th Jan 2011 2:03pm
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nightwalker Offline

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new brighton
You probably know, but there are some great Wallasey stories on the BBC WW2 People's War website. It would be nice to have them gathered together on a local site like this, and from what I can see it would be legal to do so!

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: sarahdavo] #462558
16th Jan 2011 6:51pm
16th Jan 2011 6:51pm
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Helles Offline
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Originally Posted by sarahdavo
another memory of my mums, my mums uncle arthur used to run a zoo at new brighton, when my mum was a child, and she used to help out.
she thinks the zoo was owned by gerald durrell, the writer, although he never had anything much to do with it. one of the small bears escaped from the zoo one day, and went up molyneux drive, all the way up the road, and turned left, and went into the local newsagents that was ther at the time.
my mothers uncle arthur , also ran the wax works, the big wheel, and a ride called the moon rocket or catterpillar, a ride that went round like a train and green hoods used to cover you, so you went round in the dark.



i wonder if anybody remembers the zoo .

xx


It was the catterpiller. Went up and down to ape the movement of a caterpillar as well as going around. You can just about see it in the film "I thank a fool". Filmed at the tower grounds in 1962. My cousin is standing on the steps as the star runs past. Try as I might, I couldn't get my ugly mug in it. frown

The zoo would not be allowed these days as the animals were kept in some very bad cramped conditions. They used a lot of old trams as cages strangely enough. It would have been a tram enthuiasts dream to get their hands on those now. Probably just smashed to bits when they pulled the tower building down. No one was intentionally cruel, it was just different in those days.

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: sarahdavo] #462605
16th Jan 2011 8:41pm
16th Jan 2011 8:41pm
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sarahdavo Offline
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Originally Posted by sarahdavo
another memory of my mums, my mums uncle arthur used to run a zoo at new brighton, when my mum was a child, and she used to help out.
she thinks the zoo was owned by gerald durrell, the writer, although he never had anything much to do with it. one of the small bears escaped from the zoo one day, and went up molyneux drive, all the way up the road, and turned left, and went into the local newsagents that was ther at the time.
my mothers uncle arthur , also ran the wax works, the big wheel, and a ride called the moon rocket or catterpillar, a ride that went round like a train and green hoods used to cover you, so you went round in the dark.

i wonder if anybody remembers the zoo .

xx


my mother janice vick-hughes, worked at the zoo in the summer holidays, between or around 1959-1960. she used to have to go up and down the main shopping street in new brighton with 2 big wooden bread trays going round all the green grocers and bread shops for stale bread and cabbage leaves for the animals. The animals were kept in appaling conditions, she recalls.

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: ] #462609
16th Jan 2011 8:47pm
16th Jan 2011 8:47pm
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 19,446
Here.
RUDEBOX Offline
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Here.
Where was the wax works? Who were the models of? (am assuming this was a wax work museum?)


Mia Mabel

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Jer-e-my Cor-byn

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: Tatey] #462610
16th Jan 2011 8:51pm
16th Jan 2011 8:51pm
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Egremont wallasey
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sarahdavo Offline
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Originally Posted by Tatey
Originally Posted by sarahdavo
also just a memory, but my mum janice vick-hughes, daughter of tom vick. used to play along the sea shore and sandhills at leasowe bay along up to harrison drive end. she used to collect hangrinaids in her tin bucket. quite bizzare i know, but my grandad said he used to man the guns along the shore in the war, can,t clarify this as he has passed away. but my mums grandad, norman morgan, used to have to dispose of these hangrinades over the side of the local ferry boat, when nobody was looking he would tip them out of his pockets. funny little story.

xx


I used to work with your grandad Tom Vick at Telefusion in Liscard!


hi tatty

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: ] #462614
16th Jan 2011 9:02pm
16th Jan 2011 9:02pm
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Posts: 5,551
New New Brighton
Bezzymate Offline
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Hubby just told me a tale about a day out at the Tower Grounds.
He was with his older brother on the 'rifle range'. If you hit the bullseye you woukd win quite a substantional prize. One of his brother's friends did and it shot straight back at him. They assumed that it was metal so you could never win.Very dangerous if it had have hit someone!

Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: RUDEBOX] #462623
16th Jan 2011 9:19pm
16th Jan 2011 9:19pm
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Originally Posted by RUDEBOX
Where was the wax works? Who were the models of? (am assuming this was a wax work museum?)


In the tower building itself. If you looked at the front entrance it was far over to the left just before it turned the corner. I can't remember who it featured but there was a chamber of horrors downstairs. To the right of the entrance were the enchanted caves. Little boat type things that went through tunnels with various things to look at.


Re: Wallasey Recollections [Re: Helles] #462777
17th Jan 2011 11:27am
17th Jan 2011 11:27am
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Wallasey
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Wallasey
Hi Paul
Just got the postcards of Wallasey & New Brighton, there are 85 in total, so it will be a task scanning them all. But I will do it later today. Do you want me to post them all on here or shall I send them all to you first?

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