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In the 1920s, Wallasey’s promenades started at Seacombe Ferry and terminated at Marine Park. Between there and the start of the embankment near Harrison Drive was a stretch of unprotected coast badly affected by erosion and constantly drifting sand. New Brighton’s popularity as a seaside resort was continuing to grow, but there was no room to expand the facilities on offer. However, all this was about to change as Wallasey Council came up with a plan which would provide not only sea defence but also reclaim 100 acres of land which could be used, in part, for new major entertainment facilities – the building of King’s Parade.

These plans were incorporated into the Wallasey Corporation Act of 1927. Even by today’s standards it was a huge undertaking. A massive concrete sea wall was erected sweeping out to sea by Fort Perch Rock and then following the coast to join up with the embankment at Harrison Drive. A promenade 130 feet wide and 1 ¾ miles long was built incorporating a marine lake (10 acres), outdoor bathing pool (biggest in Europe), pitch and putt course, tennis courts, bowling greens and large car parks.

The work was carried out in two phases. The first phase, which went as far as the Red Noses, was started in 1931 and completed in 1934. The first three photos are from this first phase and show what a massive undertaking it was. The first of the photos is dated 19 January 1932 and annotated “General View. Sea Wall facing West, now completed”. Seeing as the work only started sometime in 1931, that was pretty quick! The other photo is from a survey taken by Priestly and Sons just before building work started and gives an idea of the encroachment of the sand.

The second phase of the building of the sea wall and prom was completed by March 1939. The onset of WW2 meant that the interior plans for public gardens and “other development” (see plan) never got off the ground.

I think Wallasey Corporation are to be commended for their foresight back in the 1920s. Don’t forget that at the same time as phase 1 was starting, the Council were building the Derby Pool at Harrison Drive. This was all happening during the Great Depression, so these projects must have provided much needed jobs. It is interesting to speculate ‘what might have been’ but for WW2.

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Great set of photos & a very interesting post.

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The public try out the newly opened phase two stretch of King's Parade.

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Great photo's.


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Very interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Ive noticed that the large sandstone rock in the second picture can still be seen today. Shown here in Dereks picture borrowed from another thread.

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Don't think that is the same rock Kevin. No sea wall where the current one is. I suspect that the original photo is far end of Harrison drive by the coastguard lookout.

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kev is right it is the same wall

if you look closely in both pictures you can see an area in the middle of the rock face thats had some construction work in it to block a hole maybe and also the strata line running from right to left in the face of the rock

the top surface has weathered and been worn a fair bit, but it does get hundreds of people climbing on it

I think the concrete you can see is not see wall but some sort of retaining wall for backfilling to block up th ecave systems in that area


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here

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Originally Posted by Helles
Don't think that is the same rock Kevin. No sea wall where the current one is. I suspect that the original photo is far end of Harrison drive by the coastguard lookout.


Maybe this answers your query?

The work was carried out in two phases. The first phase, which went as far as the Red Noses, was started in 1931 and completed in 1934. The first three photos are from this first phase

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I dimly remember those benches that were built into the sea wall, have you seen 'em now? A load of tat (if there's anything much there at all). OK they maybe under-estimated the effects of salt sea-spray but if they'd have had today's materials? Wow.

It's pretty clear, the erstwhile County Borough of Wallasey had some serious dough at its disposal, back then...!

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Originally Posted by jabber
kev is right it is the same wall

if you look closely in both pictures you can see an area in the middle of the rock face thats had some construction work in it to block a hole maybe and also the strata line running from right to left in the face of the rock

the top surface has weathered and been worn a fair bit, but it does get hundreds of people climbing on it

I think the concrete you can see is not see wall but some sort of retaining wall for backfilling to block up th ecave systems in that area


You are possibly correct but there were many similar rocks all along that front which have been buried. I just don't get that wall at all. If it is where you think it is then there is one hell of a lump of concrete hidden underground.

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I dont see any reason why they would have not just left the old wall in place and eventully buried it whilst completeing phase two. It would have needed to carry on doing its job right up to that point.

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I have no doubt that the rock shown in the photos is the same one that can be seen today, below “The Clff”.

One thing that confused me was that the wall seems to be in two different styles and thicknesses. I came to the conclusion that the seaward half and the structure sticking out marked how far the sea came in at high tide and was designed as a sea defence to protect the work on the infrastructure. This section seems to be made of the same style of prefabricated concrete blocks as the sea wall. The second stretch leading to the rock looks fairly basic and was probably a retaining wall to allow for the infilling of the site as suggested by Jabber. As Kevin says, the wall would need to stay in place until the second stretch of sea wall up to Harrison Drive was completed, when it became redundant. It may well still be there under the prom.

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And don't forget that the remains of the anti-aircraft gun site is still under the grass by the clown roundabout in the golf course field.

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Originally Posted by Tatey
And don't forget that the remains of the anti-aircraft gun site is still under the grass by the clown roundabout in the golf course field.

Yes of course, I had forgotten about them. Thanks, Tatey.

I wonder what was used to fill in the two huge holes created by the building of the sea wall. There could be all sorts under there!

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