wirral forums


Posted By: Norton

Cowhouses - 10th Dec 2016 3:34pm

I came across a website about 'Liverpool Cowhouses' at https://asenseofplace.com/2014/05/12/the-cowhouses-of-liverpool/

The article starts with "You know that house on the corner of your terraced street with the funny shaped, slightly larger yard than most of the others in the street? Well maybe it used to be a cowhouse, one of over 900 little, local dairies that used to supply Liverpool’s milk? Here are some."

Urban cowboys - keeping cows at the back of the house and selling the fresh milk from their dairy at the front - who didn't like to be compared with dairies that sold 'railway milk', the kind that came in from the country by rail.

There are a number of sites dealing with this topic. It seems so familiar, (I even recognise some of the properties) and yet I had never heard of them in this sense. The last one in Liverpool closed in 1975.

I know there were a lot of local dairies, but were there any cowhouse dairies on the Wirral and if so, where?.
Posted By: bert1

Re: Cowhouses - 10th Dec 2016 4:41pm

Come across it on many occasions, occupations given on census forms, baptism's and marriage certificates, etc. as Cow Keepers.
More often than not, they were just one or two cows kept in a back yard or garden and supplied a few local neighbours with fresh milk.
Posted By: fish5133

Re: Cowhouses - 10th Dec 2016 4:54pm

Thanks for posting. Love these little hidden history gems. Probably a few in Birkenhead. I can remember the quarantine centre at side of the Halfway House in Prenton.
Posted By: Norton

Re: Cowhouses - 10th Dec 2016 5:38pm

Thanks Bert. I hadn't put the two things together - perhaps if the cows were on the census then it would have made more sense, so I'll read the lists a bit harder next time.

Fish. Next the the Half Way House used to be a garage for Crellins Removals wagons when I was young. But, I have also heard of it being used as a vets, with some connection to Chester Zoo, if I remember rightly. I hadn't heard about it being used for quarantine though.

What I was actually searching for was more info on the following, which I think came from a Glasgow newspaper where they didn't seen to realise the geography behind their report.

When criminals are ‘on the hoof’ people are usually referring to the two-legged kind, but in February 1930, there was a report of a four-legged escapee under the headline –
“Street Rodeo Thrill” and “Police on Motorcycles Pursue Cow”
“There was a rodeo thrill in the streets of Liverpool yesterday when two policemen on a motorcycle combination went in pursuit of a cow which broke away from the herd on the way from Birkenhead to the slaughter house. After a chase through the crowded thoroughfares the policemen, in a side-car, held onto the cow’s horns and a colleague flanked the animal with a machine over the pavement and into a cul-de-sac passage where it was captured.”

So, if you or I find more detail on this, then it's going in a new topic.
Posted By: locomotive

Re: Cowhouses - 10th Dec 2016 7:34pm

The quarantine house was next door to the Half Way House in Storeton Rd. , Crellins was further toward the top of Singleton Avenue, My great Grandfather had a "Dairy" in Exmouth Street towards the top end, by Rogers shop, long gone I'm afraid, in one of the census he was described as a "Milk Dealer", so he probably bought the milk in. This was up until the late 30s, In the 50s the shop had become a wet fish shop.++
Posted By: bert1

Re: Cowhouses - 10th Dec 2016 8:20pm

It was quarantine for Chester zoo, opened about the middle 50s. I seem to remember Bandy posting on here somewhere, he seen a giraffe in there, made a change from pink elephants, wink
Posted By: fish5133

Re: Cowhouses - 11th Dec 2016 2:23am

Think the giraffe story is true as ive heard it also. Think my sister told me. Could just be seen from the nr 77 bus going along woodchurch road
Posted By: yoller

Re: Cowhouses - 11th Dec 2016 9:46am

I remember as a child in the mid-1950s seeing a cow on the back of a low loader lorry, parked on the Haymarket in Birkenhead. I think it was part of an exhibition by the Milk Marketing Board, or some such organisation. The cow (I think it was a Jersey) was there for several days and attracted crowds, especially when it was being milked by a machine. As townies, most of us kids had never seen a cow at close quarters – it was quite a sight.
Posted By: venice

Re: Cowhouses - 11th Dec 2016 1:01pm

I remember visiting the old quarantine premises years ago to visit a couple living in a funny little flat contained within the building upstairs to the right of where the animals would have been. No animals at the time , cant remember if it was a temporary gap or if they had new quarantine quarters in Chester by then, but if I recall, the guy living in the flat , was working for Chester zoo as record keeper of the quarantine stuff .
Posted By: BandyCoot

Re: Cowhouses - 11th Dec 2016 3:33pm

Originally Posted by bert1
It was quarantine for Chester zoo, opened about the middle 50s. I seem to remember Bandy posting on here somewhere, he seen a giraffe in there, made a change from pink elephants, wink

Ah yes, remember it well Bert. Nearly made me give up the bevvy. Seeing pink elephants today though, brilliant night at Wallasey RNA after doing "Scouse of the Rising Sun" in the afternoon with a few jars afterwards. Full day, fun day.

Posted By: joney

Re: Cowhouses - 12th Dec 2016 12:16pm

I remember seeing the giraffe behind the Halfway House and also remember seeing a camel in the garden of a big house in Oxton. Regarding the dairy in Exmouth st it was opposite the Lord Exmouth where I used to live. We used to get our milk from there, not in a bottle but I used to take a jug across and Mr Bellis would fill it with a dipper from a churn.
Posted By: Moonstar

Re: Cowhouses - 12th Dec 2016 3:08pm

There used to be a dairy at the junction of Old Chester Road and Rock Lane West on Dacre Hill which could well have been a Cowhouse.
Posted By: granny

Re: Cowhouses - 12th Dec 2016 10:19pm

Did they have any grass to eat in the Cowhouses ? That is their staple diet for milk, isn't it ? The map doesn't show so much of an area unless it was for one cow, then there wouldn't be so much milk.

The link states they were fed in back yards on grass. Sad !
Posted By: venice

Re: Cowhouses - 12th Dec 2016 11:12pm

Bet they were fed on lots of stale bread, veg peelings and porridge etc too.
Posted By: locomotive

Re: Cowhouses - 27th Dec 2016 8:13pm

Looking to spend some Xmas gift cards in Waterhouses today, I noticed a book on Cowhouses in the local history section, £12.
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